The Latest New Outdoors Equipment You Need

Prepare to see what the Best Design Awards have to offer in terms of cutting edge new outdoor gear. New Zealanders are drawn to the wild outdoors. The rugged highlands, the snowy mountains, the land-hugging beaches. Every corner of this country features our natural beauty with amazing camping spots to exhibit it in. It’s a country where you can go anywhere and within a kilometre there’d be a picturesque scene – a place to pitch your tent for you to enjoy pristine views and an abundance of wildlife.

The Best Design Awards showcase the highest levels of design in the country. Founded in the mid seventies and then known as the National Geographic Design Awards, it has grown to become a truly coveted representation of high-end design in New Zealand.

This year, the Best Design Awards have announced the finalists for the product design category showcasing fantastic camping-centric equipment, perfect as the summer months are fastly approaching. M2 have put together a list of our favourites from the Student Product Design category, impressed by each of these innovative products.

Avislack Kit

Ski holidays are always a good time. But you never know what surprises mother nature might throw at you. The purpose of this product is to assist in the event of an avalanche. William Buckley, who studies at Massey University College of Creative Arts has designed a backpack that aims at saving lives. The concept is a compact bag; lightweight and sustainable to any different weather conditions. Every backcountry skier should have a beacon that emits up to a 457kHz signal to send out their location if in trouble. The lightweight backpack is essential and is made of aluminium to make it robust and light to carry. The outside of the bag has RECCO reflectors as a way of enhancing the level of detectability. It has pouches and spaces for water bottles, gloves and goggles. Forget your usual first-aid kit which contains a roll of bandages, a couple of plasters and a toothbrush – this backpack is kitted out with all the essentials.


It’s true – the best ideas come from the next generation of thinkers. Designed by Alice Thompson, who studies Industrial Design at AUT, Pokai is a 1L drink bottle that – powered by batteries – boils and heats drinkable water. This ingenious invention was designed to make sure campers stay safe from the possible dangers of unkempt water. The bottle contains an immersion-like coil that has the power to heat two bottles of water in less than six minutes. Made from robust and BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel, the vacuum is insulated in this secured vessel. The main design was made for young Duke of Edinburgh trampers so as to make the boiling of water less intimidating.


Nairi Nasrallah, who studies Industrial Design at AUT, offers this product into the listing. This one being an absorption pack and bag system aimed at trail runners designed for easy access and conveniency. Hikers or bush explorers may want to dry wet or damp clothes quickly and this concept is perfect for that. Made from heat-resistant Rylon, the bag is filled with silica gel beads which absorb the durability of the plastic outside. The sicilia beads warm up to a temperature of 135 degrees celsius and are rechargeable from the power supply. The power supply comes from the IEC-E7 rechargeable battery which slips into the mesh coated pockets. Seam-sealed waterproof 300-denier PVC substitutes the use of plastic bags. External, watertight pockets ensure that valuables won’t go missing either.

AERIE Hammock/Tent

From another Industrial Design student from AUT, Anton Elliot, comes this remarkable design concept. For the certain type of camper that prefers a quick and easy resolution to fiddling about with tent pegs and flimsy rods, the AERIE Hammock/Tent is a perfect alternative. Heading off the beaten track and finding space for a flat-pack tent can often be frustrating. This innovative design provides the possibility to exploring more remote and rocky terrain what with its sustainable materials used. With a weight of approximately 1.4kg and a pack-size of 15 by 40cm, this tent is easy to move around and will aid any camper.