Ah, Kickstarter—realm of oddball ambitions, bizarre ventures and the occasionally awesome outdoor product. We’ve had our eyes on three Kickstarters this week: a pocket-sized Tenkara fly fishing rod, a heated down jacket that can charge your phone and an underwater drone perfect for both backyard pools and open water treasure hunting missions.
Take a look—and pledge if you can’t wait for these new products to hit the mainstream market.
For those who don’t know, Tenkara is the Japanese art of reel-free fly fishing, a simplified method that’s perfect for novices, agile in tight mountain streams and still fun for advanced anglers. We’re actually more than familiar with the original, full-size Teton Tenkara fly rod. In fact, saying “full-size” seems foolish because all of Tenkara Rod Co.’s rods collapse into backpack-friendly dimensions. These new “Mini” rods, however, fit in your pocket. For $150, you can snag an ultra-light, super portable fishing rod to take on your next backpacking trip—you can even bring it trail running.
While we’re skeptical relying on an electronic heating mechanism in variable backcountry conditions, we wouldn’t say no to a bit of extra warmth strolling along mountain town sidewalks. Ravean’s line of jackets, vests and hoodies tackles common coldweather concerns by incorporating inconspicuous heating panels into fashionable, utilitarian designs. These panels are powered by an equally unassuming battery, which tucks into a convenient pocket and can actually charge your phone when you’re on the go. No doubt, Ravean is putting the “app” in “apparel.”
Four years of tinkering and the Trident, an underwater drone, is ready for it’s literal launch. This portable robot isn’t just for treasure hunters and scientific researchers, as it “flies like an airplane” and seems like it’s a blast to operate. Since radio waves have a tough time penetrating water, the Trident is attached to a neutrally buoyant tether that transmits live video streams back to the drone operator. This underwater drone has the potential to dramatically alter underwater exploration—plus, it looks like a ton of fun.