We saw a lot of gear at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Here’s the gear we thought deserved awards.
Each year we travel to the National Hardware Show as an official media partner to award six awards for the most innovative gear we can find. Why a hardware show? Because the fact of the matter is that a lot of people (us included), end up hitting big box home and garden stores for camping gear. Not everyone has an REI down the street, and a lot of the things we use camping can be found at the hardware store. We checked out a lot of cool gear at the show, but these six stood out to us.
CAMPING ESSENTIALS AWARDS
We often get questions about charging laptops at the campsite. People are looking for a portable solution, and the Goal Zero 100AC gets it done. It has a 100 Wh battery and only weighs two pounds. It’s the smallest battery they’ve ever made that has a 110V outlet, and for some campers or people who work in the field, it’s a great solution to that problem.
We were already big fans of Generac generators. They’re the quietest on the market, and we wish that it’s what everyone used at the campground. If they’re in econ mode you can barely hear anything from twenty feet away. The reason we awarded the Generac GP 3000i this year is because they’re adding carbon monoxide detectors to their generators. It’s a new technology that detects carbon monoxide build-up much faster that traditional sensors. If the level is too high it shuts down.
Kids have always liked to climb things, and Slackers has been meeting the demand with products like the Ninjaline and Zipline. The new Slackers Tree Climbers take climbing to a new height by allowing you to add climbing hand holds to any tree. If you don’t have room for a climbing wall your little monkeys can get their fix with six handholds that allow them to get up into any tree. Add a Ninjaline and you’ve just completely transformed your backyard with ease.
The Casus Grill is an eco-friendly, biodegradable grill, that you can bring anywhere. It’s made from cardboard and bamboo, and it kicks out 600F for an hour. You don’t need any lighter fluid to start it, and it burns without flames and has minimal smoke. If we hadn’t seen steak cooking on one we wouldn’t have believed it. It’s a great option for casual grillers who don’t want to deal with hauling a grill around (no matter how small).
EDITORS CHOICE AWARDS
There are a lot of waterproof, bluetooth speakers on the market. The WOW Sound Speaker is the first one we’ve seen that is actually designed to float in the water. The sound quality was great, and the 50 hour battery life will keep the party going all weekend. The bottom of the speaker fits perfectly into a beverage holder on any inflatable, making it even more versatile. The 360 LED lamp also comes in handy when the sun goes down (and the music goes up).
We liked a lot of things about the new Kysek K12 kayak, but two things stood out. First, the catamaran hull is stable enough to stand and fish. That extra stability also comes in handy when moving around in the kayak or landing fish. Second, the included accessories make it a solid value. It comes with a custom fit dry bag and a Kysek ice chest so you can bring everything you need for a day of paddling.