Climbing jeans, inflatable surfboards, and post-waste jackets, our editor tried out the latest, most exciting gear from this year’s PressCamp.
Each year, several brands meet informally with reporters to demo gear, pitch ideas, and offer sneak peeks prior to Outdoor Retailer.
Our editor was on-hand and these eight products caught his eye.
Boulder Denim Jeans
Denim jeans for climbers and travelers? Now there’s a stylish and functional option. Boulder Denim is a new brand of jeans designed by two young climbers who wanted a pair of pants to climb and live in.
They wanted these jeans so bad they went on Dragon’s Den (Canadian Shark Tank), struck a deal, and launched a Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaign that netted over $100,000.
Now, they tour the country in an Airstream mobile shop. Here are the key features:
- Look and feel great, designed to flex and stretch without getting baggy.
- Designed to wear without looking worn after extended use.
- “Nanosphere” technology built into the fabric repels oils, beer (which we tested!), dirt, etc.
- Hidden zip pocket fits cell phones (climb upside down without losing stuff), passports, or, ahem, other products for your travels to Colorado, Washington, and Canada.
They retail for $148 with men’s and women’s styles. But catch them on the road in the official Airstream/mobile store and get a discount during demos at climbing gyms across the nation.
Jimmy Styks, makers of Stand Up Paddle Boards, have created a new category: Inflatable surfboards.
Super light with bomber durability, these boards are designed for recreational surfers and people traveling on holiday. When deflated, the board packs down into a bag and can be checked in as normal baggage on flights. No more headaches for the casual traveling surfer.
Available this August, the 6′ board will retail for $299, and the 8′ for $349.
Oboz ‘Campster’ Sandal
The latest evolution of outdoor footwear from Oboz, this shoe is a mix between Chaco sandal materials and Crocs boat shoe design.
It looks like a good option for distance hikers and backpackers seeking an ultralight camp shoe to clip to their pack.
The heel catch can easily flip up and out of the way for casual use. Or wear the heel catch for increased performance. Plus, the shoes float!
Get them in spring ‘18 for $90.
Smith Lowdown Focus
This product wins the award for most unexpected and different.
The Lowdown Focus combines a pair of Smith’s popular Lowdown sunglasses with a technology that senses brain activity. Yes, you read that right.
The goal is to help athletes get to the “flow” state. The sunglasses pair with an app, which guides the wearer through meditation. While meditating, the sunglasses read brain activity to determine how distracted or focused you are.
Upon completion, the app provides a score of “performance” and maps out your brain activity. The aim is to cognitively train the wearer and help him/her learn to increase focus and mental health. Consider us intrigued!
These are available October ’17, for $349
Camelbak Fourteen 24
Camelbak continues to develop, grow, and impress. The new Fourteen 24 packs incorporate “wings” into the hip belt adjustment system, to create a much more robust method of controlling pack fit and user experience.
The wings connect in the outermost portions of the pack, the furthest from your butt, so when you cinch the pack tight at the hip, the whole pack compresses appropriately in a single motion. When a hiker unclips the belt, the whole pack slacks, there’s no need to adjust side tension straps to access gear.
The pack itself is robust, with lots of room for a day’s worth of goods. Throw in an entirely revamped bladder system and it’s a daypack we’re excited to take outside.
It launches Jan. 2018, from $130-$150.
Altras I Can’t Wait To Test
If I had to pick one shoe to test, it would probably be the King MT, a shoe with super aggressive lugs, designed specifically with the Spartan Race in mind. With drains around the footbed and a Velcro cinch (in addition to laces) for quick adjustment, these shoes should be great for wet and sloppy conditions.
Just released, the King MT retails for $140.
Spartan Racing not your thing? The new HIIT (high-intensity interval training) shoe looks beautiful for going to the gym, for a run, or grabbing a beer with buddies. These shoes are designed to support your foot under lateral tension, which increases versatility. It has dual soles, so you can remove the extra cushion for a firmer base while at the gym.
The HIIT will retail for $99 when it lands late July
Ryders Eyewear is at the forefront of the goggle/sunglasses world in anti-fog technology. No matter how hard I tried to fog up theses lenses with my breath, these babies wouldn’t fog.
The Fyre lenses don’t stop with anti-fog though. They also react to changing light conditions by changing color; instead of just getting darker and lighter, the changing tones give the user a more true-color experience in bright and dark zones. We’ve tested it, and can verify it works.
These cost $220-$240 depending on style and launched this spring.
Jack Wolfskin Ecosphere
Jack Wolfskin is taking up the reduced-impact banner with the launch of Ecosphere, a new line of jackets crafted from manufacturing waste.
The brand developed a method of using trimmings from other jackets that are otherwise unusable, preventing waste from hitting the landfill. It looks like a sleek, performance-ready hardshell.
The Ecosphere runs $169 – $299 depending on style. Available spring 2018.