Europe’s largest outdoor industry show, ISPO, this year modified its format to add new product categories and awards for standout gear. Take a look!
We always love covering Europe’s ISPO OutDoor Show; it offers a peek at what brands outside the U.S. market are producing, along with some sneak peeks from brands we know.
This year, the show took on a slightly new look as ISPO merged with OutDoor show Friedrichshafen. Among other things, it provided some categories for award-winning gear and laser-focused the show’s stance on sustainability.
Here’s all the gear that won at this year’s show.
This year, ISPO created new “Outstanding” awards to present to products that stand out for their trendsetting tech and design. Judges considered products for this award in four categories: Comfort Performance, Lightness, Sustainability, and Urban Outdoor.
ISPO Comfort Performance Award
The North Face Tente Futurelight Jacket / April 2020 / 340€ ($384)
The North Face’s highly publicized, proprietary waterproof-breathable membrane made big waves at Outdoor Retailer this year, and OutDoor by ISPO responded in kind. While the electrospinning process that gives life to Futurelight isn’t new, TNF spent two years perfecting and tailoring the waterproof-breathable matrix to specific environments and activities. Plus, the Tente remains free of PFCs and uses exclusively recycled materials.
ISPO Lightness Award
PETZL Fly Harness / Jan. 2020 /100€ ($113)
Containing no metal and no conventional buckles, Petzl’s Fly Harness uses only textile, plastic, and an “innovative gear loop technique for fastening” to reinvent the (ski) mountaineering harness. Judges applauded its scant 120g (approximately 4-ounce) weight and easy-on, easy-off design whether wearing boots, crampons, or standing with both feet on the ground.
ISPO Sustainability Award
Vaude Redmont 1L Jacket / Feb. 2020 / 330€ ($372)
A jacket, made with cotton, that keeps the wearer warm and moisture from penetrating to the skin? VAUDE’s Redmont garment uses a special process that weaves cotton with GOTS-certified organic wool, making it “doubly sustainable.” Production requires fewer pesticides, and the textiles’ natural colors don’t pollute as they degrade, as is the case with synthetics. Most notably, however, the fabric swells when wet and blocks moisture from seeping through.
ISPO Urban Outdoor Award
Adidas MyShelter Parley Jacket / Jan. 2020 / 230€ ($260)
ISPO judges awarded the Adidas MyShelter Parley jacket for three features: sustainability, function, and style. It sports hands-free carry straps and seam-sealed, three-layer waterproof construction. What’s more, the MyShelter Parley uses 100 percent recycled polyester pulled from beach waste.
In addition to the Outstanding awards, ISPO judges also selected the best products in a number of outdoor product categories. Here are the Gold Award winners. All gold-winning gear either launches this month or comes out in time for spring 2020.
Palgero Merino SeaCell Zip / Sept. 2020 / 119.95€ ($135)
SeaCell, the secret sauce in Palegero’s renewable base layer, is a cellulose fiber that derives from dried, ground Icelandic brown algae. Combined with merino wool, the garment provides a hypoallergenic, soft, stretchy layer that, according to ISPO judges, works in both warm and cool weather. The SeaCell fiber cools for spring and summer conditions, while the merino provides autumn and winter warmth.
Devold of Norway COVER ZIP NECK / March 2020 / 140€ ($158)
Made for both high-intensity and casual scenarios, the Devold of Norway Midlayer uses varying construction to both keep the wearer warm and help them stay cool when necessary. Tightly woven stretch merino covers the chest and upper sleeves to trap heat and block wind, but a single layer of merino jersey material on the back and lower sleeves helps promote greater breathability.
Best Trail Running Apparel
Norrøna bitihorn driflex1 Anorak / Feb. 2020 / 289€ ($325)
A light and fast anorak? That’s Norrona’s claim with the bitihorn driflex1, a 2.5-layer waterproof-breathable, stretchy jacket meant for fast pursuits on the trail. Norrona managed to endow this anorak with a two-way front zipper, chest pocket, and an adjustable hood, while keeping the weight at an impressive 120 grams.
Best Insulated apparel
Adidas TERREX Windweave Windbreaker / Feb. 2020 1/ 80€ ($203)
Multiple yarn deniers and advanced body-mapping technology give way to an insulating garment that provides breathability and protection in the exact areas of the body where they’re needed most. Adidas used its Windweave technology to create a simple jacket that’s both “aesthetically pleasing,” according to ISPO judges, and ideal for high-altitude runs, hikes, or climbs.
Best Hiking Jacket
Adidas TERREX Zupahike Jacket / Jan. 2020 / 300€ ($338)
Adidas adds to its accolades with a second body-mapped jacket, this time with more durable, waterproof-breathable construction. Judges gave a nod to this jacket’s “non-traditional fit” — longer, wider, and scooped down at the front — as targeting style-conscious hikers. But a mix of 3-layer and 2.5-layer construction lends abrasion resistance and added protection in necessary areas, while also providing stretch, breathability, and comfort.
Best Hiking Pants
Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers / March 2020 / 169€ ($190)
Fjallraven adds to its Abisko line of hiking pants with the Midsummer Trousers. These full-legged hiking bottoms are made from the newly developed G-1000 Air Stretch that is unwaxed and has a looser weave to let heat and moisture pass through the fabric. The mechanical stretch offers a slight flex and gives great freedom of movement. The lightweight, well-ventilated, packable fabrics provide a great alternative to shorts when full-length leg protection is needed, whether its from the sun, insects, or rough terrain.
Best Lifestyle Apparel
Toread Light Change Skin Jacket / March 2020 / 49€ ($55)
Here’s a new take on UV safety: a jacket that changes color and pattern with the intensity of the sun. The Toread Light Change Skin Jacket uses TiEF Chameleon fabrics to achieve the futuristic effect, designed to alert wearers to their risks of sunburn depending on where they are. A brimmed hood and laser-punched ventilation holes add further functionality for urban commuters on the move.
Best Trail Running Shoe
Tecnica Origin / Aug. 2019 / 170€ EUR ($191)
Tecnica’s revolutionary “thermomolding” process jumps from ski boots to trail shoes with the Origin. Within 20 minutes, customers get a custom-formed upper and footbed, creating a shoe that’s unique to their foot. Four different styles suit both men and women of varying weights and running styles. We’ve tried the process — both for ski boots and Origin trail runners — and can attest that Tecnica’s system really does create a unique experience.
Best Trekking Poles
Komperdell FXP Carbon Series / July 2019 / 140€ ($158)
Near-instant and automatic “rock-solid” connection differentiated the Komperdell FXP Carbon Series from other collapsible trekking poles. Judges noted the FXPs small pack size and lightweight construction as further deserving of a Gold Award, saying the poles were perfect for all-season hiking, trail running, and even ski touring.
Best Lighting and Power
NITECORE HC65 Headlamp 75€ ($84)+F4 Power Bank 29€ ($33) / July 2019
The NITCORE HC65 is less headlamp than it is scorching floodlight. The triple-output light emits up to 1,000 lumens that light more than the length of a football field away, by the judges’ own accounts. Naturally, a headlamp that powerful requires some serious juice to keep running. That’s why judges also gave an award to NITECORE’s F4 Power Bank, which can charge the HC65’s four Li-Ion batteries, as well as recharge tablets, smartphones, or cameras.
Best Bike Gear
Endura MT500 Full Face Helmet / July 2019 / 230€ ($259)
Meet the first full-face helmet to utilize Koroyd technology, one of the most promising cranial safety technologies since MIPS. Providing protection against both linear and angled impacts, Koroyd replaces standard EPS foam, and by doing so, the Endura MT500 reduces weight and gains ventilation. In fact, at 640g, the MT500 stands as the lightest full-face helmet currently on the market.
Best Bike Accessory
ORTLIEB Up-Town / Jan 2020 / 80€ ($90)
Running to the store? Be sure to count on the ORTLIEB Up-Town carrier. This waterproof and dustproof “shopping basket” (as judges called it) has a main central compartment and a zippered stash pocket for keys, a wallet, and a phone. An internal aluminum frame keeps the Up-Town upright and, along with its tear-resistant Cordura body, helps protect everything inside. What’s more, the large main lid is lockable, so no potholes will claim your goods.
Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L / July 2019 / 220€ ($248)
Packs that transition between duffel and backpack aren’t new, but Peak Design’s Travel Duffelpack also expands from 45 to 65L with expansion zips. Judges appreciated the aluminum and foam structure that helps the pack perform better in duffel mode than many options currently out there. As a backpack, it excelled thanks to padded shoulder straps and a waist belt that provide heavy-load carriage. Judges also spoke to the pack’s magnetically sealed back panels as a “clever” strap storage solution.
Best Backpacking Pack
Lowe Alpine AirZone Trek 35 / Feb. 2020 / 160€ ($180)
“Outstanding breathability” earned the Lowe Alpine AirZone Trek 35 best backpack honors. Lowe Alpine’s patented FormKnit construction creates a variable knit pattern that promotes open, breathable, and tensile areas on a single fabric panel. Zippered front entry, durable materials, internal divider, and axe attention rounded out the build. Judges called this pack a “premium, versatile hiking pack,” suited to day hikers in hot conditions.
Ticket To The Moon Lightest Hammock / July 2019 / 65€ ($72)
Ultralight hikers don’t need to sacrifice a good hang. That’s because Ticket to the Moon unveiled its appropriately named, 228g Lightest Hammock. The Indonesian brand accomplished this by using lightweight parachute nylon, Dyneema straps and “slender but sturdy carabiners,” according to the judges. Plus, the entire hammock system packs down into a distinctive banana-shaped pack.
Best Two-Person Sleeping Bag
Pajak 4TWO / Feb. 2020 / 349€ ($393)
Recycle this sleeping bag for two. When you reach the end of the Pajak 4TWO’s usable life, don’t fret — the down can be sucked out, the zipper chains can be recycled into bricklaying tool handles, and the threads, fabrics, fasteners, and straps can be processed back into yarn. Plus, according to ISPO judges, Pajak selected materials that require the lowest amount of energy for recycling and upcycling.
Best Ultralight Sleeping Bag
Rab Mythic Ultra 180 / Feb. 2020 / 500€ ($563)
ISPO judges agreed with our own editors: The Rab Mythic Ultra sleeping bag is a standout. While heat-reflective technology is not new, Rab did it in a different way — the bag’s material is made in a room filled only with inert argon gas. Thin fibers are coated with titanium and, when woven into the fabric, the bag reflects body heat back to the sleeper. The result is a higher warmth-to-weight ratio, with the Mythic Ultra 180, a 32-degree bag, weighing 400g, while a 20-degree weighs 606g.
Best Synthetic Sleeping Bag
VAUDE Meglis Eco 700 SYN Sleeping bag / Feb. 2020 / 380€ ($423)
Believe it or not, designers at VAUDE took inspiration for a game-changing sleeping bag from … toilet paper rolls. The result is the Meglis Eco 700 SYN, which uses an “innovative spiral pattern” that uses far less waste than traditional construction techniques. It also allows for fewer joint seams, which translates to fewer cold spots and reduced weight. VAUDE also added two arm openings and 30 percent more stretch, so wearers can sit cross-legged and read while in the bag.
Best Car Camping Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX / April 2020 / 520€ ($585)
MSR upgrades its popular Hubba Hubba tent for 2020 with a vastly more durable waterproofing. The brand’s Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating lasts up to three times longer than standard DWRs. Plus, MSR used “swellable yarn” on the seams that add greater waterproofing and replace seam tape. With the Hubba Hubba NX, MSR also introduced the Euro market to its lightweight, composite Easton Syclone tent poles.
Best Ultralight Tent
Vango Project Hydrogen / Feb. 2020 / 608€ ($685)
Inflatable tubes allow for a super-light, 600g tent from Vango. Judges deemed the Project Hydrogen tent suitable for bikepacking, trekking, or even multi-day adventure runs. The Project Hydrogen’s AirBean baffles inflate with a standard Schraeder valve and, while “robust,” that construction allows for field repair without being susceptible to permanent deformation like standard tent poles.
Best Backpacking Tent
VAUDE Lizard 1-2 P Tent / Feb. 2020 / 570€ ($642)
A perfect compromise between weight and comfort — maybe even more comfort and less weight. VAUDE employed an “ingenious silicone bonding” to achieve waterproofing while eliminating unnecessary seams (and weight). Lizard is a double-wall stormproof shelter that boasts a seam line twice as strong as standard sewn alternatives. What’s more, the silicone waterproofing makes the tent very UV-stable.