Sports enthusiasts spend a ton of time and money shopping for gear to protect them out in the field. Sometimes, however, it's the gear that needs to be protected from its mindless owner. If you've ever smashed into your garage with your bike or kayak strapped to your roof, you know exactly what we're talking about. If not, you may worry about doing so because, fact is, it's easy to forget about that precious load on top, particularly when you're coming off an extensive 40-mile ride through the desert in the blazing sun.
That's what the EK Xtrai is all about. As the name implies, this is your third eye. Sit back in your driver's seat sporting your usual autopilot stupor and don't think twice about the gear on your roof. Should you come close to a tunnel, garage or other low-clearance structure just itching to rip your goods clean off, the Xtrai will alert you with a distinctive beep. Mount the tiny, waterproof sensor unit to your roof rack and then plug the remote signalling unit into your car's 12V power supply. The sensor detects trouble and transmits to the signalling unit, which alerts you to stop immediately and reassess your route.
While this unit might seem excessive and unecessary to some, particularly given its retail price of $299, all it takes is one moment of absentmindedness and you're out thousands of dollars in gear and possible structural damage. Of course, if you want to convince the wife it's time for a new bike, smashing it into a tunnel isn't a bad way. But, you can still do that, just pull the Xtrai off first.