Aquatics Sports

Ride breaking waves like never before with the Uncommon ultra-portable surfboard

Staying connected to the swells of the ocean is the goal of surfers around the world. However, lugging around the huge surfboards that make it possible can be a complete drag. Having to transport fragile surfboards through airports or trying to stuff them into cars makes every trip an awkward one. Although bodyboards exist to mitigate that issue, the surfboard is the most popular method of experiencing the breaking waves, and the most lucrative one at that.

Surfer Michael Grau presents another, much lighter and smaller alternative in the Uncommon Surfboard. Billed as the world’s most portable surfboard, this 350 gram board is small enough to fit inside a average-sized suit case; a miracle considering how big even some bodyboards can be. And those who use it won’t need to worry about wipeouts as much being that there’s less for the wave to grab onto.

The Uncommon is looking to become an alternative to what’s already available and its impressive size and weight will help it get there given enough backing. The Uncommon Surfboard currently goes for $225 AUD (~$184 USD) to be shipped in May 2015. The campaign is looking for $2,000 AUD (~$1,650 USD) on Kickstarter.


Portable Lap Tray aims to offer wheelchair users ergonomic ease, convenience

People who need wheelchair assistance often face the challenges of an environment that isn’t very ergonomically friendly. This can have an impact on many activities that others take for granted, from taking notes in a classroom to using a computer and even eating.

The Portable Lap Tray was invented to help bring these folks some convenience. It is touted as being compatible with any kind of chair. However, it is questionable if it would be very effective for left-handed users because of its right-hand oriented design–much like the old right-hand oriented desks of the 20th century from about the 1960s or so.

Backers looking for mobility assistance might want to check out the Movi Transport Chair. This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 on Indiegogo. It appears that the tray itself is not available to backers, but for $75, backers can get a DVD of some kind of fashion show, a slightly confusing reward.


Cinch tents shed light on those dark campsite nights

One of the most relaxing ways to destress and recharge is to spend some time in the great outdoors. And having the right tent is highly important. Cinch is a pop-up tent that sets up and folds down quickly. It comes in two, three, and four person capacity, and is double-skinned to protect from wet weather.

The convenience of two entrances and storage areas are a nice touch, but the one feature that really sets it apart is that each tent comes with a solar pack so that gadgets can remain charged, and tents can provide LED light at night. There are charging ports for up to two mobile devices. The dimensions for the two person tent are 2.8m long x 2.2m wide x 1.3m high. Though this doesn’t really provide much room for an adult to stand upright, the solar power capacity certainly makes this tent worth some serious consideration.

Backers may also be interested in POD tents and CampCaddy. This campaign seeks to raise £50,000 (~$77,800). For £110 (~$170), backers get one tent with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Camping Relaxation

Nomasoak portable hottub provides a relaxing soak wherever

There’s nothing quite like the relaxation offered by a hot tub. To own one is a luxury. Oftentimes, staying in a hotel is made even more desirable by the presence of a hot tub.

With the Nomasoak, one never has to be without a hot tub again. This product is, quite simply, a portable hot tub. Weighing 45 pounds, it’s possible to lug this thing around pretty much anywhere. All one would need is a 100 gallon water source. Nomasoak is made from 100% poly plastic and runs via a rechargeable battery. The tub is appropriate for two people to use.

Nomasoak would be like a kitty pool without some kind of heat source. Using a propane-fueled water heater attached to the tub, the water heats up by entering the heat exchanger. The heated water then rises to the top, meaning that no kind of heavy pump is needed. The heater will go for three hours on one gallon of propane.

Nomasoak is such a luxury item that it’s hard to scoff at. Sure, it’s decadent and hugely inconvenient to actually carry hot tub around. However, on a camping trip where a car is used, it may be just the way to relax with friends, or just one friend. One concern would be the quality of the water. There’s no filtration system and the campaign suggests simply using clean lake water or saltwater is fine, though that seems a little far-fetched, especially for the saltwater. One can be had by backers for $400 with an estimated delivery date of October 2015. Nomasoak is looking to raise an ambitious $350,000.

Food and Beverage Travel

Tea lovers, Qterra Novo lets you sip on your trip

There’s something about having that preferred caffeinated beverage to kick the workday off right. And those who like toting their tea with them can now do so without using a travel mug – sort of.

The creator of Qterra Novo says in the video that this product is not a travel mug, but it does appear that it’s typically used that way. The mobile tea-making mug lets users store tea leaves in the cup at the bottom of the unit. Then hot water gets poured into the top of the unit, and it can be stashed in a backpack, purse, or briefcase. When ready for the tea, press the button for the amount of time that is desired for the tea to brew. Steeping can take as little as 10 seconds, depending on desired tea-flavor robustness. Tea can be re-steeped up to six times per day. One especially interesting feature is the straw that acts as a cooling system for hot tea. It cools 1.5 ounces of tea at a time to the “perfect” drinking temperature, while the rest of the water stays hot until ready for drinking.

This product may have more of a regional appeal since it was inspired by the history of Argentina, China, and an apparent aversion to travel mug association. However, anyone who enjoys tea might find it interesting to try. It’s portability will be especially appealing to commuters. Backers may also be interested in Espro Travel Press,  Trimr, and KoffeePress campaigns. This campaign seeks to raise $150,000. Backers get one product for $25 with an expected delivery in March 2015.


Packer’s a strap with a pack to wear your skateboard

Skateboards and boards of any kind can really be a useful tool to easily have transportation handy wherever you go. The biggest problem with them rears its head when you step off the board itself and are forced to carry it wherever you go, which can quickly become a chore. The Packer system eliminates this burden, and inevitably makes you look cool doing so.

The Packer system is comprised of the Packer itself, a bag that small enough to be unobtrusive but large enough to hold your essentials, and the Packer Risers. The Risers are special in that they are installed between the deck and trucks of a board to allow a strap to be connected, so that you can walk around with your board on your back as opposed to in your hands. You can order just the Risers and construct your own strap set-up for $19, or opt for the full set-up which will set you back $49. The company is looking for $30,000 to alleviate your skateboarding burdens by March 2015.

Tech Accessories

GoDrive lets your phone or tablet read microSD cards

The Achilles heel of most devices is their lack of storage. Even if we find ourselves in 2014 with SD cards that have incredible capacities, our smartphones and other device most likely don’t have more than 64GB — a paltry amount comparatively speaking. In addition, transferring these files from device to device is more of hassle than it should be.

The GoDrive wants to smooth that process out just a bit by offering an extremely portable USB micro SD card reader that works with your smart devices, GoPros, and even drones. To achieve this, the GoDrive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and micro USB connections so that you can easily manage up to 128GB of additional storage on-the-go.

The device’s portability will definitely come in handy, but just don’t go sticking your new toy everywhere without considering a USBCondom first. A donation of $16 will get you a GoDrive in August of 2015. Pilot Electronics, the company behind it, just needs $40,000 to get started.

Connected Objects Toys

Anura drones on about affordable portable aerial photography

Drones are our modern days kites. On a clear day, you can see any number of them whizzing around at the nearby park with kids and adults alike on the ground controlling them. They easily maintain interest and have slowly become more and more accepted, even if most of the time they can be bulky and pretty unwieldy. The folks at Anura want to make it easy to have some flight with you anytime with their Anura drone. It’s only slightly larger than a full size smartphone and weighs in at only 4oz, making it extremely portable to the point that you can place it in your pocket. Instead of a huge remote control, all users need is an iOS/Android phone to stream live images or video with its builtin Wi-Fi, and take advantage of features like one click auto-land and return home for easier use. Unfortunately, your fun will be limited to about 15 minute unless you’re carrying around a few interchangeable batteries, which kind of defeats the purpose. In any case, the Anura drone can be had by April 2015 for $195. The company has achieved their funding goal of $100,000.

Displays Tech Accessories

Minimax packs in the pixels in an add-on USB display

Anyone who has spent too many late hours leaned over a laptop screen knows the toll that the quality of the display can have on the eyes. Sencha Electronics have created the MiniMax to combat this very problem. The MiniMax is a portable, flat, lightweight 13” external display that is powered by USB and can plug into any device to offer higher quality visuals. With a 2560×1700 resolution and 239 PPI, the MiniMax is brighter and clearer than most standard laptop screens, meaning happier eyes for all. The Plug and Play feature isn’t device specific either, as the MiniMax functions with all Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms with a free USB slot.

The LCD screen is easy to pack up in a laptop bag or backpack and comes in a stylish clear housing to protect the display from scuffs and scratches. Sencha Electronics need $30,000 for assembly, quality assurance, and fulfillment costs. Interested consumers can get their MiniMax fully assembled for $329, delivered in February 2015. There are a lot of great options for additional portable displays, but MiniMax offers quality to put it above the competition. The only knock against it is that it may be a little late now that Apple’s Retina displays and the Microsoft Pro 3 offer built-in high DPI displays.

Tech Accessories

Nimbus light brightens up when dark clouds surface

The only real light source we constantly have on us is the LED on the back of our smartphones but that’s not entirely reliable as there are so many more parts of the phone constantly requiring precious energy to function. NIMBUS wants to become your go-to light source instead. The USB-powered light stick can be mounted on the edge of a book or the lid of an open laptop to give you the light you need to do what you need to do.

One could also take it along with you for those impromptu photo shoots, but the glaring lack of even the smallest of internal batteries will keep what should be an extremely portable product pretty useless unless you have a portable battery pack. At that point, though, it comes full circle — you might as well use your smartphone. NIMBUS just doesn’t do enough and what it does do, it doesn’t do too well. The $25 gadget is estimated for a December 2014 delivery.