You can buy pretty much anything you need on Amazon (seriously, that place is like the Chocolate Factory of "stuff"), but true innovation exists in the garages and workshops of regular people. That's why we love Kickstarter, the world's largest crowdfunding platform for creative ideas and projects. Once you get sucked into watching the invention videos there, it's hard to imagine your life without the products featured. Here are five outdoor-related Kickstarter campaigns we're ready to shell out some dough to support:
In major cities, going for a run can be like playing a real-life game of Frogger—only instead of semis, you're constantly dodging slow-moving pedestrians. Enter the Runbell, a tiny brass bell fitted onto a double-finger ring that you can use to alert walkers that you're about to pass them. The rings come in his and hers sizes and are fitted with silicone inserts you can take out when you're wearing gloves. The creators worked with Japan's best bell makers to make a running bell with a crisp, pleasant sound. Solving a problem that doesn't exist? We'd prefer to hear this over a winded "coming through!" any day.
The reward: For $25 you get a Ladies' or Men's Runbell ring with free shipping.
Fresh water after surfing is like a doughnut after a marathon—it goes from being a luxury to a necessity you never knew you needed. But solar showers can get expensive, and there's not always a faucet nearby. Enter the SpaTap, a "pocket shower" that attaches to the opening of any plastic bottle and creates a controllable flow of water. Made from 100 percent recycled medical-grade silicone, the fitting is portable and eco-friendly (you get 20 hand washes out of a 2-liter bottle of water). The creator has plans to eventually take his concept to developing nations to promote good hygiene in places where clean water is scarce
The reward: For approximately $16, you'll get a new SpaTap.
GoPro revolutionized point-of-view filming for action sports athletes, but there's still no convenient attachment for skateboarders. That's where Syrmo comes in—it's the first smart motion tracker for your board that lets you film your best tricks. Just attach it to your board like you would a regular pad, skate, and use your smartphone to shoot a pro-style video. Syrmo offers slow-mo footage and captures stats like your airtime, your max height, and more (the 3D replay option is pretty sweet, too).
The reward: For $59 you'll get the first Syrmo out of the pre-production line; for $79 you'll get the first Syrmo out of the production run and early access to the mobile app.
Remember trying to have an underwater tea party when you were a kid, only to have to doggie paddle back to the surface for air after your first sip? It’s a brave new world for underwater pool games thanks to FunUnder. It’s a two-person regulator and supply line system that provides unlimited surface air to two swimmers. The lines attach at the belt so there’s no drag on the mouthpiece, and if you pay a little extra, you’ll get the FunSlinger Torpedo Launcher—we’re not totally sure what it is, but it sounds amazing.
The reward: Even if you prefer to hold your breath, $25 will get you the FunSlinger underwater torpedo launcher.
It's the classic yoga pant problem: wear underwear, and you've got panty lines. Go without, and you're risking a see-through show. That's why Julie Sygiel decided to create a line of yoga pants that allow women to go commando without any risk. Originally a chemical engineer, Sygiel developed her signature Underlux fabric, which is stain releasing and super supportive (and even protects wears from leakage during that time of the month). Our favorite feature? The "anti-cameltoe" lining. Can we get a hallelujah?
The reward: $30 gets you a pair of Dear Kate underwear made with the Underlux technology; $98 gets you a pair of calf-length of full-length yoga pants.
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