(Image Courtesy of Eiko Ishizawa)

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:

Epic Bear Sleeping Bag
After Twitter blew up this week getting excited over a life-size bear sleeping bag, BGR shared the scoop on the “Great Sleeping Bear”—a $2,350 handmade sleeping bag designed by artist Eiko Ishizawa.

Ishizawa says the bag was “inspired by a bear from Bavaria that caused a ruckus within the town in 2006 who was eventually hunted down.” The bag is “sort of an ode to the bear.”

Read on …


(Screenshot from Lumenus/Kickstarter)

The Steve Jobs of the Outdoor Industry
After this year’s Interbike, a number of gear websites reported on Lumenus, a startup focused on hardware-equipped cycling jackets with integrated LED lights that provide live data, such as turn signals, brake lights and even GPS turn-by-turn directions. As a follow up, Outside published an interview this week with Lumenus founder, 23-year-old Jeremy Wall, on his visionary prototypes and the market void they aim to fill for outdoor athletes.

“The biggest issue was that you’re always interfacing with a screen,” Wall told Outside. “Almost everything on the market, from the fashion to the performance realms, seems futuristic, but there’s always a screen. Visual lighting is an interesting way to communicate in another way.”

Read on …


(Screenshot from TOTAGO/Google Play Store)

New App Helps Hikers Use Public Transportation
Here’s an Android app we’d love to see expanded beyond its initial launch base in Seattle—Turn Off This App Go Outside (TOTAGO) helps hikers by recommending bus or train routes to trailheads.

“TOTAGO coordinates bus routes that drop users off close to trailheads and recommends hiking options based on location and time constraints,” reports Backpacker. “ Users can also access info from the app when they’re offline or out of signal range.”

Read on …


(Image courtesy of Primal Wear)

The Tackiest Holiday Cycling Jerseys
It’s ugly-holiday-sweater season, but as Bike Radar points out, “garish holiday attire … is not the best choice for logging some miles to burn off Christmas calories.” Companies like Aero Tech Designs, State Bicycle Co., Primal Wear and Twin Six come to the rescue this season with a series of truly hideous, albeit festive, Christmas-themed cycling jerseys.

Read on …


(Photo by Flickr user storebukkerbruse | CC 2.0)

Is Recycled Down More Ethical?
This week, TreeHugger takes a look at an emerging trend in the outdoor industry toward recycled down and asks whether recycling feathers really makes clothing more ethical in terms of both environmental footprint and animal treatment issues.

Included in their analyses are considerations for ethical treatment of geese and ducks, the resources used to recycle down (roughly the same as those needed to process new down), and the possibility for diverting waste from landfills.

Read on …