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OR Trade Show — 2009 Product Preview, part II

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I’m back from Salt Lake City and the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show. Here’s the first gear report from the show for this week. . .

Confluence Watersports Concept Boats
These carbon-fiber/fiberglass hybrids took cake as some of the coolest products at OR this year. Available next spring in limited quantities, Confluence was calling these boats “concept designs,” meaning the company was flexing some of its design muscles to show the potential of what they can do with the right idea. Lift one of these boats—as I did in the booth—and you won’t believe the weight: The whitewater concept is a floaty 19 pounds; the sea kayak, a full-length schooner that’ll purportedly be priced around $5,000, tips the dial to a feathery 35 pounds. Available spring 2009; www.confluencewatersports.com

Terra Nova Titanium Tent Skewer
The absurdist’s dilemma of trying to find the lightest-weight tent stake on the market just got even more absurd. U.K.-based Terra Nova—formerly known as Wild Country—sells titanium tent “skewers” that weigh just one gram apiece. They stand about 12cm tall and are as thin as swizzle sticks. But company testers claim they keep in the ground through wind and rain if placed correctly in the turf. Available now in six packs for £15 at www.terra-nova.co.uk

Mammut Verglas jacket
The Swiss-designed Verglas jacket, a soft shell made for all-around use, is one of several new pieces to feature a finishing treatment from Schoeller Textiles purported to make dark colors feel lighter than wearing white. Called Coldblack, the treatment reduces heat build up and keeps the wearer cool while offering protection from the sun’s harmful rays, according to Schoeller. $279; spring 2009; www.mammutusa.com

Z-Medica Corporation QuikClot
In the hope-you-never-use-it category, Z-Medica Corporation’s QuikClot product has a hemostatic agent designed to stop high-volume bleeding, including arterial and venous incidents. The small first-aid packets are filled with a granulated mineral substance called Zeolite, which comes encased in a porous surgical sponge. It works by removing the liquid components from blood, allowing the platelets to clot rapidly. According to Adventure Medical Kits, which will distribute QuikClot in the outdoor retailer sales channel, blood from a wound can take up to 30 minutes to clot. But QuikClot, the company touts, can clot a gusher in about three minutes. QuikClot is currently used by the U.S. military, and the creators credit this product as saving 150 lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Packs start at $9.99; available now; www.adventuremedicalkits.com or www.quikclot.com

Princeton Tec Swerve
The Swerve can almost guarantee you’ll be seen 100 percent of the time from behind on your bike at night. A pair of half-watt LEDs dance and flash on this bike-seat-compatible light. A clicking toggle switch turns the unit off and on and shuffles through its two visibility modes. The company says diffused and focused lenses send wide and narrow beams of light that are easier for cars to see from a distance. $29.99; available now; www.princetontec.com

Montrail Mountain Masochist
The women’s and men’s Mountain Masochist shoe was designed for trail pounders who might tick off 20 miles on any given Saturday morning. The shoe—which also will come in a Gore-Tex iteration—is advertised for the off-road runner “who wants exceptional fit, performance and breathability.” Tech specs include a triple-density midsole with “Vapor Response” EVA foam; a flexible full-foot plate for protection; “Gryptonite” rubber on the outsole for traction and durability; and a lightweight upper with hydrophobic mesh and a gusseted tongue to keep dirt out. Weight hovers around 10 ounces per shoe in average sizes. $90 ($115 for Gore-Tex model); available in spring 2009; www.montrail.com

Wenger Swiss Raid Commando watch
Designed for the Swiss Raid Commando, a semi-annual military training event organized by the Swiss Special Forces, this “black on black on black” watch has a black rubber strap, an anti-reflective matte-black stainless steel case, and a black dial. Orange or green markings glow subtly for nighttime visibility. Watch features include a tachymeter for measuring speed over a known distance and a 12-hour chronograph that displays elapsed hours, minutes and seconds. $425; available now at www.wengerna.com

KEEN Springwater
The closed-toe and clipless-pedal-compatible Springwater is among a line of cycling products to come from KEEN next spring. The company touts the shoe as having “the same comfort and performance on the bike and off.” Features include a cleat cap plate, a non-marking rubber outsole and a removable footbed. $130; available in January; www.keenfootwear.com

Mammut Smart belay device
As a new take on the belay device, the lightweight (82 grams) and inexpensive ($30) Mammut Smart has a locking feature that makes catching a hard fall easy and safe. The device works by forcing the rope into a pinched-off position when weight is applied, effectively locking off the belayed climber in a fall or when he or she needs a rest. The device is suitable for all ropes from 8.9mm to 10.5mm in diameter. Available spring 2009; www.mammutusa.com

Related content. . .
OR Show 2009 Product Preview, part I
OR Show 2009 Product Preview, part II
OR Show 2009 Product Preview, part III
OR Show 2009 Product Preview, part IV

(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)

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