10 coolest outdoor gadgets and kits of 2021

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The myriad of challenges the world faced in 2021 doesn’t seem to have stopped exterior designers from embarking on a very exciting new adventure and sports kit. This year the focus has been on creativity with eco-friendly materials – new launches range from hiking boots that break down when in landfill, to wetsuits that say no to neoprene and ski jackets made in the landfill. from sugar cane waste. Gentle on the planet all around.

Elsewhere, weekend trips and adventures near you, two of 2021’s biggest travel trends, can now get a little more epic with rafts designed for long-distance wild swimming and a paddleboard that you can fold and store in your car trunk. Your head is also going to be in for a treat this year – an innovative trio of new helmets, headlamps and hats will keep you warm, comfortable and safe as you venture into the great outdoors.

1. Picture’s sugarcane ski equipment

“We make clothes from sugar,” Picture Organic Clothing proudly told the world this winter. The brand has always focused on using sustainable materials in their street and snowwear designs, and are a regular on our top guides to ski jackets and best ski pants. This year, it has gone all out and swapped fossil fuels for sugar cane waste in 60% of its 2021-2022 ski and snowboard collection. The textile industry is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions, so innovative ways of using waste are long overdue – the by-product of sugar cane, which is unfit for human consumption, is a very gentle choice that has less of an impact on the planet.

2. Bern’s ultra-safe luminous helmet

Bern Hudson Helmet

(Image credit: Bern)

And the Oscar (well, the Oscar for the Outdoorsy kit in a cycling category) goes to… Bern Helmets. This brand’s Hudson helmet won one year of the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards. This ultra-secure cover is one of the best cycling helmets on the market. Designed for use up to 27 mph (making it ideal for quick e-bike users), this helmet has added impact coverage and uses the now well-established MIPS protection system to further protect your head. It also has built-in LED lights to illuminate your travels.

3. RuckRaft’s inflatable backpack / raft

Above Below the RuckRaft

(Image credit: AboveBelow)

Take outdoor swimming to the next level with the RuckRaft from AboveBelow. This innovative floating dry bag functions as an inflatable and waterproof raft that allows swimmers to carry their personal effects (up to 15 kg!) With them during long distance swims. Strap it on to your waist and you’ll barely notice it’s there, but it allows you to carry a backpack, stove, or even a tent on your next aquatic adventure. A new and improved version launched in 2021. Read all about what happened when we tried one here.

4. Electra’s retro-cool electric bike

Electra Townie Go!  Electric bike 7D EQ

(Image credit: Electra)

E-bikes show no signs of slowing down as a trend – nearly 40% of Britons said they would ride more if they had an e-bike, and sales of e-bikes in the UK have increased by 60% since March 2021. Electra’s designers have taken it all. on board and created the Townie Go! 7D EQ for 2022. Many e-bikes can be heavy and heavy to ride (and watch), but this smart, stepper sit-and-beg bike sports a cute retro look and is great for cycling cycles. more laid-back city, touring and shopping, with a fully integrated battery to let you zoom in all day. Just add a basket. For more information or alternatives, head over to our best electric bike guide.

5. The TropicFeel Super Organized Travel Backpack

Tropicfeel consulted 5,000 travelers when designing this pack, and it shows. The high-performance case is waterproof, expandable, and is incredibly easy to organize, with a clamshell opening that lets you see exactly what you’ve packed inside. This smart design is a lot like tetris – you can purchase additional pouches, toiletry bags, and even camera bags designed to fit inside. Our pick of extras is the Tropicfeel Wardrobe System, which allows you to pack a frankly incredible amount of clothing for a backpack – making it one of the best carry-on solutions we have. views, ideal if you go in a bag cabin only.

6. Red’s ultra-portable paddle board

Red 12'0 compact hiking board

(Image credit: red gear)

Did you know you can take a full size paddle board in your backpack? Red has added a new paddle board to its range for 2021: check out the Compact Touring Board, which has an innovative “hinge” design allowing it to fold up as compact as possible and slip into a backpack when you need it. finished exploring. When you inflate it fully, this design is tough and stable enough to tackle long distance paddles. Ideal if you like adventure but are short of space. Red currently makes our # 1 best paddle board – the Red Paddle Co Ride MSL – so you know you’re getting a quality product as well.

7. Scarpa’s herbal walking shoes

Organic Mojito Biodegradable Shoe Scarpa

(Image credit: Scarpa)

How much of your outdoor kit ends up in the trash once you wear it to death? While much clothing and equipment can be purchased second-hand, footwear is one area where it is usually best to buy new shoes in order to get the right fit. Scarpa makes some of the best walking shoes and hiking boots out there, but their Organic Mojito is a little out of the ordinary. A new incarnation of Scarpa’s cult Mojito hiking shoe, these shoes will make you proud for years to come – and have less of an impact when you’re done wearing them, too. These eco-friendly shoes feature a plant-based upper and midsole paired with a biodegradable natural rubber outsole, designed to completely decompose at end of life, with minimal impact.

8. Wetsuits without Finisterre neoprene

Women's summer jumpsuit Finisterre Nieuwland 3rd

(Image credit: Finisterre)

The Cornish brand Finisterre set itself the mission in 2015 to shake up the world of surfing and create a wetsuit without using neoprene, a material derived from petroleum and which does not degrade. The Nieuwland 3e is 2021’s addition to the range, a summer suit designed for UK waters and made from a natural rubber called Yulex, which comes from sustainably cultivated and harvested forests. The result is one of the most durable and best wetsuits you can buy in 2021/22. The brand also has an in-house wetsuit recycler working on the next stage of the project: making new wetsuits from the ones that are discarded.

9. Petzl’s bright but barely there headlamp

Petzl IKO Core headlamp

(Image credit: Petzl)

It’s pretty hard to pinpoint what the Petzl IKO Core is for at first glance – but yes, that slender contraption is a headlamp. Weighing in at just 79g and designed to sit comfortably on your head or on a hat, this is a great choice if you hate the heavy, clunky feel of most headlamps. It might hardly seem there, but the Core still packs in 500 lumens, bright enough for hiking, running, or working outdoors in the darkest of conditions, and doubles as a lantern thanks to an included storage pouch. Head over to our Petzl IKO Core review to learn more about why we think this is one of the best headlamps you can buy.

10. Silky’s Soft Hair Cap

This is the silk beanie

(Image credit: This is Silk)

Silk was first invented in 4000 BC, so this might not seem like a life-changing innovation, but any outdoorsman with long – and especially curly or afro – hair will warmly welcome This Is’ brand new outdoor beanie. Silk. This is a great hiking hat that fits like your favorite woolen beanies, but with one nice difference: the 95% silk lining on the inside, which is paired with a merino wool outer layer. comfortable yet breathable. Silk helps prevent hair from drying out, becoming frizzy, and breaking, so it’s very useful for multi-day hikes and camping expeditions, as well as for skiing and mountaineering in cold climates where you will not wash your hair much.

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