It’s Outdoor Retailer time again, the twice-annual trade show in Utah where thousands of brands debut new products for the coming sales season. With the Summer Market show, held next week July 31 – Aug. 3 in Salt Lake City, companies show off wares that won’t come to the retail shelves until next spring (2014).
GearJunkie will be at the OR Show this month in force, with no less than seven reporters and editors on the convention hall floor, where we’ll be on the hunt for our regular “Best in Show” award winners (link to winter 2013 winners) and coverage. For now, we got a sneak peek and several scoops from more than 50 brands to preview some of the most unique gear that’ll grace the floor. Here are a few of our favorites so far. —Stephen Regenold
Outdoors Cape — Yep, Woolrich is debuting a cape! The company’s buffalo check plaid and classic madras patterns blend to create a visual statement. Called the women’s Portage Plaid Rain Cape, the $145 piece is 100% polyester and water resistant in the woods.
Big Sole New Balance — Touting a “super soft, bouncy ride,” the Fresh Foam 980 shoe from New Balance is something different from the current minimal trend. It has cushioning via a foamy outsole with a hexagonal grid pattern to offer substantial support while pounding pavement or hard-pack trail. $110.
Divergent Bag Designs — Hydrophobic down insulation and a zipper-less design distinguishes Sierra Designs’ Backcountry Bed 800 sleeping bag (pictured at right; starts at $349). It has an integrated “comforter” blanket and an oval-shape opening designed to “naturally adjust in width to prevent cold drafts.”
The brand’s Mobile Mummy 800 (pictured above at left; starts at $349) was “designed to fit more like a garment and move with you.” It has arm holes and a jacket-style hood.
Light-Up SUP Boards — NOCQUA Adventure Gear will launch LED lighting systems to attach to SUP boards. The NOCQUA 2000 product consists of strips of lights and straps to mount on the bottom of a board. Powered by a 12V lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack to pump more than 2,000 lumens of underwater light.
Spacious and Lightweight — Big Agnes’ Super Scout UL2 tent weighs only 2 pounds 3 ounces but has a 44-square-foot vestibule to stash your gear at night. The single-wall tent requires trekking poles for setup. $399.95.
Beer Bucket — YETI Coolers’ new product, called The Tank, is an insulated bucket to keep ice longer. The bucket walls are 2 inches thick with insulation for all-day ice. Holds up to 96 aluminum cans, 60 longneck bottles, or one full-size keg. $200.
Swiss Army Bike Tool — Made in Switzerland, the Bike Tool from Victorinox is a compact unit that disassembles into the essential instruments you might need on the road. There’s a hex wrench with an adaptor for eight bits. A set of tire levers pop off for changing a flat. $48.
Meat Energy Bar — Move over Clif bar. These protein bars are made from 100% grass-fed meat. Yep, that’s the premise of the EPIC bar, a Texas brand that has bison, turkey and beef based bars packaged for your next adventure. $34 for box of 12 bars.
A Stronger Tent Pole — A composite material with “multi-directional wound construction” makes for what Easton calls the most resilient tent pole ever developed. The Syclone poles are 80% more resilient to failure and bending than aluminum in wind and flex-testing, the company cites, and they flex further than carbon before returning to their original shape.
Thin Shell Jacket — The Air Jacket from Bergans is made of a Pertex material thinner than paper. It protects from wind and rain (but is not waterproof) and in a men’s size large it weighs just 90 grams. $159.
Jungle Bed — New from Eagles Nest Outfitters, The JungleNest hammock is marketed to offer insect protection and suspended sleeping comfort via bug netting and a feature that lets a sleeper adjust hammock loft from the inside.
Rapid Machine — Stubby but still fast, the Mobius from Wave Sport is suited for beginners looking to drop into the sport of freestyle kayaking. It has a wide stern and a higher water line to be forgiving in the current. Extra volume in front of the paddler’s knees “maximizes the pop in vertical moves.” $1,149.