Twice a year, some of the world’s best outdoor brands gather in Salt Lake City to showcase the latest gear and fashions before they hit the mainstream. For retailers, distributors and manufacturers, as well as members of the media, these Trade Shows are introductions to next season’s gear, new companies and industry trends. Every January, Salt Lake hosts Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, North America’s largest winter lifestyle and sports industry gathering. This year’s event brought together 1,000 manufacturers and distributors, including the likes of Columbia, The North Face, Salomon, Hi-Tec, Vasque Footwear and more.
Over the course of three days, the Gumption Gear team met with small and large manufacturers alike, seeking out the very best Winter Retailer had to offer for our “Best in Show” awards. Following is our list of winners from the 2013 show.
OutDry Technology Innovation
From time to time a brand steps outside of the box and spends time relentlessly questioning assumptions and challenging rules that have outlived their time. During Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the Gumption Gear Editors had the opportunity to attend a media conference hosted by OutDry. It was at this event that OutDry announced their next innovation that will literally change the rules of the game for outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts. In a partnership with Mountain Hardwear, OutDry will launch a line of backpacks featuring their waterproof application that will be available to consumers in Spring 2014.
Salomon Fellraiser Trail Runner
Whether you’re roaming snow covered fire trails or gobbling up wet and muddy conditions, the new Fellraiser from Salomon running is ready to become your new favorite run buddy in 2013. Inspired by Salomon’s ultra light mountain runner, the S-LAB Fellcross, the Fellraiser is a low, lightweight and fast-drying trail shoe built with killer tread that digs deep for increased traction on softer ground. If you love your trails with a dash of muck, then the Salomon Fellraiser will give you reason to rejoice.
Take everything you love about Vapur® anti-bottle, add in a filter that crushes 99.99% of the bacteria and organic matter that can wreak havoc on your body, and the result is the Vapur MicroFilter. The Vapur MicroFilter is a light weight, chemical-free water filtration system that utilizes the most advanced ultra membrane technology. Weighing just 2.4 ounces and capable of purifying hundreds of liters of safe drinking water from lakes, rivers, streams and tap water, this all in one solution is ready to keep you hydrated no matter the terrain or destination.
Canada Goose Timber Shell
For 2013, Canada Goose is introducing a new waterproof breathable shell, perfect for year-round outdoor adventures. Get ready to set your sights on the mountains and let this uncompromising technical shell handle the rest. Featuring the company’s own proprietary Tri-Durance HS™ three-layer hardshell fabric, these shells provide warmth, comfort and massive mobility for men and women during every outdoor activity. Paired with Canada Goose HyBridge, HyBridge Lite or Lightweight Down items, the shells are the optimal exterior layer for wet climates and conditions. For our Editors, the Timber Shell was an easy inclusion for the ‘Best in Show’ feature. The beauty of these shells is not only in the finish and function, but in the outstanding attention to detail by the Canada Goose design team ensuring an outstanding fit even for our 6’6” field tester.
KEEN Marshall Collection
For Fall/Winter 2013, KEEN launches the Marshall Collection. Blurring the lines between hiking boots and adventure shoes, KEEN merges its tried-and-true protection and durability with lightweight technology producing the company’s fastest hiker to date. Part of KEEN’s Trailhead Series, the Marshall Collection is designed to support your steps during fast descents, and feel feathery-light whether you’re gunning for the ridgeline or just playing catch-up to your little adventure buddies on the local firetrail. The Marshall Collection will be available for men and women in low and mid heights with the option of waterproof technology.
Osprey Portal Series
As tablet use becomes an increasingly ingrained part of personal and corporate life, the new Portal Series from Osprey is designed to provide easy access to, and interaction with, these devices. Clean lines, textured warm fabrics and a hint of retro styling offset the technical sophistication of this series. Each Portal style provides superb organization and protection while the “port” models feature Osprey’s Port™ window, allowing use of a tablet without removing it from the pack. That means you’ll be able to shoot of an email before the little green blinky man replaces the “Don’t Walk” sign… all without ever taking the tablet out of your pack. To top it all off, the Portal Series features Another smthe PowerHouse™ Add-On™ that keeps a laptop powerblock, tablet and cell phone cords, battery packs, USB drives or any other electronics accessories organized.
Louis Garneau Yeti Snowshoe
The snowshoe developed as a crucial tool assisting in the mobility of indigenous peoples living in snow-covered areas around the world. Those poor souls of yesterday would have killed for a pair of the new Louis Garneau shoes! By merging a high-performance snowshoe with the Boa Closure System, Louis Garneau is shaking up the snowshoe industry. The Yeti snowshoe is a high-performance snowshoe designed for steep ascents and access to summits and utilizes the Contact Pro Harness System, a revolutionary binding with a Boa Closure System-customized fit, lightweight, comfortable, on-the-fly adjustment that pushes performance to the limit. It’s the next evolution in snowshoe design.