First Look: ‘Future Gear’ From OR Show

We’re on site in Utah all week for the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show. The event, one of the world’s biggest displays of outdoor equipment, is a major venue for unveiling new products and technology to the industry. Here are a few of our favorite products so far, most all of these not available until late 2014 or into next year. —Stephen Regenold

Wood-Burning, Electricity-Generating — This group-size camp stove from BioLite burns sticks and logs. Its flames are channeled to warm a grill on top as well as to a module on the side that makes electricity from the heat. Plug in a tablet computer, phone, or other gadget in need of a recharge at your camp site. $299

‘Jetforce’ Backpack — Most avalanche packs require a compressed-gas cylinder. But a new technology from Black Diamond Equipment, in collaboration with PIEPS, uses a fan. This ain’t no ordinary wing-blade, though — the proprietary “JetForce Technology” is a super high power air-sucking device that spins at 60,000 RPM to fill 200-liter lift balloons in an instant if you’re caught in a slide. $999; available in late summer 2014

Kid Snow Bike — A kit from Strider lets you transform a scoot bike into a snow-ready vehicle. Made for kids 18 months to 5 years, the Snow Ski kit attaches to a wheeled scoot bike with straps, no tools required. $144 ($35 for the ski attachment, $109 for the bike)

Fold-Up Snow Saw — Construct your snow shelter masterpiece with this toothy aluminum saw. The Basecamp Snow-Shelter Saw by MSR was designed for serious mountaineering trips where you may need to conjure wind-blocking walls, seats, shelters, and a “kitchen” area out of the snow. $89.95

‘IceTrek’ Winterized Toe Shoes — Made for running on snow and icy surfaces, the toe-segmented Bikila EVO WP from Vibram are sure to turn heads on your next winter trail run. A special rubber compound on the sole gives “snow tire”-like grip, Vibram touts. $150; available in fall 2014

Auto-Adjust Ski Boot — The F1 Evo from Scarpa is made to sense its position in a binding. With the heel locked down, it is set in a stiff “ski” mode. When the heel comes out, the boot switches automatically to a flexible “walk” mode. Beyond that neat touch, these are high-end boots, including a carbon-fiber frame, a Boa closure system, and an overall light weight at about 2 pounds, 7 ounces per boot. $699; available in fall 2014

Hot Hands — High-performance heated gloves are a perpetual Holy Grail in the outdoors industry. This year Outdoor Research makes a go with its Lucent Heated Gloves. They will offer “61 percent more power output than any other heated glove,” the brand cites. Heating elements are integrated with the interior fabric, including offering warmth to digits and the back of the hand. $350; available in fall 2014

‘Alcohol Product Line’ From Hydration Brand — Vapur makes soft-side water bottles. This year, the brand offers an alternative to old-fashioned pocket hooch with its 300ML flexible flask. Wine and hard liquor products options for sale. Wine Carrier, $11.99; Flask, $6.99

Boot Inside A Boot — Patagonia Footwear’s Activist boots have a clean lace-up look and removable, washable insulated booties made for extra warmth (as well as easier washing). $175, for sale in August, 2014

Funky Torch — Artsy ergonomics and a refillable tank make the Optimus Burny stand out in a world of Bics. It’s windproof for igniting a stove or campfire in bad weather. $12.95; available in spring 2014

(See more posts on Outdoor Retailer on our dedicated content channel covering the show.)

Solar Speakers — Sunlight charges these Bluetooth speakers as they pump tunes outdoors. Made by Goal Zero, the Rock Out 2 Solar speakers have a bass chamber and will be marketed to “adventurous audiophiles,” the company notes. $130; available in summer 2014

Ultimate Access, Fold-Open Pack — It looks like a regular day pack. But the Gemini 28L from Dakine has a zipper that unfurls 270 degrees to open the pack up all the way. All your gear is accessible in an instant with the flat-lying, multi-pocketed wonder. $125; available in summer 2014

Old-School Wood Handle Knife — Helle of Norway sells camp knives not much different from what your great-grandfather used. Its Olakniven knife has a fixed 2.25-inch steel blade and a birch handle. The company markets it to campers and mushroom hunters alike. $89

‘Down Puffy’ Rain Jacket — Mixing genres, Sierra Designs will sell a rain jacket stuffed with 600-fill goose down. Warmth and waterproofness are the promised results. The company employs a special hydrophobic down (DriDown branded) as insulation for a final line of defense against moisture from body sweat. $299; available in fall 2014

Green Rubber Uber-Boot — Made for the cold and wet, this high boot from Kamik, called the Cold Creek, is waterproof and built with neoprene and rubber. A glorious 17 inches tall on the leg and made in the USA. $179.99

Doggie On Board — Kurgo makes travel and safety gear for dogs. These car seat cover-ups caught our eye. Drape them over the interior upholstery and let Fido, muddy or not, hop right in. Made of a waterproof fabric.

Retro Boot By Cushe — The company claims this retro-new design was inspired by both the cold-water surf and ski cultures. The men’s boot, called the Matthias WP, is made of a waterproof leather and has a fleece lining for post-activity warmth. $125; available in summer 2014

—See more posts on Outdoor Retailer on our dedicated content channel covering the show.

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.