(Photo courtesy of Wild Country)
Every week, we bring you five gear-related stories, from all over, that you won’t want to miss. Here are this week’s highlights:
The Best New Gear at Outdoor Retailer
All week long here at Gear Institute, we’ve been posting highlights from America’s largest outdoor-industry tradeshow—including our Best New Gear Awards for Summer 2016.
Among our top picks for this year: Black Diamond’s $40 Iota headlamp—packing 150 lumens of rechargeable power into a lightweight package; from Columbia, the new PFC-free Outdry Extreme ECO Shell; Suunto’s Spartan Ultra watch with 26-hour battery life; and Wild Country’s first bi-directional auto-locking belay device called Revo.
(Photo courtesy of Thunder)
“Smart” Noise-Cancelling Earphones
In an era of everyone promising to offer the “smartest” product yet in its category, one entrepreneurial team is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo for its noise-cancelling earphones with “revolutionary sound customization.” The earphones, called Thunder, do so by testing the frequencies you can hear, then calibrating the best sound for you.
Thunder will ultimately retail for $299, but you can scoop up an early-bird special for $139.
(Photo courtesy of Backcountry Tiny Homes)
Tiny House for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Treehugger shined the spotlight this week on outdoors-loving couple Tina and Luke’s 204-square-foot tiny home. Despite its small square footage, the home has ample storage for their climbing and skiing gear (and three dogs, to boot!), thanks to deliberate design and engineering by the husband-and-wife team.
The couple’s company, Backcountry Tiny Homes, offers how-to guides for DIY tiny-house building.
(Photo courtesy of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Photo: Public Domain)
Political Clout of the Outdoors Industry
Though outdoors enthusiasts’ political interests have sometimes fallen on opposite sides of the track—think of the mountain-biking debate in wilderness areas, or squabbles between ski resorts and backcountry enthusiasts—Outside takes a look this week at how the outdoors industry can rally as a whole to advocate politically for common goals.
Luis Benitez is the first director of Colorado’s new Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. Created in 2015 by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, it’s a role devoted to “making sure that stuff like hiking, paddling, fishing and climb are prioritized in planning for the state’s future.”
(Photo courtesy of Alchemy Bicycle)
New Designs Make Mountain Biking More Approachable
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the mainstreaming of mountain biking, and the technology that has helped usher in such a shift—carbon frames that lighten up the workload when going uphill, game-changing suspension systems that better distribute shock, pared-down gearing, fat tires that make it easier to float over sandy or snowy terrain, or even e-bikes with electric assist to boost your leg power.