The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Biking

Pocket-Size Adventure Tools

Five incredible gadgets for big adventure in the palm of your hand.

Outdoor Tech Buckshot Speaker

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This water-resistant Bluetooth blaster is wrapped in grippy, shock-absorbing rubber and comes with a handlebar mount. It's only as large as a roll of quarters but still packs a mighty punch. Bonus: a built-in mic allows you to use it as a speakerphone. $50.

Leatherman Skeletool

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Leatherman cleverly cram-med seven essentials into the five-ounce Skeletool. The combo includes a bottle opener, pliers, and a 2.6-inch blade—pretty much everything you need to MacGyver your way out of a tough spot. $70.

Stumptown Voyager Coffee Kit

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Brewing coffee on the road or in the backcountry can be a hassle, but Stumptown simplifies your addiction with the 12.3-ounce Voyager kit. The collapsible dripper and manual burr grinder fill up the included enamel cup (not pictured) wherever you happen to be. $125.

Spy Optic Fold Sunglasses

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Professional surfer John John Florence is on the road more than seven months of the year, so it makes sense that his signature Fold sunglasses from Spy Optic break down and slip into a leather case that doubles as a travel wallet. $120.

Outdoor Research Antimatter Pack

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A number of backpacks can scrunch to nearly nothing, but few offer these kinds of design details: 70-denier reinforcements on the shoulders and bottom, compression straps, and two mesh water-bottle pockets. And the 18-liter bag still crumples down to the size of a few Clif Bars. $75.

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Shrink to Fit: Portable Gear

From land to sea to river, these big-boy toys pack light and follow you anywhere.

Corran Matrix Inflatable SUP

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Blow-up SUPs are solid and responsive but almost never measure up to their epoxy counterparts. To stiffen this 11.5-foot touring board, lauded kayak and SUP designer Corran Addison added removable carbon rods along the edges of the PVC deck. Inflate the Matrix to a rock-hard 15 psi and it paddles almost like a standard fiberglass board. Bonus: a hinged skeg attaches to the tail and helps the board track better than its competitors. Once deflated, the whole package rolls into a 30-inch-long, foot-thick, 25-pound burrito that you can chuck in a checked bag. $1,399.

Oru Folding Kayak

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Made from a single piece of corrugated plastic, the 12-foot-long Oru tucks into itself to become its own garment-bag-size carrying case. Pressed creases make the origami-like assembly much faster and easier (ten minutes after some practice) than other collapsible boats we've tested. Sure, it's slow in the water, and the lack of functional bulkheads means you'll have to swim to shore if you capsize. But the 26-pound boat is impressively stable and watertight. Packed up, it fits in the back of a Camry with room for two kids. $1,095.

Dahon Mu Rohloff Folding Bike

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The perfect portable bike breaks down into a compact package, is low-maintenance, and feels (almost) like a normal ride. The Mu Rohloff fits this bill better than any we've tested. The 27-pound aluminum frame folds down small enough to fit into a suitcase and features fast BMX-size wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, a 14-speed internally geared hub that rarely needs adjustment, and a Gates Carbon Drive belt system, which means you'll never have to worry about grease stains on your jeans. $5,500.

Werner Soul SUP Paddle

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Werner has been making break-down kayak paddles for decades, and you can feel that experience in the Soul. The locked-in joint system gives the carbon and fiberglass shaft the stability of a one-piece while allowing SUPers to choose from six length settings. The blade's buoyant foam core gives the 25.5-ounce paddle an energetic feel in the water. $324.

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