Q&A With Taylor Toussaint of Outdoor Technology
Outdoor Tech is a company that makes some really cool products for use during favorite outdoor activities, as well as when we’re just relaxing at home. The company specializes in portable audio equipment, such as headphones, earbuds, and Bluetooth speakers, but has also recently launched a successful Indiegogo campaign for a new portable rechargeable power pack called the Kodiak. What sets this device apart from similar portable chargers is that the Kodiak is rugged enough to survive our backcountry adventures, and yet stylish enough that you can use it anywhere. It is even fully waterproof, which means it can recharge your smartphone, tablet, GPS device, and GoPro, even in the most extreme conditions.
Recently, Gearographer caught up with Taylor Toussait, a spokesperson for Outdoor Tech to get the lean more about the company, and their products.
Gearographer: Tell us a little bit about Outdoor Technology, and what you do for the company.
Taylor Toussaint: Outdoor Tech is a brand that makes “stuff you probably want”. We make wireless headphones, wireless speakers, wireless earbuds, portable power devices, and some misc. apparel. All of it is rad, looks awesome, and works perfectly. I am the Director of Digital Marketing and I also handle special projects. We all hustle hard to put out great stuff.
Gearographer: Outdoor Technology makes some fun products that also perform well outside. What is your favorite piece of gear that the company makes, and why?
Taylor: Right now, it’s the Tuis. Those are our premium wireless headphones. I have them paired with my laptop so I’ll throw on Spotify or Pandora and just bang out work for a couple of hours. The Tuis sound so good and don’t hurt my head or ears because they are so comfy.
Gearographer: What are your favorite outdoor activities?
Taylor: I grew up skateboarding and still skate whenever possible. But I probably spend more time outside with my kids. Both activities are soundtracked with the help from the Big Turtle Shell.
Gearographer: One of the more interesting products that OT is developing is the Kodiak USB Power Bank, a portable charger for the electronic devices. What does the Kodiak bring to the table that we haven’t already seen in similar battery packs?
Taylor: The Kodiak is waterproof and shock/drop resistant. Both are super helpful, more than you realize. You don’t have to be kayaking or rock climbing to benefit from those features. I have dropped my Kodiak and spilt coffee on it multiple time. It’s nice to have stuff that you aren’t afraid to be rough with. Also, we always put much thought into the cosmetics of our product. We believe that devices should look and feel good too.
Gearographer: Did you test Kodiak prototypes in extreme environments? If so, where were they used?
Taylor: Yeah for sure. We have some athletes that go big in some crazy places. In the cold or in the heat, at parties, and wherever else. When you give products to some guys and girls that like to have fun, your stuff better be prepared to take a beating.
Gearographer: To help fund the development of the Kodiak, you launched an IndieGoGo campaign. What has the reaction to the product been from the outdoor community?
Taylor: People love it and they can’t wait to get the new versions with the different capacities. Outdoor Tech launched the IndieGoGo campaign with a goal of reaching $30,000 in funding. We exceeded that in just a few days, and supporters continue to help fund the Kodiak line. (Editor’s Note: As of this writing, the IndieGoGo campaign has raised nearly $45,000 with a couple of weeks still to go!)
Gearographer: Who will the Kodiak appeal to, and when do you expect it to start shipping?
Taylor: The Kodiak appeals to anyone and everyone. There have been many times when I have used the Kodiak when my phone is about to die. My wife Zoe uses the Kodiak at Disneyland when her phone is dying and she still can’t find the right filter on Instagram. I’ve used it on my Kindle when we are all at dinner so the kids can watch a movie.
It’s just a super universal product that isn’t some cheesy import. Again, it looks rad and that matters to us.
Gearographer: What’s next for Outdoor Technology? Any other interesting products in the pipeline that you can share?
Taylor: The Wired Chips are dropping now. Those are the wired version of our universal audio kit for any snow helmet. The Wired Chips come in at a very, very accessible price point.
Also, we have a bunch of new apparel coming very soon. Hats, shirts, hoodies and whatnot. Really quality materials and sick designs. People have been asking a lot about new clothing from us. I am happy that we will have that for everyone very soon.
We do have some other stuff coming that I can’t really talk about yet so watch out for that.
We want to thank Taylor for taking some time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about Outdoor Tech and their Kodiak line of power banks. The device will come in three versions: the Kodiak Mini 2200 ($39.95/2200 mAh), the Kodiak 6000 ($49.95/6000 mAh), and the Kodiak Plus 10000 ($99.95/10000 mAh). Each model is IP67 rated, which means they are fully water and shock proof. The outer casing is designed to be extremely durable, including sealing up tight to prevent damage if the unit is full submersed in water. The Kodiak 6K will ship in time for Christmas, while the Mini and Plus models will arrive in March of 2015.
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