8. EASTON AIRLOCK SYSTEM — Easton Mountain Products’ new tent pole technology eliminates the need for shock cords. Instead of cord strung throughout a pole, Easton’s AirLock pole connector holds tent poles together with tiny aluminum/carbon core tubes and flexible tethers. The result is lighter-weight poles. The company says some pole setups could shave 50 percent of their weight by employing the AirLock system. www.eastonmountainproducts.com
9. SEASONFIVE — Thicker than a rash guard, but not as restrictive as a wetsuit, SeasonFive’s debut line of tops and pants offers a new way of looking at apparel for water sports. The key ingredient is the company’s Atmos 1.0 fabric, a three-layer build comprised of a face and backing of dense polyester. A stretchy waterproof-breathable membrane is the inner layer. The result is a tight-fitting suit that offers warmth, breathability, and water-shedding properties to keep surfers, paddlers, and other water enthusiasts more comfortable across of range of aquatic conditions. www.seasonfive.com
10. CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE — It holds water. A hose comes out the bottom, and you suck it to drink. Those things have not changed. But the Antidote, CamelBak’s latest hydration reservoir, has a few long-awaited upgrades. The screw-on lid is wide and easy to reach inside — a good idea for aiding in cleaning it out. The cap opens and closes easily with a quarter turn, and it locks watertight. For airing out the Antidote, dryer arms fold out to hold the reservoir open from the inside. The design is lighter and lower-profile than past models, and CamelBak added a new click-in connection that auto shuts-off with a valve to let you take the hose out and keep water from leaking into your pack. $30 – $35, depending on size. www.camelbak.com
11. DELORME/SPOT DEVICE — Officially released at Outdoor Retailer, the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator is a GPS combo pack capable of sending text messages from almost anywhere in the world. Want to send a Twitter or Facebook update from Denali? The DeLorme/SPOT product enables satellite-based text messaging where users can transmit 40-character geo-tagged messages to anyone via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or text message. DeLorme’s PN-60w unit grants full GPS functionality with the two-device package as well. Cost is $550 plus $100 per year for the SPOT service plan. www.delorme.com, www.findmespot.com
12. NEW BALANCE MINIMUS — Flexible, light, minimally-built, and close-fitting, the New Balance Minimus line is a major diversion for this running-shoe giant. The shoes, which won’t be to market until spring 2011, are still top-secret. (The company would only provide cropped “sneak peek” photos.) But after some time with the shoes in a closed room at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, it’s apparent that the barefoot-inspired Minimus line could be a game changer. www.newbalance.com
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.