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Peak Design Blog

Posted on 01.15.2015 Under Blog, General, Inside Peak Design, Tradeshows

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Entering into 2015 we’ve managed to establish a decently impressive Kickstarter track record:

  • 4 successful projects since 2011
  • 13 individual products launched via Kickstarter
  • $2,260,691 in total funding
  • 25,911 backers
  • #101 and #110 on the list of the most funded projects all-timed

We’re not trying to get all gloaty on you, we’re just making the case that crowdfunding has enabled our company grow quickly and sustainably. It’s also kept things fun as hell. So fun that we’ve decided we need to do a better job of showing other folks how to build their business using Kickstarter.

Therefore, we’d like to announce that our Founder and CEO Peter Dering will be presenting a 1-hour short course on the ins and outs of building a successful brand through crowdfunding next week at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. If you’re lucky he might even share some of his fashion tips.

The seminar, which is part of the Outdoor University speaker series at OR, is called Kickstarted: Building an outdoor gear brand from scratch through Kickstarter. It’s going to cover our crowdfunding experience and best practices from soup to nuts. Here’s the deets:

  • Date: Thursday, January 22nd 2015
  • Time: 2pm – 3pm
  • Location: Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salons A-C
  • Event Page: http://n1b.goexposoftware.com/events/orw2015/goExpo/user/listSeminars.php?ci=40

Rough presentation agenda:

  • The Peak Design story – who we are and how we built our company.
  • Crowdfundability – Why crowdfund your business? How do you know if your idea is crowdfundable? How do you know if you are ready to launch? Is crowdfundable a real word
  • Kickstarter 101 – Best practices for your video, Kickstarter page, rewards setup, backer communication, buzz generation, and troubleshooting when things go wrong.
  • Post-Kickstarter – Getting your stuff out on time, and transitioning to retail. Also, tips for doing your 2nd (or 3rd, or 10th) Kickstarter campaign.

No need to register – it’s a free session for all those attending OR. Not going to be at OR? Don’t fret – we’ll hopefully record the session and post it up on our Youtube page. We’re also planning on adding a section to our website to share Kickstarter best practices.

Posted on 07.30.2014 Under Blog, Hot Press, Inside Peak Design

Folks who have known us for a long time also know that we’re not in the camera gear game to win trophies. We see and experience problems, we do our absolute best to solve them and we try and have a damn good time doing so. That being said, it always feels good when somebody recognizes your hard work. That’s why we’re proud to announce that Peak Design has won our first ever design award – the prestigious IDEA Silver Award – for the Capture Camera Clip v2.

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The IDEA Award (International Design Excellence Award) is one of the oldest and most respected product design awards in the world. They are awarded every year by IDSA (the International Designers Society of America). The awards apply only to consumer products that are presently available, meaning that they are being manufactured and sold to folks (i.e. not just great ideas on a napkin). Among the criteria used to choose winners are…

  • Innovation in design, experience and manufacturing
  • Benefit to the end user
  • Responsibility to the environment and society
  • Visual appeal and aesthetics
  • Design strategy and insights gained from design research

Capture v2, the revamped version of our original Capture Camera Clip, won the IDEA Silver for exemplifying the above criteria. This accolade carves out a tiny little spot for Peak Design alongside design leaders such as Tesla (makers of gorgeous electric sports cars), Nest (makers of revolutionary home thermostats) and Nike (you know what they do – they won in 2012 for their FuelBand fitness tracker). So yeah, we feel pretty darn great about ourselves right now.

 

Inside The Capture v2 Design Process

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Art Viger is our lead designer, which means he’s constantly measuring things with digital calipers.

It goes without saying that lots and lots of work went into designing Capture v2, especially when you zoom out and look at the objective problem we were trying to solve – namely that SLR cameras are a pain to carry. Hence, when we submitted our IDEA application, we spent considerable effort to tell our story as meaningfully and holistically as possible.

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Initial concept sketches for Capture v2, done by our lead designer Art Viger.

For a product based business like us, the process of boiling your product down into the specific value it presents to society is great way to reacquaint yourself with what it is you’re actually doing. Not that we think that we’ve ever veered too far off track, but it’s always good to take a step back and reflect on the underlying roots of our brand and our products.

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Refined product renderings and packaging concepts.

Putting together our IDEA application reinforced some key truths that have continually governed our business and our design process over the past four years:

  • At the heart of all of our products lies a passion. In Capture’s case, it’s a passion to document our adventures, our world and ourselves through photography and film.
  • Ubiquitous problems have diverse audiences. Cameras are hard to carry – that’s a big problem for a lot of people. When designing a one-size-fits-all solution to that problem, you’ve gotta take a wide range of needs into account.
  • You never get everything right on the first try. The story of Capture v2 started as soon as Capture v1 shipped out to our first wave of Kickstarter backers in 2011. Once people start using your product, you immediately learn how you can make it better. If you want to be a successful design company, you need to be comfortable with going back to the drawing board.

We thought you might be interested in checking out our full design award submission for Capture v2, so we made it publicly available here:

Peak Design 2014 Capture v2 Design Award Submission

Download it, read it, and tell us what you think! 

Posted on 06.30.2014 Under Blog, Hot Press, Inside Peak Design

Last weekend some gnarly shizzle happened, and we’re proud to say that Peak Design got right up in the mix. Behold, the 2014 Arc’teryx Alpine Academy:

This year Peak Design sponsored a couple of Alpine photography workshops – a classroom session taught by PD Pro Alexandre Buisse and an on-mountain overnight workshop taught by photographer and alpinist Peter Mathis. These photo workshops were the first to get booked up, so we knew we were in for a good time. Our friends at F-Stop Gear loaned us a couple of their brand new Loka UL packs for the trip too, which made for excellent ultralight companions in the demanding alpine environment.

We’ve got tons of great footage from the event, and we’re currently gathering, cutting and editing it all to make a sweet video for y’all. In the meantime, here are some shots of the fun…

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Clipped and ready to go. Peter and Stian awaiting the start of the Friday photo clinic. Peak Design provided CapturePRO units to most of the workshop participants, allowing folks to concentrate on their photography skills and not their backpack loading and unloading skills.

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The Friday photo clinic roping up to make a descent to the Refuge des Cosmiques.

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A small group from the Friday photo clinic moves across the glacier towards the Refuge des Cosmiques.

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A roped walkway provided access down from the Gondola to the Glacier.

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The Aiguille du Midi staging point looked like the secret lair of a super-villain. The Saturday clinic removing crampons and harnesses before making the descent via gondola to the valley floor.

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Clouds roll in as the Saturday workshop retreats back to Aiguille du Midi.

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Two French guides pose for an epic shot while traversing a ridge during the Saturday workshop.

Much more to come soon. Huge thanks to Arc’teryx for putting on a fantastic event!

Posted on 05.13.2014 Under Blog, Products

Pavel Richtr of OneFive distributes Peak Design gear in Czech Republic. That’s his day job, at least.

A Peak Design Cuff keeps Pavel's compact camera from biffing it on -40 degree snow in the Alaskan wilderness.
A Peak Design Cuff keeps Pavel’s compact camera from biffing it on -40 degree snow in the Alaskan wilderness.

In his spare time, Pavel is an extreme endurance biker. He scours the planet for the world’s diciest, most inhospitable environments, and then he goes and rides a bike through it. Be it mountain biking, fat biking though the snow or unsupported expedition biking in remote locations, Pavel has done it all.

On Feb 24, 2014 Pavel embarked on his most ambitious and downright scary race yet: the 1000-mile Iditarod
Trail Invitational, an epic trans-Alaskan trek following the entire route of the legendary Iditarod dog sled race. It’s the toughest and most dangerous winter race on the planet and during 13 years of its existence only 42 racers reached the finish.

Well, now 43. Pavel completed the race, enduring more than hundred-miles long stretches without any civilization, shelter and ways to get any food, more than 150 miles on the frozen Yukon river, 30 miles on Bering sea ice, extreme fatigue, sleep deprivation and permanent fear of aggressive moose and wolfs. All that in temps falling down to -50F. All that, while carrying 20 days of food, shelter and cooking supplies and (let the horn-tooting commence) a Peak Design Leash and Cuff. He made it in 12 days, 21 hours.

The photo gallery below (and accompanying captions from the mad man himself) chronicle Pavel’s trip. Not surprisingly, it sounded brutal. Highly worth a look and a read.

1. Food for 20+ days packed and sent to Eskimo villages. Everything including bars is cut to pieces so it’s edible when frozen.
2. Approaching Alaska Range toward mount of the Rainy pass.
3. Top of the pass, in the middle of Alaska Range.
4. Our checkpoint in the Alaskan Interior. It’s a heated tent so when it’s -40C, it’s like five star hotel, although it’s still freezing inside.
5. Dealing with overflow (open water) in the middle of night. Having thigh-high waders is a must sometimes.
6. Encountering remainders of Alaskan Gold Rush.
7. Inside the public safety cabin in the middle of 200 miles stretch
Fuel is slowly leaking on a table due to broken seal on fuel bottle. I’m woken to the table on fire in the middle night when another racer starts the stove. No way firefighters would have made it, we are in the middle of uninhabited 200 miles section.
8. Another cold but beautiful sunrise, after a very cold nigh out.
9. Frozen and tired selfie by the mile mark, shortly before I had to fix flat tire, which is not fun in -20C.
10. Probably the most mentally challenging part – 40 miles of frozen Bearing Sea (Norton Sound), facing brutal headwind all day with no shelter along the way.
11. Walking the Bearing Sea ice after being knocked down or turn around by the wind too many times.
12. Some more miles on the sea ice two day later. I definitely have enough od that.
13. City of Nome – selfie at the finish after 12 days 21 hours. I’m by myself, no cheering crowds. So glad it’s over, tears of joy and exhaustion.

Huge congrats to Pavel on this incredible accomplishment. On top of it all, you’re a fantastic distribution partner and we couldn’t imagine having a better ambassador of the Peak Design brand.

To connect with Pavel:

Website: pavelrichtr.cz
Facebook: facebook.com/pavel.richtr

Happy riding,
The PD Team

Posted on 04.30.2014 Under Blog, Inside Peak Design, Products

Cue the Weezer:

Okay, now pause that and check out the video below. The Peak Design team has temporarily setup office in the Steep Ravine campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park, CA.

1. We love California.

2. Less walls = more fun.

3. Our CapturePOV units are all wet now.

That’s all for now. If you happen to be floating through the area, stop and say hi. Also, please bring food.

Posted on 03.28.2014 Under Blog, Sweet Deals

GET OUT FB POST 4

What happens when 7 outdoor gear makers get together in the springtime? The answer is a new kind of March Madness – one where you win a pile of beautiful gear instead of losing a pile of money.

GET OUT SPRING GIVEAWAY HAS BEGUN

On Friday, April 4th, we’ll be giving away $2000 in gear from a not-so-shabby lineup of brands. You’ve got until then to sign the heck up. The prize package consists of products from highly respectable gear makers like, ahem, Arc’teryx, Huckberry, Goal Zero, United by Blue, Boreas, and Sunski. And of course, us.

ENTER NOW: http://bit.ly/pdspring

Signup is free and easy – no hoops to jump through, no catch, just a pile of sweet, sweet gear-candy. A gear-ful of gossip. A big bucket-o-extra-crispy gear-battered chicken. Is anybody still reading this?

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If you really want to win this thing, you can up your chances by scratching the social media backs of the brands involved. After you signup, share the special link you’re given. For every person who signs up with your link, you’ll get an automatic 5 extra entries. How bout them apples?

Once again, to enter just go here: http://bit.ly/pdspring

Best o’ luck!

Posted on 03.19.2014 Under Blog, Sweet Deals

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What do you do when you find out that your friends are having party, and that party is something you’ve been wanting to throw for a long time, and the guest list is full of other people who you’ve been dying to party with? The answer is obvious. You weasel your way into that party, get into the middle of the dance circle and you get busy. That’s why when Huckberry & Friends announced the Huckberry Explorer’s Grants, we had to get funky up in that house.

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The idea behind these grants is simple and fantastic. Huckberry, curators of high-quality outdoor gear and clothing, wants to pay homage to the adventurers out there who have helped their business grow. So they brought together a unique set of outdoor gear brands – PD now included – and set out to find 3 incredible adventures to fund. That’s where you come in.

How It Works:

1. Email explorers@huckberry.com, and tell them about one adventure that you’ve always wanted to go on. Want to ride the Great Divide? Kayak Alaska’s fjords? We want to help you do it. Please keep your entry to 150 words or less, and obviously, the more thoughtful the entry, the better.

2. Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year Alastair Humphreys will select three winners.

3. If you win, you’ll receive $1,000 cash towards the adventure, and a bunch of rad gear from Topo Designs, Poler, Nemo, Goal Zero and Peak Design.

4. The winners’ adventures will be featured on the Huckberry Journal to keep the inspirational karma loop going.

You have until the end of March to summarize your wildest dreams in 150 words or less. For more details visit the contest homepage.

 

Participating Brands

Get your drool bucket out. Here are the brands who will be sponsoring the winners of this contest with sweet, sweet gear:

  • Goal Zero: Portable, durable solar gear. Thanks to these guys we can take our office anywhere.
  • Poler: Bags and clothing that give you camp vibes.
  • Topo Designs: Just about the raddest gall darn bags you done ever seen.
  • Nemo: High-quality, lightweight tents, shelters and sleeping bags.
  • Peak Design: Whatever your adventure is, we’ll make sure you get pictures and video to make your friends jealous.

 

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Posted on 02.25.2014 Under Blog, Products, Tradeshows

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Ahoy, happy shooters. We’ve got some big fat fancy fun news for you. We’re goin’ to WPPI. Here’s the deets:

  • Location: Las Vegas, NV, at the MGM Grand Hotel
  • Dates: March 3-5
  • Peak Design Booth: 1130
  • Get a FREE PASS from Peak Design: Right here, baby.

That’s right. Peak Design – the company with the website full of pictures of people scaling mountains and shredding gnarlicious pow-mein – is going to a giant wedding and portrait photographers show. Why?

New Think Tank Belt Bundles

New for WPPI will be a couple of Peak Design bundles that include the Think Tank Pro Speed camera belt. These bundles will be aimed at folks in the wedding/portrait world who a) tend to like big rigs and b) probably aren’t wearing a backpack while they’re shooting. If the bundles do well at the show, we hope to start selling them in the Peak Design store as well. So please, stop in and give these bundles a try. Already a Think Tank + Capture user? Post a comment down below and tell us how it works for you.

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We’ll be offering bundles for single and dual camera users. And we’ll be offering show-special pricing for attendees!

Peak Design has a very specific mission – to let you do anything and go anywhere with your camera. But that mission doesn’t just apply to Alpinists and SkiBoarders. It applies to anybody who has big, clunky photography equipment they need to lug around. Enter the wedding and portrait photographer.

You’ve got a big nasty camera. No wait, looks like you actually have two. And between them you’ve got 3 lenses. Oh wait, that’s just what’s in your bag. You’ve got another 2 in your backpack and one in the trunk of your car – heck, those ones are such a pain in the butt to get to that you never use ‘em anyway. And you’re on your feet all the time. Wait, now your crouching. Okay, feet again… no, wait, you’re standing on your tiptoes on the lip of a fountain trying to get every last inch of a 25-foot wedding dress tail in your viewfinder. And now you’re jogging. You’re the top source of entertainment for anybody at this wedding who’s too young to take advantage of the open bar.

If you think that Mountain-Dew-crushing-extreme-adventure-bros are the only people who need help carrying their photo gear, think again. And if you think that’s what we think, think again. And if you haven’t thought about it yet, think about it twice.

Teach Us The Biz, Por Favor

More so than anything, we’re coming to WPPI to learn more about what we can do to solve the needs of wedding and portrait photographers. We think we’ve got a great solution for you folks – we’ve been recommending and testing Capture with Think Tank Belts for years, particularly with folks like Juliet Lemon, Simon Pollock and John Rourke on our Pro Team. But we can always afford to learn more, and we always look forward to connecting face-to-face with passionate photographers. See you in Vegas!

Posted on 12.13.2013 Under Blog, Sweet Deals

Please join us in congratulating the winner of our seriously insane collection of photo and outdoor gear…

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MIKE SALMON

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Mike Salmon, you just won $1800 in sweet sweet gear. You lucky son of a gun, you.

Didn’t win? Well it just so happens that our friends are in the middle of giving away TONS of other gear – cameras, bags, tripods, and PD gear included – RIGHT NOW:

AND ABOUT THEM PRIZES… do you not recalling us saying loud and clear that everybody entering 8 Crazy Nights will win a prize? You didn’t forget that, did you? Good. We’ll here’s the deal…

Contestants not appearing on stage (well, I guess just everybody who entered 8 Crazy Nights) will soon receive The Crazy-Ass Gift Guide, a collection of exclusive holiday coupons and discounts from the following brands:

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Yup, that’s right. Each and every brand that gave away SICK prizes is also giving each and every one of you a great discount on their products. So if you had your eye on any one of the items featured, now is your chance to purchase it for a heck of a deal. Whether you’re doing some late-in-the-season holiday shopping or you’re looking to stock up your own collection, now is your chance.

The gift guide will be sent out via email tonight, sometime before 9pm CT.

Oh, and if you missed the giveaway altogether, we’re still going to let you signup just to receive the gift guide. That’s how nice we are.

Happy shooting, happy shopping, and happy holidays to you all!

- The PD Team

Posted on 12.12.2013 Under Blog, Sweet Deals

NIGHT 7 WINNER:

436227peh2tec0nscard Animated Gif Fire (104) KEITH BROCK Animated Gif Fire (104)card436227peh2tec0ns

Congrats Keith, you won an F-Stop Kenti, along with tons of other delectable gear! And with that, WE NOW TURN TO THE PRIZE TO END ALL PRIZES. The big bopper. The whole shebang. The kit and caboodle. THE BEEF.

[ENTER GIVEAWAY NOW]

Before we get into the contents of the grand prize, we just want to reiterate that we’ll be sending out our Crazy-Ass Gift Guide on the evening of December 13th, and it will include exclusive coupons and discounts for every single brand participating in this promotion. And we’re not talking about Sunday circular coupons. We’re talking real. Exclusive. Deals. Just for people who entered this giveaway. You want it, trust us.

Here we go…

PRIZE PACKAGE #8: MIND BLOWING GRAND PRIZE

Giveaway date: Friday, December 13th at 5pm CT. Total package value: $1972.

WARNING: EVERYTHING YOU SEE BELOW IS INCLUDED IN THE GRAND PRIZE. THIS WILL POTENTIALLY BLOW YOUR MIND.

 

EVERYTHING PEAK DESIGN MAKES, PLUS A PD HOODIE ($290)

Hopefully you’re familiar with Peak Design gear if you’re entering this giveaway. From left to right, we’ve got CapturePRO, Capture, Leash, Cuff, PROpad and POV Kit

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But wait, because you’re a grand prize winner and we want you to look good:

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That’s right, the coveted PD Hoodie with our new Peak Reflection screen-printed design. Boom.

 A SIGNED COPY OF SHAKE BY CARLI DAVIDSON (PRICELESS)

SHAKE THE BOOK

 

Peak Design Pro Team Member Carli Davidson is a world-renowned pet photographer. She lives in Portland and has tattoos and she’s awesome.  She also just released this highly-acclaimed book called SHAKE – full of over a hundred photos of pups shaking themselves dry. Totes adorbs.

 

1 YEAR OF SMUGMUG PORTFOLIO ($150)

SmugMug Portfolio is the level of SmugMug service aimed at photographers who are seriously looking to step up their game when it comes to their online presence. Full e-commerce capabilities, SEO optimization, and tons of beautiful customizable layouts to work with.

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The grand prize will include an entire year of FREE SmugMug Portfolio Plan.

 

TRIGGERTRAP REDSNAP PLATINUM KIT ($240)

Triggertrap became famous by letting us use our iPhones to trigger our cameras in new ways. Well Redsnap is taking it to a whole new level, and the Redsnap Platium Kit is the creme-de-la-creme of camera triggers. Behold their Kickstarter video for Redsnap:

The Redsnap Platinum package includes the Redsnap base triggering unit, a high-speed light sensor, PIR sensor, high-speed laser sensor, sound sensor, flash adapter, and connection cables for your camera and smartphone. To learn more about this insane piece of camera tech, visit their Kickstarter Page.

 

GORUCK GR-1 FIELD POCKET ($75)

The younger sibling to the GR-1 rucksack that we gave away on day 2, the GR-1 Field Pocket is the perfect organizational companion in any pack, camera bag or suitcase.

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Inside the bag are pockets and compartments for holding whatever bits of digitalia you don’t want running loose. Holds at least 3 cans of beer.

GOAL ZERO SHERPA 50 SOLAR KIT ($360) AND SWITCH 8 USB CHARGER ($40)

That’s right, we’re giving away the same Sherpa 50 complete solar kit that we gave away on night 6, PLUS the Switch 8 USB charger for a total value of $400!

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The Sherpa 50 gives you the power to charge a laptop, tablet, smartphone or camera battery, and the Switch 8 gives you the added benefit of having an ultra-portable charger for your smartphone when you’re on the go. It’s truly a complete solar package.

CINETICS CINE SKATES SYSTEM ($300)

The Optimus Prime of camera dollies. The Cineskates system includes everything you need to take incredibly smooth pro-quality video with your DSLR:

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Includes is the GorillaPod Focus (Left), BallheadX (Left), 3 CineSkates wheels (Left) and the SkatePlate (Right).

THINKTANK PROSPEED CAMERA BELT ($42)

Another well-build, well-designed piece of gear from ThinkTank Photo, the moment you put on the the ProSpeed belt you’ll realize it was made for photographers, by photographers.

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The ideal Capture companion for folks with large lenses and battery grips, the ThinkTank ProSpeed belt is the centerpiece in ThinkTank’s large line of modular camera carrying pouches and bags.

FORTIFIED BIKE ALLIANCE AFTERBURNER BIKE LIGHT ($60)

A stealthy, mean-ass bike light that make the Batmobile look like a 1992 Ford Aerostar.

Afterburner Skyline

The Afterburner is a USB-rechargable 60-lumen tail light that has a solid aluminum casing and is virtually theft-proof.

 

HANDLEBAND BY NITE IZE ($20)

The bicycle iPhone mount that will not disappoint you one bit.

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It mounts your smartphone directly onto the handlebars of your bike. And it does it without any cheap-ass PVC plastic parts or dorky-looking harnesses that are designed to fit Motorola StarTac flip phones. It’s made out of resilient stretchy silicon overmolded onto a machined aluminum core.

 

INOVA (BY NITE IZE) USB-RECHARGE TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT ($120)

Nite Ize brings you pro-quality gear that will stand up to the rigors of life. Enter the $120 tactical grade Inova T3R:

T-Series

Precision engineered from aerospace grade aluminum, its body is machined from solid bar stock, with a hard coat anodized black finish and aggressive knurling pattern for secure grip. It’s a Maglite on steroids.

 

That’s is. This is your last chance. Enter the giveaway now for a chance to win this insane booty of gear.

Also, this is your last chance to signup for the Crazy-Ass Gift Guide, which will be going out on the 13th! Good luck to all!