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‘Best in Show’ awards

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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

Easton Mountain Products’ AirLock pole connectors

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

SeasonFive neo-wetsuit

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

CamelBak Antidote reservoirs

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

DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT

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

“Spy photos” of New Balance Minimus trail shoe

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.

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