We'll just give it to you straight: we geek out over Kickstarter, and spend a hell of a lot of time cruising around on the site looking for cool new finds.
Rather than keeping the beta to ourselves, we decided to start a monthly roundup featuring the best new Kickstarter projects – the ones we can't stop drooling over.
Here's this month's top picks ...
Power Practical Luminoodle Color
The Luminoodle first debuted on Kickstarter back in October. Ever since then one of our team members here at Garage Grown Gear (we won't name names) has been regretting her decision not to back the project. We hear about this huge life mistake almost weekly. Lucky for her, and the rest of us, Power Practical's LED light rope is back on Kickstarter, this time with colored lights, a dimmer, a remote control and a red night vision mode. In addition to the Luminoodle color, Power Practical is also introducing the Luminoodle Basecamp, a 20-foot-rope sure to dazzle any evening occasion.
Give'r Four-Season Gloves
Give'r is no stranger to making high-quality leather gloves. The brand's classic hand-branded gloves have consistently been a best seller here at Garage Grown Gear. But there's always room for improvement. And that's why Give'r set out to make “The Best Damn Gloves Ever.” These four-season leather gloves are comfortable, insulated, waterproof and feature a wrist cuff. Give’r will even hand-brand the gloves with your initials for an extra $5. The Kickstarter campaign is skyrocketing beyond its $25,000 goal, with more than $130,000 pledged, as of today. The campaign runs through April 8 and backers get the gloves at a heavily discounted price. Read our review of the Best Damn Gloves Ever.
Since its launch in 2010 Proof has built its eyewear brand around the value of sustainability. Proof has made sunglass frames out of FSC-certified wood, cotton-based acetate, repurposed skateboard decks – and now aluminium. Proof has already tripled its $20,000 Kickstarter funding goal with more than $60,000 pledged toward the infinitely recyclable aluminum collection. Backers get to pick from four different styles and a variety of colors. All shades come with polarized lenses. The Kickstarter campaign runs through March 31. To learn more about Proof's aluminum frame collection, check out our full profile.
Yellowstone National Park: Through the Lens of Time by Bradly J. Boner
In 1871, Yellowstone National Park was still a thing of myth and legend. The reports of geysers and boiling mud pots were considered romantic exaggerations. That is until photographer William Henry Jackson returned from what would become the first national park with photographs of these wonders. Those images helped convince Congress to protect the area for future generations. More than 140 years later, award winning photographer Brad Boner recreated the images Jackson first captured. These 100-plus photos tell the story of the park and how it’s changed, but also, thanks to conservation, how it's stayed the same. Brad's Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise $20,000 to print a coffee table then-and-now book. The campaign runs until March 27.
Chuck the batteries. With HydraLight all is you need is water and salt to charge your USB devices and light your way around camp. This ecologically friendly gadget aims to reduce the consumption of alkaline batteries and give the scientist in all of us something to geek out over. The Kickstarter campaign finished on March 18, but keep a watch out for HydraLight at campsites this summer.
Torch Coat Heaters
So this an Indiegogo campaign, not one Kickstarter, but same difference, right? Torch is a battery operated heater for your coat. It’s designed to easily fit into your coat and can be moved from one jacket to another. It’s fully rechargeable and offers four heat settings that can keep you warm for up to five hours on a single charge. It weighs a mere four ounces and features a sleek, comfortable design. Next time the mercury drops below zero, you'll be the only one not blinking an eye. The original campaign has already been funded, but you can still get orders yours through Indiegogo.
What did we botch by totally leaving off this list? Leave us a comment below to tell us about your favorite new brand or piece of outdoor gear. Hopefully, we can give them a shout out in our next roundup.