This Week in Gear: What You Missed (January 15, 2016)

This Week in Gear: What You Missed (January 15, 2016)


(Photo courtesy of Image Catalog | CCO 1.0)

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:

Going Ultralight
For a good laugh, check out Semi-Rad’s Brendan Leonard’s “10 Tips to Lighten Your Backpack” on Adventure Journal this past week—because, as he opens the article with, “Lighter is righter … or something.” Helpful tips include everything from swapping our your Playstation for a few iPhone apps to this gem: “If you notice you have a baby with you, run back into town quick and find someone to babysit it for the weekend. Babies are heavy and become awkward to carry after several miles.”

Read on …


(Photo courtesy of Paul L. Dineen | CC 2.0)

Cycling Gear That Fails to Make “a Wheel Difference”
In other amusing columns this week poking fun at gear obsessions, The Oxford Mail published an entertaining piece by cycling retailer Honour Tomkinson about gear flubs and fails in the cycling world of late. Included in her writeup are malfunctioning inflatable helmets, the Blaze Laserlight, a vibrating saddle “for those kinkier cyclists” and “the bike-mounted speakers for those cyclists who want to drown out the noise of the traffic you really should be paying attention to.”

Read on …


(Photo courtesy of Saucony/Vibram Arctic Grip)

The Best New Gear and Gadgets from OR and CES
Jokes aside, we still love our gear! And this last week has played host to two of the largest trade shows for gear geeks—Salt Lake City’s Outdoor Retailer (OR) and Las Vegas’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We’ve had a blast covering all the highlights here on Gear Institute.

Want to recharge your phone using water? Walk on ice without slipping? Wear a puffy jacket insulated with llama fleece? Curious to know which innovative products earned our “Best New Gear Awards” for OR this winter?

Read on …


(Photo courtesy of Kama Jania)

A Lightning-Proof Tent
A tent is generally not a foolproof barrier against getting struck by lightning in the wilderness—but Polish designer Kama Jania is working on a solution to that. According to this post from Discovery News, her “Bolt tent” design calls for ultralight materials, rapid set-up and a special groundsheet that diverts the ground currents responsible for many human lightning injuries.

Last year she used a generator to test the tent’s durability when “struck” with high-current electrical charges, and filmed the results.

Read on …


(Photo courtesy of REI)

New App for Exploring National Parks
Last week, REI unveiled a new crowdsourced app, designed in partnership with the Colorado-based company Adventure Projects, to help users discover “hidden trails, unknown viewpoints and idyllic spots to enjoy life outside” in America’s National Parks. GeekWire has the scoop here.

The app is timed to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. It is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

Read on …