We’re in Utah this week for the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show, where thousands of brands display gear for the coming sales season. We covered new footwear last week in the post “Speed Demons to Flip-Flops.” Here below are a few more items to watch for at OR and then on the retail sales shelf early next year. —Amy Oberbroeckling
Optics for Base Jumpers — These pseudo goggles were made for base jumpers. Called the Tensing Flight, a headband keeps them in place as you rocket off a cliff. Clear or polarized lenses provide eye protection as you fly through the air.
Power from Fire — Two Stanford engineers are headed to OR this year with a new product, the FlameStower. It takes the heat from a camp stove and converts it to electricity. You plug your iPhone or other gadget into the device to get a charge in the wild.
Bear’s new Knife — Gerber expands its line of Bear Grylls branded pieces with a new knife, the Survival AO. This assist-opening blade has a 3-inch serrated edge, and the handle is made of a unique glass/nylon compound for grip and durability.
Multi-Color Headlamp — Three lighting modes (red, green and blue) let a wearer of the TACTIKKA +RGB headlamp from Petzl “remain discreet and preserve night vision” when in the wilds. The earth-tone unit was made with hunting, fishing, and nature watching in mind.
Micro Cam — Climbers will appreciate the extreme light weight and small-crack compatibility of this cam from Metolius. The 000 Micro TCU fits in the smallest of cracks at the crag (its range is a tiny 0.26 – 0.4 inch) and it weighs almost nothing at 26 grams.
Gregory Pack Line Launch — Gregory will introduce the largest collection of new products in the brand’s 35 year history. We like the look of the Compass 30 and J53 packs (pictured). The line includes packs for runners, cyclists, hikers, and daily use.
Treat your Fleece — A new fabric treatment from Nikwax lets you better maintain your polar fleece pieces by adding a waterproof formula to keep the fibers insulating at their best.
Sporty Shirt — Hard-goods gear company Black Diamond continues to expand into the world of apparel. The Modernist Rock Shirt is a Schoeller-based button-up made to be worn at the crag or around town.
$99 Shell Jacket — This waterproof hardshell from Columbia, the Menâ€™s EvaPOURation Jacket, could be the best bargain at the whole OR show. It competes with jackets that cost twice as much and offers comparable features and breathability. We tested it last month and were impressed with the jacket’s ability to keep us comfortable and dry in the rain.
Workingman Look — Workwear brand Carhartt’s has an outdoor-oriented hoody, the Force Equator Jacket. It is waterproof and made with a polyester mesh-bounded interior and taped seams. Vents on back add breathability.
Classic Bike Bag — Timbuk2 of San Francisco marks its 25th anniversary in 2014. With it the brand will sell a few retro pieces, including this neat handlebar bag. The Colby Purse is “a shoulder bag that happens to love riding on your handlebars” with options to carry/tote it either way.
Rugged Lantern — Designed to be “the most durable lantern on the market,” lighter brand Zippo made its Rugged Lantern based around a metal support cage. Rubberized corners cushion the blow during use, and the brand says the LED lantern will survive a 6-foot drop. Waterproof in the rain, too.
Two-in-One Climbing Rope — A unique climbing rope from Millet has two diameters. The Opposite TRX 9/10 is a rope with one end that is 9mm thick. On the other end it is 10mm.
The rope allows you to use the burlier end during training and sport climbing where you might fall frequently. Switch to the thinner and lighter side when you want to send the project.
—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor.