I've been down at the Outdoor Retailers trade show in Salt Lake City for the last couple days. It's a big trade show where industry types get together to do business, scmooze, and drink a lot of beer. I sold whitewater kayaks for a few years and managed to get my name in the database so even though I'm not a reatiler anymore I still can get a pass. It's fun and there's always interesting stuff to see. Here are a few things that got my attention:
Cricket Trailer: http://crickettrailer.com/
This is a small, lightweight pop-top camper that was designed by a fellow that does consulting work for NASA, designing moon and space habitats. It's definitely funky looking but is incredibly appealing inside. I'm over 6 ft tall and it was very comfortable and accommodating. It's also incredibly expensive at around $17K. But it's a prototype - if he were to license the design to somebody like Coleman and the price dropped to something around $10K it might make sense. As it is its a really cool design for an off-the-grid camping trailer. And if were to change the design a bit and make the back door big enough to load a motorcycle it would be a dandy small toy hauler.
Sand-Free Multi Mat - http://www.cgear-sandfree.com/
This is an Aussie design. It's two layers of a open weave plastic material that allows sand (and dust and dirt) to pass through easily via gravity but discourages it from coming back up from below, where it's working against gravity. The result is a sand and dirt free surface. It was developed for the military and is apparently used in Iraq and other sandy places as a temporary landing surface for helicopters. But the designers also figured it had recreation applications. You could use it on a sandy beach as a clean place to stand or sit or inside or outside (or under) a tent while camping. You could use it as a clean surface while doing bike repairs out in the dirt. Overall a very cool product.
BlackPine Turbo Tent - http://www.familytentcamping.com/site/1406228/product/30067
I'm buying one of these. The tent stays attached to beefy external poles and the whole thing collapses in on itself and folds up into a tidy package. Easy to set up and easy to take down. Since my van, which I used to camp in, is seeing it's last days, and since I can't afford a Cricket trailer, I'm going to be tent camping. And these are some of the best tents I've seen. Designed right here in Utah too.