Outdoor Retailer ‘Best In Show’ Winter Gear 2018-19

From ski gear to jackets, winter camping supplies, packs, and more, brands congregate to launch products at the OR Show (official name: Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show). Our team spent the week in Denver evaluating hundreds of products at the event to find the best to-be-released gear for winter 2018-2019.

Cake E-Moto Bike

Sprint into the wild silently (and with only 20 horsepower) via Swedish brand Cake’s debut motorbike, the Kalk. It weighs just 150 pounds and has no gears or tailpipe thanks to its electric motor and swappable lithium battery. The carbon body wraps around an aluminum frame to create a lightweight, eco-friendly bike the brand hopes will welcome more people into off-road adventure.

Osprey Ozone Duplex

Travel smarter with the triple-duty pack that Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer spent more than 15 years designing. The Ozone Duplex consists of a full-size daypack to house valuables – laptop, camera, wallet – that sit next to your body. A duffel-style carryon buckles over it. The concept eliminates hauling multiple bags through an airport and increases security of your valuables, all in a design that looks like a normal backpack.

Salomon Shift Binding

The Salomon Shift binding will shake up the ski industry. It works as a standard alpine binding, so ride it on the chairlift. But when you’re ready to tour, a quick transition turns it into a pintech binding compatible with backcountry boots. We reviewed the Salomon Shift and are impressed with its design and versatility. For those who want a single pair of skis to ride in the backcountry or at a resort, this product provides a great option that does not compromise safety, downhill performance, or climbing competence.

Spy Ace EC Goggles

Spy Optics’ Ace EC goggles deploy new technology for its adjustable-tint lens: An electric filament sandwiched inside the lens connects to a small battery pack on the strap. In our test, the variable tint settings changed instantly at the press of a button. Look for the product next winter for $275.

Oakley Prizm React

In a rare circumstance, we found two companies developing nearly the exact same technology. Like Spy, Oakley also launched electrochromic technology in its Prizm React goggles. It gives three tint levels in a single lens at the push of a button. Oakley claims between 150 and 300 transitions per battery charge. Look for it this fall for $300.

RMU Tailgate Locker

There’s a better way to haul your mountain bikes to the trailhead. RMU’s Tailgate Locker is an evolution in the tailgate bike carrier. The 630D nylon pad protects your truck and secures your bikes (up to five) by attachments to the down tube and fork. But RMU packed the Tailgate Locker with a bunch of helpful add-ons, including a tool stowage pocket; an open compartment for muddy gear; a sleeve for a wash kit; and an insulated cooler with enough room for a case of beer. The $275 Tailgate Locker comes in a large and small size for most pickups, and a cable lock to protect both bikes and the Tailgate Locker itself from theft.

686 GLCR Hydrastash Jacket

The Hydrastash Jacket eliminates the need to carry a separate hydration pack during resort ski days. A 25-oz. water bladder lies discreetly in the powder skirt near the hips and does not impede movement. A sip-hose comes out of the collar. With this jacket, there’s no need to take off a pack at the chairlift or worry about falling on a water bottle in your pocket.

Merrell Thermo Rogue Boots

Move fast and stay warm with ingredients like PrimaLoft, Gore-Tex, and Aerogel, and tread icy surfaces with a Vibram Arctic Grip Dura sole. The Merrell Thermo Rogue is a next-gen winter boot made for harsh environs and slippery surfaces. It combines a ton of tech in a smart, svelte footwear package.

Küat Grip Ski Rack

Küat’s GRIP hauler upgrades common ski/snowboard rack design with a one-hand lever to open and a sliding rail that extends nearly 90 percent of its width outward from the car. The design makes it easier to load skis on tall vehicles. No adjustment is necessary as an articulated hinge accommodates boards of varying size and bulk.

Gore-Tex Stretch Fabric

Swing an ice axe or ski-tour uphill with ease of movement in jackets with Gore-Tex Stretch. High-movement zones – under arms, back panels, hoods (pictured), and wrist cuffs – are paneled with a dramatically honeycombed, stretchy, waterproof fabric. The technology debuts in two products at the show: the Mammut Nordwand Flex HS and Outdoor Research Hemispheres jackets.

Marmot EVODry Eclipse Jacket

Marmot worked to reduce environmental impact within its jacket line. The result is EVODry, a new kind of process where a DWR treatment is bonded with yarn “at the molecular level.” The result is a 20K waterproof, 20K breathable finish that Marmot says will never wash off or need reapplication. The yarn is solution-dyed, reducing water and energy used in manufacturing. EVODry fabrics, laminations, and trims are also free of PFCs. The Eclipse jacket hits the market at $250 in REI stores on Feb. 1.

Fischer Ranger Free Ski Boots

Fischer created an alpine ski boot that should tour nearly as well as backcountry boots. The Ranger Free is a 130-flex, four-buckle boot that weighs in at just 1,500 grams. It gives 55 degrees of ankle articulation and locks out for downhill riding with a unique lever mounted on the side. It will be available for $800 next fall.

Rottefella Move XC Binding

The Move Switch from Rottefella has a dial on the front of the binding to let skiers shift the binding forward or backwards without unclipping their boots. This lets you optimize grip or glide depending on the terrain. Available exclusively on Madshus skis in 2018.

Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour

Flip a single lever to transition downhill in the Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour boots. The welterweight freeski footwear is meant to tour uphill fast while still driving skis hard for serious backcountry lines going down. In our review of the boots, we found the system worked well — no more fiddling with buckles at transitions or pulling pant cuffs up and down.

DPS Phantom Wax

Never wax skis again after a one-time application of Phantom Wax from DPS. The treatment permanently alters ski and snowboard bases for consistently fast on-snow gliding across conditions and temperatures. While the compound remains under wraps by the brand, DPS said, “Phantom is made up of nonreactive chemical functional groups that are both inert to the environment and safe to those applying it.”

Scott Backcountry Patrol AP 30

This avalanche airbag has no battery. Instead, a super capacitor powers the Scott Backcountry Patrol AP 30 and changes how one travels with an avalanche pack. The pack eliminates the need for lithium-ion batteries, which are a hassle to bring through airports. An early adaption of the technology in the outdoors, the super capacitor stores electricity and releases it quickly without chemicals. It recharges in less than 40 minutes via USB and has two backup AA batteries carried internally in case the capacitor loses charge. It hits the market for $1,100 in fall 2018.

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