Anyone who’s ever sat in front of a TV will likely instantly recognize the minimal but genius paint job on The Simpsons x State Bicycle Co. Bike, aided visually by both the use of appropriate colors and proportions of the long running show’s four main characters. Not that you need the help, but that’s Bart up top, Lisa on the seat stays, Homer on the seat tube, and Marge on the down tube. It’s also just a solid bike, too, with a 4130 grade Chromoly steel frame with double-butted tubing, a Flip-Flop hub to switch between single speed and fixed, a synthetic leather saddle, and your choice of four handlebar styles. State is also making less subtle Simpsons-styled accessories that include a donut-themed backpack and an Otto Man jersey.
Find it at State Bicycle Co. – $500
At first glance, the Set for Set Steel Mace somewhat resembles the Fitness Sledgehammer. But better not hit anything with it lest you cause serious property damage. Loosely inspired by the weapon of the same moniker, this mace is big, heavy, and forged from hand-sculpted cast-iron, with a knurled handle for grip and a welded-on head that concentrates most of its weight. This uneven weight distribution puts added strain on your stabilizer muscles for hitting your core harder during movements like the barbarian squat, gravedigger, and 360 swing. Available in both 15 and 20 pound versions.
Find it at Set for Set – $50
Can’t fathom how a simple hammock could keep you warm and toasty in colder months? One look at Sierra Madre Research’s Inferno Cocoon Hammock should be answer enough. The system is made up of two parts appropriately named Top and Under which go on top and under your body, respectively, with which to outfit your preferred normal hammock. The Top resembles a mummy bag with a zipper-free backless design to get in and out quickly and boasts both a footnest and several cinches to get the bag snug and contoured. On the other hand the Under looks a bit like a hammock itself but seals around one for full backside insulation, with the added advantage of leaving much of its insulation uncompressed (and hanging underneath the hammock) to leave its heat-isolating properties uncompromised. Combine both for serious weather resistance and equally serious insulation: its RDS 800 Fill Power DownTek Down handles temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, though a lighter, spring and fall version is rated to 30 degrees F as well if you don’t see yourself braving winter in a hammock.
Find it at Kickstarter – $300
Grisly is an understatement when it comes to these Skull Fire Logs, unless of course it’s Halloween. Each one is shaped like a human skull but is made of steel-reinforced heat-refractory ceramic — the same kind, more or less, that NASA uses to stave off heat damage from rocket engines. What this means is that they’re safe for use in either natural gas or wood fires alongside real logs to set the mood just right. Available in white, brown, or black, but the latter is the obvious choice considering it already looks charred.
We’ve seen some unique snowshoes — these (1, 2) come to mind. Crescent Moon’s Eva All-Foam Snowshoes are again quite different. Built on a one-size-fits-all ethyelyene-vinyl-acetate (hence the name) frame, these snowshoes strap onto your existing shots or boots and provide a feel that’s closer to a big running shoe than a traditional snowshoe in that they’re extremely light, shaped like a rocker, thus eliminating the rotational hinge on most other snowshoe models, and boast treads underneath (also made of EVA) for traction like a tire. The resulting pair just begs to be strapped on and tried out in deep snow, even by novices to the whole snowshoeing game.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $160
It won’t get you very high off the ground: in fact, this recliner uses your body weight to stay put and keep its back upright in a real relaxed position. Its main selling point though is its size, since the Mountainsmith Slingback Chair rolls up tiny and weighs just 4.75 ounces, relying on your telescopic trekking poles for structure. Two sturdy evenly-sized sticks might even do in a pinch.
Find it at Amazon – $21
Like a ref that takes subjectivity out of shot calling, the In/Out Tennis Line Call Device is likely to save a few friendships of ultra-competitive but casual tennis players. It takes about a minute to install the GoPro-sized device to a net post before it starts calling the shots, auto-calibrating to the court in question and analyzing every ball with 99% accuracy. The impact of each ball with the ground is recorded and analyzed by the device in real time to be later viewed on any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, and closer calls can be re-examined as it records them in HD. And since it lights up green or red at every shot that’s in or out, respectively, with a sound to signal those out of bounds, it eliminates a lot of ambiguity and assumptions from the game.
Find it at In/Out – $200
The human body is capable of some amazing things. But a two-hour marathon is essentially off the table, unless you’ve got a pair of Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite strapped on your feet (and a hell of a lot of training behind you). They’re particularly lightweight at just 7 ounces and boast a thick foam sole that, unlike low profile runners, cushions and also returns some of the energy on impact, in part aided by a unidirectional carbon fiber plate within. All this helps make the runner about 4% faster, a crucial step towards finally breaking that two-hour mark. While pricing isn’t yet announced, the same technologies will permeate Nike’s consumer Vaporfly versions as well including the Vaporfly 4% so everyone ready to drop a couple of hundred bucks for a speed boost can benefit.
Read more at Nike – $TBA