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Best Products of 2016: Outdoors

Go anywhere. The best techie outdoor gear of 2016 makes it possible

best products of 2016 outdoors vibram arctic grip product v4
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Winner
Vibram Arctic Grip

Let’s get some cold, hard facts out of the way – ice is slippery, wet ice is even more slick, and falling comes with a high probability of pain, if not injury. Yes, some epic slips have made the news and even gone viral, and that’s because trying (and failing) to keep our footing on ice is a commonly shared human experience.

Until now, we’ve tried to hack ice motility by either adding metal hardware to our footwear, or by trading our shoes and boots in for a pair of skates. Vibram changes the game this year with its Arctic Grip outsole technology with a rubber compound that literally grips to wet ice.

Vibram holds its trade secret very close to its chest, but did share that compound is made of a unique polymer blend coupled with an advanced filler system and a new processing technique. When paired together with the company’s Icetrek material, which is engineered to stick to dry ice, shoes with Arctic Grip soles are the best you can buy for all icy conditions.

Despite the ever-growing number of unique innovations in the outdoor space, Arctic Grip is a shoe-in for our gear of the year award because it’s a technology that not only benefits the hardcore outdoorsperson on a winter hike, but anyone who’s experienced a sketchy moment walking on an icy driveway, parking lot, or sidewalk.

The wide applications of keeping your footing while on ice are apparent from the brands that now feature Vibram’s Arctic Grip. Offerings from Saucony are for runners; Merrell, CAT, and Wolverine make boots for more serious outdoor needs; and Hush Puppies and Sperry are for more casual and fashionable occasions.

We live for the gear that shaves precious ounces off your pack weight, or a new technical material that keeps you warmer and dryer without harming the environment, but no other product innovation this year is more useful to everyone, outdoorsy or not, living in a wintery climate than Vibram Arctic Grip. Plus, it’ll save you from achieving internet notoriety if you happen to be on the news.

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COLUMBIA OUTDRY EXTREME ECO
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Best Products of 2016 OutdoorsRunner up
Columbia OutDry Extreme Eco

The waterproof shell is a staple of every outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe, and before OutDry Extreme Eco, every piece of rain-slicking, breathable garb you could buy used PFCs to impart water repellency. OutDry Ex Eco is different; it has all the benefits of OutDry Extreme without any of the downsides. The first jacket offered with this new magical membrane is pure white – completely free of dye – which saves 13 gallons of water per jacket, and the fabric is made from 21 recycled bottles. For true lovers of the outdoors in every sense of the word, OutDry Ex Eco is the future.

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PATAGONIA HYBRID SLEEPING BAG
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Best Products of 2016 Outdoors

Runner up
Patagonia Hybrid Sleeping Bag

Every alpinist knows the saying, “it’s every ounce that counts” and Patagonia’s first foray into the outdoor gear world is the Hybrid Sleeping Bag that weighs just 17.3 ounces. While half bags, or “elephant’s foot” sleeping bags aren’t a new concept, Patagonia brought its expertise to the table with design elements refined over numerous generations of down parkas. Where half-bags leave you exposed above-waist, Patagonia’s offering uses its Houdini fabric for an outer shell that’s windproof and repels water. Sometimes it’s not about being first, it’s about being best.

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Whew! Rough year. Fortunately, we got some amazing tech out of it. Digital Trends’ expert editors picked the most amazing gadgets in their respective categories, then convened as a panel to pick the one that towered above them all. Join us every day between now and Jan. 1 as we recap our favorites, and build up to the big Best of 2016 reveal!
Marcus Yam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Marcus entered tech media in the late '90s and fondly remembers a time when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI…
Jackery graduates from pioneer to sustainable master with latest launch
Jackery 2000 Plus used outdoors while camping

This content was produced in partnership with Jackery.
In 2012, at a critical time when sustainability efforts were ramping up everywhere, Jackery was born. The prevailing vision behind its creation was to provide accessible green energy to everyone. Years later, in 2016, Jackery launched the world's first outdoor-friendly portable power stations, and soon after, introduced the world's first portable solar panels. They would change many lives for the better but also transform an entire market that's now dedicated to green, sustainable energy solutions. Today, over 11 years later, Jackery is still going strong, and getting ready to launch one of its most advanced products to date, the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus.

Ideal for outdoor applications, portability, and emergency backup usage, the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus delivers some incredible features that honor Jackery's original mission -- "to make green energy accessible anytime and anywhere". More importantly, it offers safe and reliable power independence for all, thanks to a combined software and hardware defense system, which we'll explore in more detail below, and industry-leading fast-charge technology to get you working, playing, or back in the game as quickly as possible.
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Advanced technology for a better anywhere experience

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From $500 to $210: This Segway electric scooter is $290 off for Prime Day
segway hoverboard scooter black friday deals amazon max

Gas is getting expensive. All around the world people are exploring alternative transportation methods that are cheaper, better for the environment, and more fun. One method that has exploded recently is the electric scooter. E-scooter ride share apps have descended on cities. If you've tried one out and want to get your own, Prime Day deals provide a great opportunity to snag one for cheap. Right now the Segway Ninebot Electric Kickscooter is down to just $210 from its usual price of $500. That's over 50% off! It's also the lowest price it has ever been. Before this, the cheapest it's ever been is $295. Read more about the scooter below, then check out the deal yourself before Prime Day is over.

Why you should buy the Segway Ninebot Electric Kickscooter on Prime Day
Segway is most famous for the two-wheeled balancing devices that got popular in the mid-2000s. They were seen as futuristic and a bit goofy. They never really took off, and the similar but less goofy (if more unstable) hoverboards were the devices that blew up (figuratively and literally). Today we see Segways mostly in science fiction movies and on city sightseeing tours. They were discontinued in 2020.

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EV Flash Sale: Save on e-bikes, e-mopeds, and even e-go karts
The Aventon Aventure e-bike ridden at night.

Interest in e-bike deals has steadily been growing as the technology behind these electric vehicles have improved by leaps and bounds. E-bikes, as well as e-mopeds and e-go karts, are increasing in popularity because they can let you get to your destinations quickly -- faster than using a regular bicycle, and possibly also quicker than cars because they can weave through traffic. The good models are understandably expensive, but fortunately there are discounts that you can take advantage of. Here are some of the top offers that you can shop right now, but you'll have to hurry because these probably won't last long.
Segway Ninebot KickScooter F30 -- $400, was $650

The Segway Ninebot KickScooter F30 is an electric scooter that offers a maximum range of 18.6 miles and a top speed of 15.5 miles per hour. There are three riding modes for you to choose from: Eco, Standard, and Sports, all of which are accessible through its LED dashboard. The Segway Ninebot KickScooter F30 also comes with a regenerative braking system that collects energy to give you a boost when needed, and compatibility with the Segway Ninebot app for functions such as monitoring your riding status, locking the electric scooter, and upgrading its firmware, among others.

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