Category: Gear Junkie

Gear We Love: ENO Upcycled Dog Collar & Leash

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GEAR WE LOVE:
ENO Upcycled Dog Collar & Leash
by Eagles Nest Outfitters

Longtime ASJ supporter Eagle’s Nest Outfitters, the company known for high quality backpacking hammocks, is now making dog collars and leashes from upcycled webbing.

A true repurposing story, ENO’s dog collar and leash are made from leftover materials used in making hammock straps. Utilizing what was a 5-7% loss, the company has reduced their carbon footprint while making a durable and comfortable product for dogs.

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“It’s always nice to reuse and repurpose materials that ordinarily would be discarded,” said ENO general manager Lane Nakaji. “And we love dogs.”

Two brothers who originally sold products out of their van started ENO in 1999. Today ENO hammocks are available in nearly 750 outdoor specialty stores across the nation including REI. For more information on the upcycled dog collars, leashes and hammocks, check out www.enonation.com.

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The Gear Junkie — Skora Running Shoes

Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Asics. . . the big boys used to be the only option when you stepped into a store in search of running shoes. No longer. These days, a mega-trend of footwear that is more minimal and “barefoot style” has pushed dozens of new brands into the spotlight.

This month, I tested one of the more unusual new players. The brand, Skora Inc. of Portland, Ore., offers shoes unlike anything seen a few years back.

Skora (www.skorarunning.com) has just two shoe models, including the futuristic Base and the fashion-oriented Form, the latter which is a lace-up shoe made with goat leather.

Both are expensive ($125 and up) and hold a “zero-drop” midsole design as a hallmark. That means there is no rise in the shoe from the toes to the heel area, something the footwear industry now regularly promotes as offering a “more natural” running experience.

Scant …

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NuVinci Bike Transmission

With a simple twist of the wrist, the promotional materials read, you can shift this bike in a way that’s “as easy as adjusting the volume on a radio.”

As bike-industry marketing speak goes, the “radio” analogy was about as weird as I’d seen. But this month, while riding a new bike from Jamis called the Commuter 4, I could see the connection.

The shifting on this city bike does not involve traditional gears. Instead, something called the NuVinci N360 transmission adds and subtracts resistance as you pedal for power and speed.

As the company explains it, the NuVinci N360, which is made by Fallbrook Technologies, is neither a derailleur system nor an internally-geared drivetrain. It is a unique system that uses a set of large ball bearings inside a rear-wheel hub.

No gear cassette is required to “change gears.” Instead the internal bearings rotate off each other in …

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Fat Bike Trend

It was a frozen day in 2006 when I first swung a leg over the frame of a fat bike. Back then these large-tire bikes were made only by custom frame-builders who liked to pedal in snow and a single Minnesota brand, Surly Bikes, which mass-produced the first notable bike in the “fat” genre with its Pugsley frame.

Wide rims, extra-large tires, and weirdly-dimensioned frames to make it all fit together define a fat bike, a cycling subcategory that’s garnered a serious following now in 2012.

Bike shops report selling out of fat-bike stock. Brand managers at Surly and Salsa Cycles, another fat-bike maker, have told me demand this year has overwhelmed supply.

What is the appeal? From improved traction on dirt to flotation when riding through snow, the obese tires let a bike roll where it has not rolled before.

The wide rubber — 4+ inches across, or …

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Omnijore Dog Harness System



I
f my dog had a mantra it might be “Run free and pull!” He’s a brute, a 100-pound Weimaraner with a big chest and a propensity to get ahead on the leash and tug.

A new kit from dog-gear company Ruff Wear was made for energetic dogs like mine. The Omnijore Joring System, $149.95, comes with a dog harness, a tow line, and a belt for the human to wear for “dog-powered” sports like ski-joring and canicross.

Indeed, beyond dog sledding there exists a whole sphere of dog-pulling sports. The Omnijore system was made to be a one-size-fits-all kit to equip dogs and their owners looking to get into the wonderful world of “Run free and pull.”

For years, custom dog harnesses have been available from small shops. Ruff Wear (www.ruffwear.com) brings the niche product to a bigger commercial level. You pick between a small, medium or large kit, …

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