Outdoor gear isn’t just expensive to buy—it’s expensive to design, test, and produce. For that reason, many small brands have turned to Kickstarter to raise the money they need to manufacture new products. Here are five launches we’re excited about right now.
Grayl Geopress Purifier
Filtering viruses, microplastics, and heavy metals from 24 ounces of water in eight seconds, Grayl’s new Geopress (MSRP: $90) is one of the fastest portable water purifiers around. There are two main pieces: an outer cylinder to collect dirty water, and a plastic drinking bottle with a microfiber and carbon filter on the bottom. Scoop up water in the cylinder and push the filter into it, similar to a French press. The pressure pushes the water up through the filter and into the drinking bottle. The filter is replaceable and is good for 350 uses (about 65 gallons). The project has raised more than $125,000, well over its $30,000 goal, with 20 days left.
This everyday pack (MSRP: $152) expands on the fly, delivering exactly the capacity you need when you need it. An external flap loosens via two horizontal compression straps, accommodating everything from a bag of groceries to items as unwieldy as a bike helmet or a gym duffel, and a hidden mesh panel below keeps stuff from falling out. When you don’t have anything bulky to carry, tighten the straps to cinch down the flap, leaving you with a compact commuter bag. The project has raised more than $62,000, well over its $11,309 goal, with 20 days left.
Woolly Clothing Longhaul Pants
Merino is the undisputed king of natural performance fabrics, used in everything from base layers to jacket insulation. Now Woolly Clothing is putting it in slacks. Made with a blend of 71 percent Australian merino wool, 22 percent cotton, and 7 percent spandex, the lightweight Longhaul pants (MSRP: $95) blend office-appropriate design (belt loops, slim pockets, and a tailored fit) with trail- and travel-friendly moisture-wicking properties and odor resistance. The project has raised more than $151,000, well over its $20,000 goal, with 15 days left.
Unagi Electric Scooter
Sleek design, internal wiring, and one-touch folding come together to make the Unagi (MSRP: $890 and up) one of the best-looking, most portable electric scooters we’ve seen. The frame is made from aerospace-grade carbon fiber, for major weight savings, that was hand-laid for added strength in certain areas. The 250- or 450-watt engine means you’ll be able to tackle hills without sputtering. The project has raised more than $242,000, well over its $50,000 goal, with seven days to go.
Ronin Energetics Praetor Pocketblade
Neodymium magnets lock this carbide blade (price TBD) into a carbon-fiber sheath for stronger, more secure storage than the plastic sleeves that come with most everyday-carry knives. A simple twist frees the blade from the magnets, which reengage if you don’t remove the knife from its sheath. The blade is fixed in the handle with compression, not screws, which makes for easy swapping when it’s time to replace. Simply pull the blade to remove it from the handle. (The blade won’t come out when pulled in any other direction.) The project has raised more than $17,000, well over its $3,736 goal, with 42 days left to go.