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Hands On: Arc’teryx Beta AR

Every time we got caught in the rain, we swore we’d buy a waterproof shell — which we eventually did, minus much diligent research. And wearing that cheap polyester shell zipped up made us feel like a turkey wrapped with tin foil in an oven. GORE-TEX, eVent, and other patented breathable technologies, they say, make for a far more comfortable jacket than what was essentially a plastic garbage bag with sleeves. We got our hands on the quintessential GORE-TEX jacket, Arc’teryx’ Beta AR, to review, and while we’re not mountaineers or storm chasers we’re still outside a fair bit all the same — probably like you — and need a sleek and reliable jacket to get us through bike commutes, rainy dog walks, windy hiking days, and snowy ski days. So read on to get our full take.

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Cycliq Fly12

The cyclist’s version of a dash cam, Cycliq’s Fly12 is a brilliant bike light with a 1080p HD camera attached — and a perfect complement to their rear-facing Fly6. The light portion puts out 400 lumens on its max setting, bombarding the road or trail with photons at up to 80 feet ahead. Recording is in constant loops with 1 button footage protection that catches the action (some sample footage here) — or evidence — on its 16GB MicroSD. Naturally, it’s also weatherproof, attaches on a reliable airplane-grade aluminum handlebar mount, and boasts both WiFi and Bluetooth to connect to your phone for full Strava integration, amongst other things.

Find it at Amazon – $350

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Rollholz Marble Cruiser

It’s not made of real marble — the material wouldn’t fare any better on a skateboard than it did on Chicago’s Aon Center. The Rollholz Marble Cruiser instead features a paint job that looks like it on top of a compact walnut or ash wood board that’s easy to carry or slip in your large-ish backpack. And with a shape inspired by the iconic first skateboards back from the sport’s beginning, they’re so pretty you probably won’t want to use them, and instead leave yours hanging on your wall.

Find it at Etsy – $180+

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Revolights Eclipse+

Few products increase nighttime visibility better than Revolights. And the Revolights Eclipse+ is their most complete model yet. The two light-bearing rings screw on to four ball-and-socket brackets on your spokes and are as resistant to theft as are your wheels — lock the latter and your Revolights are safe. A snap-in rechargeable battery powers each one, providing 280 lumens of direction white or red light per wheel, oriented thanks to a fork-mounted magnet and accelerometer that illuminates only front-facing lights in the front wheel and rear-facing ones at the back. The Eclipse+ also adds turn signal functionality to the mix, activated through a handlebar mounted control pad, and it’s Bluetooth-enabled for use with the Revolights app which acts as a bike computer, tracking your ride, displaying battery status, and even notifying you of upcoming weather alerts.

Learn more at Revolights – $220

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Lampuga Boost Electric Surfboard

Paddling out to the waves is a drag, not to mention waiting for the perfect one that might never be. The Lampuga Boost Electric Surfboard makes its own waves thanks to an on-board 15 or 22 horsepower electric motor that’s neither loud nor dirty, and propels you to speeds of up to 32 knots (37 miles per hour) thanks to a handheld throttle integrated in the steering cable. The German-made board automatically shuts off for safety should you take a spill, and comes in standard and carbon versions, the latter more powerful than the former (as well as faster). Both have a battery good for up to 40 minutes of surfing (or whatever this activity is called) and charges back up in two hours flat.

Learn more at Lampuga – roughly $14,400

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Monkii Bars 2

Can’t sit still long enough to consistently work out at one given gym? Maybe Monkii Bars 2 is more your speed. This compact fitness device is made of powder coated aerospace-grade aluminum and accommodates a variety of environments to help you work out anywhere, including parks, hotel rooms, or your own home. The Ultralight Kit (shown) contains a pair of handles and straps that stash inside the former and are easy to rig up to a tree or playground. An Adventure Kit is a bit more complete and includes a case that transforms into door attachments and that double as a phone holder to let you follow along on your device. And on that subject, their app hosts a large catalogue of workouts and individual exercises if you’re not quite sure what to do with your Monkii Bars 2.

Learn more at Kickstarter – $120+

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M-5000 Envirofit Rocket Stove

Probably the first thing you’ll want to do when unpacking the M-5000 Envirofit Rocket Stove is tear up the box it came in and use the cardboard to light a fire in its oven. This small but rugged stove features an open chamber into which can go longer sticks and twigs, pushed further in periodically as they burn, and a heat reflecting shield that directs heat and fire up towards the cooktop fit for a pot or pan. Two wooden handles make it easy to move even when hot and four feet ensure it’s got stable footing. Ideal for campsite cooking or as part of an emergency kit, each is built in Kenya to drive the cost down throughout Africa and to facilitate purchase by locals who can rely on it as their primary stove.

Grab one at Amazon – $110

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Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Cooler

Yeti knows how to make a cooler. Though good, well insulated ones are typically heavy, hence room on the market for the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Cooler. It’s shaped like a cube to fit lots of stuff — like 12 beers along with tons of accompanying ice — and boasts a rugged HydroLok zipper that won’t let air get in, or water escape. A puncture-resistant DryHide shell makes it nearly as tough as hardshell models without the struggles of lugging it around. It’s ready for anything and equally suited to carrying a large lunch to work as it is lugging drinks for a hike or camping adventure.

Learn more at Yeti – $280 [via]

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Octospot Dive Camera

Your GoPro in its enclosure can survive depths of about 130 to 197 feet, depending on the model. Need to go deeper? You’re out of luck since no mainstream action cams can do much better. Enter the Octospot Dive Camera, which goes to 656 feet without breaking a sweat — or the need for a case. Engineered by divers, this action camera is made of anodized aluminum plus polycarbonate and employs just two buttons for controls to ensure that you can start recording with gloves on (with vibration feedback to know it’s been activated). Sensors log depth and temperature throughout your dive, also automatically adjusting white balance to maintain accurate colors as you go deeper. It’s also got a 2 hour long battery, a half-inch screen on its tail end that displays recording information, and shoots 4K Ultra HD video. And it works just as well above water.

Read more at Kickstarter – $369

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Alite Meadow Pack

Forgot your camping blanket? You could sit on your cooler, but if you’re lugging your grub in an Alite Meadow Pack the bag itself provides a 41-inch by 34-inch waterproof blanket for dining on the grass. It’s got both handles and backpack straps to accommodate different carries and holds 23 litres of stuff to and from your destination. To unfold, just pop the 4 clips on the inside, and reverse the process to fold it back up. The green plaid fabric is super soft and doubles as the inside of the bag, staying clean even when laying the blanket down on wet ground.

Grab one at Amazon or Alite – $90

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