Wenger is one of the two recognizable brand names behind the iconic Swiss Army knife. Ordinarily the brand is content in updating its timeless knife line with a new implement or grip material, but this time it aims to create a whole new category of outdoor preparedness equipment. You can call it toolery or wearable survival gear, but Wenger calls it HypeX.
Since hanging a Swiss Army Ranger on your neck wouldn't be all that comfortable in much of any situation, Wenger slims its HypeX line down to small, lightweight pieces with a handful of useful tools. They won't be the most important items in your survival kit, but they will help you pop a beer out in the field, tighten a loose screw or even start a fire.
Wenger's HypeX line will consist of six individual pendants upon launch later this year. Probably the most "survivalish" model - assuming it works effectively - is the Pietra, which has a flint for fire-starting and a knife sharpener. While the Pietra helps you save yourself, the Whug is more of an "better call back-up!" tool, giving you a go-everywhere emergency whistle. The wooden Whug pendant also carries a pair of tweezers.
The last four tools are more everyday tools than survival gear. The Wyss puts a can opener, bottle opener, hex wrench, pry and wire stripper at your disposal. Similar in its offerings, the Ridge offers a multi-size hex wrench, pry, bottle opener and wire stripper. The Buss gives you both flat and Phillips screwdrivers. Finally, the Corkoran gets a portable corkscrew - something that should come in handy on those romantic trips when you buy a bottle of wine only to realize you don't have a corkscrew at your hotel or in your suitcase.
Each HypeX piece comes on a silicone necklace with a stainless steel clasp and is packaged in a reusable Neoprene or waterproof plastic pouch. The pouches were designed to be re-purposed for protecting cell phones or carrying other small items - Wenger knows its multifunction.
Gizmag spoke with Adriana Ryan, the founder and VP of Sales and Marketing of Axel Productions, the licensee that is building the HypeX line for Wenger. She told us that they are hard at work on another half-dozen models for this winter. The new models won't be as general or lifestyle oriented as the originals and will be aimed at specific sports. Perhaps a ski-snowboard or bike tool will be high on that list.
Wenger will launch the HypeX around June with retail prices are set between US$59.99 and $99.99.