Recreational Gear Takes A Functional Spin

The design gap between high-tech gear for elite athletes and product for everyday folks just looking to stay in shape continues to narrow. Performance features once exclusive to a small market sector are filtering into the mainstream, allowing weekend warriors to try sporting goods of the highest caliber.

Electronic timing devices, in particular, are becoming increasingly sophisticated with every imaginable tracking system for a heartbeat, calorie consumption, and statistical data. Women’s-specific product also continues to gain ground.


These days, whether biking, hiking, racing to raise money for a good cause, or even recovering from a sports injury, there’s no lack of performance product available. Here’s a round-up of the latest technical recreational gear.

The Lastest Technical Recreational Gear

Matters of the Heart Highgear’s new four-model line of PulseWare electronic fitness watches makes it easier to keep track of personal workouts. Each watch offers a unique set of features for various uses and activity levels, outputting beats per minute through finger touch and/or chest strap monitors, while offering quick access to time, chronograph and calorie functions. All PulseWare watches feature INZONE displays–quick-glance color graphs that visually track workout levels. Customizable heartrate zone alarms monitor cardio level, alerting when to slow down or to pick up the pace. Shown here is the PulseWare Max, which has a slightly larger module than the Mini and Solo, and is less expensive than the Deluxe model.

The Treatment for the Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Rest At least the treatment for the painful ailment Plantar Fasciitis can be comfortable. Swede-O, Inc. has introduced the latest addition to its Thermoskin line in the new Plantar FXT. This sock-like style is designed to relieve pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis and is a more comfortable alternative to a night splint. The product carefully stretches the Plantar Fascia muscle in the bottom of the foot and can be worn both at night and while seated during the day, speeding up the healing process.


Women on the March Deuter’s new Women’s Fit Line offers nine streamlined models that feature the SL back system. The packs also incorporate one of Deuter’s patented air ventilation systems to keep users more comfortable while carrying loads. The packs’ shoulder straps are narrower, shorter and closer together to provide a better fit. A conical, padded, formed hip belt wraps naturally around the hips and has multi-laminate fins that are adjustable in length and height to match the SL system. The Deuter Futura 22 SL, shown here, has a capacity of 1,350 cubic inches and features Aircomfort three-way ventilation.

Watch It The new Fortress watch line is for active individuals who want to kayak, climb and mountain bike–and look good doing it. Leaving temperature and altitude reading to other brands, Fortress’ functionality is in high-quality precision time-keeping that can withstand extreme endeavors. The watches are depth tested to 100 meters, and use scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass. Other features include luminescent hands and markers with an electro-luminescent push button feature. The Drop model, in blue, is shown here.

Spin Cycle The Spinner NXT is a sleek-looking, durable spinning bike designed to be user-friendly and adjustable enough to provide a good fit for riders of any shape or size. The result of a joint partnership between Mad Dogg Athletics and Star Trac, the bike features a wedge-shaped, extra-stable handlebar post that has numerical markings with intuitive, easy-to-remember settings for the returning rider.

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