Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wild Gifts for Wanderers and Adventurers

Bodum Fyrkat Portable Grill

This pint-size charcoal grill’s locking lid, waiflike weight—just 5.6 pounds—and heat-shielding silicone grip make it easy to carry with one hand (leaving the other free for the six-pack). Perfect for burgering at the beach or on the balcony.

Hella Slingshot

The branch-and-rubber-band catapult of yore has gone artisanal. The Hella is hand-carved from Mora tree limbs and equipped with a natural latex tube sling and a leather pouch for your projectiles. Mr. Wilson’s windows don’t stand a chance.

Black Diamond Magnetron

This reinvention of the staid climbing carabiner replaces cumbersome locks with easy-to-open magnets. The result: no-fuss one-handed locking and unlocking.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Metro Pack

Plan to do some shopping damage during your holiday travels? Cram this 1,600-cubic-inch, 5.7-ounce sack in your pocket or suitcase, fill it up with loot, then haul it home on your back to avoid extra baggage fees. It’s the ultimate just-in-case carry-on.

Tumi Dror International Expandable Carry-On

Some luggage is too good-looking to be checked. Designer Dror’s limited-edition roller for Tumi comes with a hard shell and zipperless expansion from 9 inches to 14 and includes the complimentary Tracer system to assist in recovering rogue bags.

DPS Spoon Skis

Hardcore powder skiers relish “face shots”—when snow is so deep it billows over your head—but not everyone wants to eat the white stuff. These carbon fiber skis use a convex shovel design to float atop the snow and a reverse side-cut profile to create a surf-like feel for ripping big lines on ungroomed slopes.

Isurus I-Evade 434 Hooded Fullsuit

Hauling my surfboard on the subway was a bummer, so I made my way out West. Now it’s easy to get to the waves, but I need a toasty wetsuit to brave them. The Isurus uses high-grade Japanese neoprene and compression technology to keep the cold Pacific surf out and my own warmth in.

Blink Steady bike light

No need to switch on this hyperefficient lamp. Its built-in accelerometer and light sensor know when you’re pedaling in the dark and when you’re parked. No need to stash it in your bag either. The aluminum housing bolts to your seat post with a setscrew (and no thief we know carries a hex wrench).

Kelty Folding Cooler

An empty cooler is as efficient a use of your trunk as a blown-up beach ball. When this zip-shut cooler is not in use, it collapses like an accordion and packs easily. Fave feature: The quartet of built-in drink holders up top.

Apex MC-2 Boots

Yes, it’s a ski and snowboard boot in one, but that’s not the headline. The two-piece MC-2 pairs a comfortably walkable thermofit inner boot (the snowboard part) with a Boa reel-style closure that locks into a nanofiber chassis (the ski part) and lets you independently dial in the flex and stiffness to your preference.

Danny Hess Skateboard

My wobbly old deck from the ’80s stays mounted on the wall these days. Next time I feel the urge to carve pavement between home and the coffee shop, I’ll take out this Danny Hess rig. Hess makes beautiful wooden surfboards at his beachside San Francisco shop and uses the scraps to make skateboards. The groovy shape—which echoes his wave riders—is just my speed. Look out for the old man!

The Square

No, it won’t handle credit card payments, but this Square has roots in the Valley too. Kickstarted by Apple, Frog Design, and Stanford alums, this BPA-free stainless-steel water bottle unscrews at both ends for easy cleaning, so you’ll never again suffer hand cramps from scrubbing the foul-smelling buildup at the bottom.

Oakley Airwave

Add some Terminator-style tech to your black-diamond run with a heads-up display that delivers speed, GPS coordinates, airtime, and other on-the-slope stats. A free app logs your numbers for bragging rights back at the lodge.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binoculars

You have James Bond ambitions on an Ace Ventura budget. These pocketable peepers deliver 10X magnification for a quarter the cost of comparable binoculars. Now for that jet pack …

Celestron SkyProdigy 6 Computerized Telescope

You no longer need an advanced astronomy degree to peer into the final frontier. This computerized telescope’s 6-inch aperture automatically homes in on thousands of celestial bodies, scanning the sky to determine where it needs to pivot to focus on your planet of choice.

Schuberth S2 helmet

Two words: German engineering. It took nearly two years and over a million bucks to develop this 3.5-pound brain bucket that funnels 8 liters of air per second past your noggin for a cooling effect. It comes equipped with the world’s only in-helmet dual- band antenna for FM stereo and a Bluetooth system that lets you talk on your phone or chat with other riders. Oh, it also protects your head.

Eton Boost Turbine 2000 hand-crank charger/battery

One minute of winding this backup battery can fuel your phone for 30 seconds of talk or a few emergency texts.

Metrofiets Cargo Bike

Fixies are fun, and my mountain bike is the bomb. But now that I’m a dad, I need something more practical to carry kids, groceries, my work bag, and, say, a potted Meyer lemon tree. Metrofiets’ Dutch-style box bike lets the monkeys ride up front and low to the ground for maximum stability and safety. It can tote up to 400 pounds—if I can hack it—and is heavy on looks too.

Alite Squirrel Mini Pack

Ideal for a quick hike, bike, or walk in the park, this twee tote is roomy enough to carry a water bottle, camera, some dog treats, and a hoodie but small enough (8 ounces) that your back will barely feel it.

Cannondale Trigger Carbon 1 mountain bike

Flip a switch and this carbon-fiber mountain bike automatically adjusts its suspension from stiff, traction-hungry mode for climbing peaks to mega-mph mode for conquering daredevil downhills and absorbing sudden dips.

Slingfin Hardshell Carbon Tent

There is a reason kids go rushing into the open maw of a tent. It’s an instant clubhouse, hideout, and refuge. Every tent retains that allure for me, but none so much as this nylon and carbon fiber beauty. Part Bucky Fuller, part Eero Saarinen, it begs to perch on a bluff overlooking NorCal surf. Designed by outdoor gear veterans and built to be bombproof, it’s my childhood dreams made real.

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