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
Not to be pessimistic, but head off in the wilderness often enough and one day something’s bound to go wrong. And when it comes to making fire, whether you lost your lighter or wet your matches, Rattlerstrap’s Flint Laces have your back. These paracord laces look and feel like rugged, run-of-the-mill boot laces, until you desperately need some warmth or a flame to cook over. Underneath each aglet lies a 1-inch ferro rod, more than enough to produce some serious sparks using a steel edge, i.e. a knife.
By the same people who brought you Grandpa’s FireFork Roasting Prongs comes Grandpa’s FireGrill, a half-DIY, half-sensible way to roast grub over a fire. This clever contraption is devoid of a handle, instead attaching firmly to practically any stick for safely securing most food thanks to an adjustable grid height. And when you’re done grilling, chuck the stick and collapse it down before packing the lightweight FireGrill away, until the next time it’s called upon.
Get one on Amazon – $20
Solar powered flashlight, stupid idea, huh? Wrong. First, the Goal Zero 90110 Portable Torch is more than just a run-of-the-mill flashlight. It puts out an eye watering 250 lumens on its highest setting, boasts a solar panel for all day charging, and has a built in hand crank for anytime functionality, though it can also be charged via any USB output using its built-in cable. Then, one touch of the Zero’s button and you’ve got 70 lumens through its floodlight or 180 lumens of focused spotlight. Another push allows you to utilize the Zero’s extended runtime option, giving you up to 48 hours of dimmer light. Red emergency lights are also built in to signal for help when you can’t find your snacks, or for equivalent disasters. And if your other devices run dry, use it (and its built-in 4,400 mAh battery) as a power hub to charge them right back up, before leaving it sit in the sun for a few hours to refuel.
Find it at Amazon – $80
If you’ve got a bike worth securing, it comes as no surprise that U-locks are the preferred choice. Unfortunately, they’re also heavy and bulky, universally requiring specific mounting adapters or backpacks to lug them around comfortably. And that’s why Vier was born. While it might not do much to remedy the weight that comes naturally with thick, steel U-locks, Vier features two locking bodies and two 14mm hardened steel shackles that come apart completely to pack away nicely into its burrito-sized storage bag that’s then easily be thrown into a pack or strapped underneath your bike’s saddle. It’s also pick and drill resistant, withstands 1.5 tons in pull strength test, and theoretically supports swappable shackle lengths should you ever desire a longer lock (though for security’s sake, we suggest keeping it small).
Check it out at Kickstarter – $75
Functionality and style need not be mutually exclusive. Slide Belt’s Survival model couples an insanely durable strap – it’s waterproof, abrasion resistant, UV protected, and flexes like normal even at sub-zero temperatures – with a hole-less belt buckle that locks the belt at 1/4-inch intervals, attaining lengths far more precise than with typical eyelets. Get the right color (namely, black), and a Survival Belt will look as good on a suit as it would heading off into the woods. Each belt also sports a built-in bottle opener, though throwing over a bit of extra cash nabs you The Survivor, which also stashes a striker and ferrocerium fire starter rod rated for 1,000 strikes.
Hit up Kickstarter for more information – $59 to $89 (with fire starter)
We don’t all have room for a sailboat and a trailer in our backyards; hell, we don’t all have back yards. Fortunately, for the Tiwal 3.2 it doesn’t matter if all you’ve got is some extra closet space. This high performance sailing dinghy is inflatable and weighs in at 111 pounds, collapsing down to fit into even the smallest of cars en route to a suitable body of water. After assembly – which takes roughly 20 minutes – the 3.2 measures 10.5 feet long and comfortably supports up to two adults, or one adult plus two children. It also boasts a wide V-shaped underbody for stability, is extremely easy to right in the event of capsize, and comes with one of two sizes of high-clearance, boomless sails – a standard 5.2 sqm sail, or 7.0 sqm for the more adventurous.
Learn more at Tiwal – roughy $6,200
In line with BioLite’s range of electricity-generating outdoor stoves, their KettleCharge also provides off-grid power, albeit as you boil water for your coffee or instant noodles instead of cooking food. KettleCharge’s core thermoelectric technology works with a wide range of stoves and requires nothing extra but water (up to 750ml), outputting 10W, enough to charge USB devices as fast as a wall outlet would. Plus, if you don’t need the power straight away, KettleCharge’s built-in battery will conveniently store 1250mAh of it for later use.
Find it at BioLite – $150