Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007 - Top 10 Product Picks

For three days last week, the Gear Junkie crew roamed the aisles of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, ogling new products, shaking hands with product developers, and glimpsing the wares that are to come over the next year in outdoors world. Here’s what caught our eyes:

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1. Icebreaker Nature Intimates
Lingerie for the outdoors set. These silky merino wool base layers look good while adding warmth and wicking just like any old stodgy pair of long johns. Each piece in the line, which includes tops and bottoms, is accented with nature prints. Icebreaker says the design will “fit and flatter the natural female form.” Prices start at 34.99. Available in fall 2007. www.icebreaker.com


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2. Merrell apparel
Footwear giant Merrell used this year’s OR show to debut a line of technical apparel that is purported to “take a modern and contemporary view of the outdoors.” The products we saw — including heavy-duty (but fashionable) Gore-Tex shells and a “concept coat” made out of cork (!) — were impressive and innovative. The line hits stores in July. www.merrell.com

3. GoLite Footwear Sun Dragon
Spongy shock-absorbing lugs on the sole of the Sun Dragon shoe work as a suspension system of sorts to stabilize the foot as it strikes the ground on rough terrain, or so the GoLite Footwear theory goes. The company says this new concept in trail-running footwear will reduce shock on the body and help minimize muscle fatigue by “enveloping trail landscape that varies from step to step.” Available in March for $95. www.golite.com


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4. Arc’teryx Sidewinder SV
Each one of these top-shelf jackets requires more than five hours of artesian-like handwork in a Vancouver factory, according to Arc’teryx. But the Sidewinder SV, made with a combination of Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric and a “hyper-hydrophobic polyester face fabric,” is a no-messin’-around uber-shell that should keep the elements out in the very worst of scenarios. Available in the fall for $599. www.arcteryx.com

5. Slicer Sled
Sledding in the summertime? That’s the premise behind the Slicer, an “all-season sled” that works on snow as well as grass-covered hills during warmer months. The secret is in the Slicer’s honeycombed undercarriage, which is essentially a removable ice tray. Users fill this tray with water, put it in their kitchen freezer overnight, and then attach it to the sled bottom in the morning, ready to slip and slide down the grass. $49.95, www.icesled.com.

6. Westcomb Rampage HX Jacket
This piece combines waterproof/breathable eVent fabric with the stretchy comfort of Schoeller Dynamic “softshell” fabric. The company calls it “the ultimate all-season alpine jacket.” Available in September for $330. www.westcomb.com

7. Zeal PPX goggle
Touted as the world’s only polarized and photochromatic goggle, the PPX cuts glare and auto-adjusts to lighting conditions, going dark in the bright sun, and magically fading to a lighter translucency as conditions turn dim. Available now for $170. www.zealoptics.com

8. Wenger Ranger knives
This new line of Swiss Army Knives are larger than the traditional red pocketknives. The Ranger 57 model, for example, includes a 3.9-inch locking blade plus implements like a wood saw, a locking screwdriver, a wire stripper, an awl, and more. Available in May for $64.95. www.wengerna.com


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9. TrailFlex backpack system
TrailFlex’s Modular Pack System is a harness of sorts that hugs the body and features small metal knobs upon which more than 20 custom-use gear pouches can be added to carry fly-fishing supplies, water, a cell phone, a camera, a tent, and more. The system lets you create a custom pack of sorts for one of a dozen outdoor activities. The base harness costs $89.95; the system will be in stores by April. www.trailflex.com

10. Grivel GSb crampon system
Scarpa/Grivel GSb crampon system — Attaching a climbing crampon to a boot is now quicker and easier, at least with GSb, a crampon system that eliminates the toe bail in favor of a small prong that slips into the front of the boot. Scarpa (www.scarpa.com), a co-developer of the crampon system, debuted boots at the OR Show to work with the GSb, notably the Scarpa Escape GTX ($229) and the high-end Freney XT GTX ($379).www.grivelnorthamerica.com

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