I had a few minutes to kill today, so I stopped by the EORA (Eastern Outdoor Reps Association) Winter Show in Greenville. I checked it out last fall, and went ahead and registered for this show, too. For those who have never been to this show, it’s not really bike-oriented… more geared towards folks running outdoors-type stores. Regardless, they had a few bike-related brands, and some other cool stuff to check out. Here are my favorites:
I have always loved Camelbak hydration products. They came up with the idea, and they continue to develop new products that are really innovative. The best looking models I saw at the show were the K.U.D.U. packs. They come in two different sizes, multiple color options, 100 oz. reservoir, a load bearing belt with cargo pockets, and up to 915 cubic inches of capacity (for the K.U.D.U. 18).
The coolest part, that isn’t visible while you are wearing the pack, is the Impact Protector. It is a special panel made of multiple foam layers that protect you from the pack’s contents, in case of a crash. It is designed to take multiple impacts, and is very lightweight, at only 2 lb., 8 oz. for the larger model. Definitely an enduro-designed pack, but very eye-catching, and an excellent idea.
One of the coolest extra details of the K.U.D.U. pack, specifically for those like-minded friends who like to have every tool needed to do a minor (or major) trailside repair… a “bike tool organizer,” or as we call it in the pits, a “tool roll.” It’s not really heavy duty, but Camelbak was going for something lightweight that could offer benefit to the rider who needs to pack a lot of stuff in their pack, but keep pointy tools segregated from the rest of their gear. Nice work on this pack, Camelbak.
Timex is on the verge of releasing a game-changing new GPS watch called the ONE GPS+. This watch is the neatest “smart-watch” I’ve seen. The features include:
- InstaFix GPS Speed and Distance
- Phone-Free Messaging
- Find-Me Feature
- Live Online Tracking
- Music Player
- Always-On Sunlight-Readable Qualcomm Mirasol Display
- Heart Rate Compatible
- 50m Water Resistance
- Includes 1 year of AT&T mobile data service
- Directly connects to Strava, MapMyRun, and RunKeeper apps
- Utilizes Bluetooth Technology
I’m pretty sure you have to have AT&T phone service to optimize the messaging functions on the watch. It is a really sleek piece of gear, very comparable in size to the Garmin Forerunner 920xt. I think the social aspects of this fitness watch will prove to be a popular selling feature, as oppposed to other GPS-based watches. Although it may not be cycling/multisport compatible yet, I believe it will get there in the near future. I was impressed. Timex-sponsored athletes are testing the ONE GPS+ right now, but they should be coming soon. Look for a summer/fall release.
So… once again, the gear junkie in me comes out. This isn’t a bike-specific product, but it is a sweet new tool from Leatherman. The new Tread tool is basically 25 tools in a nice, neat watchband-style carrying device. It looks like a nicely-machined bracelet, but by removing it, it becomes the be-all, end-all multi-tool. The Tread and the Tread QM1 (same style band, but with a watch face and only 20 tools) both weigh less than 8 oz., and here’s the kicker – they are TSA compliant. Stylish and functional. My kind of fashion accessory.
Got any cool new pieces of gear for me to check out? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can get it in for review. Thanks for reading.