Barefoot Leather Shoes, Tailor-Made Everest Pack, and More Emerging Gear

Barefoot Leather Shoes, Tailor-Made Everest Pack, and More Emerging Gear

Warm weather has arrived in many parts of the country, meaning it’s time to try out new parks — and new gear! But how do you know where to look for the latest and coolest stuff?

Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question because you’re already at the perfect place: our Emerging Gear column. So take a gander at these stellar offerings for mountain climbing, hiking, paddling, trail running, and biking.

BOTE Paddleboard Rider Series

bote sup hybrid
A SUP/kayak hybrid; (photo/BOTE)

BOTE just rolled out its Rider Series, a handful of inflatable platforms that work as either stand-up paddleboards or kayaks.

The collection includes three models: the FlowRider Aero, EasyRider Aero, and LowRider Aero. All the boards come with an attachable and removable inflatable seat and a four-piece hybrid paddle that works in both SUP and kayak mode. Crafted with BOTE’s AeroULTRA construction, a military-grade PVC, the Rider Series offers a stable yet lightweight platform on the water, BOTE said.

The 10’4” EasyRider Aero, a beginner board, costs $650, while the LowRider Aero Solo is an “elite” SUP-kayak hybrid paddleboard. It’s available in Solo (10’6” for $800) and Tandem (11’4” for $900) configurations. Finally, the Kids’ FlowRider Aero costs $500.

Vivobarefoot Sensus Collection

Vivobarefoot Sensus
Vivobarefoot drops the barefoot lifestyle shoe Sensus; (photo/Vivobarefoot)

Inspired by “indigenous moccasins,” Vivobarefoot has released another “barefoot-feeling” lifestyle shoe. Unlike some other designs from the company aimed at outdoor performance, the Sensus seems meant more for lazy Sundays and maybe some chill walks through the park.

A ripple-like pattern on the outsole is inspired by the earliest recorded human footprint (the 3.7-million-year-old Laetoli footprints) found in volcanic mud in Tanzania. The Sensus Mens and Sensus Womens cost $175 and fit “like a glove.”

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Halka Pack

HMG Halka pack hero
THe HMG Halka Pack in the Himalayas; (photo/HMG)

When Nepalese Sherpa Ang Tshering (a guide on Everest and other peaks) said he needed a lighter pack, HMG got to work. The result is the Halka Pack, a high-alpine mountaineering backpack to reduce the back and knee pain felt by Sherpas ferrying provisions and gear up and down the world’s biggest mountains. It’s based on Hyperlite’s Ice pack design, is made with 210-denier nylon and Dyneema, and weighs just 43 ounces.

The pack has really unique features like straps inside the back panel for securing an oxygen bottle, exterior crampon attachment points, a removable lid and hip belt, and dual ice axe carry. The 55L can carry loads up to 50 lbpounds.

It comes in two sizes: the $425 Halka 55L, meant for clients, and the $500 Halka 70L, aimed toward professional mountaineers and guides, like Sherpa Ang Tshering.

HOKA Hopara 2

hoka hopara
The Hoka Hopara, a hiking sandal/shoe hybrid; (photo/Hoka)

Is it a hiking shoe? A sandal? A river shoe? To all these questions, HOKA says “yes.”

Technically, HOKA calls the Hopara 2 a “hiking sandal,” a footwear design for when you need to tackle “a bit of everything,” be it water, sand, or rock. They feature a quick toggle lace that makes them easy to slide on or off the feet, a 100% recycled upper for a “sock-like fit,” and an adjustable heel strap. Sticky rubber is meant to handle slippery river rocks without a problem.

They’re available now for $135.

Skida Elmore Collection

skida collection vermont

Skida, a Vermont-based brand, partnered with Vermont State Parks to release a product line celebrating the department’s 100th anniversary.

Designs in the Elmore Collection take inspiration from the official Vermont State Park uniforms and feature the “whimsical flora” seen throughout the Green Mountain State. A portion of proceeds from the collection will go to Vermont Parks Forever, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the Vermont State Parks. Check out the Elmore Brim Hat for $48, or the Elmore Alpine Neckwarmer for $30.

Sea to Summit 2024 Collection

sea to summit spark pro sleeping bag
The Spark PRO down sleeping bag; (photo/Sea to Summit)

Sea to Summit launches a new collection this week, including sleeping bags, sleeping bag liners, and a cook set. With the Detour cook set, the company offers its “first-ever collapsible camp kitchen equipment compatible with both gas stoves and induction cooktop” (read our verdict in the review). 

But the new sleeping bags also sound pretty sweet. In addition to upgrades to the existing Spark and Ascent bags, there’s the all-new Spark PRO. This $650 down sleeping bag is built for “lightweight adventurers who demand comfort,” is rated to 15 or 30 degrees, and weighs 1 pound, 11 ounces. It packs down impressively small, too. Check out the Sea to Summit Spark PRO online.

Thousand Toddler Helmet

thousand toddler bike helmet
Thousand’s new toddler bike helmet; (photo/Thousand)

After selling plenty of its Jr. Helmets, Thousand’s fastest-growing line, the company decided it was time to make another model for even smaller humans.

The urban brand focused on vintage-inspired helmets and safety accessories just dropped its new Toddler Helmet after “overwhelming requests,” the brand said. The Thousand Toddler helmet is for ages 1+ to “support family rides and introduce the next generation of riders to safe practices.”

Snow Peak GORE-TEX Collection

snow peak gore-tex collection
Check out Snow Peak’s first-ever collection of GORE-TEX apparel; (photo/Snow Peak)

Snow Peak, a maker of Japanese-designed technical garments, finally dips into GORE-TEX.

Made with 100% recycled polyester, Snow Peak’s GORE-TEX Rain Series offers water and wind protection in its rain jackets, pants, hats, and caps. Each piece is completely seam-sealed, with waterproof zippers. Though, prices run from $90 up to $500. That’s one expensive rain jacket. Learn more at Snow Peak. 

adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2.0 Low

adidas terrex free hiker 2.0 low
The adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2.0 Low; (photo/adidas Terrex)

On the flip side, adidas Terrex has now put a bow on its Free Hiker 2.0 collection with a non-GORE-TEX option.

After introducing the Free Hiker 2.0 GTX last fall, available in both mid and low versions, the company has dropped a cheaper version of the shoe sans GORE-TEX materials. The new model promises “increased breathability in warmer and drier conditions,” the company said. It has a low cut, an abrasion-resistant mesh upper, and BOOST cushioning in the midsole.

The Terrex Free Hiker 2.0 Low Hiking Shoes (men’s) and Terrex Free Hiker 2.0 Low Hiking Shoes (women’s) are available now for $160 ($20 cheaper than the GORE-TEX version).

Air Lizard Hover Stand

sup stand air lizard
An inflatable stand for SUPs, surfboards, and paddleboards; (photo/Air Lizard)

This mom-and-pop product targets surfers and paddlers looking for a convenient way to clean their bulky boards.

This inflatable, portable stand is meant for SUPs, surfboards, or paddleboards. The Hover Stand just launched this week, and it looks like a nifty little gadget for anyone logging regular visits to their local lakes. It’s available online now for $79.


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