Last month in Denver, a GearJunkie crew of 10 editors and reporters met with brands at the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show seeking the coolest gear coming for 2018 and 2019. We highlight the most innovative in our ‘Best In Show’ Awards. Here we unveil dozens more to-be-released products to keep an eye on this year.
Black Crows Launches Apparel
The booming Chamonix ski brand Black Crows will launch a line of apparel in fall 2018. The brand based the lines for men and women on all-mountain parkas and military designs of the 1960s and 1970s. Broken into two categories, Big Mountain Skiing (Corpus) and Backcountry Touring (Ventus), skiers will find understated mid-layers and outerwear made with materials such as Gore-Tex C-Knit, Pertex Quantum Air, Polartec Alpha, and PrimaLoft insulations.
Corkcicle Ivanhoe Duffel
A duffel bag for your beer? Well, why not! Corkcicle launches its first soft coolers for 2018, and the Ivanhoe Duffel felt like a nice entry into the category. It has an insulated waterproof fabric and water-resistant zippers. It hits the market for $200 in May.
Superlight P49 Dynafit Skimo System
This was one of the wildest inventions at the show. The Dynafit P49 Pintec Set flips the script on pin bindings. It puts the “pins” on the boot, which then extend with a spring into holes in purpose-built bindings. This system weighs in at just 49 grams! It’s for elite skimo racers only and will be available exclusively at Pierre Gignoux. The system is expected to cost upwards of $4,000, so don’t expect to see many of these on the slopes!
Patagonia Micro Puff Storm
Patagonia adds a waterproof-breathable exterior to its lauded Micro Puff, resulting in a light but burly belay parka. The Micro Puff Storm has ultralight PlumaFill synthetic insulation that is super hydrophobic. It covers the jacket with its lightest-ever 12-denier, two-layer H2NO shell. The layer will keep alpine climbers warm and dry at belay stations.
Oakley Harmony Fade
These sunglasses and goggles are headed to the Olympic Games. Oakley’s sponsored athletes (like Mikaela Shiffrin, pictured, and Ståle Sandbech) will wear them in South Korea throughout the Games. Oakley developed the Harmony Fade collection to celebrate the journey and commitment athletes make to reach the world stage of competition. They have highly regarded Prizm lenses for vibrant clarity. The special edition will be available in several models of sunglasses and snow goggles.
We picked up a Gogglesoc at the Outdoor Retailer Media Preview, and it’s already proving itself as a great piece of gear. The super small, pliable microfiber goggle cover slips securely over the outside of your goggles so they stay protected when strapped on your helmet. It’s a great $15 of insurance for your expensive ski goggles, and they look pretty cool too.
Lynq Tracks Your Group
A new product called Lynq helps you keep track of all the people in your group even when you have no cell phone service. Lynq displays the real-time distance and direction of other people in your group who also carry the device. With real-time tracking for up to 12 people and a three-day battery life per charge, the system could help parents keep track of kids, hunters reunite in the field, and friends find each other at festivals like Burning Man. The uses are broad, so we’re excited to test this as it hits the market in 2018.
Ortovox Zebru 'Swisswool' Jacket
Get your jacket loft from sheep. That’s the aim of the Ortovox Zebru jacket. The brand uses Swisswool lofting under a Toray face fabric for a light, highly breathable water-resistant layer for aerobic activity in the backcountry. It hits the market this year for $280.
Smith I/O MAG Goggles
The I/O MAG goggles are an evolution in magnetic interchangeable snow goggles. Smith’s proprietary MAG lens change system is completely rimless. Eight magnetic contact points with 16 strong, weatherproof N52 magnets self-guide the lens into the anchored position. Once in position, two locking mechanical-engagement points resist forces and rotation during movement to keep the lens secure.
Outdoor Research Hemispheres Jacket and Bib
Meet one of the most interesting innovations from Gore in quite some time, Gore Stretch Fabric, used here by Outdoor Research. The Hemispheres Jacket and Bib offer remarkable mobility with among the first applications in North America of Gore-Tex Fabric with Stretch Technology. This fabric offers nearly four times the stretch as other stretch waterproof fabrics. OR uses it in shoulders, hoods, and other flex points for a hypermobile ski shell.
BC Link 2.0
A popular backcountry ski radio got a big power boost. The BC Link 2.0 has twice the power of the BC Link (2 watts) for higher maximum range. Its new industrial design provides increased durability, greater water resistance, and improved switch ergonomics. The BC Link 2.0 is 11 percent lighter than its popular predecessor, the BC Link. It hits the market this year for $180.
Scott S1 Carbon Boot
Scott designed the S1 Carbon Boot for the demands of the modern skier. It offers touring capability (60-degree ROM) and comfort without sacrificing power. The stiff Grilamid shell with carbon inserts offers a beefy 130 flex index for downhill-oriented ski tourers. The LS1 women’s version has a flex rating of 110. Both come to market in fall 2018 for $1,000 and $900, respectively.
Quiksilver Snow SpinDye Jacket
Quicksilver calls the Snow SpinDye the “most sustainable outer layer in the brand’s 49-year history.” That’s because the fabric uses an innovative pigmentation process in the spinning stage of dyeing to reduce the use of water and chemicals in production. This also saves on energy and lowers the overall CO2 footprint, a first in the industry according to the brand. Beyond that, it’s a full waterproof-breathable shell layer for ski and snowboard uses.
Lange RX SUPERLEGGERA
Built on the award-winning RX chassis, the limited-edition RX SUPERLEGGARA reduces weight by almost 25 percent. To do this, it couples its Dual Core boot technology – which blends harder and softer polyurethanes in various points of injection molding – with an ultralight Grilamid shell. The result is a blend of precision, agility, and power in a light boot.
Salomon Hologram Snowboard Binding
The Salomon Hologram aims for comfort with a soft heelcup for lateral movement, plus an asymmetrical flex for freestyle performance on any terrain. Dampening material and a high back add to control and stability. Finally, a Kevlar Quickwire and Powerhook provide strength, support, and energy transmission for initiating turns or loading up for ollies.
LEKI Progressive Tune S Boa Glove
The newest generation of LEKI Trigger gloves integrates Boa technology for a super close and adjustable fit. The Boa System works as a functional component of the LEKI Trigger System, the first “safety binding” for ski poles introduced over 10 years ago. Incorporating The Boa System on the LEKI Trigger gloves changes the glove ergonomics with the hand to achieve closer connection to the pole and improve power transmission. The goatskin leather ski glove has PrimaLoft insulation and a ribbed side panel to accommodate Boa construction.
Picture Zephir Jacket
The small French brand Picture makes some of the most sustainable jackets on the market using recycled (and recyclable) materials and no PFCs. New for 2018, the Zephir is an all-mountain ski shell with light lining. It combines technical performance, eco-friendly construction, and steezy style. Tech features include 46 percent recycled polyester fabric, a recyclable waterproof-breathable membrane, PFC-free DWR, a curved zipper for chin comfort, and a chest pocket for a walkie talkie. All this for $350.
YETI Camino Carryall 35
Call it the world’s toughest tote bag. YETI introduced a tote at the show, and we must admit it is all things YETI: tough as nails, built to last, and expensive at $150. We’re not yet sure who the market is, but rest assured this tote is guaranteed not to drop your groceries.
Vasque Canyonlands Ultradry
Traction, comfort, and all-weather readiness: Those are the pillars of the Vasque Canyonlands Ultradry. This boot for men and women combines a Vibram Lite Wolf outsole, Dual Density EVA midsole, and waterproof membrane into a 2-pound 10-ounce boot. The burly hikers hit the market this fall for $170.
Sweet Protection Switcher Helmet
Turn a knob to open or close 22 vents – that’s the nicely dialed design of the Sweet Protection Switcher helmet. It hits a slightly lower price ($220–250) for the high-end brand and has an advanced combination of in-mold and hardshell construction, blending technologies like a Variable Elasticity Hybrid Shell and Impact Shields to protect the most vulnerable parts of the head.
Skida 10th Anniversary Hat and Neckwarmer
Skida is a small brand that makes hats and accessories in Vermont. For its 10th anniversary, the brand launched the Strawberry Fields Hat and Neckwarmer. Both styles have quick-drying fabrics that cut the wind to keep you dry and warm. The Strawberry Fields print is one of six limited-edition 10th anniversary collection prints.
Black Crows Corvus
Reverse-camber, double titanal plates and a 107-mm waist make the Black Crows Corvus “battle ready.” It’s updated for next season. We tested it on bumps and alpine chutes in Colorado last month and loved the ski’s powerful grip and stability on any terrain.
'Nordic Anorak' Jacket
We liked the look and feel of Craft’s 2018–19 outerwear and apparel line. The Spirit Fuseknit Anorak was a standout. It combines “urban lifestyle [style] and cutting-edge function,” the brand touts.
Wolverine Winter Boot
A solid upgrade to the humble winter boot, the Glacier Xtreme from Wolverine was impressive on our first look. It has a leather upper, waterproof membrane, PrimaLoft insulation, and a Vibram outsole with Arctic Grip lugs for traction on snow and ice.
SEGO 'Big Mountain' Ski
SEGO built the Condor-Ti with a long effective edge and an active camber zone for hold. It’s 108 mm underfoot with a titanal-reinforced core. We shredded some spring-like snow at Colorado’s Copper Mountain in a demo, including an icy bowl and endless bump runs. The Condor-Ti proved to be the “big mountain” ski SEGO says it is.
HOVR Running Shoes
We covered these futuristic running shoes last fall, but the OR Show was their big reveal. (See our full review here.) With the HOVR, Under Armour touts a new realm in comfort via a little-used type of foam and better energy return as you stride.
Hestra has something different with its women’s Full Moon Mitt. An extra-long cuff keeps the wearer warm and snow at bay. PrimaLoft serves as the insulation. Windproof and breathable ripstop fabric with a leather palm protects against the elements.
A Warmer Insole Option
Add warmth underfoot instantly with the Sole Thermal footbed. It’s made for ski boots and winter footwear, with wool on top and aerogel insulation inside. A mapped EVA base gives it shape and cradles the foot.
OtterBox Trooper Cooler
They are called Troopers. That’s OtterBox’s new series of premium soft-side coolers, launched last month. They come in two sizes and can keep ice for 72 hours, the company states. A wide opening, backpack straps, and external pockets distinguish these cold cases from the average cooler.
Ghost Whisperer Puffy Pants
It’s time to bring baffling warmth to your legs, and Mountain Hardwear has just the pants. The brand’s popular Ghost Whisperer down jacket and sleeping bag construction now comes in a winter trouser. According to the brand, the 800-fill pants weigh almost nothing (well, 7.8 ounces) in the pack and are perfect for lounging at camp. The puffy pantaloons hit shelves fall 2018 and cost $250.
Questar 650-Fill Zero-Degree
Unsure about winter camping but want to give it a try? For spring 2018 Therm-a-Rest introduces the zero-degree Questar down sleeping bag. With 650-fill down it costs $330, near the low end for zero-degree water-resistant down bags. With a foot-warmer box and sleeping pad loops, it’s a solid option for car campers that already brave shoulder season climes.
Rab Microlight Summit
The devil is in the details, and Rab improved its Microlight jacket by attending to them. The $325 Microlight Summit has a woven Pertex shell that eliminates stitching, creating a fully windproof surface. Topping it off, the baffles are filled with 750-fill RDS down. Available for winter 2018.
'Xtreme' Running Shoe Lights
See clearly on a night run with your hands free, pockets empty, and nothing strapped to your head. Night Trek’s spring 2018 Xtreme shoe lights blast up to 400 lumens, providing visibility more than 50 feet in front of you. Plus, rear-facing red lights keep you visible from behind. The base model runs $95 per pair; a Bluetooth model will run $120 and offer pace, distance, and time alerts.
Travel Commuter Camera Pack
If photography is your game, Mountainsmith built a pack for both your daily commutes and far-flung adventures. For 2018, the brand launches a slew of camera bags, including the 12-liter Spectrum backpack. Made with 610-denier Cordura, water-resistant nylon, and a stowaway rain cover, the Spectrum will protect against most weather. Add in modular padded storage compartments, a laptop sleeve, a hidden “tracker pocket,” and accessory storage, and you’ve got a suitable pack for travel. For shooting on the go, the $150 Spectrum offers both top and side access zippers.
Really Frickin' Light Sock
Darn Tough offers a critical piece of ski gear with its $24 RFL (Really Frickin’ Light) socks. Launching fall 2018, Darn Tough uses its lightest-weight yarn to create a closer foot-to-boot feel without sacrificing warmth. And the brand adds “strategically placed” cushioning along the shin and Achilles tendon, reducing rub and preventing heel slip inside the boot.
Nordica Strider 115 Women's Ski Boot
For 2019, Nordica will introduce a women’s high-performance hike/ski boot. The 115-flex Strider offers a 46-degree ROM, thermo-moldable Cork Fit liners, and Grilamid panels to shed weight and maximize response. Look for it in the fall for serious side-country and touring adventures for $800.
Treated down for water resistance often means adding hazardous chemicals to the goose plumes. But this year, DownTek’s water-repellent down will be PFC free. The elimination of perfluorocarbon is an environmental win, and the company says DownTek PFC-Free achieves the same performance and benefits of its original formula. (Pictured: Big Agnes to-be-released Chilton down sweater with DownTek PFC-Free.)
Toad&Co Coziest Coat
High-pile fleece insulates and gives an uber-cozy aesthetic to a new jacket from Toad&Co. It’s called the Pile High Anorak, and the brand made it of 75 percent recycled polyester with a bonded mesh on the backside for structure. Bonus: Toad&Co includes thumb holes on the cuffs and a hidden kangaroo-style pocket inside.
The Texas-based cooler behemoth this year moves into camp chairs. But like its overbuilt, uber-durable coolers, the chairs are not your flimsy round-the-fire seats; these can hold more than 3,000 pounds according to one source. The big specs come with big price tags too. See our full coverage here.
Better Beach Shoes
If 2018 is the year you use more PTO, OluKai built the $90 Waialua Mesh Lace shoes for you. Launching this spring, these women’s shoes sport a drop-in heel designed for slipper mode. The upper is all mesh with an elastic tongue for breathability and stretch, and drainage ports allow beach water and sediment to escape. Plus, the gel footbed is removable and washable. And as a B Corp, OluKai will give back a portion of all profits to charitable initiatives.
From the saddle to the office, Dish & DUER’s “Performance Denim” outfits bicycle commuters for work and play. New this year, DUER’s Stay Dry Denim 2.0 jeans add paraffin wax to the stretch denim construction, helping repel oil, water, and dirt. Plus, the $139 jeans sport triple-stitched inseams and a gusseted crotch to prevent “bike butt.”
The trend that just won’t go away, snow bikes have carved out a small but persistent niche on many ski hills. We tried the Sno-Go at Copper Mountain in Colorado and had a gas. It’s not as fast as skiing, but the articulating rear skis and front suspension allow a carving feel. The $1,700 bike is designed to hang from the chairlift seat without shifting. If you love mountain biking (and can ignore the heckling), it’s worth a try. According to the brand, the bikes are permitted at about 100 resorts across the country.
Customizable 2-Person Sleeping Bag
Utah brand Klymit will release its first two-person sleeping bag this spring. The 30-degree-Fahrenheit KSB Double measures 46 by 82 inches and weighs 4 pounds 11 ounces. Each side has its own zippers and draft cover. Thus, cold sleepers can fully zip and cover, while a hot sleeper can open their own foot box, draft cover, or entire side without affecting their partner. And the entire bag can unzip to form a large comforter. Look for it in March for $400.
New for spring 2018, the Hestra Vernum is a lightweight, waterproof backcountry glove for warm days of touring or resort riding. Its flexible goat leather requires no break-in, and the backhand is windproof, waterproof, breathable, and has four-way stretch. Pick some up for $80.