The annual Outdoor Friedrichshafen in Germany is among the largest outdoor-gear trade shows in the world, tantamount America’s Outdoor Retailer. While Europe has gear not found in the U.S., there is much crossover. The Industry Awards are best-in-show titles given out by the show organizers to products released within two years, some for sale now and most coming soon or in 2017.
Made for long-distance trail and ultra runners, the forthcoming TrailShot Microfilter is very portable – easily stashed in a pocket – and fast. The Friedrichshafen judges filled a 1-liter bottle in 60 seconds using the unit in a test.
Wild Country’s Revo belay device could be a real life saver – literally. Using a bi-directional locking mechanism that allows the device to cinch a climbing rope regardless of which way it is fed, the Revo purports to solve one of the most common user errors in belaying.
Zero Bugs Bivy
Supported by an inflatable tube, and weighing just 204 grams, the Escape Pod Bivy from Nemo is a minimalist dream. And, for $120, it’s an affordable way to stay light and comfortable in buggy locations.
World’s Lightest Waterproof Jacket
Lauded as the “world’s lightest three-layer waterproof jacket,” and the only one under 100g, the Berghaus Hyper 100 Jacket impressed judges with its combination of low weight and high-strength and tear resistance.
Recycled Climbing Shoes
The iconic La Sportiva Mythos climbing shoe is now available in a model made from 95 percent recycled materials. Dubbed the Mythos Eco, it includes a sole entirely of recycled rubber reclaimed from La Sportiva’s production process. We’re eager to give this refresh of a classic shoe a try.
Single Piece Gore-Tex Jacket
The Mammut Rainspeed Ultralight HS Jacket grabbed attention as a Gore-Tex jacket made from a single piece of fabric with no DWR treatment. According to Mammut, the “radically new Gore-Tex material” is ultrasonically welded to form a waterproof and breathable lightweight rain jacket.
Tent For Big Campers
Weschel’s soon-to-be-released tunnel tent is designed with larger campers in mind. The Wechsel Approach 2 ZG was noted for a larger footprint, allowing a “very large person a comfortable place to sleep.” The added roof vents for reducing the typical sweat-out also impressed judges.
Pocket Sized Cleats
A lighter and more portable alternative to Yaktrax, each set of Vargo’s Titanium Cleats weighs 2.3 ounces – less than 5 ounces for a pair – and folds down into a pocket-sized carrying case.
Tough Camping Hammock
Sea to Summit’s 140-gram Ultralight Hammock can hold an impressive 135kg person (that’s 300 pounds for us Yankees). Packs small and looks comfortable to boot.
Crash Pad For All Terrains
Lauded by the judges as “a crash pad that adapts itself to the ground beneath,” the Edelrid Balance Crash Pad uses styrofoam balls in the pad’s base that allow it to softly conform to the terrain it’s on.
Extra Light Harness
An upgrade to the Edelrid’s Loopo Lite climbing harness, this new 80-gram model “weighs less than a bar of chocolate.” The low-profile harness is suitable of ski mountaineering, glacier crossings, and alpine climbing use.
Safer Zip Line Clip In
We haven’t seen this one action, and the website is in Italian, but the Euro judges claim the Kong Zaza Connect Vertical Jump Device allows users on zip lines and high ropes course to disconnect quickly and intuitively if they need to disengage.
Scrambling Trail Runner
Known for its boots, Lowa won attention at OutDoor with this alpine runner. Low profile, stiff outsole, and a speed-lace system make the Lowa Pro Approach GTX a winning option for cardio-minded hikers and climbers.
360-Degree Traction Sole
A “radial lug configuration” is the name of the game for the Supertrac RC, a lightweight mountain running shoe. Scott advertises exceptional traction on rutted trails where twists and turns cause runners serious foot-aches.
Bag for baby carrier
Great for new parents with a sense of adventure, the Brindal AS Birnabag is designed to fit over a baby carrier to protect it and the child from the elements. Birnabag is waterproof, windproof, and insulated, keeping junior happy and extending the life of your carrier.
All-in-one travel coffee set
The ‘world’s first portable all-in-one pour-over coffee maker, the Cafflano Klassic combines a conical burr grinder with hand crank, brewing kettle with stainless steel filter, and tumbler in one convenient nesting design providing a new option for camping coffee snobs.
Solar charging station
Already one of our favorites, the Nomad 7 Plus is on the market here in the U.S. The USB solar charging station won for its simple, effective, portable design.
The NAO headlamp from Petzl automatically adjusts to ambient light conditions. But what’s new this year is the NAO+, which is upgraded with “smart” connection via bluetooth to the wearer’s smartphone. This allows for display of battery life and brightness adjustments through your phone.
Suited for climbers, the Agner from Salewa is reinforced at critical wear points and designed to fit like a second skin. The judges were impressed by its fit and durability.
Stylish Climbing Jacket
The Swedish-made Aran Valley jacket by Haglofs is marketed for climbers and mountaineers. It received high marks for its sleek, fashionable design. Form first, function a close second.
Lightweight Running Jacket
A lightweight (200g) mountain running jacket for women the OMM Ava 6 won for its weight and functional, while minimalist, design.
The product description is in German, but the design speaks for itself – a balaclava with a clever mouth covering for added coverage and warmth. The judges lauded the H. Stoll AG & Co KG Balaclava for warmth and fit.
Mesh Base Layer
A see-through top, the Millet 3D Mesh Tank “sub-base layer,” offers a throwback to the days of fishnet base layers. The advantages of mesh – breathability and sweat wicking – remain in this updated version and grabbed judges’ attention.
This is a potential game-changer – breathable neoprene. The favorite fabric for water activities and wetsuits has the nagging drawback of being un-breathable. Ventiprene by Spanflex claims to have solved that problem with its new material.
Quick Inflate Air Mattress
The “SV” in Therm-a-Rest Trailking SV is for speed valve – we covered the Therm-a-Rest line of quick-inflating air mattresses, and we can attest four or five big breaths is all it takes. While we haven’t tried the Trail King, we recommend the Trekker, NeoAir Camper, XLite Max models.
Canoe In A Suitcase
This prototype folding canoe, called the ONAK, is seeking startup funds on Kickstarter. The company claims in 10 minutes this boat goes from rolling case to unfolded, floating canoe.
Most Sustainable Fabric
Another one that’s promising, but a little mysterious. Kapok, made by Flocus, is a natural fiber from the ceiba tree. According to the judges, it has the potential to be one of, if not the most sustainable natural fabric on the market. Ceiba trees need no irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers. We’ll keep our eyes out for developments.
Laundry Bag Keeps Lake And Rivers Clean
Sometimes simple is the most effective. The Guppy Friend is a washing bag designed to catch all “micro plastics” that get washed off your clothes when you scrub them in the wild. The bag catches all micro waste and plastics so that you can dispose of them later.
Spider Man Mountaineering Jacket
The judges raved about the comfort of Millet’s Trilogy Advanced JKT mountaineering jacket, and the use of dual Polartec fabrics. We love the stylish nod to a Spider-Man outfit.
The latest iteration of the Bora pack has a dynamic back pad that slides and follows the contours of your back as you hike. We’ve put it to early trials, and it’s pretty awesome. The patent-pending Roto-Glide system, use of waterproof fabrics in high-exposure areas, and the functional design clinched the award for Arc’teryx.
Extra Light, Extra Water Hydration Pack
Osprey’s Duro 15 pack vest won high marks for maximum hydration and minimum space, equipping long-distance runners with a 1.25L hydration bladder and two strap-accessible 500mL soft flasks.
58-Liter Pack Under 4 Pounds
“Astonishing light weight” and “loads of features” were some of the judges’ praise for the 1.6kg Gregory Paragon 58L hiking pack. Hydration sleeve, variable suspension for dynamic loads, and rain cover are some of the highlights of the Paragon.
Running Pack For All Sizes
The 250g made-in-France Raidlight Responsiv 20L Vest, designed for runners and adventure racers, won for its lightweight profile and convenient twist-lock for adjusting to different body sizes.
Variable Volume Travel Bag On Wheels
The Exped Transfer Wheelie Bag is a convenient travel sack for your backpack. This 1.6kg sack has wheels on bottom and can accommodate any backpack or duffel up to 100L. The Transfer Wheelie also works for gear on its own, which could be great for traveling on a plane when you need something to lug your adventure necessities through the friendly skies.
Ice Climbing Pack
The Kailas Edge is a 700g, waterproof pack designed for the extreme conditions of climbing ice. Storage areas and tie points for crampons, climbing rope, ice axe, and alpenstock are standouts for the Kailas Edge Climbing Pack.
Bigger Than It Looks Thermal Bottle
The half-liter Alpine is smaller and lighter than its predecessors from Montbell, yet it holds more liquid. Thinner sidewalls and a copper liner allow for more beverage and increased thermal retention.
Shirt Made From Ocean Garbage
Adidas knocks it out of the park with its new product, a partnership between the famous shoe brand and Parley for the Oceans, an organization that creates awareness and launches campaigns to combat threats to the oceans. The TERREX T-shirt is made out of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean.