COOL TOOLS UNTRIED

Cool Tools Untried” look cool, but — buyer beware — may seem cooler than they actually are. Neither I nor any of our reviewers have actually used the items below, so we can’t endorse them or speak from experience. If you have used any of them and can report (positively or negatively) — or if you have a similar item that’s even cooler — please let us know. Until then, here’s some intriguing stuff… — Steven Leckart

Self-Generating Luminescent Bike Pedals
Available from Pedalite

Stay visible and safe with LEDs that charge as you pedal.

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Breathing Apparatus for Avalanches
Available from Avalung

This is a very un-seasonal product, but it’s too cool (pun intended) to wait. In the event you get trapped in an avalanche, breathing and exhaling from this strap-on contraption helps avert creating a potentially-threatening air pocket of CO2. It pulls O2 from below chest level and dumps your exhales at waist level. The apparatus also comes integrated into a backpack. File under: tools you hope you never have to test.

(thanks Carl!)

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Pet Tooth Brush
Available from Jorvet

This one’s seemingly banal, but considering how hard it is to get anything (but food) into a dog’s mouth, I find it promising. Brushing two sides at once = get in, get out.

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Measure Via Photos
Available from iPhotoMEASURE

Software that allows you to take measurements virtually from photos. Too good to be true?

(thanks Marnie!)

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Emergency Water Purification System(s)
Available from HeroWater

This company offers a couple kits/filters that use reverse osmosis to transform dirty water into a clean beverage that tastes like a sports drink. The LifePack ($40) produces 1 liter in six hours. The X-Pack ($60) — used by the military to drink floodwaters in post-Katrina New Orleans — produces 1 liter in four hours. There’s also a desalination kit called the “SeaPack” ($100).

(thanks Michael!)

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Industrial and/or Vending Bikes
Available from Worksman Cycles

Looking to start a mobile business? Try a trailer/cart/kiosk from this company founded in 1898.

(thanks Kayleen!)

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Blow Poke
Available from Amazon

We received a great review for a fancy, old-fashioned brass stoker-blower that can help you “keep a fire alive for hours.” This version is a third of the price and looks like it will do the job, but what do I know? I don’t even have a fireplace.

(thanks Penelope!)