Pat Petschel, the newest member of The Gear Junkie team, is at the Outdoor Retailer trade show this week in Salt Lake City. He will be making occasional reports from the show floor over the coming four days.
Day Two: 11p.m. — My first day on the trade show floor is complete. The Salt Palace was loaded with new stuff and among several trends I noticed strong themes relating to family camping and urban-outdoors gear and apparel (e.g., a jacket that does double duty for downhill skiing or walking through the city in search of a beer). Here are a few items that caught my eye today.
Puffy Running Jacket
Brooks was promoting a new running jacket that didn’t look at all like a running jacket. The L.S.D. Thermal Jacket has quilted panels stuffed with PrimaLoft insulation. The theory, according to Brooks, is that the jacket wicks sweat away from the body and into the PrimaLoft fibers as you run. The PrimaLoft fibers, which are hydrophobic, then shed the moisture outward to the air. That’s the theory, at least. This jacket is an upgrade on a previously released water- and wind-resistant jacket. The big difference is a change in design to enhance range of motion and heat regulation, plus Brooks added 40-gram PrimaLoft fill to the arms (and kept 60-gram fill in the body). I will be curious to test this jacket running on the cold winter days ahead back home in Minnesota. (Available in August 2009, $130, www.brooksrunning.com)
Double Duty with Diapers
Kelty is one company pushing family-oriented camping products. The TC 2.1 is a kid-carrying backpack with a zip-off diaper bag pack. It would seem to be a fit for families doing day hikes in the outdoors, or maybe just through the shopping mall. (Available now, $120, www.kelty.com)
Weather Protection with Flair
As an example of the lifestyle and urban look that seems to be taking hold in the industry, Core Concepts’ Double Shot Soft Shell combines form and function in this waterproof and breathable shell. It includes a belt on the waist with a zip-off skirt extension. Polartec Thermal Pro insulation is added at the collar and cuffs while an internal stash pocket holds a headphone port. (Available fall 2009, $210, www.corelayers.com)
Pacsafe, manufactured by Outpac Designs Ltd., is known for products designed to prevent theft and protect travelers’ possessions via embedded steel mesh and lockable cables. At the show today the company introduced the ScanSafe series, which includes business-oriented gear designed to help ease navigation through airport security. A laptop compartment means there is no need to remove your laptop from your bag to be X-rayed. (August 2009, $TBD, www.pacsafe.com)
The Sport Runner Litebelt from Go Motion is an interesting replacement or enhancement for headlamp wearers. It is a L.E.D.-powered running belt that shines a beam out from your waist to light up the trail. It comes with a three-level beam intensity that dims as the power winds down to extend battery life. The LiteBelt is designed for walkers and runners and includes two storage pockets, adjustable fit and lightweight construction (Available now, $79.95, www.gomotiongear.com)