While it’s not quite ready for prime time, the Yerka Project is still of great interest to us if for one reason: it’s the world’s first nigh impossible-to-steal bike. Its secret involves a frame that also doubles as its own lock: Yerka’s down tube opens up and folds outwards to give a few inches of clearance for slipping this bike through a tree, post, or rack. Then, remove the seat post, slide it through, and lock it, simultaneously securing your saddle, seat post, and frame while also sparing you the need of lugging around a hefty lock. Cutting through the lock results in partially destroying the bike – quite the contrary goal of any sensible bike thief – making this bike the hardest to steal yet providing its lock is resilient to picking attemps.
Sign up for updates here – $TBA
While there’s nothing wrong with giving our arms the occasional workout propelling a kayak or canoe, there’s a reason land-borne bicycles are foot-pedal powered. Schiller’s X1 Water Bike takes advantage of your strongest limbs thanks to a conventional bicycle design mounted atop two rugged, dual-chamber inflatable pontoons, attaining speeds of roughly 8 knots (10 mph) on open water. The California-made X1 is also adjustable to fit a variety of rider sizes, mounts or dismounts in 10 minutes to pack away on most vehicle bike racks and trunks, and boasts two oscillating propellers that eliminate any need for a rudder.
We don’t say this lightly: since occasional flats are inevitable and would otherwise leave cyclists stranded, virtually everybody who bikes long distances needs a portable pump. And as it turns out, there’s no need to stash one in your pack or on the frame, since your bike likely sports a storage compartment for one already: the hollow Shimano axle between your cranks. CrankPump makes full use of this space, screwing in to replace the standard axle cover. When a flat occurs, just unscrew CrankPump, remove and use the red and blue TireZip levers to unzip the tire, then inflate the new tube using CrankPump’s CO2 canister to 90 PSI – more than enough to head home.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $25
The Sphelar Solar Flashlight is as much a work of art as it is a tool, and then some. This gorgeous minimalist’s flashlight features a translucent tail end packed with spherical solar cells that capture the sun’s rays from all directions, simplifying charging. Top one off and it’s good for four hours of lighting. It also boasts a lanyard hole for hanging, and comes with a wooden base that holds it upright while charging.
Find it at the MoMA Store – $150
Just because you’re roughing it doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of pleasurable amenities – take, for instance, hot tubs. Granted, we didn’t figure portable hot tubs were in short order until stumbling upon The Original Nomad’s Collapsible Hot Tub. This 225 gallon tub fits up to four adults snugly, coming apart afterwards to pack away into a 30″ long duffel. And if freezing cold water isn’t your jam, rig it up with their stainless steel heating coil that uses thermosyphoning to eschew the need for a pump and warms water with propane, natural gas, or even firewood.
Find it at The Original Nomad – $550 (tub alone) to $1000 (tub + heating coil)
We’re all for redundancy when it comes to important tools. Like carrying multiple bottle openers in case one fails. This also applies to anything relied upon for making fire, so pack a backup with the Brass Peanut Lighter & Clip, a tiny, reliable, waterproof, nigh indestructible lighter that’s American made of solid brass stock. Unscrew its top and light’er up in a pinch, or use it as a candle in an emergency, made possible thanks to its flat bottom.
Find it at Best Made Co – $36
Mel Brooks brought us a History of the World, but didn’t cover the history of rain avoidance gear. First there was rain and people got wet. Then hoods were invented and not much happened until Orion’s waterproof jacket. This fully-taped waterproof-breathable jacket was designed to keep you dry – so dry that it could keep Noah moisture free on the deck of the Ark thanks to Polartec NeoShell fabric that allows moisture and excess heat to escape as body temperature and activity increases. This revolutionary fabric blend is also durable, and with plenty of stretch built in to the relaxed cycling fit, provides for maximum freedom. Zippered under arm ventilation, an external access pocket, media pocket, rear stow pocket, hand warmer pockets, and its removable hood round out the Orion’s features. And lest we forget the Ultralight part of the jacket: it weighs in at only 370 grams, or just 310 grams without the hood.
Available in “hey look at me” Orange and Fog Gray at Mission Workshop – $439
Whether your bike has a banana seat and coaster brakes or a magnesium frame with titanium springs, it’s a sure bet that you have a chain, handlebars, pedals and a sore arse. What do you do when you’re on the road and have a problem with one of those components? Your arse is on its own; otherwise the MT21 multi tool Toolkit from Brooks England has the answer with its allen keys, screw drivers, torx wrenches, spoke wrenches, chain tool, knife and yes, bottle opener, all in a handy leather pouch. Forget calling AAA and being towed to a bike shop and repair your spoked wonder yourself.
Sometimes it’s all about being seen. Whether at that swanky fundraiser or your neighborhood block party, getting noticed is what it’s about. LightMode knows the importance of being seen, albeit far from that trivial and pretentious socialite drivel: their Electroluminescent Motorcycle Helmet greatly increases rider visibility and thus safety. Utilizing electroluminescent (EL) materials, these helmets are surrounded completely in an attention-getting glow, all while looking like a computer programmer sucked into a mainframe. Each kit comes in one of five colors - aqua, red, white, green, and blue - and is powered by two AA batteries in three modes: constant glow, blink and off. When used with 2,000 mAh NiMH rechargables these lights can run up to 13 hours. And for those who like to get their hands dirty, a kit is available to turn your helmet into a neon sign for your head; alternatively, complete, pre-wired helmets are available.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $63+ (conversion kit) to $266+ (helmet included)
Designed for pilots with limited time behind the yoke, the Icon A5 Amphibious Light Sport Aircraft is still a worthy craft for even the most experienced aviator. Your Cessna 152 or Piper 140 can’t compete with some of the features which make Icon such an… icon. From the front, the A5 is reminiscent of Airwolf with its bubble canopy and seawing platforms. A sculpted fuselage has the prow of a jetski hiding electrically actuated landing gear. And the A5’s innovative folding wings makes hanger rental a thing of the past with the ability to tow the aircraft home behind your truck or SUV. Powered by a 100hp Rotax 912 iS pushing it to a max speed of 120mph, this recreational craft may well replace the boat at which you currently throw money.
Delivery estimated for May 2015. Learn more at Icon Aircraft – $189,000