Gear for 2012: Outdoor Retailer Trade Show

It’s show time! The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show kicks off today in Utah with an on-snow demo event at Solitude Resort. Tomorrow, the business begins in the Salt Palace convention hall, where the GearJunkie editorial crew will be roaming vast aisles among more than 1,000 brands and 20,000+ expected attendees. Our goal? To find the latest and greatest and crown “Best in Show” awards to a dozen or so stand-out products to be released in 2012.

Already on the blog this month we’ve posted on OR Show gear like the proclaimed “impenetrable” down-insulated jacket from Brooks-Range, Garmont’s light 4-buckle ski boot, and Sierra Designs’ “hydrophobic” down insulation. Our “Gearpocalypse” article at the start of the month revealed a couple dozen products to be unveiled at OR. Here below find a few more, a cherry picked spread of some stand-out new products from the thousands of items that will flood the trade show floor this week. Stay tuned for updates from Salt Lake. We’re en route now to the madness! —Stephen Regenold


Mountain protection: MSR Snow Fluke updated with 7000-series aluminum and nylon-supported urethane decking for “maximum holding power at a minimal weight”


Rainbow vision: Optic Nerve interchangeable-lens goggles have an uber-soft, fleece-lined foam gasket


Finnish Camping Dishware! No, it’s not wood. Made of “thermoplastic natural fiber composite.” From Kupilka


Combining two of our absolute most fav things on the planet. . . Buff headwear with trail maps printed on!


Evolv’s minimalist approach shoe for climbers. Sticky rubber. Heel folds down so you can wear it like a slipper, too


Flex bottle! ‘Pouch’-like Vapur Element bottle (0.7L and 1.0L sizes) folds up for storage when the liquid is drained


Hot pockets! Add air-activated heat packs to this base layer from Toast-clothes.com for instant heat


Boreas commuter pack with adjustable suspension


Absolute warmth: Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero down suit; 800-fill goose down + Dry.Q waterproof-breathable fabrication = one serious piece of mountain-wear for the world’s highest/coldest peaks


Light ski: Black Diamond Equipment Carbon Megawatt sheds 2 pounds a pair from last year’s version


Winter bike boot: Louis Garneau offers a fiberglass-reinforced outsole shoe insulated for winter’s worst


Sole, a company known for its footbed products, is jumping into shoes. This is a sneak peek photo at one of the company’s to-be-unveiled items


Remote powerhouse! Goal Zero’s Yeti 1250 station includes solar panels and a portable power source touted to stand in for gas-powered back-ups you might normally use; weighs 103 pounds and costs $2,000


Wigwam Single Trax Pro. The promise: “Dry feet, no blisters, no odor.” $15/pair


GPS Fitness: Magellan jumps into the GPS fitness watch game with Switch Series


Slick roller: High Sierra Evolution line of outdoor-oriented rolling bags


These are not climbing shoes! Skora Minimalist Running Shoes from Portland, Ore.


Salewa leather boots with Gore-Tex lining and new “ICEFRICTION” patented outsole for grip on ice and snow


Ghost boots. Dynafit PDG model weigh just 790 grams!


Mountain style! Lodestar Jacket from Outdoor Research (fleece/softshell hybrid with Polartec Power Shield Pro and Power Shield High Loft fleece)


Norway’s Helle all-purpose Alden knife — stainless blade, curly birch handle; handmade


Smarter socks? SmartWool’s PhD Ski graduated compression ski and snowboard socks


Dynafit touts Huascaran ski as “featherweight masterpiece of modern ski technology.” 8.4 lbs per pair!


Adidas Outdoor Terrex Softshell Boot — PrimaLoft insulation for warmth; cleated for snowshoe use

—Stephen Regenold is founder of GearJunkie. He posted on the “Gearpocalypse” of Outdoor Retailer last week.

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.