There’s a lot to like about nature. But that doesn’t include getting lost, getting wet, freezing, going thirsty, or countless other unpredictable scenarios that come with being unprepared. The Outdoorsman knows that, though he can probably use a bit of help gathering some good gear since this stuff doesn’t come cheap.
Hard to forget Oru’s original folding kayak, which finally made the sport easily accessible to compact car owners. Oru’s Bay+ improves upon the Bay’s design by adding a variety of new features to boost comfort and convenience, including an adjustable molded-foam seat, ratchet-buckle deck fasteners (think snowboard bindings) for easier setup, additional deck rigging for securing more gear, and a waterproof hatch for stashing moisture-sensitive valuables. It still folds up to the size of an artist’s portfolio and weighs just two pounds more than the thriftier Bay while crucially retaining the same rigid floorboard and durable construction.
Find it at Oru Kayak – $1500
Bike etiquette has it that signalling your turn involves holding out your arm, temporarily sacrificing balance in the hopes of being noticed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well as we’d like to think, particularly in poor light and weather conditions. WingLights, instead, brings the tried and true method employed by every other road vehicle to your bike. Replace your handlebar covers with their magnetic fittings, then stick WingLights onto your handles before riding. One quick tap activates the desired signal, emitting highly visible amber light via LEDs, and another deactivates it after the turn is complete. They’re also designed to be waterproof and shockproof, last 3 months on a single set of batteries, and pop off your bike in an instant to prevent theft, attaching magnetically to the included carry-away keyring.
Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $22+
Coffee makers aren’t a very rugged bunch. Tip it and water will pour out of its tank; drop one and it’s done. While keeping yours firmly grounded atop your kitchen counter avoids these pitfalls, the Oxx Coffeeboxx just begs to come along for the ride. This 11 pound K-cup compatible coffee machine boasts a crush-proof chassis, a huge, spill-proof 2.5 litre water tank, a IP55-rated dustproof and waterproof enclosure, and a retractable 3 foot cord. It’s also thoughtful, pumping out on-demand piping hot water for making ramen or cocoa alongside coffee (tailgate anyone?), and is equipped with large rubber buttons adequately sized for use with gloves.
Check it out at Kickstarter – $200+
Unsurprisingly, action cams have a way of getting us in the moment. Dive even deeper with Kodak’s PixPro SP360, the first big name action camera to shoot in full 360º glory with its 16 megapixel sensor at up to 1080p and 30fps. The device’s dome-shaped lens captures footage in a variety of immersive modes such as ring, dome, 360º panorama, and simultaneous front 180º / rear 180º, which acts as two ultra wide angle cameras facing both forward and backwards. It’s also rugged with its shockproof enclosure and waterproof case, works with your smartphone (and the 360 Remote Viewer App) just as well as without it, and features motion sensing and time lapse modes for setting and forgetting.
Learn more at Kodak or Amazon – $350 to $400 (with Extreme Pack accessories)
Launched two years ago on Kickstarter, Boosted Boards have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Built around a flexible bamboo Vanguard deck, these longboards boast a single or dual electric motor powering their rear wheel(s) to power forward at speeds of up 22 mph for 6 or 7 miles, even tackling relatively steep inclines (from 15% to 25% depending on the model) with ease. Intuitively, acceleration and braking is controlled using a wireless handheld remote and — fortunately — smoothed out thanks to software and sensors across several modes of expertise (beginners can learn without flying off thanks to speed and torque limits). And with a charge time of 90 minutes and a weight of 15 pounds, there’s little excuse to grab your push-powered longboard over a Boosted Board.
Compare the models at Boosted Boards – $1,000 to 1,500 [via]
Dubbed the most advanced activity tracker known to man, we have little reason to dispute this statement. Jawbone’s UP3 boasts a slew of sensors that monitor your heart rate, galvanic skin response, respiration, skin temperature, and ambient temperature, also monitoring movement using a 3-axis accelerometer like previous UP devices. What this gets you is a fuller picture of your fitness and health by tracking and recognizing your activities throughout the day while closely analyzing sleep patterns, syncing on the fly with Jawbone’s smartphone app using Bluetooth 4.0. It’s also water resistant, features a smart alarm to wake you up at just the right moment in your sleep cycle, and uses LED indicators to display modes and notifications.
Learn more at Jawbone – $180
The contrast between the serenity of being on water and the cacophonous roar of an outboard motor is rather sharp. Unlike its gasoline-powered brethren, Quadrofoil instead slices across the surface silently at up to 21 knots using an electric motor and C-foil technology to effectively float its chassis above water, running for up to 100 km on a single charge. It also steers like a car and boasts an integrated touchscreen display in its steering wheel, boasts numerous safety measures including an unsinkable hull and safety gear plus paddle, and offers ergonomic seating for two, keeping both driver and passenger perfectly dry.
Read more at Quadrofoil – roughly $18,700+
Have a penchant for commuting through thunderstorms or backpacking during monsoon season? Gear up with Boreas’ Echo and Monterey waterproof packs. Both are built with TPU-coated 210D and 420D ripstop nylon, rendering them waterproof without needing to fiddle with a rain cover. The 25-liter Echo daypack and the 35-liter Monterey also feature draining side pockets for wet gear, an external span pocket, a molded & tuckable EVA foam suspension, plus reflective print to boost visibility — especially appreciated with the murdered-out Lava Black color scheme (shown). And, like all Boreas packs, they’re also rather lightweight for their size at 820g and 1000g, respectively.
Learn more at Boreas – $140 to $165
Comfort isn’t hard to find in a sleeping mat, unless we’re talking about one that weighs about a pound and rolls up to a paltry 3″ by 7″. Sea to Summit’s line of sleeping mats attain just that thanks to a 40D ripstop nylon outer construction and the use of Air Sprung Cells, constructed using a dot-weld pattern for a high surface area matrix of interconnected chambers that deform independently to conform to your body. They also make use of Sea to Summit’s multi-function valve which prevents air loss after inflation and before sealing, come with optional Thermolite insulation for extra warmth, and are offered in three ranges — Ultra Light, Comfort Light, and Comfort Plus — each offering slightly more comfort at the expense of size and weight.
Arriving in March 2015. Learn more at Sea to Summit – $200 [via]