Most tents are designed to fend off the wind, but The North Face´s Spectrum 23 invites it in through the front door-and ushers it right out the back. Built with a conspicuous awning that funnels wind through vents in the dome, the Spectrum ($260; thenorthface.com) can withstand 130mph winds, making it the strongest in the industry (100 mph is the previous best rating). The tent´s designers, out to improve ventilation in their classic Tadpole model, spent a year designing and wind-tunnel-testing prototypes with Korean tent-pole manufacturer DAC. When they tried the â€hood scoopâ€ shown here, they found that air flowing through the dome also stood it upright, counteracting the air trying to flatten the shelter. Most tents fail when their poles snap; when the Spectrum eventually failed, it simply ripped off its moorings, poles intact. What´s nearly as impressive is that this strength comes in a three-season tent that weighs just four pounds, three ounces. The Spectrum debuts next spring, and The North Face plans to add the hood scoop to three other tents in their line.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.