Design and Tech


In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, the Inspire HR Fitness Tracker was one of our favorite pieces of wearable tech. The touchscreen watch has 24/7 activity and sleep tracking, guided workouts, and VO2 max measurement. Plus, it’s water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you can track swimming as well.

In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, these solar string lights topped the lighting list. MPowerd’s 100-lumen LEDs will shine for eight hours on high or 20 on its lowest setting and are ideal for car-camping. The best part: it’s solar-powered, so you can leave it in the sun during…

Sometimes smartphone cameras don’t cut it. Upgrade that special mother in your life to the Coolpix B600, which features 60x optical zoom, full HD video, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for sharing photos. The controls are simple, so she can get shooting right out of the box.

She escaped the Nazis, stuck it to the men, turned the outdoor industry on its head, and made us laugh. All while seeking perfection.

A new electric-motorcycle company is raising the off-road standard

The season’s top performers from our ski test in Steamboat, Colorado, do everything you want them to, no matter what the conditions

With its impressive new 29er, one brand is increasing its commitment to women's rides

High-end electric roadies are cool, but they won't reverse cycling's decline. What will? Affordable, urban-oriented models.

The new iPhone is an even better camera for people who want to adventure outside

In a controversial move, the secretary of the interior recently decreed that motorized bikes should be allowed anywhere that standard bikes are permitted. How this will work is still being sorted out, but the world of pedal-assist riding is about to really open up.

The Versa’s simple interface allows users to track their heart rate and sleep quality, while boasting 15 exercise modes. The sleek design of the watch face doesn’t look bulky, like most sport watches. We included the Versa in our roundup of The Best Wearable Tech of 2019.

The LQ139 has everything I need and nothing I don't

NASA picked the Omega Speedmaster for the Apollo missions. It can surely handle your weekend adventures.

We got our hands on the Cake Kalk electric dirt bike for a test on the forest roads outside our hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Outside contributor Graham Averill tested the Squamish XL when it debuted and was “impressed by how many features LifeProof was able to squeeze into this slick daypack.” The pack has two weather-resistant tech pockets and a slot for a 15-inch laptop and tablet.

This waterproof speaker was made for shower singers—it’s got a suction cup that sticks to the wall for hands-free listening. The Barnacle syncs to your phone via Bluetooth so you can jam to your Spotify playlists, but it also has enough storage for 1,000 songs if you want to leave…

Each bike-inspired poster that Artcrank sells is created in limited numbers by an independent artist, so there’s a solid chance your dorm room will be the only place on campus for this specific design.

Never lose your keys or wallet again with the Tile Pro. We found this tracker so handy that it earned a spot in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “If you’re within 300 feet of the Tile, you can see its location on the phone app and make it chime,…

This speaker was our top pick in our roundup of portable bluetooth speakers. “The Newport is a go-almost-anywhere midsize speaker that does retro and does it really well,” our tester said. With its classic look, easy-to-use controllers, and rich sound, it’s a speaker that rises above the rest.

After years of empty promises, hydration-tracking wearables are finally close to hitting the market

The company claims it has made a more waterproof, more breathable jacket. We took it ski touring to put those specs to the test.

These utility bikes might just be a viable option for replacing our cars (at least some of the time)

An incredibly agile kite, the Synapse has dual Dyneema lines with wrist straps that let you whip it back and forth across the sky. Its large wings are responsive but not finicky. And the Synapse has good range, able to fly in winds as slow as six miles per hour…

Hengda is one of the most trusted names in kites. This low-maintenance parafoil-style model doesn’t have a frame—it still flies taut in the wind, but there’s not much that can break. You need a solid gust to achieve lift, but the Parafoil is easy to pack and carry, and the…

Want to do stunts? This dual-line kite is built for performing flips and twists, with a lightweight fiberglass frame and ripstop nylon body. Wrist straps keep the lines secure, but the Osprey and its 60-inch wingspan are best suited for medium-strength wind (think eight to eighteen miles per hour).

The Symphony Beach packs up small and is easy to transport, thanks to its frameless design. Its dual lines give it exceptional handling so that even beginners and kids can pull out-of-the-box tricks.

Keep this tiny kite (just 3.9 ounces) in your backpack and you’ll be ready to fly whenever the breeze picks up. The single line control and ripstop nylon lend the Pocket Flyer durability and ease-of-use, so it’s perfect for a hilltop on a windy day.

The Panga offers 75 liters of waterproof storage, thanks to the high-density nylon shell and Yeti’s famous Hydrolok zipper, keeping water and dirt out. We like the EVA foam-molded base, which gives you a solid platform when you’re loading gear. The interior has two mesh pockets, while the outside is…

New tweaks mean they're easier to use at work and on the trail

If you don’t have a bocce set at this point in your life, what are you even doing, bro? These dense composite-resin balls come sandwiched inside a pine carrying case, so you look good when you show up to play.

Put a stick on top of a pole and try to knock it off with a Frisbee. That’s the gist of Frisknock. Be warned—it’s addictive. Luckily, Tenalach’s version glows in the dark so you can still see your target after sundown.

Take the fun of Spikeball, eliminate all the setup, and you have Rocketball. Play one-on-one or in teams, trying to bounce the ball off the board and past your opponents. The best part? The board floats, so you can easily move from grass to the pool or lake.

Cornhole is like blue-collar bocce—a staple lawn game that’s tailor-made for playing with one hand (leaving the other one free to hold your beverage). It can be tempting to go for a lighter, more weatherproof set made from aluminum or plastic, but you want solid wood boards like these for…

This is what lawn games in Norway look like. Divide into two teams and try to knock over kubbs (or pins) with a wooden baton until you topple the other team’s king. According to our friends in Scandinavia, this is how Vikings entertained themselves when they weren’t pillaging.

The game is simple: Work with your teammate to get your Frisbee in the can. Toss the disc and sink it in the top of the can for three points, have your teammate knock your throw in through the top for one, and hit the side for two. Angle a…

The Tile Pro two pack is an ideal gift for mothers that chronically misplace their valuables. Latch one onto a a set of keys or put one in a purse fold, and they act like beacons when synced with her smartphone. The best part? If she can’t find her phone,…

The canceled all-women space walk had the space administration facing claims of sexism. But the real issue is not a lack of women-specific designs; it's suits that don't fit the wide range of people who need to wear them.

The River Bank bridges the gap between a small power bank designed to charge your phone and a large portable generator made to power just about everything. It features two USB-C ports and two USB ports as well as a Qi wireless charging pad, so you can charge a laptop,…

It's a question of safety numbers versus safety in numbers

We love the Base Camp duffel because of the cost-to-space ratio. You get 150 liters of storage for under $200, wrapped in an 840-denier ballistic nylon exterior. Compression straps tighten the load, grab handles and lash points help you secure the bag on top of your car, and the main…

Many duffels offer a single cavernous space, but the Big Kit is all about gear-specific organization. It has a separate (and ventilated) shoe compartment, a side panel for a water bottle, a molded pocket for sunglasses or goggles, and a tuck-away helmet carry that lets you attach your lid to…

Ortlieb’s duffle has some details that help it stand out from other similar products on the market. The waterproofing is no joke—zip it up tight and the bag can be submerged for 30 minutes without leaking. The shoulder straps are comfortable enough to let you wear this bag as a…

This 56-liter bag is built from tear-resistant 1,050-denier nylon, and it sheds light rain, thanks to the DWR finish. It has all the duffel features you need—compression straps, lashing straps, and grab handles—and can switch from duffel to backpack with ease. We really dig the daisy-chain-style side panels, which allow…

Going zero waste is hard, but these easy changes to how you eat, drink, and store food will make a big difference

Simple rules for keeping your timepiece ticking

Climber and artist Jer Collins creates art inspired by his favorite landscapes. The pieces are whimsical and hyperreal, resulting in many with an almost topographical vibe. We like his series of wood prints, which range from the sort of action silhouette seen here, to actual maps of destinations.

OK, these aren’t cheap, but can you think of anything better than turning the ski map of your favorite resort into a piece of hangable art? It’s an exact reproduction of the trail map, printed on canvas that’s hand-stretched over a solid wood frame.

Stress-corrosion cracking associated with the Future Shock system puts riders at risk, says the bike maker, which issued a full recall of certain models last week

From an everyday-carry knife to a luxury electric scooter, these are the campaigns that have us most excited this month

And what it could mean for the future of footwear

How do you design something for a user whose only feedback is incessant tail wagging?

A solid budget-minded option, so long as you can tolerate the infuriating keyboard

A designer's quest to make the world's greatest piece of cutlery tells us a lot about the tireless creators of our favorite things

Lots of big brands are shifting toward more sustainable gear, without harmful PFCs. But for the industry as a whole, change is slow.

Timepieces to keep you on track

Finally, wires are a thing of the past

Devices that do the thinking, analyzing, and recovery for you

Forget brightly colored plastic holds. In the future, we'll climb realistic 3D-printed rocks.

The International Trade Commission passed a restriction on the import of products that infringe upon patents for Nite Ize's popular Steelie family of dashboard electronics mounts

In March, Under Armour announced that the accounts of more than 150 million MyFitnessPal users had been compromised. What does that mean for the rest of the workout app industry?

The first rule of cast iron? Relax.

Need to power an LED TV for 18 hours? There's a battery pack for that.

Travel, be more productive, get the right degree, and customize your career

After extensive testing and interviews, I've found that some of the company's two-way messenger devices can inadvertently call search and rescue teams

Ultra runners and backpackers, take note: this tool offers unmatched performance for the price

What's the point in owning something if you're not going to make the most of it?

From mountain bike-inspired prosthetics to couch skiing, Americans are using the latest advances to maximize their output

Supporting your local gear companies doesn't have to break the bank

Seventeen products that made this bike season better than any before

According to the guy who designs some of our favorites

There's a dearth of high-performance, heavy duty work gear out there. Patagonia and glove-maker Tougher are trying to change that.

The tech giant’s latest foray into the fitness market: make exercise machines smarter

A new generation of bio-inspired prototypes are poised to join search and rescue workers on the front lines

The rise of automatic shifting, integrated computers, lights, power meters, and radar has made us wonder: How much is too much?

Nadine Marchal and her loom have made everything from sandals to climbing rope more stylish

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