16 Cool, Mostly Bike-Related Things From the Outdoor Retailer Show

Gear Shoes
15. Snow Peak’s new self-directing headlamp puts light where you’re looking

Functional prototypes of the Snow Peak Motil headlamp looked promising and worked well. The self-directing headlamps run on two AAA batteries and should be available by spring of 2014.

You know those fancy car headlights that look around corners to put light where you’re going next? That’s essentially the idea behind Snow Peak’s new vertically self-directing 2.5-ounce, 110-lumen Mola headlamp. Using a counterweight system they call “Optic Motility,” the beam aims itself up or down to where your eyes are looking rather than where your head is pointed—think automatic tilt adjustor. The $60 lamp hits stores in March of 2014. snowpeak.com

16. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages puts a brewery in your backpack

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages founder Pat Tatera holds a carbonator bottle in one hand and renderings of the packaging for his Black IPA beer concentrate in the other. In a couple months, he hopes to replace the drawings with a cold one.

In the first chapter of the Mountain Bike Bible—the Book of Tomac—Lord Nedly comes down from Durango and presides over a wedding between The Sport and The Quenching Nectar. From that moment forward mountain biking and beer were inextricably joined together as God intended. Problem is, a 12-pack weighs 10-and-a-half pounds, effectively limiting consumption to the very determined, and pre- or post-ride parking lot sessions. And while we’d never condone drinking and riding—or driving for that matter—having a few rounds at camp while bikepacking is actually recommended—you know, unless local, state or federal statutes of where you’re camping prohibit such.

In any case, a couple years ago, a good man named Pat Tatera got evangelical about things and came up with an on-the-spot carbonation system using a specially-designed 20-ounce bottle to mix powdered effervescent, beer concentrate and water, making on-demand backcountry beer. What’s more Tatera—a craft brew enthusiast—spent countless hours perfecting the mixture and claims his first two varieties—Pail Rail and Black IPA—are outstanding, though arcane Utah alcohol laws prevented verification of such. An American lager and nut brown ale are also in the works, and Tatera predicts many more additions over time.

Because the government didn’t know how to classify concentrated beer, it’s taken Pat several months to clear legal requirements. That done, and production starting, the concentrate should be available by year’s end.

You can get some practice now, however, by buying Pats’ starter kit ($36) which includes all the necessary parts and alchemy to make soda, which is already available in five flavors: root beer, lemon-lime, cola, pomegranate cola and ginger ale.

The soda kit will work with the beer concentrate as well, and when available, a four pack will go for a reasonable $9.95 and make 64-ounces, or a growler’s worth of beer.

A few words of warning—the concentrate comes in very portable energy gel-like packets, so you’ll need to be very careful when sorting your rations…or not, said every college kid everywhere. patsbcb.com

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About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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