Gear Shed

New Crowdfunded Outdoor Gear

The latest and greatest outdoor-gear projects from Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other fund-me sites.

Cycling, Torres del Paine,

    Photo: Vera & Jean-Christophe/Flickr

Fortified: When a friend of two MIT engineers was hit by a car riding home after his bike lights were stolen, the duo founded Fortified to make sure that would never happen again. They developed USB-rechargeable bike lights that are theft-proof. The handlebar and seatpost lights are up to 170 lumens bright, and each comes with a custom security allen key so that you, and only you, can remove it. The aluminum Aviator Front Light and Afterburner Rear Light come with a lifetime, no-matter-what guarantee. They can live on your bike in the toughest urban environments 24/7 and 365 days a year. They’re engineered to handle extreme weather, to resist persistent thieves, and to withstand tough conditions. And if anything ever happens to them:—damage, theft, or even if your dog eats it—Fortified will replace your lights. $45-$90, fortifiedbike.com


Flamestower Photo: Berne Broudy

Flamestower: A metal plate that sits on top of any campstove and converts fire to electricity through a USB port. This off-the-grid, portable charger keeps your phone at ready to run GPS apps, play tunes or to call for help in a backcountry emergency, and it can help you stay online in a power outage. 

To use it, unfold the legs, fill the reservoir with water, place the blade in a flame and the electricity will be flowing through a USB port safely away from the heat source. It’s compact and rugged, half the weight of other heat-activated chargers, and it works with any open flame. The FlameStower Fire Charger works with the energy of your cooking or campfires. Once the blade is in a fire, the thermal energy is transferred to the Thermoelectric Generator (TEG). The opposite surface of the TEG is in contact with the water reservoir—hot side gets hot, cold side stays relatively cool, and the temperature difference generates electricity. Flamestower will charge your phone about as fast as a charge from your computer. 7 oz., $80, flamestower.com.


88 Acres Photo: Berne Broudy

88 Acres: You'd think that with all the energy bars on the market, there wouldn't be the need for any others. 88 Acres bars is an indication that maybe what’s on the market isn’t answering consumer’s needs. 88 Acres’ pitch is that its bars are “crafted with simple ingredients...Free of GMOs and the top eight food allergens.” Translations: Whole food, real food, that everyone can eat, nut-free, gluten-free and vegan. The bars have a three-seed base of sunflower, pumpkin and flax and they’re packed with protein and minerals. 88 Acres uses natural sweeteners  and simple, healthful all-natural ingredients. $25/box of eight bars, 88-acres.com.


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