Since its inception 70 years ago, the Land Rover Defender has undergone the most extensive redesign in its storied history. All but the most hard core traditionalist seem to be impressed with how designers have balanced the need to bring the marque into the 21st century while maintaining ties to its heritage. Regardless of how the new design strikes you, one have to recognize how adept Land Rover has become at telling launch and feature stories. Clear explanations of the vehicle’s sophisticated design, capabilities, technology, and masterfully capturing of the Defender going through its paces across a range of unique terrain inspires.
Rivian showed up at Overland Expo West with a bivouac capable version of its electric pickup truck. The unique pass through storage space located behind the passenger compartment contains an overlanding kitchen with inductive cook range and sink with an electric pump. All accessories draw upon the 180kw battery. Although this is just a concept for now, it gets one thinking about the future promise of zero emissions overlanding that is just around the bend.
Having dusted off the Hobie Revolution 13 in the last couple of weeks, the bivouac is reminded of just how aptly it is named, the Hobie Revolution 13 represents a remarkable revolution in kayaks. Offering excellent stability in the water and superior ergonomic positioning over the last generation of sea kayaks, the Hobie Revolution 13 is designed to allow users to sit on it rather than in it. The lightweight seat is breathable and fully adjustable thanks to its integrated BOA powered lumbar adjustment system and other thoughtful angle adjustments.
When coupled with the ground-breaking Hobie Mirage Drive, it transforms occupants into super heroes. Covering longer distances that would have once crushed one’s back and shoulders is now child’s play. The Mirage Drive is a remarkable piece of design and engineering. It empowers riders to move through the water at a quick pace for long periods of time. Modeled after how penguins shift their fins through the water, the fins shift back and forth while pivoting, insuring an efficiency previously unheard of. Excellent ergonomics keep back fatigue at bay and allow occupants a more upright view, freeing them to focus more on their surroundings.
An ingenious rudder system rounds out the offering, providing nimble and easily controllable handling and subtle wind offset functionality. Overall the Hobie Revolution 13 is an well-rounded stable platform upon which to move at speed or to fish from with confidence. Two thumbs up and paddle raised high from the bivouac!
Last week, The California Department of Water Resources opened the gates of the Oroville Reservoir. Water flowed dramatically down the chute (the width of a twelve-lane highway with a center divider) for the first time since the spillway failed a couple of years and forced the evacuation of over 100,000 residents down stream. This has been an amazing feat of engineering and a project of inspirational scale that the bivouac has kept a constant interest in. It is nice to see we are capable of completing projects like this in a timely and safe fashion. Great to see the spillway working as designed as well. A thing of beauty. Thanks to all who worked so hard on the project to help ensure California’s crucial life-giving water supply. And thanks to DWR for doing such an amazing job of capturing the progress on the project which can be viewed here.
With so many in need these days, one has to be conscious of whether praising yacht design is something that really needs to be done. That said, companies like Cruisers Yachts deserves recognition as they are pushing for more innovation in smaller and more modest sizes these days. And they are doing so while still offering strikingly beautiful vessels. Witness the 2019 Cruiser Yachts 338 South Beach Edition.
It is a stunning yet pragmatic approach to designing a smaller yacht that can meet the needs of those setting out for a long weekend. The innovating rear seating, generous forward gunnel side storage and an asymmetric pass way through to the front bow area all distinguish the 338’s design. The rear platform even works well with the newest version of the 338 that incorporates outboard propulsion.
The generous berth below the foredeck has a modern and minimalist ambience. Thoughtful integration sinks, refrigerators and microwaves and an accessible rear swim platform all show great attention to detail and overall sensitivity to balancing pragmatism with style. A powered extending bimini top helps provide shade for a large portion of the aft deck if desired.
In a world in need of downsizing and in the age of mega yachts, it is great to see companies offering solutions that are more appropriate in the context of the world economy today that still push design forward.
Volvo’s Polestar helped shape perceptions of the brand’s performance capabilities. Now, Volvo has announced the Polestar 2 which will usher the brand into new, fully electric vehicle territory. The future looks bright if Volvo can indeed follow this guiding start. Check out more on Volvo’s site.