In this third look at the latest gear from the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show I have uncovered stylish sunglasses made for fishermen, water shoes that look like skate shoes, and a luxury rooftop cargo box from Thule that will sell for $800. . .
Horny Toad Cayo
This techy T-shirt can take you “from trailhead to summit and taco stand to dance floor.” That’s according to Horny Toad, which commissioned this everyday shirt to be constructed with a proprietary fabric called DynoSoar that is made from 85% recycled poly Dri-release and 15% organic cotton. DynoSoar feels like cotton but has performance properties for wicking, drying, comfort and odor control. $54; available February 2009; www.hornytoad.com
Thule Excellence Roof Box
Advertised as “ultra premium,” the Excellence rooftop cargo box from Thule has 18 cubic feet of capacity and touches like struts, stiffeners and a high-gloss two-tone finish. Its main innovation is in its looks, which Thule says can complement the lines of a higher-end vehicle, which is the market. Made for SUVs, crossovers and mid-size vehicles, the Excellence box is sleeker, lighter, and more aerodynamic than much of the competition. The box comes with a customized lid cover to shield from the elements during storage to help maintain a newly-purchased appearance for years. $799.95; available March 2009; www.thule.com
Marmot Wool Half Zip
Marmot cites the Half Wool Zip as offering “a glimpse into the future of base layers.” That future apparently includes lots of sheep and a few coconuts. Indeed, with its unique combination of natural and synthetic fabrics the top employs the latest version of Polartec Power Dry with wool on the outside layer to keep you warm even when wet. The inside layer is polyester, which Marmot cites as being comfortable next to the skin and highly breathable. Last, the polyester fabric is fused with fibers derived from coconut husks to add odor management, wicking and sun protection. $85; available this fall; www.marmot.com
Gregory Diablo with Bio-sync
As part of a new line of eight lightweight trail packs with “Bio-sync suspension,” the Diablo moves as your body moves, according to Gregory. Made for running, hiking, cycling and other aerobic sports, the Bio-sync suspension system uses elasticized attachment points at each shoulder harness and on the waist belt that the company says can mimic the wearer’s body motion during activity. The pictured Diablo pack (called the Dipsea in the women’s version) is a six-liter pack with just enough space for water, food and a layer or two. A notable feature: the “tube management system” is made so that after a drink your hydration hose will snap back into place on the shoulder harness automatically with the aid of an elastic strap. Just don’t get your compass too close to that small force field. $59; available January 2009; www.gregorypacks.com
Inno Kayak/Canoe Locker
Load and lock down your kayak or canoe with this unique lockable strap system rack. Rubber-coated steel cable straps ratchet around your craft and lock with a key. Capacity is one kayak or one canoe and up to two wind-surfboards or up to three surfboards. $229; available now; www.innoracks.com
Made for fishermen, the Mogul comes in “fishing-specific” lens tints and is available with “polarchromic” lenses that shift when the ambient light changes outdoors. It has polarized glass lenses with a hydrophobic coating on both sides of the lens to keep splashed water from smudging your view. An anti-reflective coating is applied to the inside of the lens to eliminate backlit reflections from bouncing into the user’s eye. Light-blocking temple arms and a distinguished chrome logo badge complete the Mogul look. $159 (polarized), $179 (polarchromic); available now; www.smithoptics.com
Borrowing more from the skate culture than the boating world, the Gnar is engineered to perform in the water. Features include a tacky rubber outsole for grip on slick stone, a closed-cell EVA tongue that absorbs no water, and mesh panels for drainage once you step out of the creek. $80; available in January 2009; www.teva.com
(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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