eddie bauer flyline innovation awards
Product of the Year, the Eddie Bauer BC Flyline sit ski jacket and bib.

Future Gear: 2022 Innovation Awards From Outdoor Retailer

On Thursday night, Outdoor Retailer revealed its lineup of the world’s most innovative new gear. Here’s the full rundown on finalists and winners at the 2022 Innovation Awards.

At 7:30 p.m. MST on Jan. 27, Outdoor Retailer (OR) guests feasted their eyes on the world’s most innovative new gear (according to OR).

The show’s fourth-annual Innovation Awards concluded on Thursday. Elastic presented the Product of the Year, and a panel of independent judges selected 14 other award winners from among 35 finalists.

The Eddie Bauer BC Flyline Flight Jacket and Bib, a sit ski-specialized waterproof kit, took Product of the Year. Other notable award winners included the CAKE Kalk AP, a limited-edition, solar-powered bike with ties to African wildlife conservation, and QR code decals from Karmik to help people find lost gear.

Check out all 15 winners below.

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Eddie Bauer BC Flyline Flight Jacket (Overall Winner)

eddie bauer innovation awardsEddie Bauer teamed up with its sponsored athlete Trevor Kennison to develop the BC Flyline Flight Jacket and Bib. After 2 years of sit skiing on the team, Kennison found the brand’s outerwear built for non-disabled people didn’t perform as well for him. From there, he and the brand collaborated on the new kit.

CAKE Kalk AP

cake innovation awards

Swedish electric bikemaker CAKE started with a passion for gravity sports. It developed the Kalk AP with help from the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) and its rangers for the direct purpose of bush transportation and helping thwart poachers.

Customers can order the small-batch bike as a charity bundle — one unit for the buyer and one as a donation to the SAWC.

GOT BAG ROLLTOP

got bag innovation awards

The GOT BAG ROLLTOP is the world’s first backpack built from 100% recycled ocean plastic. GOT BAG said each bag contains 7.7 pounds of recovered plastic.

The bag is waterproof, PFC-free, rolls to adjust between 23 and 30 L, and comes with a detachable sleeve that fits 13- to 15-inch laptops.

icebreaker Shell+ Hooded Jacket

icebreaker innovation awards

Icebreaker builds the Shell+ with woven merino wool, then coats it with a water-repellent barrier to deliver a natural-fiber shell alternative.

The brand says the piece completes its head-to-toe natural layering system.

Karmik Outdoors Outdoor Gear Recovery Decals

karmik innovation awards

Karmik’s stick-on QR code decals help connect people who lose their gear outdoors with people who find it. Users register with Karmik to add their contact information to the database.

Once the link to the QR code goes live, anyone who finds a piece of gear in the field with a Karmik sticker on it can find the owner by scanning it. The brand offers incentives for returned equipment and a program to support users who want to sell their registered gear.

Karmik says 86% of outdoor enthusiasts have lost something of value in nature, while 76% of outdoor folks have found lost gear in the field. Why not connect them?

Kathmandu NXT-Level Bio Down Jacket

kathmandu innovation awards

Every material in the Kathmandu NXT-Level line is biodegradable: fabrics, thread, zippers, other minor details, and even the packaging. The Bio Down Jacket uses AMNI SOUL ECO nylon insulated with Responsible Down Standard (RDS) 600-fill-power duck down with TrackMyDown traceability.

Kathmandu is also transparent with its biodegradability statistics: *86.6% biodegradation in 1,050-plus days for outer and lining material; 94.4% biodegradation in 1,677-plus days for zipper and thread; 93.8% biodegradation in 646-plus days for synthetic fill under “optimal conditions that may be found in some biologically active landfills.”

Küat Racks Piston Pro X

 

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Küat’s Piston Pro X is next-level, with hydropneumatic tire arms to dampen rattle and patent-pending tool-free tire chock slides. Durable materials and coatings like Tiger Drylac and Genuine Kashima comprise the 99% metal rig.

Little Kamper Portable Propane Tank Exchange

little kamper innovation awards

Little Kamper’s reusable one-pound propane tank seeks to cut waste from the ubiquitous green propane canister. It says customers pay “the true cost of their fuel choice” because its Tank Exchange program eliminates the disposal cost of empty tanks.

The ingenious little (light) greenies even took home a GearJunkie Best in Show from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last year.

NORDIC-STEP

nordic-step innovation awards

 

NORDIC-STEP lets multiple skiers use one set of cross-country skis regardless of their shoe size or shoe/boot preference. It combines snowshoe binding technology with a cross-country ski boot sole to turn winter footwear into a “ski boot.”

ORTOVOX Diract Voice

ortovox innovation awards

The Diract Voice is the world’s first avalanche transceiver with integrated voice navigation. The device gives users instructions during every step of an avalanche rescue. It uses three antennae and Smart-Antenna Technology to double its range and increase the chances of finding a buried victim.

Outside ‘Gear Up Give Back’

outside innovation awards

Outside incentivizes Gear Up Give Back (GUGB) participants to pass along their “pre-loved” gear. Anyone who visits the GUGB page on the Cairn/Outside website can print a free-to-them shipping label and then use it to send in their equipment.

The Gear Fix then evaluates and/or repairs it. When it sells, all proceeds go to Outdoors For All, which helps deliver adaptive and therapeutic recreation for people with disabilities throughout the U.S.

The PACT Kit

pact kit innovation awards

The PACT Kit is an all-in-one backcountry cat hole kit with an ergonomic trowel, a dry wipe that the user moistens for better cleaning, and (most impressively) a mycelium compound to help recycle waste and sequester its toxicity in the environment.

Proof Underwear

proof innovation awards

Three sisters started Proof to empower women through pregnancy, period, postpartum, and incontinence awareness. It launched on the strength of its belly wrap, called The Belly Bandit, then built purpose-driven undergarments.

“We’re committed to creating products that — like your bestie or sister — would have your back (or booty) always. Yes, periods can be stressful, sweat stains are annoying, and sprinkles can come unannounced. But if we can make life a little less leaky, we’ve fulfilled our dream,” the brand says.

SheFly Apparel Go There Pants

outdoor retailer innovation awards

SheFly’s patented zipper lets women answer the call anywhere in the outdoors — discreetly. The pants also address other issues common to women’s pants by adding bigger, functional pockets and a midrise adjustable waist engineered to fit comfortably under backpacks or harnesses.

Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D Goggle

smith optics innovation awards

Smith builds its I/O MAG Imprint 3D Goggle based on facial scans from users to deliver a perfect custom-fit ski goggle to each user. The 3D-printed result arrives at the buyer’s doorstep within 2 weeks of the initial scan, which supports iPhone 10 and above. It comes with two ChromaPop lenses.

Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.