Outdoor Retailer ‘Best In Show’ Winter Gear 2019

From jackets and waterproof pants to sleeping bags, hiking boots, and more, this month brands congregated to launch products at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Denver. Our team spent two days evaluating products at the event to find the best to-be-released gear for 2019. Explore the grid below or click "next" for a slideshow.

View: ☷ Grid ☰ List ❏ Slideshow
Chaco Z/Ronin
Chaco Z/Ronin

Do you rock the “sock-o” look? Chaco embraces the fan base who love socks with sandals in its Z/Ronin, a hybrid model built with a 3D-knit upper. The idea, according to Chaco, is to provide a hike-friendly sandal that’s breathable and fends off rocks and debris creeping underfoot. Check it out fall 2019 for $130.

DUER Weatherproof Denim
DUER Weatherproof Denim

They look like regular jeans. But DUER builds a waterproof-breathable membrane into its Weatherproof Denim pants. You can bike or hike in the rain, and water will not seep through. (Note: Unlike regular rain pants, the seams are purposefully not taped on the DUER pants, adding a bit more breathability, the company claims.) We were impressed with the aesthetics and the innovation of incorporating a thin membrane into a pair of wear-anywhere pants. DUER is a Canadian company founded in 2013 by industry veterans, and this product, which will launch in February, is the latest in a line of made-for-movement denim that’s redefining the category.

La Sportiva Olympus Mons Triple Boot
La Sportiva Olympus Mons Triple Boot

La Sportiva solves a problem for serious mountaineers with its Olympus Mons triple boot. Not only is this boot remarkably warm with three different layers of insulation (picture two booties inside the shell that can be removed), but the mountaineering boot are also compatible with pin-tech bindings. That means long ski approaches for technical alpine missions just got easier. The La Sportiva Olympus Mons launches next winter season for $1,400.

Merrell Gridway Collection
Merrell Gridway Collection

Recycled and recyclable products were a big focus of this show, and Merrell delivered with its Gridway Collection. First and foremost, these are good-looking shoes for everyday wear. But what sets them apart is that Merrell uses EVA midsoles made with 40 percent recycled material from manufacturing scraps, and EVA footbeds with up to 50 percent recycled components. The knit uppers and laces are made from 100 percent recycled materials. Exclusive to Merrell and used throughout the Gridway Collection, the EcoDura outsole from Vibram is made with 30 percent recycled content.

Matador Free Rain 24
Matador Free Rain 24

Meet the “lightest and most packable waterproof backpack on the market.” Matador reveals the Freerain 24, a 24-L, seam-taped, waterproof backpack. The Freerain 24 weighs a scant 6 ounces, packs down smaller than a softball, and has two water bottle pockets and specially designed shoulder straps that resist bunching. Look for it to launch this month for $65.

Norrona Trollveggen ACE 950 Jacket
Norrona Trollveggen ACE 950 Jacket

Norrona presents the belay-puffy perfected in the Trollveggen ACE down 950 jacket, with 950-fill down and an ultradurable face fabric. The Norwegian brand uses ultrawarm and lightweight 950-fill down and a durable, polyurethane-coated outer fabric, dubbed “Vectran.” Vectran fabric is an extremely strong liquid crystal polyester fiber that was originally designed for NASA’s space suits. You likely won’t have to worry about any rips or tears when crushing alpine routes in the Trollveggen. The Trollveggen ACE Down 950 jacket weighs a shocking 844 g and launches next winter for $800.

PrimaLoft Bio
PrimaLoft Bio

Coming next year, your jacket’s synthetic insulation could be biodegradable thanks to PrimaLoft Bio. The brand officially launched Bio, the “world’s first biodegradable synthetic insulation,” at the show. We covered it in-depth already (read the full story here). This new material should change the world of apparel manufacturing for the better.

Smartwool Intraknit
Smartwool Intraknit

For 2019, Smartwool introduces Intraknit, a 3D-knitted base layer that reduces weight while improving thermal performance and improving comfort. The body-mapped merino layers are remarkably intricate, with reinforcement where needed and extra breathability in high-sweat zones. Seeing them against backlit mannequins illuminates the remarkable attention to detail in the knitting process and diversity of stitches.

Dovetail Britt Utility Cozy
Dovetail Britt Utility Cozy

Dovetail is winterizing women’s workwear in the ISKO Cosy line. The fleeced, thermo-insulated workwear puts a tough face fabric against the elements and soft liner against the skin. But ultimately, Dovetail intends the cotton-poly-blend pants and overalls to keep women comfortable while they kick ass in the elements. The line hits the market in fall 2019.

Black Yak Watusi Expedition Down Suit
Black Yak Watusi Expedition Down Suit

Climb your next 8,000-m peak in the evolution of the expedition suit from Black Yak. When you start to heat up, peel down the top layer and latch the arms to your chest liner with magnet buckles. The 750-fill RDS goose down provides warmth, two large mesh pockets line the exterior of the chest, and Yak Box-Wall airflow promotes high thermal efficiency to keep everything from your legs to head warm. The Watusi Expedition Suit is available for the 2019-2020 winter season for $3,000.

  • Chaco Z/Ronin

    Do you rock the “sock-o” look? Chaco embraces the fan base who love socks with sandals in its Z/Ronin, a hybrid model built with a 3D-knit upper. The idea, according to Chaco, is to provide a hike-friendly sandal that’s breathable and fends off rocks and debris creeping underfoot. Check it out fall 2019 for $130.

  • DUER Weatherproof Denim

    They look like regular jeans. But DUER builds a waterproof-breathable membrane into its Weatherproof Denim pants. You can bike or hike in the rain, and water will not seep through. (Note: Unlike regular rain pants, the seams are purposefully not taped on the DUER pants, adding a bit more breathability, the company claims.) We were impressed with the aesthetics and the innovation of incorporating a thin membrane into a pair of wear-anywhere pants. DUER is a Canadian company founded in 2013 by industry veterans, and this product, which will launch in February, is the latest in a line of made-for-movement denim that’s redefining the category.

  • La Sportiva Olympus Mons Triple Boot

    La Sportiva solves a problem for serious mountaineers with its Olympus Mons triple boot. Not only is this boot remarkably warm with three different layers of insulation (picture two booties inside the shell that can be removed), but the mountaineering boot are also compatible with pin-tech bindings. That means long ski approaches for technical alpine missions just got easier. The La Sportiva Olympus Mons launches next winter season for $1,400.

  • Merrell Gridway Collection

    Recycled and recyclable products were a big focus of this show, and Merrell delivered with its Gridway Collection. First and foremost, these are good-looking shoes for everyday wear. But what sets them apart is that Merrell uses EVA midsoles made with 40 percent recycled material from manufacturing scraps, and EVA footbeds with up to 50 percent recycled components. The knit uppers and laces are made from 100 percent recycled materials. Exclusive to Merrell and used throughout the Gridway Collection, the EcoDura outsole from Vibram is made with 30 percent recycled content.

  • Matador Free Rain 24

    Meet the “lightest and most packable waterproof backpack on the market.” Matador reveals the Freerain 24, a 24-L, seam-taped, waterproof backpack. The Freerain 24 weighs a scant 6 ounces, packs down smaller than a softball, and has two water bottle pockets and specially designed shoulder straps that resist bunching. Look for it to launch this month for $65.

  • Norrona Trollveggen ACE 950 Jacket

    Norrona presents the belay-puffy perfected in the Trollveggen ACE down 950 jacket, with 950-fill down and an ultradurable face fabric. The Norwegian brand uses ultrawarm and lightweight 950-fill down and a durable, polyurethane-coated outer fabric, dubbed “Vectran.” Vectran fabric is an extremely strong liquid crystal polyester fiber that was originally designed for NASA’s space suits. You likely won’t have to worry about any rips or tears when crushing alpine routes in the Trollveggen. The Trollveggen ACE Down 950 jacket weighs a shocking 844 g and launches next winter for $800.

  • PrimaLoft Bio

    Coming next year, your jacket’s synthetic insulation could be biodegradable thanks to PrimaLoft Bio. The brand officially launched Bio, the “world’s first biodegradable synthetic insulation,” at the show. We covered it in-depth already (read the full story here). This new material should change the world of apparel manufacturing for the better.

  • Smartwool Intraknit

    For 2019, Smartwool introduces Intraknit, a 3D-knitted base layer that reduces weight while improving thermal performance and improving comfort. The body-mapped merino layers are remarkably intricate, with reinforcement where needed and extra breathability in high-sweat zones. Seeing them against backlit mannequins illuminates the remarkable attention to detail in the knitting process and diversity of stitches.

  • Dovetail Britt Utility Cozy

    Dovetail is winterizing women’s workwear in the ISKO Cosy line. The fleeced, thermo-insulated workwear puts a tough face fabric against the elements and soft liner against the skin. But ultimately, Dovetail intends the cotton-poly-blend pants and overalls to keep women comfortable while they kick ass in the elements. The line hits the market in fall 2019.

  • Black Yak Watusi Expedition Down Suit

    Climb your next 8,000-m peak in the evolution of the expedition suit from Black Yak. When you start to heat up, peel down the top layer and latch the arms to your chest liner with magnet buckles. The 750-fill RDS goose down provides warmth, two large mesh pockets line the exterior of the chest, and Yak Box-Wall airflow promotes high thermal efficiency to keep everything from your legs to head warm. The Watusi Expedition Suit is available for the 2019-2020 winter season for $3,000.