Today begins the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City, where hundreds of companies announce thousands of new products for the $289 billion outdoor industry. The Gear Junkie crew is on the ground in Utah, walking the show floor in search of the best and most intriguing new equipment and apparel. Here’s update No. 1, direct from the halls of the Salt Palace convention center to you. . .
Black Diamond Bandit AvaLung pack—
The Bandit carries all the necessary avalanche tools—a shovel, probe, etc.—as well as skis or a snowboard strapped on for the ascent. The pack’s sleek 11-liter design incorporates a built-in insulated hydration system. A second version also comes with a built-in AvaLung, a device you hope you never use: It allows you to breathe while buried in the deep snow of an avalanche.
Available: Fall 2008
Price: $69.95; with AvaLung, $169.95
Mountain Hardware Red Savina Heated Glove—
The Red Savina is a heated glove with a system that reacts to the temperature of the hand to maintain a warm and comfortable climate. The light and flexible heating layer is housed in a protective polyurethane film within the glove. The system is made up of three lightweight, low profile and flexible lithium polymer batteries, each weighing 7 grams to provide heat to the fingers and palm. The gloves are designed to provide up to 6 hours of continuous heat, and they come with a charger. Available in men’s and women’s versions.
Available: August 2008
Rossignol Harness Pant—
This winter shell pant integrates a mountaineering-quality climbing harness—stitched into the trousers. Whenever you put these pants on—for ski mountaineering, snow climbing, etc.—you have a tie-in point. The pants are cut in a stretchy fabric that’s breathable and waterproof, protecting you from the cold, wind, rain, and snow as well as falls off a cliff side.
Available: September 2008
Rossignol Hit Jacket—
Skiers feel the cold standing still, on ski-lifts or in bad weather. But the new Hit jacket for women has a patented adjustable heating system with four heating panels integrated into the jacket’s lining that are linked to a rechargeable battery stored in the inside left pocket. When you are cold simply turn on the system by pressing the button on the battery, which triggers the autonomous system into a 20 minute operating cycle. These cycles can be repeated six times per day to maintain optimal temperature. Light weight (250g), washable, and rechargeable, the jacket is also breathable and waterproof.
Available: September 2008
Pacsafe Computer Bags—
Pacsafe has a new collection of theft-deterring bags, including a backpack and a messenger-style shoulder bag. Features include slash-proof metal mesh panels; straps embedded with slash-proof, high-tensile stainless steel wire; tamperproof zippers; and snatch-proof anchor clips on straps to let you lock your bag to an object. The MeshSafe M100 and M200 Ultimate Messenger Bags feature a combination lock built into the shoulder strap, allowing you to secure your bag to your chair in a café, restaurant or on a train.
Availability: Spring 2008
Price: $99.95 – $119.95
Eagles Nest Outfitters Daytripper—
From music festivals to mountaintops, the Daytripper is a built-to-carry hammock system that comes with straps, a pillow, a 32oz. Nalgene water bottle, and, of course, the hammock itself. The Single Daytripper weighs 4lb. 1oz.; Double Daytripper is 4lb. 5oz. The pack has a carrying capacity of 1,100 cubic inches.
Available: Later this winter.
Price: Single Daytripper, $139.50; Double Daytripper, $149.50
Saucony Xodus trail runners—
The ProGrid Xodus shoe from Saucony is part of the company’s leap into the trail running category. This $100 shoe, in men’s and women’s versions, has a Vibram outsole that the company says is supple enough to grip on smooth rock or pavement, but firm enough to bite into on-trail soil. Indeed, it’s all about the lugs on these shoes, according to the press materials: “Broad lugs around the Xodus’ sole periphery provide stability, comfort, and durability. Wedge-shaped lugs in the forefoot feature alternated orientation for uphill thrust and downhill braking. Dedicated lugs in the forefoot and heel provide lateral security for off-camber trails. Multidirectional lugs offer the trail runner an uncompromising grip, while their open-spaced placement keeps mud on the trail, not stuck to the outsole.” The shoes have a breathable rip-stop textile upper and a plate in the footbed to protect from rocks and roots. Weight is about 12 ounces a foot, depending on size.
Available: June 2008
Since 1999, Sanük has produced some of the world’s funkiest and most comfortable sandals (not shoes). For fall of 2008, Sanük is launching a line of cold-weather “sandals,” including the Dawn Patrol Hi, which features a water-resistant waxed canvas upper, a shearling liner and a lug outsole. These are the warmest sandals on the planet, the company says.
Available: Fall of 2008
Stanley Tea/Coffee Infuser—
Want fresh coffee or tea on the trail? The Stanley Tea/Coffee Infuser has a retractable basket that lets you brew beans or leaves while you walk. Then, with the quick twist of the handle, the brew basket retracts up and the steeping stops. It has 16oz. of liquid capacity. The brew basket is made from fine steel mesh, and its body, lid and basket are dishwasher safe.
SOLE Platinum Sandal—
These “performance flip-flops” feature a traction rubber outsole and a wear-moldable footbed that contours to your foot over time. SOLE’s exclusive shape offers unrivaled biomechanical support and orthopedic benefits, the company says. SOLE is so confident that these will be the most comfortable flip-flops you own that it offers a money-back guarantee.
Klean Kanteen, in “Kolor”—
Klean Kanteen’s popular stainless steel bottles now come in colors, pink, blue, green, orange and brown, to be precise. These bottles are marketed as more natural alternatives to plastic bottles from the likes of Nalgene.
Available: Spring 2008
READ MORE ON NEW GEAR FROM THE SHOW. . .