These Brilliant Kickstarters Make Mother Nature Way More Hospitable
Kickstarter is a magical place — or it can be, anyway. Worst of all, though, is when great ideas go unnoticed. That means a great product that could have changed lives never gets the funding it deserved — and often for no good reason.
To help avoid those great ideas falling through the cracks, each week we’re bringing you handpicked Kickstarters you should know about. Some may have blown through their funding goal already, and some may be struggling, but they’re all producing awesome gear that could make your life that much better.
GoSun Go: Boil Water And Cook Meals With Solar Power
The Sun is awfully powerful, obviously, but it can be hard to harness that power for anything useful. But the people behind GoSun are on their third Kickstarter now, and this time they’ve brought an ultra-portable setup that uses nothing but sunlight to either cook a meal for 1-2 people, or boil water for safe drinking. It works even in uneven/cloudy conditions, and on a bright day you can cook food in as little as 20 minutes. Best of all, there’s no charcoal, gas or fuel of any kind required.
Superior Hammock: The Coziest Outdoor Sleep You’ve Ever Had
Hammocks are a good idea, and they’re definitely preferable to sleeping on the ground or having to fuss with inflatable sleeping pads. But most hammocks have zero support or insulation, leaving you at risk of the dreaded “cold butt.” The Superior Hammock addresses this by sewing goose down into the sleeping surface, keeping you warm and cozy while still weighing almost nothing. Other features, like the snaps to close yourself in during cold weather, the hammock blanket, the mosquito net and the rain shield, all combine to create a hammock that keeps you comfortable in virtually any conditions. If that weren’t enough, the whole thing sets up in about 3 minutes.
Greenhouse Jacket: A Heated Thermal Disguised As A Jacket
Usually, when you need more warmth from a jacket, that means adding more bulk. That’s not always ideal, nor is it always effective. Rather than try to keep you insulated, the Greenhouse Jacket features ultra-thin heating cells on both the front and back that can warm you up to an astounding 135 degrees F using to button on the wrist. Because of that, it’s no heavier than a regular thermal you might wear — so light, in fact, that it can be packed down small enough to fit in your pocket. The battery lasts for 14 hours on a single charge, and it works as well under larger jackets as it does on its own. You can even use the battery to charge your phone, because of course.
Chedbag: Chair, Bed & Bag in 1
This is pretty straightforward, but ingenious nonetheless. In a compact package that can roll behind you or be carried like a backpack, you get both a sleeping system and a supportive chair. In bed mode, the high-density foam keeps you cushioned, while the sleeping bag and rigid headboard offer a cozier, more private sleep experience than traditional sleeping bags. In either of the two char configurations, the same foam cradles your butt while the headboard now offers support and stability to your back. This is great for sleepover and overnight stays, but I can really see it being useful for things like music festivals.
Infinity Yoga Mats: The New Shape of Yoga
If you’ve ever done yoga on a standard mat, you know they aren’t very accommodating. They’re narrow and fairly short, which can be a problem for bigger guys who want the freedom to perform the moves and postures carefully. The Infinity Mat is a new take on the classic, longer overall and wider where you need it to be. It also has two innovative surfaces — a grippy rubber side for regular routines, and a soft side that actually gets stickier the more you sweat, perfect for intense hybrid workouts. Yoga is a valuable piece of anyone’s fitness regimen, and it’s about time the mats caught up to the people doing it.
RubrixAID: Automated First-Aid Kits
Seconds matter when someone suffers from an injury. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t doctors, nurses or EMTs and aren’t necessarily trained in proper first aid. RubrixAID takes the guesswork out of first response with software that walks you through what to use and how to use it based on the location and nature of the person’s injury. The instructions are clear and simple, so much so that it’s recommended for adults and children as young as pre-teens.
Unico™ Smartbrush: World’s Smartest
If you’ve seen other neu-age toothbrushes like this, you kind of know the deal — they fit in your mouth and brush every surface of every tooth at once, making them hands-free and finishing the job in all of about 3 seconds. This one adds some features that make it stand out, though, including an automated toothpaste delivery system and a charging station that also uses UV light to disinfect the brush. Do they actually work? I honestly can’t say without having tried one, but the principle seems sound on paper, at least.
Freecube: The World’s First Modular Tech Command Center
Obviously not an outdoor product, but I thought it was too cool to pass up this week. The Freecube is basically an assortment of components that, all together, make up an all-in-one that actually makes sense. The base is a charging station, with both conventional outlets and USB plugs. Next there’s the option to snap on a Bluetooth speaker, which works both on and off the dock. Above that goes the lamp, which changes hue and brightness with just a wave of your hand. Finally, on top of it all (or whichever setup you have) goes a Qi-enabled wireless charging pad. It’s cool to have everything in one place like this, and they could legitimately serve as lamps for endtables or night stands, depending on your design aesthetic.