IceScreen prevents your windshield from getting into a winter scrape

Winter sucks for many reasons, but a big one is the effect snow and ice have on your car. For those who need to park outside, scraping ice and brushing snow off of the windshield are a daily annoyance. In order to make this part of winter easier, the iceScreen magnetically attaches to your windshield overnight or during a snow storm. It covers the glass so that, when you’re ready, you can just whip it off and not have to scrub at your window. Made from super durable material, the iceScreen also folds up in a small bag that can be easily stored in the glove box. In the summer, just flip it over for sun reflection fun. One iceScreen goes for $20 on Kickstarter with a campaign goal of $20,000. This is one of those products that makes us wonder why no one had thought of it before. What an easy solution to ice hassle! The added perk of the sun reflector is nice too. All in all, a product that anyone who suffers through the four season will want to have.


Hot Cover clears the snow for a wintry dip in the outdoor spa

Hot CoverHot tubs are the perfect remedy for the winter blues. The only problem is that snow and ice on the cover can make those soothing hot dips hard to access. Hot Cover gives backers the chance to get into their tubs with ease. This heated cover uses insulated coils to melt any frosty debris on the tops of hot tubs. All of that heavy snow and ice goes away easily with this battery-operated system. One early Hot Cover costs backers a $199 donation or $299 at a regular price. The Hot Cover needs to raise $20,000 in its 27-day Indiegogo campaign.


Easy Throw Shovel enables tackling a snow job with one finger

The Premise. Shoveling snow can be deadly. Literally. People die every year while shoveling snow because of how sneakily strenuous it can be.

The Product. The Easy Throw Shovel is a snow shovel that uses leverage from the weight of the snow to activate the throwing arm. The shaft of the shovel is made out of wood and the lifting arm is made of aluminum with two small wheels on the bottom that touch the ground. The two are connected by a durable strap. When the snow is ready to be thrown, one must simply push down on the handle to activate the lifting arm.  The lifting arm also acts as a stand, allowing the shovel to remain upright on its own.

The Pitch. The Easy Throw Shovel’s Kickstarter campaign tells of how an aching back and leverage are responsible for the product’s conception. A helpful diagram shows the different parts of the Easy Throw Shovel and what they’re made of. The video features the shovel in action, along with proving that the shovel can bear a huge load by showing how it can throw weights around with ease. With Kickstarter, Easy Throw Shovel’s creator hopes to raise $72,000. The campaign is currently on hiatus but creator Christopher Lloyd Bush hopes to relaunch soon.

The Perks. The lowest price for an Easy Throw Shovel is $65 CAD, known as the “get the ball rolling special”. Donation tiers go all the way up to $500, but each tier only offers one Easy Throw Shovel. Estimated delivery is currently June 2014 for the shovels themselves, which, unfortunately, puts the shovels smack out of season for backers.

The Potential. Alternatives to the snow problem exist, but can get rather pricey. Snow blowers cost over $100 and tend to break easily. The Easy Throw Shovel is a truly neat invention, proving, once again, that electronics can’t always solve the problems that simple machines can. The Easy Throw Shovel uses leverage and pivot points to do twice the work that a normal shovel does. This product definitely has a place in the market amongst tired suburbanites at risk for heart attack upon shoveling with a regular old shovel. Even better, the Easy Throw Shovel was invented in Canada, probably one of world’s most authoritative countries on snow.

Winter Sports

Frostbite turns your limbs, lard into a human sled in five easy pieces

editors-choiceThe Premise.  Lots of folks want the fun of sledding, but not the lack of control over your sled’s downhill course or having to schlep said sled back up said hill, just to submit to gravity’s indifferent mercy once again. For those who don’t mind looking a little silly to alleviate this tradeoff, the ultimate sled may be themselves.

The Product.  The Frostbite is a collection of flexible sheets of plastic that strap to your hands, heels and hindquarters, allowing you to sled down a hill in a seated position, steer ( probably more just influence) your descent, and finally spring to your feet and run back up the hill without having to pick or carry a sled back up, or ever worry about falling off of it again, as you and the sled are united in perfect snow-strewn harmony.

The Pitch. The Frostbite’s creators demonstrate their product with what is mostly just a narrated product slide show interspersed with random graphics.  Claims are made that jumps tricks and spins can be done with the Frostbite, and are backed up with snippets of semi-trailers jumping dirt mounds and jets breaking the sound barrier; the latter one shall not achieve with Frostbite.  Although it does depict a smooth and fun sled run, after which the inventor seemed to have no problem popping right back up and running directly back up the slope, the one clip of the product in action is short and repeated about four times. The rest of the campaign page shows off design photos are literally snapshots of hand-drawn sketches and discusses things like die creation and pressing convex plastic in an extrusion process.

The Perks.  $25 gets a Frostbite, or $45 for a limited run that glows in the dark, for your night-time, glowing-butt sledding needs.  The inventor will throw his signature on most of the perks for an extra five bucks, just in case the Frostbite becomes the next pet rock, and he’s the next…guy that invented the pet rock.

The Potential.  The Frostbite is cleverly designed, reasonably priced, and made with safety and practicality, those best of intentions, in mind. But, snow tubes are almost free, regular sleds as low as $8, and steerable sleds start at $50­.  Also, none of these are named after painful potential side effects of winter exposure. Still, it’s one of the few sledding contrivances that one can pack away in a carry-on bag on route to your next destination for sliding snow fun.