‘Highest Performing’ HOKA, 3-Person Hammock, Grass Fiber Sunglasses, and More Emerging Gear

Zeal Cumulus "Sea Grass" Sunglasses

The building blocks of Zeal’s latest shades begin as fibrous grasses grown in a German bio-refinery. Once the natural fibers are harvested and processed, they’re combined with recycled plastics to create the finished sunglass frames. The Cumulus ($179) is one of many frame styles in Zeal’s See Grass collection. It’s a medium-fit wayfarer-esque look with Rx compatibility and polarized lenses.

Much like the frames, the Cumulus lenses also utilize a plant-based polymer. According to Zeal, the “Z-Resin” material provides clear, crisper vision while reducing environmental impact.

HOKA Rocket X 2

HOKAs are among the most popular running shoes on the planet. According to the brand, the eye-catching new Rocket X 2 ($250) is “the most pinnacle performance road racing shoe to date.”

Created for elite long-distance runners, the X 2 combines a dual-density PEBA foam midsole with an offset carbon fiber plate to enhance propulsion and rebound. Instead of incorporating an existing upper design from one of its other shoes, HOKA outfitted the X 2 with an “all-new” synthetic mesh that hugs the foot for “race-ready lockdown.”

YOBOgear Hive Portable Hammock Stand

From the forests of El Salvador to the barracks of the Royal Navy, people have been sleeping soundly in hammocks since time immemorial. Not even the plushest memory foam mattress can match the weightless suspension and gentle rocking motion.

Hammocks are the gold standard of golden slumbers, but without anchor points, a hammock is just a piece of lifeless material. Trees are the most common solution, but as desert-dwellers know, they aren’t always available.

The new Hive Hammock Stand by YOBOgear is a freestanding and portable frame that can safely support up to three hammocks at once. Weighing in at roughly 14 pounds, the Hive has a carrying weight capacity of 750 pounds. It’s built to easily support three (or more?) adults. Preorders are available now for $799.

Billabong Trail Shorts

Billabong has been dominating the surfing scene since the 1970s. The brand was founded on Australia’s Gold Coast and its logo is a stylized wave. It’s core surf culture. Now, the brand is paddling out into uncharted territory.

The Trail Shorts ($70) are Billabong’s first foray into purpose-built hiking apparel.

Though these shorts aren’t attempting to reinvent the wheel, they do appear to possess all of the key features hikers need. A built-in, low-profile belt combined with an elastic waistband keeps the Trail Shorts from riding low — a major asset while hiking with a heavy pack. A zippered rear pocket provides a secure place to keep maps, identification, or other precious essentials.

Wilde Bikes Cardinal Bar

Wilde Bikes partners with BMX stalwarts S&M Bikes to drop the affordable, made-in-the-USA Cardinal Bar handlebars ($130). These powder-coated 100% steel handlebars are designed for BMX, MTB, and country-style bikes. The heat marks from the welding process are visible on the finished product, giving the Cardinal a raw and rugged look.

As for the specs, the Cardinal bar is 830mm wide with a 22mm clamp diameter. It weighs in at 1.75 pounds.

Leatherman Micra Mini Multitool

Leatherman’s Micra ($35) has the best tools-per-weight ratio of any multitool on the market — six foldouts, scissors, a ruler, and more in a teeny 1.8-ounce package. Now, the Micra is available in a handful of lively colors, including Arctic Mint and the pictured Black Cherry. Throw one of these on your key ring, and you’ll forever be prepared to make a quick fix in a pinch.

Outdoor Vitals Nebo Windbreaker

Outdoor Vitals is a relative newcomer on the technical apparel scene, but it’s quickly begun to impress — especially when it comes to lightweight backpacking staples. The latest product is the Nebo, a 4-ounce windbreaker that’s available now for $125 — or $106 for members of the brand’s Ultralight Membership program.

According to Outdoor Vitals, the Nebo is a surefire stopgap against windchill. The single-layer ripstop nylon construction aims to deflect wind while maintaining an appropriate level of breathable for high-output activity. That’s a difficult balance to strike, but Outdoor Vitals’ solid track record gives us good faith in the product. The close-fitting elasticated hood offers additional utility.

Camel City Mill Lightweight Wool Work Sock

Camel City Mill has only been selling socks for about a month, and it has already racked up a number of positive reviews. One reviewer wrote that they’d be making a permanent switch from Darn Tough to Camel City. That’s more or less the highest praise available in the realm of outdoor socks.

The brand’s Lightweight Wool Work Sock ($26/pair) is 53% merino wool, with cushioned toe and heel areas. According to Camel City Mill, a ribbed vented cushion in the Achilles area “balances breathability and support.” For cold temperatures, the brand also makes a heavyweight version ($28/pair).

SylvanSport TraiLOFT Micro Camper

The SylvanSport TraiLOFT micro camper is a simple, lightweight rooftop tent that sleeps two and pops up in an instant. Now, SylvanSport combines the TraiLOFT with a lightweight utility trailer to create a comprehensive car camping rig.

Unlike many camper trailers, this minimalist solution is light enough to pull behind almost any car. In addition to the TraiLOFT camper, the trailer also has room for multiple kayaks and plentiful camping gear.

If you’re the type of camper who likes to venture away from the campground during the day, a removable trailer is a good solution. The trailer varies from $5,695 to $6,495.

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