OR Show: Gear Preview 2010

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Say “Hi” if you see us in SLC. Pretty much the entire Gear Junkie crew — five of us now! — are heading to (or are already in) Utah at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show this week. If you can’t make the show, monitor this blog over the coming days. We will be making updates on new products and gear from the show floor. For now, here is a peek at some to-be-released gear we’ll be hunting down to preview at the show. . .

Tired of sand in your camping space? The CGear Sand-Free Multimat is constructed of mesh nylon and designed to let sand and dirt “fall straight through” to the ground beneath. It is made to use inside tents and recreational vehicles or outdoors on the ground. Note: This product was originally designed as an ad hoc deployable helicopter landing pad. The theory was that the special mesh could eliminate dirt, dust and debris from being kicked up by helicopter rotors during take-offs and landings. The CGear Tactical Helimat is currently used by the military and special forces around the globe, the company says. Price: TBD. www.cgear-sandfree.com

Cotton? Yes, it’s back. This time the “killer” material is touted as being breathable. Polarmax’s “world’s first ever wicking cotton” is made with 50% treated cotton yarn and 50% untreated yarn. The result is a cotton that can move moisture to the outside and “spread it out so it dries faster.” It’s the end of the wet T-shirt contest as we know it, the company reports.

Small headlamp, big power. The mini Princeton Tec BYTE headlamp, $19.99, specs out at 30 lumens — bright enough for hiking or slow biking at night. It has a single white LED and a red blinker. You get 100 hours of battery burn-time via the lamp’s dual AAAs (included). A high mode pumps the beam to 25 meters of distance for better sight at night. Release date: June 2010.

Dial in better hood fit with the Marmot Cat Track Jacket with Boa. This is one of Marmot’s high-end signature shell jackets. The upgrade adds a Boa twist-to-fit micro-cable adjustment system in the hood. Bonus: Hard elbow knocks are dampened via d3o Shock Absorption material in the elbows and forearms. Price: $350.

As covered in the blog here, at the show this week Hanesbrands is unveiling its long-anticipated Champion Supersuit. The high-tech outerwear is being touted to have “the potential to change the entire outdoor apparel industry.” The jacket, on display this week in Salt Lake, was designed for a summit bid on Mount Everest. It employs a super-insulating nanotechnology called Zero-Loft Aerogel, which is made by Aspen Aerogels of Northborough, Mass. The special gel allowed Champion to design outerwear pieces that retain heat while still remaining much thinner than the puffy goose-down suits commonly used on Mount Everest.

Ski-maker Rossignol goes light with its latest X-ium Skate Package. The “race performance” kit includes skis, boots, bindings, and poles in the “lightest weight race package Rossignol has ever offered.” In total, the skis weigh 550 grams, the boots 595 grams, and the bindings 170 grams. The X-ium ski is slightly shorter for better maneuverability and lighter weight, the company explains. Look for the setup in Vancouver at the Games later this month! Not available to the average XC joe until next autumn.

La Sportiva’s all-terrain Crossover GTX shoes look like something I would dig. The $140 shoe-boots come with a Gore-Tex lining (to keep the lower part waterproof) and integrated gaiters. The gaiter is not waterproof, which allows for more breathability around the ankle. Made for running in snowy conditions, snowshoeing, and big mountain traverses on terrain that is abundant with sand, gravel, rocks or scree. Available late summer/early fall 2010. I want!

Keep Fido seen with Stunt Puppy Inc.‘s Go Dog Glo vest, a canine garment that has a primary purpose of “extreme visibility in night and day.” Utilizing Schoeller Reflective fabric, the retina-melting florescent webbing and reflective panels provide ultimate see-ability if your dog gets off his or her leash and dashes toward the road. The vest is geared at an urban audience who are out running with their dogs. See the dog, see the human. Up until now, it’s only humans who’ve been catered to in terms of visibility wear. This vest is not warm, so it can be worn all year round. Available in the spring for $40.

That’s a taste of what’s coming to the world of the outdoors. Watch the Gear Junkie blog this week for Outdoor Retailer news and more product updates to come. Signing off for now, and see you in Salt Lake!

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.



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