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First Look: 2015/16 Winter Gear

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The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show kicks off today in Salt Lake City, with thousands of brands coming together to debut products for fall 2015 and winter 2016. We covered “future gear” from the show in a 2015 winter outdoor gear article, and now today offer a look at more to-be-released winter gear live from the OR show.

Salomon Backcountry Boot — The French brand introduced its first boot made for long distance ski-touring, the MTN Lab, and we had the chance to put it to the test for two days of touring this week. It’s sweet. While built on a pretty narrow (98mm) last, the moldable liner on this 1.58kg freeride boot was comfortable even for a wide-footed tester. It has plenty of travel for climbs and nice stiffness for downhill charging.

Recycled Goose Down Jacket — Sanitized, recycled down from the apparel and bedding products industry is re-used in a jacket from Ternua. Called the Loughor model, the jacket looks like a great template for sustainability in outerwear.

Adjustable Axe — The FlickLock pommel on Black Diamond’s Viper is essentially an adjustable grip that you can slide up and down the shaft of the tool. It allows two hands to match on the tool or a single-hand grip while swinging on ice.

Frontpointer —The Black Diamond Snaggletooth crampons combine a monopoint frontpoint with a second, smaller horizontal frontpoint for switching between snow, mixed terrain, and technical ice on an alpine climb.

Smooth Touring Ski — Our managing editor had the chance to get a tour on the to-be-released DPS Wailer Tour1, which cuts 300 grams off the company’s popular Wailer ski. This one is meant specifically for climbing and descending all kinds of backcountry terrain. It performed beautifully on our day-long test in the Wasatch this week.

World’s Warmest Jacket? — Columbia touts that superlative with its top-of-the-line Heatzone 1000 TurboDown Hooded Jacket. It has unique construction that combines 900-fill down with Omni-Heat Thermal synthetic insulation, the two fluffy substrates running through the jacket in a ‘wave-like’ pattern in the baffles.

Hybrid Wool — Brooks-Range’s Hybrid Wool Jacket is constructed with Polartec Alpha insulation in the body and Polartec Power Wool in the arms. It’s designed to be worn as a mid layer or outer layer with a shell fabric in the body to protect the wearer from wind while staying breathable.

Update On A Classic — The upper of the Vasque Sundowner GTX is made in Minnesota, and the boot combines the look and feel of a retro Italian design with modern technology.

Ultra Hiker Sock — We’ve been testing this sock for a month (a pre-release we got in December). The Wigwam Ultra Cool-Lite Crew is one of the most bomber, comfortable hikers we’ve worn.

Protective Vest — Snowmobilers are often at risk of avalanches, but they also benefit from chest and back protection with the risk of high-speed accidents. The BCA Float MtnPro Vest has front, back and side protection and is equipped with BCA’s proprietary airbag system in case of a slide.

Multi-Fabric Base — Bergans Of Norway has a two-layer top with its Akelei Half Zip — one layer is a wool/polyester blend, and the other one is full poly. We like the “Where’s Waldo” design, too.

Apres Anything — The Chaco Women’s Barbary boot has soft, warm wool combined with waterproof leather for a classic mountain look. Fold it down or wear it up at your choice.

Powder Hound — A hybrid jacket for dogs, this piece by Ruffwear combines the warmth of synthetic insulation with a breathable, technical stretch fabric for range of motion.

Lighted Running Vest — GoMotion’s Reactor 2 is an update to the brand’s popular vest line. It’s half the weight, has pockets for holding gels, cell phone, etc., increased vertical adjustability of the 150-lumen sternum light, and a new, lighter battery management system powered by rechargeable li-ion packs.

Norwegian Survival Knife — The Helle Utvær knife is a collaboration with knifemaker Jesper Voxnaes, and it was designed as a single tool to cover a wide range of outdoor needs. It is the brand’s first full-tang knife, making it suitable for rougher tasks like chopping wood and shelter building.

Speedy Street Runner — The Vazee Pace by New Balance is designed for runners seeking a stable ride to “move quickly through the gait cycle,” the company notes. It is geared toward responsiveness and speed.

Boot For Wet Weather — The Boatyard Chukka from Sperry combines the urban styling of the Chukka boot with a rugged, lugged outsole that disperses water for stable footing on decks, docks or rocky coastlines. Waterproof leather and mesh on the uppers keep feet dry.

Light Freeride Ski — Blizzard’s Zero G are the lightest alpine touring/backcountry skis in the company’s Freeride category at about 1,540 grams.

Off-The-Shelf Comfort — The Tecnica Mach1 line of all-mountain ski boots feel great off the shelf. We’ve tried them. The Custom Adaptive Shape or C.A.S. Technology in the liner AND the shell will be available in more models in late 2015.

Alpaca Wool Jacket — The Dare 2b Men’s Burrow Jacket uses an alpaca/wool blend for breathable insulation for ski touring, jogging, or layering up for a snowy day.

Craft Beer Carry — The Stanley Classic Vacuum Growler has a heavy-duty handle and insulated walls the company claims will keep your craft beer cold for 16 hours outside.

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