Airboard - Eagles Nest Hammock - Prism Design Kites

03.8.07


Adult Toys

A few weeks ago we went to the largest outdoor gear show in America. The glossies may drool over the latest bling in backpacks, jackets, and tents, but we came back with some cool new toys that update the classics. And, like all Weekend Sherpa editorial, it’s not paid advertising. Here’s our best of show.


Air Luge

We like strapping on our skis or snowboard just as much as the next person, but sometimes we just want to bomb down a mountain face-first on our stomach. That’s where the Airboard comes in. Those daredevil Swiss developed this inflatable sled, which rockets you down a slope as you steer by shifting your weight from left to right. It’s light and flexible, so you can take it on a winter backcountry hike and enjoy sweet powder sledding. Just be sure to pick a clear, treeless run—and wear a helmet. Even the Evel Knievel of the snow needs a little protection.

Classic 130, $279.00; www.airboard.com.


Hammock 2.0

No longer are hammocks just a standard part of the beachside resort scene. Eagles Nest Outfitters has taken the traditional rope-sewn swinger and completely rethought it. All of their hammocks are made from super-strong yet lightweight parachute material, so they’re sturdy, comfortable, and versatile. We like their 22-ounce DoubleNest. You can string this ‘chute on a Golden Gate Park picnic or on a multiday wilderness adventure. No more tossing and turning on the damp, hard ground after a long day of trekking. And since it compresses to the size of a grapefruit, it’s a sweet pack-in for wherever your journeys take you.

DoubleNest, $59.95; www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com.


Quantum Leap

Prism Designs of Seattle offers a premium line of brightly colored stunt and power kites. They all weigh next to nothing, pack easily, and set up nicely. We especially like the Quantum. This sport kite comes with two lines, which lets you do wild dips and moves—after a little practice. (It took us a few tries to get untangled beyond the nosedive.) Once you’ve got the steering down—and have found an easy breeze—you’ll be flying high.

Quantum, $89.99; www.prismkites.com.

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