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New Gear Feb 07

The waterproof Offshore Backpack is designed for the offshore sailor and land-based traveler alike, according to manufacturer Ocean Racing. It is the result of feedback from racing sailors who wanted enough internal volume to


accommodate foul weather gear and boots, plus enough room and additional protection for a laptop. The backpack is constructed of polyurethane-impregnated nylon fabric, with stitched and taped seams and coated, water-resistant zippers. The bag measures 19 by 14 by 12 inches, and the padded neoprene computer sleeve — which fits into an internal compartment — will accommodate a laptop with up to a 15.4-inch screen. The navy-and-black backpack has padded shoulder straps and is priced at $150. A matching waterproof duffel bag ($110) and a tote bag ($28) also are available. Ocean Racing, Grosse Point Farms, Mich. Phone: (313) 887-8415.

Leatherman Tool Group is discontinuing its Charge Ti and XTi multitools and replacing them with three new models: the titanium-handled Charge TTi and the aluminum-handled Charge AL (pictured) and ALX. The aluminum handles have rounded edges for increased comfort and are heat-treated


and hard-anodized for wear resistance and strength, according to Leatherman. All models have locking blades, diamond-coated files, multiple-bit drivers, crimpers, strippers and cutters, saws, bottle and can openers, and redesigned pliers. A nylon or leather sheath is included. The Charge AL and ALX models have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $128, while the TTi retails for $159. Leatherman Tool Group, Portland, Ore. Phone: (503) 253-7826.

Digital Antenna has introduced a pair of wireless cell phone boosters that can serve a larger variety of boats than previously available systems. Designed for larger boats, the


PowerMax 4KSBR-50M is a 70-dB gain cellular repeater that requires a 25-foot separation between antennas. For smaller boats, the PowerMax 4KMR-30M (pictured) 50-dB gain system requires a 12-foot separation. The boosters improve cellular signals up to 30 miles or more offshore, according to Digital, and the dual-band repeaters (850 and 1,900 MHz) boost cell phones and air cards to 3 watts. List prices are $799.95 for the 4KSBR-50M and $599.95 for the 4KMR-30M. Digital Antenna, Sunrise, Fla. Phone: (954) 747-7022.

FirePod hand-warming devices, available both in muff-style and pocket-size warmers, use convection heating to create what the manufacturer calls a “150-degree microclimate” within five minutes of being turned on. The HW-206


Sportsman fleece muff (pictured) has two built-in warming pods, elastic hand openings, an adjustable waist strap, 13-inch zippered pouch and a rechargeable 6-volt battery pack. It runs for up to 12 hours on a single charge, according to Optronics, and the suggested retail price is $79.95. The similar HW-200 Spectator muff runs for five hours on a single charge of its four AA NiMH battery pack, and has a suggested price of $69.95. The HW-100 pocket hand warmer also runs for up to five hours and is powered by four AA batteries. Retail pricing is $19.95 for one or $29.95 for two. Optronics, Muskogee, Okla. Phone: (918) 683-9514.

U-Line has introduced a line of icemakers it describes as space-saving, energy-efficient and “elegant.” Echelon Series icemakers are available in black, white or stainless


steel (pictured) finishes and use less than 3 gallons of water to produce and store up to 25 pounds of crescent-shaped ice cubes daily, according to U-Line. The company says the units require neither a drain nor side, top or rear clearance for ventilation. They measure 34-1/8 inches tall, 14-15/16 inches wide, and 23-11/16 inches deep. In addition, the stainless steel icemakers are said to be suitable for outdoor use. Retail pricing starts at $1,338 for black or white models and $1,860 for stainless steel. U-Line Corp., Milwaukee. Phone: (414) 354-0300.