2012 Outdoor Gear Innovations

Outdoor Gear Innovations
CleanSnipe is an outdoor gear tracker, so we naturally see a lot of outdoor gear. We noticed five outdoor gear innovations in 2012 that we feel have revolutionized outdoor sports like backcountry skiing, mountain biking, backpacking/camping, swimming and climbing. Read on to see if you agree.

Dynafit TLT Radical FT/ST Ski Bindings

Dynafit TLT Radical FT/ST awards
The Dynafit TLT Radical FT/ST ski bindings won Backcountry Magazine’s 2012 Editors’ Choice with a worthy summation of the ubiquitous alpine touring (AT) binding, calling it, “Easier to use, stronger, and more solid on the up and down than ever.”

Dynafit ski bindings, Dynafit ski boots and Dynafit skis have long been popular with backcountry athletes, especially the Ski Mountaineering (SkiMo) Randonee racers, who use the Dynafit products due to the inherent light weight and strength characteristics. Dynafit undoubtedly used feedback from this set of competitors to fuel a better product.

One Randonee racer and popular ski mountaineer Steve Romeo reviewed the Dynafits early on for Teton AT recommending them highly for both racers and resort visitors. “As resort accessed backcountry skiing becomes more and more popular, I can see the Radical FT being a really good choice for someone who wants to put a tech-style binding on a cross-over backcountry/resort setup.” Shop Now >>

Crank Brothers Kronolog Dropper Seatpost

Crank Brothers Kronolog Seatpost
A “Dropper Seatpost” is a mountain bike seatpost that fully extends during climbs for proper leg extension and also has the ability to drop down during descending while the rider keeps riding on the bike.

Crankbrothers helped to innovate this type of adjusatble-height mountain bike seatpost years ago with its Joplin seatpost. They spent years reformulating the recipe and apparently got it right. Bike Magazine likens the seatpost to a perfectly cooked meal, “With its new Kronolog, Crankbrothers seems to have created the height-adjust seatpost equivalent to the perfect plate of Italian food.

Let’s face it; Crankbrothers knows a thing or two about dropper posts. Its oft-maligned Joplin helped lead the charge toward making height-adjust seatposts ‘mainstream’. But with other companies entering the market with interesting—and in some cases better—posts than the its original offering, Crankbrothers went back to the drawing board, and started from scratch to build what will certainly be a new contender for top honors in the height-adjust-seatpost category.” Shop Now >>

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter
The Platypus GravityWorks™ water filter delivers four (4) liters of potable water in just 2.5 minutes without requiring a single pump stroke.

Outdoor Gear Labs compared the Platypus GravityWorks with other popular water filters and gave it five stars and the Editors’ Choice Award, “by being the fastest filtering system, lightweight, and very simple to use. It also requires little to no maintenance with a filter effective for 1500 liters and no moving parts that could break. It is one of the most versatile systems because it gives you the option of treating small or large amounts of water quickly, so it can be used for a camp of multiple people or just a single hiker.

BestCovery also named it the Best Portable Water Purifier stating, “This filter is an excellent option if you want a lot of filtered water fast, and with very little effort. GravityWorks, as the name implies, relies on gravity filtration, and comes with two 4-liter reservoirs.” Shop Now >>

LifeProof iPhone and iPad Cases

LifeProof iPhone and iPad Cases
LifeProof iPhone and iPad cases have already won numerous awards like the Men’s Journal Gear of the Year, CES Innovations Award, National Geographic Adventure Gear of the Year 2012, About.com Reader’s Choice 2012 Winner and many more.

Too many awards to mention, they are well deserved. The LifeProof iPhone 4/4S Case, iPhone 5 Case and Ipad Case are all well designed protective covers for your cherished gadgets. Not only do they protect the tech gadgets from shock, water, snow and dirt, but they’re lightweight, beautiful and let you use your tech gadget the way it was designed to be used.

LifeProof cases are revolutionary because you can swim with your iPhone with the LifeProof waterproof headphones and armband, or you can take videos underwater,and many more outdoor applications without worrying that your iPhone or iPad will get messed up. Shop Now >>

Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting Headlamp

Petzl NAO Headlamp
The Petzl NAO Headlamp with REACTIVE LIGHTING, has won several outdoor industry awards for innovation, including the prestigious ISPO AWARD. The NAO was recognized by leading outdoor magazine Outside with its Gear of the Show award at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, the influential gear blog, the Gear Junkie, gave the NAO a ‘Best in Show’ award.

Early in 2012, in association of the ISPO trade show in Munich Germany, the NAO won the ISPO Product Award for the Outdoor segment in the Hardware Accessories category. The award “represents the best innovations and offers sport business professionals, the media and consumers a guide in the wide range of the sporting goods industry.” The jury of outdoor industry opinion leaders judged products based on innovation, design and performance.

A headlamp that automatically adjusts brightness is really innovative and new to the market,” stated jury member Boris Gnielka of Motorpresse Stuttgart/outdoor-Magazin, Germany. “All of the other features, like recharging via USB, make the Petzl NAO really smart.”

The Petzl NAO Headlamp is revolutionary because it has a sensor that automatically adjusts the beam pattern and light output so you don’t have to while you’re, say, climbing a multi-pitch route, or something. This type of reactive lighting keeps your hands free longer because you don’t need to press a button to adjust light output; it also extends battery life by efficiently using power. Shop Now >>

What are Your Top Innovative Outdoor Gear Picks?

Comment below to let us know what we’ve missed. Tell us what your favorite outdoor gear innovations were in 2012.