When it comes to describing Orfos’ Flare bike lights, bright is an understatement. Each Flare packs nine half-watt LEDs, outputting 300 lumens (red flare) to 500 lumens (white flare) that match the overall brightness and dispersion of car taillights and daytime running lights. They also offer 360° visibility thanks to their clear polycarbonate shell and reflective interior, are entirely waterproof (they’ve gone diving), boast a rechargeable LiFePo4 battery that outlives lithium, and a mounting system that employs extremely strong N52-grade neodymium magnets for quick and easy removal.
Find Flare at Kickstarter – $120 (each) or $230 (both)
Shoot stunning footage using your action camera from a perspective other than your helmet or your buddy’s unsteady hand with the Hexo+ Drone. This six-prop drone boasts a brushless gimbal onto which to attach your GoPro, letting you start an autonomous aerial shoot — no camera operator, no pilot required — with just a few clicks on your smartphone. Set your frame, pinching and sliding to get distances, perspectives and altitude right, then let Hexo+ do its job, attaining speeds of up to 45 mph to track even the fastest subjects. It also offers a manual mode for taking the helm yourself, boasts auto take off and landing, an on-board GPS so it won’t get lost, and folds up to easily fit in a backpack. And don’t worry about your drone (or GoPro) in the event of a hiccup: between its fail-safe software and six propellers, it will always land safely and smoothly.
Learn more at Hexo+ – $1,150
Full Windsor knows bikes. Their Nutter multitool packed the most common cycling-related tools into one compact package, including a tire lever, spoke key, a hex driver accompanied by a variety of bits, a bit extender, and a bottle opener. The Breaker bases itself on this extensive functionality, further expanding it to include a chain breaker as well, complete with tool grade stainless steel pin and a magnetic bit slot for using the bit extender as a handle. It’s also lightweight like its predecessor (6.5 ounces total) and small enough to stay on your bike at all times, packing up into the included leather and recycled inner tube pouch.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $65
Microsoft’s the latest tech giant vying for a spot on your wrist, and with their newly announced Band they might just have earned it. The feature-packed Microsoft Band boasts a built-in GPS, 24-hour heart rate monitor, a 3-axis accelerometer, plus a slew of sensors that measure skin temperature, UV intensity (to kick you into saving your skin with sunscreen), galvanic skin response, and more. Snap one to your wrist to silently gather detailed, objective data day and night, feeding into Microsoft Health to provide you with actionable insights for living healthier, sleeping better, exercising more efficiently, and the like. It’s also cross-platform capable, playing nice with iOS and Android as well as Windows Phones, though the latter will also grant access to Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant.
Check it out at Microsoft – $200
We figure we’ll be waiting quite a while before our consumer electronics — notably those made by Apple — will be in any way ruggedized. Until then, count on Lunatik’s Aquatik to protect your all-too-fragile device. This surprisingly sleek case makes your iPhone water- and dust-proof to IP68 standards (fully waterproof to 2 meters for a consecutive hour), meaning it’ll protect against accidental drops on solid ground as well in the toilet and grants the ability to snap underwater photos through its optically clear photo lens. Of course, full tactile control of all of the phone’s buttons is achieved, as well as a fluid touchscreen experience, protected behind Gorilla Glass, and Touch ID compatibility.
Find it alongside the Taktik 360 at IndieGoGo – $80
It’s easier to improve your game when you’ve got some objective numbers on what needs fixing. Arccos is the first golf stat tracking system that’s entirely invisible, seamlessly capturing data through each round without disrupting your game in the least. The secret is in its 14 lightweight sensors that attach to the end of each club and monitor every swing, coupling these analytics to GPS data from your smartphone for judging distances as well. And since 100% of U.S. courses are already mapped, you can review your performance — including stats for each individual club, strokes per hole, and more — right there in real-time on their smartphone app, or skip it and check it out at home after the fact if you’d rather focus on your game.
Learn more at Arccos – $400
Ostentatious but without pretense, Poler & Airblaster’s Ninja suit is the boldest way to stay comfortably warm through your escapades. Its 96% Merino wool construction is naturally odor resistant and boasts a bit of lycra for stretch in four directions, accommodating your every move. A full-length front chest zipper opens to let you in and out while a front fly and — for the brave — a rear zipper grant bathroom access, meaning you technically never really need to take it off. Thumb loops and a 7-panel form fitting hood round out this uber cozy onesie.
Find it at Poler – $190
Clean and simple, Electric’s EG3 builds on the classic oversized goggle with a bit of a functional twist. Each pair boasts an oversized spherical polycarbonate lens with Super Anti-Fog, Anti-Scratch, and Anti-Reflective technology, using optimized lens ventilation that works in conjunction with the dual lens construction to eliminate fogging and condensation. They also feature Electric’s Press Seal system which allows for swapping shades while ensuring an airtight lens-to-frame seal, are helmet compatible (what self-respecting goggle isn’t?), and employ directional pressure valves between the inner and outer lenses to relieve pressure at high altitudes and ensure optimal clarity.
Grab a pair in a variety of colors at Electric – $220
Can’t seem to stave off the cold without wearing boxing glove-like mitts? There’s a smaller, subtler solution in Zippo’s Hand Warmer. This pocketable device fills with Zippo’s lighter fluid, burning for up to 12 hours to keep your hands toasty through particularly frigid days. The replaceable platinum-catalyzed glass fibre burner lights quickly and easily using a Zippo lighter or other, emitting up to 10 times the total heat output of disposable warming pads.
Grab it in chrome or black at Amazon – $12+
Worried you won’t stumble upon many laundromats throughout your backpacking adventures? Bring a washing machine with you, minus the machine, with Scrubba. Small enough to fit in a pocket, just unfold Scrubba, fill with water, cleaning liquid, and some clothes, then press and rub over the internal washboard — which is packed with nodules that efficiently de-grime fabrics — for between 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on how good of a clean you’re going for. It’s also lightweight at 5.5 ounces and spares you the cost of hunting down and doing business with often-overpriced laundromats.
Grab one at Amazon or Scrubba – $55