Portable Locker Rooms give Runners a Place for Storage

Blue Trailer

If you are a competitive runner, this scenario is all too familiar with you. You try to hide your jacket behind a bush or other secret hiding spot until you finish the race. When you return to the spot you thought no one would look, your jacket is gone. One fellow runner has started a business to give people a place to store their items safely while they enjoy their race.

Molly MacDonald had lost countless sweatshirts, jackets, and t-shirts before coming out with her brilliant idea. She launched her company, Blue Trailer, to give competitors a safe and dry place to keep their belongings during races and other events. Blue Trailer uses portable locker rooms that athletes can use to store any of their personal belongings without fear of losing them while they Runnerscompete.

The simple, yet practical idea is not in full motion yet. MacDonald is still fundraising money to compile the necessary materials for the company’s first portable locker room. MacDonald said that the only option racers have currently is a bag check, if it is offered, or to find a great hiding spot. If you do use the bag check, you have to have a bag, and you don’t have easy access to your stuff.

Many racers like to take pictures for their Instagram or write their Facebook status right before they take off. With Blue Trailer, runners can do all that and quickly store their phones safely in a locker right before the race starts. The portable storage units will come in three sizes, based on how much stuff you have. The first trailer they designed will have 500 lockers available for people to use. The company also wants to eventually have “good luck” bags in the lockers, coupons, and even random Blue Trailer t-shirts in some lockers. The company will also be pledging a portion of their sales to charity. Blue Trailer will have its first portable locker room at the Black Cat race in Salem during March 2014.

Mobile App Helps Increase Emergency Preparedness

Red Cross Mobile Apps

There have been many natural disasters in the past few years that have devastated many places. Emergency preparedness has become a big issue because of this. There are several apps that have been launched in the past year to give people the ability to extend their preparation further and help them be alerted when disasters may strike.

The American Red Cross has created six mobile apps that smartphone users can download. They are for;Tornado App

• Tornadoes
• Hurricanes
• Shelter Finder
• First Aid
• Earthquake
• Wildfire

These apps give people the ability to more easily access information dealing with emergencies and natural disasters. Many people are preparing for natural disasters by stocking up on food, purchasing portable shelters, and creating emergency kits. Right now is hurricane season in Louisiana and residents can use the hurricane app to receive updates on  hurricane warnings. The hurricane app monitors local conditions and will help aid in storm preparations. There is even a feature that allows users to find help or let others know they are safe.

The apps can even function if cell towers go down, just on a lesser scale. Apps like the ones created by the Red Cross can be a valuable aid during a natural disaster. Being able to prepare better and find shelter during a disaster could be the difference between life and death.

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Portable Rain Tarp System Integrates Rainwater Retention with Heat Reflective Technology

Rain Retention System

The outdoor adventure company Kammok is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to introduce its new product. The Glider is a portable weather shelter and rain tarp system that has integrated rainwater retention and heat reflective technology.

The Glider is Kammok’s second product to hit Kickstarter. Their last project was the 10th largest Kickstarter project in history at the time and they hope this campaign will be even bigger. The Glider is endorsed by survival and outdoor adventure television start Bear Grylls. He said,

“I am super exciter to literally see this new Kammok project get off the ground! The Kammok Roo camping hammocks have become one of my family’s favorites and has become a firm staple on my own adventures.”

Kammok is dedicated to innovative design and a product such as an outdoor shelter with a water retention system is typical of their vision. The Glider is the first ever consumer camping or relief shelter to include built-in rain retention technology. The product uses a patent-pending design that includes catenary curves that were inspired by the sugaKammok Gliderr glider flying squirrel. Adjustable suspension creates natural rain gutters where water can be channeled along the curves to the four feet of the Glider. There are flexible water bottles at the base of the feet that collect the rainwater for immediate drinking or storage.

The Glider is made from Kammok’s revolutionary Amphibiskin material. Amphibiskin is constructed from high tenacity fiber technologies, starting with a CORDURA brand base fiber that makes the finished fabric extremely durable. The fabric is then siliconized for added strength and treated with waterproof and heat reflective finishes. The end result is an ultra-light fabric that can protect against downpours, snowstorms, and extreme hot temperatures.

The great thing about the Glider is that it is very versatile. It can be used as a shelter in times of natural disaster or for providing shade on the beach. The innovative design will definitely make the Glider an amazing product.

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Collapsible, Lightweight Portable Shelter could Save Lives in Disaster Situations

Emergency Shelter

Unfortunately, the increase in natural disasters around the world has created a need for rapidly deployable emergency housing. While many portable shelter designs have been put into production in the last decade, this one may be the best one yet. In terms of being able to airdrop and quickly deploy emergency housing for large numbers of people, Peter Anthony’s design is top-notch.

Peter Anthony’s collapsible, lightweight mobile platform is a self-contained living space made from composite material. Each unit is 8’x8’x8’ and weighs less than 200 pounds. The whole thing can be folded flat and can be assembled by two people in less than 30 minutes. The simple transport trailer can be modified to carry up to four units along with off-grid support systems that tether with the shelters for extended use.

Anthony has been a professional building designer for twenty years, but with the housing market down, has moved his focus to creating portable emergency housing. “The whole thing started from my desire to get involved in supporting relief efforts with disasters throughout the world,” Anthony said. Weight was his primary design and development concern and his patent-pending lightweight composite panel system makes assembly quick and easy.

“The shelter is simple, lightweight and portable. Traditional materials and methods have historically shown significant weakness, being complex and requiring skilled labor to assemble, being extremely heavy, nearly all of them necessitate additional erection equipment and they’re costly in relation to energy consumption and transport and logistics.” – Peter Anthony

Anthony’s design is adaptable to many situations, ranging from emergency sheltering to mobile treatment stations. The applications of the portable shelter are only limited by the imagination. Its lightweight and folding design allow it to be airdropped into remote locations that are in need. Anthony is still working on the project, hoping to expand and make it better by adding a self-contained dry toilet. When it is completed, it will surely be one of the best portable emergency housing systems created to date.

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Portable Canopy Resembling Flower Creates Solar Power

Lotus Canopy

A new portable solar power canopy called the Lotus Mobile is looking to change the solar power market. Solar innovator and creator of this product, Joseph Hui, modeled his design after his love for flowers. Hui’s design allows for the canopy to fold up to protect itself from severe weather.

The Lotus Mobile portable canopy is designed to resemble a Lotus flower. It is lightweight and pole mounted, with a solar canopy composed of 18 petal-like solar modules. The unusual design is delicate-looking but tough enough for its intended use and hopes to chip away at some of the “soft costs” that have been keeping solar power out of reach for many people.

Lotus Flower Inspiration

The Lotus flower is Hui’s inspiration for the design and overall concept of the Lotus Mobile. He is the President and CEO of the company behind the solar powered product, Monarch Power (He is also a big fan of butterflies). Here is a quote from Hui explaining how the Lotus Lotus Mobileflower inspired him;

“Best of all, you know that you are learning from nature to protect nature, just like the Lotus plant that takes sunlight and water and turns that into fuel, without creating a carbon footprint. The only footprint is a nice architectural shade that your neighbors would find attractive.”

Avoiding “Soft Costs”

One of the major benefits of the Lotus Mobile is that it can avoid many of the “soft costs” of solar power. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about half the cost of a typical solar array consist of installation and grid connection, as well as regulatory obstacles including zoning, permitting and inspections. Because the Lotus Mobil can be a non-permanent or semi-permanent shade canopy, it is possible that it could avoid many of the “soft costs”.

Creating a Low-Cost Solar Power Canopy

There are a few other design elements of the canopy that contribute to low cost solar power. The Lotus Mobile is designed to be an off-grid device with a lightweight design to cut down on the installation costs. Plastic and aluminum parts are the main factors in the reduced weight. They are not as strong as steel frames or glass-based solar panels when it comes to withstanding extreme weather, but that it why the Lotus Mobile easily folds up like a flower. The canopy uses solar tracking and highly efficient solar cells to convert sunlight into both electricity and hot water. Hui anticipates an installed cost of $1.50 per watt, which is better than the conventional $4.00, but falls short of Energy Department’s goal of $1.00 per watt.

The anticipated cost for an installed Lotus Mobile is about $9,000. At that price the payback period should be relatively short, especially in warmer areas where AC is used often. The unique design, lower “soft costs”, and lower price per watt should make the Lotus Mobile a successful solar power product.

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Emergency Portable Shelters for Disaster Zones


When natural disasters like earthquakes, storms, and floods hit a region, there are many problems that rescue workers face. One of the biggest problems is providing a safe place to treat wounded citizens and provide shelter for those who have lost their homes. A new portable shelter may be able to alleviate some of the difficulty in bringing in short term shelters.

Argentinian architecture studio Proyecto 2M has developed a portable shelter called the Modularflex. The Modularflex can be packed flat for easy storage and delivery and can be built in Portable Shelterjust half an hour. The innovative design allows for the shelter to be assembled by two man teams or popped up by using a crane for even faster building time. The Modularflex also has a huge hinge that allows them to be collapsed like accordians.

The Proyecto 2M company states that their easy to assemble portable shelters are lightweight, flexible, and sturdy. When packed flat, six Modularflex shelters can be placed on the back of a truck for easy and efficient transportation to where they are needed. The walls of the Modularflex are made from insulated thermal panels similar to a supermarket cold storage room. They can withstand temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 49 degrees Celsius.

The modular design of the shelter makes it possible to put multiple units together to create larger dwellings. Every Modularflex comes with electrical wiring and LED lighting. Different designs are available, such as camouflage for the military or marked with a red cross for humanitarian efforts.

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Solar Powered Tarps for Electric Vehicles

Solar Powered Tarp
With gas prices rising, the popularity of electric vehicles is also increasing. Many people are turning to hybrids and EVs to help alleviate some of the financial burden caused by high gas prices. Many car companies are developing hybrids and EVs to help create a supply for the demand. As more and more people buy EVs, more innovative accessories for them are also coming out.

Many towns and businesses are installing solar carports to provide a fueling station for electric vehicles. They use the sun to create electricity that can be used to charge EVs and also provide overhead protection from the elements. One industrial engineer has created a solar powered car cover that can charge electric vehicles.

Named the V-Tent, this innovative tarp will not only protect your vehicles from being damaged by the elements, it will charge your car. Hakan Gursu is the mind behind the V-Tent, and it is designed to charge any electrical vehicle that is parked underneath it. Hakan hopes to extend the life of EVs and to build up the electric charging infrastructure, as well as re-imagine urban parking meters.

The way the V-Tent works is, after you park your electric vehicle and pay, the solar powered cover will unwrap itself over your vehicle. You will be able to use a credit card for payment, and drivers will be able to check the status of the charge through a smartphone app.

Digital depictions of the V-Tent have already been created. They do not take up a lot of space, seem easy to use, and provide both energy and protection for your vehicle. They solar-powered cover provides energy for both your vehicle and for nearby street lights that will make the charging stations more visible at night. With the popularity of EVs and solar power on the rise, V-Tents may just be a reality in the near future.

You can see a video of the V-Tent by clicking on this link: YouTube.


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Portable Shelter Provides Relief during a Disaster

Portable Shelter

There has been a huge surge in the market for disaster relief products after the world has experienced so many natural disasters in the recent years. One Canadian design firm has created a cheap and affordable portable shelter product that can help create personal space for those affected by a natural disaster.

The design firm Molo has created the “softshelter” to provide disaster victims with their own personal space when living in temporary relief centers. To demonstrate the practicality of the system and refine it, one Molo team SoftSheltermember has camped out in a softshelter module for several weeks.

The portable shelter is made from 100 percent recycled materials and is designed for re-use over a long period of time. The flexible walls pack flat, allowing for easy, fast, and cost effective shipping. The design also allows for quick setup to create walls and rooms anywhere. The softwall quickly and easily expands to create four walls, and the end panels are connected magnetically to each other.

One of the main focuses of Molo for this product was to make the space seem personal and provide comfort in a time of disaster. Molo added a few features to the softshelter, like:

• A magnetic clipping system for pictures
• Flower vase
• Tyvek hanger
• LED light

Small touches like those give the softshelter that personal touch that can help ease a disaster victim’s mind. By giving the victims their own spaces, they will not have to sleep on a cot next to a bunch of other people. Inexpensive and easy to set-up, the softshelter is a great tool for victims of a natural disaster.

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New Tent Design allows you and your Motorcycle to be protected from the Elements

portable shelter

Many people enjoy camping and riding their motorcycle or dirt bike. Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily combine the two activities? Redverz Gear has a product that allows you to camp and protect both you and your bike from the elements.

The Series II Expedition Tent by Redverz Gear makes it possible for you and your motorbike to sleep safely and stay protected from any of the outdoor elements. The Series II Expedition fits into a carry bag that only weighs 13 pounds and measures 10 by 21 inches, making it extremely portable. However, once it is unpacked and assembled,motorcyle garage canopy the versatile portable shelter increases to a size of 100 by 201 inches.

The tent is made from ripstop nylon, with a double wall designed to eliminate condensation. There are two separate areas in the tent, one for you to sleep in, and a larger secondary area that can be used to park your bike. Now whenever you are not using the bike, it can stay completely covered, protecting it from the sun and rain. Inside the tent there is also a mosquito and privacy door. The sleeping area can easily fit two people comfortably.

The tent, that is essentially a portable garage, has enough space in the bigger area to fit up to two bikes. The same area you can park your bikes doubles as a utility area that you can use to cook. There are many times when you are camping and an unexpected rainstorm may hit, making it difficult to cook and stay dry. The Series II Expedition will allow you to complete many tasks with a height large enough to allow most people to stand up inside. So whether you want to stand up and get dressed or park a motorcycle inside, the Expedition has enough space.

Portable Garage


The Stingray Suspended Tent Canopy

Stingray Tent

A United Kingdom-based tent manufacturer, called Tentsile, recently unveiled their newest product, the Stingray. The company says that the Stingray is the perfect combination of hammock and tent. The tent’s design allows you to sleep inside, suspended in the air.

When you go camping, a tent’s canopy will protect you from rain and other elements. However, on the ground you are more susceptible to frost, bugs, animals, and rocks. The Stingray allows you to sleep off the ground, suspended in the air. It works like a canopy that protects you and your belongings, but you can Suspended Tentstay inside of it and not have to be on the ground.

Tentsile’s newest tent uses three tree straps, two poles, and a polyester tarp to keep its tenants safe above the ground. The Stingray can be assembled or disassembled in just five minutes! It weighs only 13 pounds, and when set up, it is large enough to sleep up to four people. The suspended tent is accessible from the ground through a collapsible ladder. You can enter the tent through either a floor hatch or side door.

The Stingray has optional accessories available too. For an added price, you can get a shoe drying rack, luggage nets, or even iPad pouches. The company is marketing the Stingray to the avid camper, United Nations, and military. The tent’s lightweight design and relatively low price make it enticing for use in natural disaster situations. If there are areas that have been flooded or where the ground is unsuitable, the Stingray would be a great temporary shelter for those affected.

Right now, Tentsile has turned to Kickstarter for help with bringing their new product to the market. The minimum pledge is around $1,400 and you will be guaranteed one when the initial units are released around March.