Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Outdoors

Volksleisure T5 campervan

After more than a decade of avoiding the ever-popular Volkswagen van conversion, U.K. campervan specialist Wellhouse Leisure has released its first VW T5 camper. The camper van seamlessly transforms between living and hauling configurations thanks to an electric rear bench that slides forward to open up space in the rear.  Read More

The CR-1 Carbon is 35 feet long and nearly 10 feet high

In today's world, we're surprised to see a high-end supercar that doesn't include a bunch of carbon fiber in its design. Despite prices that can be just as high-end, the material is far less common in the camper/RV market. A few designs we've covered, like the XPCamper, have carbon fiber on their spec sheets, but it's not something you run into all over the place. In introducing a big, glossy black-carbon bus trailer that it calls the "world's first all-carbon fiber RV," Global Caravan Technologies brings a heap of carbon fiber to the market all at once.  Read More

The Baobed treehouse, by French designers Baobed

We've seen many structures that offer shelter while hanging from tree branches over the years, but the Baobed treehouse adds some extra versatility to the equation. The portable capsule is designed to allow one person, or two very close friends, to hang from a tree or camp on the ground.  Read More

The new Tension comes in two- and three-person models

Tent poles have to be one of the most hated types of sports equipment in the world. They represent the long, difficult process of setting that huge, overly complex base camp tent up at quarter to midnight. If you're really unlucky, they get twisted and knotted into an unkempt pile or break in the middle of the night. One tent manufacturer has identified an interesting way of eliminating a few of those poles, trading the multi-prong tent pole system for a tent body with integrated elastic cord in a design aimed at saving weight and hassle.  Read More

Climb Up! has constructed a test boulder that is 16 feet high (5 m) high

You no longer need a mountain or sheer cliff face to enjoy the thrill and challenge of technical climbing. Rock gyms have sprouted up across cities and suburbs around the world, providing a climbing option for those that don't have access to mountains. These gyms don't usually look anything like real rock, but a German company has a plan to construct climbing "mountains" out of an artificial material that it says looks and feels like the real thing.  Read More

Dreamscience and Jamie Barrow take snowboarding horizontal

Motor power can make already crazy, awesome adrenaline sports even crazier and … awesomer. Just look at designs like the Gnarboard and Jetboard. Unfortunately, filling a garage with various forms of motorized gear could quickly bankrupt a professional sports star. If an experimental thrusting system from UK-based Dreamscience Propulsion makes it to market, it could save some of those dollars by rolling the fun of several types of motorized boards into one device. The electric propulsion system lends motor-muscle to skiing, surfing, paragliding and beyond.  Read More

Lynx plans to put the Internet-connected Smart Grill on the market in 2015

Spring is in the air, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. The temperatures have warmed; the snow has melted; flowers are blooming; and the smell of beef sizzling outdoors is once again teasing our noses. For many enthusiasts, grilling is as much a relaxing pastime as it is a household chore, but for those that might view it more as the latter, one grill manufacturer is planning an easier future. The voice-activated design of the Lynx Smart Grill lets you do more grilling from the comfort of your deck chair.  Read More

The latest Outdoor Tech wireless speaker

Outdoor Tech is no stranger to the world of crowd funding. It's used Kickstarter to get past products like the Turtle Shell speaker off the ground. Now it's back with a bigger version of the Turtle that it calls, quite simply, the BIG Turtle Shell. This speaker brings more sound to the park and beach and packs enough power to double as a portable charger.  Read More

The Mokai ES-Kape

Designed to give sportsmen and outdoor explorers a motor-powered means of reaching more distant waters, the MOKAI ES-Kape is an innovative boat with an integrated jet drive system. It eliminates the need for trailers and racks by breaking into three pieces that nest inside each other, allowing it to fit inside an SUV.  Read More

Aesent's 4-man tent features an inflatable base

Inflatable tents are nothing new, with offerings such as the Wedge, the Cave and the Kelty Mach 6 built around inflatable frames to speed up pitching times. But Utah-based start-up Aescent is turning things upside down with its four-man domed tent that features an inflatable mattress built into the base to provide a comfortable place to rest your weary bones after a day's hiking.  Read More

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