Kickstarter has been the source of many outdoor gadgets and gizmos. We've written about several here on The Gear Shed, from seatpost bottle openers to sidecountry ski carriers to 360-degree video cameras and cases that convert your iPhone into a helmet cam.
Torch is one of the latest Kickstarter-funded projects to cross our desks. It's first product, the T1, is a bicycle helmet with integrated front and rear safety lights. The brainchild of 32-year-old industrial designer and avid urban cyclist Nathan Wills, the company saw 641 investors give $68,000, which far surpassed the original goal of the campaign.
So what did Torch do with all of that cash? They made the first bike helmet with integrated lights. Torch's T1, with a vented, polycarbonate shell (like a Nalgene bottle) and expanded polystyrene body (like a cooler), has recessed lights that can be independently activated as solid or blinking. Ten LED bulbs project onto front and rear lenses to light up the night—and to let cars know where you are. They're powered by USB-rechargeable button-cell batteries, which last for about four hours per charge. The company is called Torch Apparel, but so far we haven't seen any clothes. Available spring 2013, $120 and up; torchapparel.com.