Outdoors

In Pictures: Innovative gadgetry and gear from Outdoor Retailer 2016

New Atlas checks out Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
New Atlas checks out Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
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Goal Zero launches the Nomad Folio foldable panel system
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Goal Zero launches the Nomad Folio foldable panel system
The Nomad Folio offers two panels for charging
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The Nomad Folio offers two panels for charging
The Slide Battery works with Otterbox's Universe case and includes a built-in kickstand
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The Slide Battery works with Otterbox's Universe case and includes a built-in kickstand
Goal Zero introduces lithium batteries to its Yeti series power stations
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Goal Zero introduces lithium batteries to its Yeti series power stations
Another new product from EnerPlex, the $50 Explor 67 offers rugged, IP67 portable charging with a 7,800 mAh battery 
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Another new product from EnerPlex, the $50 Explor 67 offers rugged, IP67 portable charging with a 7,800 mAh battery 
The new Kickr FL panels from EnerPlex
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The new Kickr FL panels from EnerPlex
EnerPlex demonstrates the waterproofing of the new Explor 67
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EnerPlex demonstrates the waterproofing of the new Explor 67
EnerPlex also offers solar charging cases
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EnerPlex also offers solar charging cases
Barebones  brings a classic look to outdoor tools and gadgets
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Barebones  brings a classic look to outdoor tools and gadgets
Popticals draws attention to its booth with a bright, rowdy UTV
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Popticals draws attention to its booth with a bright, rowdy UTV
As we've covered in the past, Popticals sunglasses use a sliding rail system to compact down when it's time to drop them in a pocket
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As we've covered in the past, Popticals sunglasses use a sliding rail system to compact down when it's time to drop them in a pocket
A look at the face of Popticals' UTV
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A look at the face of Popticals' UTV
The TomTom Bandit action cam isn't new, but it has some interesting features, like the slide-out USB that plugs right into your device and the "shake to edit" feature
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The TomTom Bandit action cam isn't new, but it has some interesting features, like the slide-out USB that plugs right into your device and the "shake to edit" feature
TomTom's Bandit action cam retails for $400
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TomTom's Bandit action cam retails for $400
A break from electronic gadgets, Sagan's AquaBrick Water Filtration System takes out bacteria, viruses and cysts and can be used to store water or pump directly from source to drinking vessel. The AquaBrick containers, which can hold water or food, are so named because they stack together for storage - perfect for prepping.
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A break from electronic gadgets, Sagan's AquaBrick Water Filtration System takes out bacteria, viruses and cysts and can be used to store water or pump directly from source to drinking vessel. The AquaBrick containers, which can hold water or food, are so named because they stack together for storage - perfect for prepping.
Sagan Journey Filtered Water Bottle
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Sagan Journey Filtered Water Bottle
A different kind of multi-tool, the SureFire 2211 Luminox tells time and shoots light
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A different kind of multi-tool, the SureFire 2211 Luminox tells time and shoots light
The 2211 Luminox has a 300-lumen flashlight
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The 2211 Luminox has a 300-lumen flashlight
The SureFire FirePak is a powerful plug-and-play phone camera flash and charger
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The SureFire FirePak is a powerful plug-and-play phone camera flash and charger
SureFire R31B dual-beam flashlight 
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SureFire R31B dual-beam flashlight 
The new UCO Sitka lantern uses a raises up from just over a foot to 26 in, increasing the lighting area fourfold
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The new UCO Sitka lantern uses a raises up from just over a foot to 26 in, increasing the lighting area fourfold
The UCO Flatpack portable grill and firepit compacts down to under 1.5 in thick
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The UCO Flatpack portable grill and firepit compacts down to under 1.5 in thick
Intova cameras at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
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Intova cameras at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
Intova cameras at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
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Intova cameras at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
LuminAid offers various styles of solar-backed, inflatable LED lanterns
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LuminAid offers various styles of solar-backed, inflatable LED lanterns
Okay, this has nothing to do with tech, but catching a bald eagle out of the corner of your eye as you round the corner of an aisle is a shareable moment 
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Okay, this has nothing to do with tech, but catching a bald eagle out of the corner of your eye as you round the corner of an aisle is a shareable moment 
Another name we're not used to seeing in the outdoors: audio company Polk, which was showing its Boom Swimmer speakers, versatile Bluetooth speakers that can suction to a surface or secure with the flexible hanger.
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Another name we're not used to seeing in the outdoors: audio company Polk, which was showing its Boom Swimmer speakers, versatile Bluetooth speakers that can suction to a surface or secure with the flexible hanger.
Kovea's Slim Twin Stove is a truly sleek camping stove with dual-fuel capability
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Kovea's Slim Twin Stove is a truly sleek camping stove with dual-fuel capability
A canister powered torch designed to set your campfire ablaze
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A canister powered torch designed to set your campfire ablaze
Probably the coolest small gadget we saw at the show, Kovea's portable induction stove is still a prototype
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Probably the coolest small gadget we saw at the show, Kovea's portable induction stove is still a prototype
The pot support pops up out of the case
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The pot support pops up out of the case
Kovea wants to have its induction stove ready by Fall 2017, but it's still working to identify the right battery
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Kovea wants to have its induction stove ready by Fall 2017, but it's still working to identify the right battery
The Slim Twin Stove has a great grab-and-go profile
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The Slim Twin Stove has a great grab-and-go profile
Much like AquaBricks, WaterBricks stack food and water for emergency preparation and other uses
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Much like AquaBricks, WaterBricks stack food and water for emergency preparation and other uses
WaterBrick food storage container
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WaterBrick food storage container
A pretty cool truck trailer from the old school
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A pretty cool truck trailer from the old school
Hobie's Mirage Eclipse is a different kind of paddleboard
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Hobie's Mirage Eclipse is a different kind of paddleboard
Braven's BRV-XXL was one of the big, rugged Bluetooth speakers at Outdoor Retailer
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Braven's BRV-XXL was one of the big, rugged Bluetooth speakers at Outdoor Retailer
Bernzomatic makes some cool propane and butane torches (we picked one up at OR a few years ago) and shows up to OR in a pretty sweet trailer
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Bernzomatic makes some cool propane and butane torches (we picked one up at OR a few years ago) and shows up to OR in a pretty sweet trailer
Winnebago experiments with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
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Winnebago experiments with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
One of the most successful Kickstarters of all time, the Coolest Cooler has  become quite notorious for being a debacle. The $13 million campaign took place in July 2014, but Coolest subsequently ran into all kinds of problems and delays. It told us at the show that it's gotten the coolers out to around 2/3 of Kickstarter backers and is still plugging away.
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One of the most successful Kickstarters of all time, the Coolest Cooler has  become quite notorious for being a debacle. The $13 million campaign took place in July 2014, but Coolest subsequently ran into all kinds of problems and delays. It told us at the show that it's gotten the coolers out to around 2/3 of Kickstarter backers and is still plugging away.
One good way to placate angry customers: frozen mojitos! The drink was smoother than we were expecting from a portable blender, but still had a large ice chunk or two in the mix
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One good way to placate angry customers: frozen mojitos! The drink was smoother than we were expecting from a portable blender, but still had a large ice chunk or two in the mix
Freespirit Recreation shows trailers and roof-top tents
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Freespirit Recreation shows trailers and roof-top tents
Coleman UTV
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Coleman UTV
Another impressive, non-tech sight that warranted a snapshot
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Another impressive, non-tech sight that warranted a snapshot
This was one of the more creative gizmos we ran into - a makeshift small boat motor that relies on a battery-powered drill for power. It purportedly will get your boat moving to speeds between 1.2 and 5.8 mph, depending upon battery, boat style, size, weight, etc.
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This was one of the more creative gizmos we ran into - a makeshift small boat motor that relies on a battery-powered drill for power. It purportedly will get your boat moving to speeds between 1.2 and 5.8 mph, depending upon battery, boat style, size, weight, etc.
The Drill Paddle retails for $60
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The Drill Paddle retails for $60
Somewhere between a paddleboard, kayak and trimaran, the Wingfish from KXone paddles or rows out to its designation with the folding side wings up. The wings then drop down to create a stable fishing platform.
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Somewhere between a paddleboard, kayak and trimaran, the Wingfish from KXone paddles or rows out to its designation with the folding side wings up. The wings then drop down to create a stable fishing platform.
Wacaco's Minipresso is a portable, hand-powered espresso maker
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Wacaco's Minipresso is a portable, hand-powered espresso maker
North Carolina-based Striker showed some interesting lighting products, including the motion-powered Trilight, which could bring light to a tent, garage or elsewhere
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North Carolina-based Striker showed some interesting lighting products, including the motion-powered Trilight, which could bring light to a tent, garage or elsewhere
The Striker Flexit looks like some kind of lighted paddle, but it's designed to bend and flex, pointing light where and how you need it. Three models offer between 200 and 600 lumens.
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The Striker Flexit looks like some kind of lighted paddle, but it's designed to bend and flex, pointing light where and how you need it. Three models offer between 200 and 600 lumens.
The Striker Flexit includes magnets for easy mounting
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The Striker Flexit includes magnets for easy mounting
Like the SureFire R31B, the Striker B.A.M.F.F. has two separate light assemblies, offering both flood and spot lighting
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Like the SureFire R31B, the Striker B.A.M.F.F. has two separate light assemblies, offering both flood and spot lighting
Like the Wave Blades we covered way back in 2004, Slyde Handboards are wearable bodysurfing mitts that help you ride waves
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Like the Wave Blades we covered way back in 2004, Slyde Handboards are wearable bodysurfing mitts that help you ride waves
After walking around the show for hours, we would have loved to see this SaluSpa inflatable hot tub open for business
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After walking around the show for hours, we would have loved to see this SaluSpa inflatable hot tub open for business
We thought it was a portable toilet at first, but that's the Kula Cooler, a rugged, bucket-like, "gator proof" round cooler 
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We thought it was a portable toilet at first, but that's the Kula Cooler, a rugged, bucket-like, "gator proof" round cooler 
Utility carts have been all the rage lately. The Big Kat Buggy is designed to make transport simpler. Load it with camping provisions, tailgating gear .. whatever, mount it right to your vehicle's hitch (cargo nets are available), unhitch it at your destination and roll it where it needs to go. The Georgia-based company offers plenty of accessories, including drink holders, an umbrella holder, a bait tray, and that cargo net. There are other hitch-able carts out there, but the $399 Big Cat looks like a nice option.
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Utility carts have been all the rage lately. The Big Kat Buggy is designed to make transport simpler. Load it with camping provisions, tailgating gear .. whatever, mount it right to your vehicle's hitch (cargo nets are available), unhitch it at your destination and roll it where it needs to go. The Georgia-based company offers plenty of accessories, including drink holders, an umbrella holder, a bait tray, and that cargo net. There are other hitch-able carts out there, but the $399 Big Cat looks like a nice option.
Albatross electric golf trolley
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Albatross electric golf trolley
Ninebot by Segway Minipro
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Ninebot by Segway Minipro
Your smartphone controls the Motorola Lumo lantern's color and brightness
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Your smartphone controls the Motorola Lumo lantern's color and brightness
The Motorola Lumo also measures temperature and sends it to your phone via Bluetooth
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The Motorola Lumo also measures temperature and sends it to your phone via Bluetooth
The Blue Freedom portable turbine charger
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The Blue Freedom portable turbine charger
A headphone alternative not so conceptually different from the Sonic Walk or Music Wrap, Aprowin's Elecwear wearable speaker system is a sort of shoulder harness that plays music
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A headphone alternative not so conceptually different from the Sonic Walk or Music Wrap, Aprowin's Elecwear wearable speaker system is a sort of shoulder harness that plays music
SPF folding bicycle
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SPF folding bicycle
SPF folding bicycle
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SPF folding bicycle
The Coros Linx smart helmet with bone conduction and emergency notification
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The Coros Linx smart helmet with bone conduction and emergency notification
Rambo designs "fat tire hunting bikes," and its accessories include a gun/bow holder
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Rambo designs "fat tire hunting bikes," and its accessories include a gun/bow holder
Kicker Bullfrog Jump portable speaker
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Kicker Bullfrog Jump portable speaker
This tent from Chicago-based Mons Peak IX offers an interesting expandable design, going from 3- to 4-person configuration
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This tent from Chicago-based Mons Peak IX offers an interesting expandable design, going from 3- to 4-person configuration
The key to Mons Peak IX's expandable design is the zippered base - the four-person base expands floor space out to sleep four
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The key to Mons Peak IX's expandable design is the zippered base - the four-person base expands floor space out to sleep four
Mons Peak IX plans 3/4-person backpacking and 4/6-person car camping models and hopes to launch by next spring, if not sooner
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Mons Peak IX plans 3/4-person backpacking and 4/6-person car camping models and hopes to launch by next spring, if not sooner
Part tree swing, part surfboard, the Swurfer lets you "surf the air." Unfortunately it was not set up for demos.
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Part tree swing, part surfboard, the Swurfer lets you "surf the air." Unfortunately it was not set up for demos.
New Atlas checks out Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
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New Atlas checks out Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016

Many outdoor users might consider "outdoors" and "technology" words that should never be used in the same sentence. But regardless of what traditionalists think, technology is infiltrating outdoor recreation and sports in a big way. We've been covering the biannual Outdoor Retailer show since 2012, and during that time we've seen the amount of innovative technology and gadgetry grow. This year seemed to be a veritable explosion of technology, innovative engineering and cutting edge design. It's the perfect time to present our very first Outdoor Retailer gadget and gear round-up.

We always find a number of innovative products and new gadgets at Outdoor Retailer, and in past years we've noticed budding trends like solar gear and techy tents, but this year's show felt different. We noticed a whole lot of innovative gadgetry coming out in the lead-up to the show, and the actual show picked up that theme and ran with it. It seemed we could hardly walk two booths without running into something we had to stop and check out.

A few standouts:

Kovea Portable Induction Stove

Induction cooking isn't new to the outdoors, it's just limited to motorhomes and caravans with electrical systems. But Korean company Kovea is hoping to untether it from the vehicle and take it deeper into the wilderness by experimenting with an induction stove small enough to slide into a backpack. The battery-powered backpacking stove is still a prototype, and the company says it's still trying to figure out an appropriate battery pack to provide about 30 to 60 minutes of cook time, recharging via external solar panel. It even spoke off the cuff about seeking help from Tesla. Finding an appropriately compact, light and powerful battery is kind of a huge piece of the battery-powered backpacking stove puzzle, and because of that and the lack of available specs, we didn't do a full article on it. But we still thought it was a pretty cool concept.

Probably the coolest small gadget we saw at the show, Kovea's portable induction stove is still a prototype
Probably the coolest small gadget we saw at the show, Kovea's portable induction stove is still a prototype

Kovea hopes to have the stove ready for market by Fall 2017 (Northern Hemisphere), so hopefully we'll get a chance to cover it further in the future. Based on the limited cooking time, need for solar panels and fairly bulky design, we don't think the battery-powered induction stove will be replacing the simple canister backpacking stove anytime soon, but we appreciate that Kovea pulled this prototype out and let folks have a look.

The Slim Twin Stove has a great grab-and-go profile
The Slim Twin Stove has a great grab-and-go profile

Not all Kovea's cool products are prototypes, though, and its booth was stocked with other slick designs, including the Slim Twin Stove. The 11-lb (5-kg) stove has a super-slim chassis and looks almost like a laptop when you first see it. It can also run on either propane or butane. Retail price is US$169.95.

Goal Zero Nomad Folio modular smartphone charger

Designed to work seamlessly with the modular Otterbox Universe case and the previously released Goal Zero Slide Battery that plugs and plays with that case, the Nomad Folio Solar Panel brings solar power into the modular mix. The dual-panel folder slides right onto the battery pack, offering on-the-move charging. The plug-and-play design means that you can easily leave it at home, with or without the Slide battery, on days you want a lighter, sleeker phone and bring it when you need the juice.

The Nomad Folio offers two panels for charging
The Nomad Folio offers two panels for charging

The Nomad Folio will launch in Q4 for the iPhone 6/6s ($40) and for the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus ($50). The Slide Battery is available for those phones now for $55 and $60, respectively. The Universe case, which works with a variety of modules, including a speaker, stash wallet and Square chip reader, retails for $50/$60.

Goal Zero introduces lithium batteries to its Yeti series power stations
Goal Zero introduces lithium batteries to its Yeti series power stations

Goal Zero is also going lithium with its well-known Yeti portable power block series, making the new models lighter than the lead-acid Yetis. Available Q1 2017, Yeti 400: $700 and Yeti 1400: $2,000.

Surefire R31B Flashlight

SureFire R31B dual-beam flashlight 
SureFire R31B dual-beam flashlight 

A new, slim flashlight from SureFire, the yet-to-launch, rechargeable R31B features two separate LED light assemblies. The three-setting wide beam serves you well when you need to spread light over a large area, but when you need to cast a more focused beam over a distance, the dual-setting spotlight does the work. The spotlight's auto-adjusting InteliBeam tech uses a sensor to adjust output based upon your surroundings. It's a pretty slick torch in a compact package.

The 2211 Luminox has a 300-lumen flashlight
The 2211 Luminox has a 300-lumen flashlight

Also an eye-catcher at SureFire's booth, the 2211 Luminox is both a 300-lumen flashlight and an authoritative analog watch, offering wearable hands-free lighting right next to your dial. MSRP: $649

EnerPlex Kickr FL Solar Panels

The new Kickr FL panels from EnerPlex
The new Kickr FL panels from EnerPlex

EnerPlex's parent company, Ascent Solar, designed the lightweight solar panel technology in the new Kickr FL panels for aerospace applications where every gram counts (FL = "Featherlight"). The good news is, you don't have to be a space pioneer to own it. A proprietary flexible plastic backing helps make the new panels 50 percent lighter than EnerPlex's standard Kickr panels, bringing power to your adventures without weighing down your pack. The $130, 9-watt Kickr 10 FL weighs less than half a pound (6.4 oz/189 g) and is designed to charge a phone in as little as two hours. EnerPlex also has the $100, 6.25-watt, 4.8-oz (145g) Kickr 7 FL.

Motorola Lumo Lantern

We did a double-take when we saw a Motorola booth, and for a moment we even forgot where we were. But as the company explained, Motorola has actually been in the outdoor space for a long time, most notably with its two-way radios, used by the likes of hunters and skiers. It's expanding that presence with a lineup of smart electronics for outdoorsmen and women. The Lumo Smart Lantern is a good-looking camping lantern that gets even better looking at the swipe of your iOS or Android device touchscreen, allowing you to wirelessly adjust brightness and color. The Bluetooth-connected lantern also measures temperature and sends the information to your phone so you know just how chilly it is outside that mesh tent door.

The Motorola Lumo also measures temperature and sends it to your phone via Bluetooth
The Motorola Lumo also measures temperature and sends it to your phone via Bluetooth

The Lumo will launch in the fall in 400-lumen ($100) and 200-lumen ($80) models. In (Northern) Spring 2017, Motorola will add rechargeable versions with the same outputs for $120 and $100, respectively.

Check out our Outdoor Retailer 2016 photo gallery for all the other high-tech gadgets, innovative pieces of outdoor kit and random sights from around the show.

2 comments
RubberJesus
Yuppy garbage.
GlassHalfEmpty
...stuff for people who will go camping, sit next the solar panel charging phone and twitting about fun they are having, then complain about mosquitoes in the evening, lock up in the tent and take selfies.