Handcrafted in America by experienced craftsman Tuli Fisher, these Fisher Blacksmithing Garden Tools ($52) are part hand tool, part work of art. Whether you're into working in the earth, or just admire a well-made tool, they're definitely worth a look. From the rivets, to the dark-stained wooden handles, to the imperfectly hand-forged metal, these tools are a treasure to behold and work with. The line includes hoes, trowels, rakes, and more — everything you need to get a small garden going.
Just because you play it safe when riding your bike, doesn't mean you need to look like a nerd. So, ditch the weird, angular shapes, neon accents, and glossy plastic for something a bit different, the Lazer Sport Street Deluxe Woodgrain Helmet ($57). Despite its woodgrain shell, this helmet still protects like its less-stylish alternatives, and, thanks to sixteen vents, will keep your head cool. Includes a set of detachable pads so you can customize it for a comfortable fit.
There are few modern buildings more recognizable than the Sydney Opera House, with its shell rooftops, harbor views, and striking lines. The Lego Sydney Opera House ($320) does a remarkable job of recreating this 20th-Century architectural marvel in the form of a 11" by 25" by 15" model. Modular construction and new building techniques will keep you intrigued throughout the build. With nearly 3,000 bricks (including the largest blue-stud baseplate they've ever made and a wealth of dark tan bricks), this set is a worthwhile challenge for the most advanced lego builders. Available in September.
If you have a hard time reconciling your love for backyard barbecues with your sustainable mindset, then the SolSource Grill ($249) is here to ease your conscience. Not only is it environmentally-friendly, it's also a great grill — it heats up quickly and can cook a large meal in minutes. The average gas grill makes four times the emissions of your home stove, and a charcoal grill more than doubles that. This solar grill makes none, so your next cookout can be entirely guilt-free. Since it doesn't need charcoal or gas to work, you can use it miles away from anything, letting you cook great meals anywhere on the planet.
When you spend most of your time outdoors, there are few things more important than a good blade. The Joseph Bowen TAD Edition Micro Hatchet ($160) combines the small size of a knife with the tactical versatility of a hatchet into one useful cutting tool. In spite of its small size, it doesn't shy away from a serious task, thanks to a chisel-ground CTS-HXP steel blade. It includes a slip sheath designed to wear around your neck, making it as portable as it is stealthy.
It's no secret that gas prices are high, and it only looks like they're going to keep rising. But we still have to get to work — so if you can get over being the geek on the little green machine, the Rover Electric Scooter ($5,920) might be what you need. With a fully-electric, rechargeable motor, it has a range of 32 miles and a top speed of 33 mph. All-weather tires, a smartphone holder, lightweight aluminum construction, and LED lights make it a pretty versatile vehicle. Also available in black, white, and purple.
There's nothing like the convenience and ease of biking to work — you save on gas, avoid traffic, and it helps you stay in shape. But, there's nothing worse than the wet ass that comes from biking on a rainy day (and the jokes you get when you show up at the office). Ass Savers Emergency Mudguards ($11) solve that problem, and stop the ruthless jokes. These simple polyurethane tabs fasten beneath your seat, catching all the muddy, wet spray from your rear tire. They come in a range of bright colors, or black and white, and tuck underneath your seat when you don't need them.
Whether you're a hardcore survivalist, amateur woodsman, or somewhere in between, you never want to go too long without access to hot water. The SunRocket Solar Kettle ($67) takes the trouble out of heating or boiling water, whether you're looking to purify, melt snow, or cook a meal. It's small, so it fits conveniently in a pack, but it still holds 17 ounces. It can heat water in just 30 minutes, using only the power of the sun. Once you've heated it up, the kettle acts as a thermos, keeping water warm for hours.
Nothing quite says summer like a campfire in your backyard, but chopping wood, while satisfying, can be a laborious pain. The uniquely-designed Vipukirves Axes ($255) use leverage to separate sections of wood from the rest of the log, giving you perfectly-chopped pieces of firewood with less effort. The design also allows you to avoid getting the axe lodged in the log, so you can get the job done more quickly. A precision-cast blade and birch wood handle mean this tool is made to last, so you won't have to go back to a traditional axe and sledge any time soon.
We've seen a lot of open-source stuff out there — mostly software and hardware — but we've never seen an open-source eating utensil. As far as we know, the S.H.O.V.E.L. ($10) is the first of its kind. This spork is made from titanium, and includes your typical spoon and fork combo (call it a foon if you want), as well as a serrated edge for cutting and a bottle-cap opener, all wrapped in six feet of red paracord. Download the specs and CAD files from their website — hack it, change it, build your own. It's open-source, after all.
Whether you sell propane and propane accessories, or just prefer to taste the meat and not the heat, you'll want to grab a Truma Propane Levelcheck ($90). This handy little device uses ultrasound to check the level of the liquid gas left in your cylinder. The LED turns green if it senses liquid, and red if it senses none, so you can tell at a glance when it's time to refill. That means less time spent knocking on and shaking your propane tank, and more time spent on extracurricular activities, like enjoying a nice cold can of Alamo out back with the guys.
Leave it to the Dutch to design a bike that's perfect for urban commuting (they ride them every day). The Vanmoof 10 Electrified Bike ($2,640) is perfectly-suited to getting around town. A small motor in the front wheel, powered by a lightweight rechargeable battery, amplifies your pedaling power by 80%. Built-in GPS tracking lets you find your bike if it's lost or stolen, and design cues from the automotive industry — lightweight aluminum frame, mechanical disk brakes, automatic two-speed shifting — make it a pleasure to use. Available in November.