Referring to the Outdoor Retailer Show as just another “trade-show” would be akin to calling Mount Everest just “another mountain”. With thousands of brands and attendees, the show affectionately known as OR, is the largest convention of its kind. This is the place where industry trends are defined, and the latest cutting-edge products and technologies are on display.
The close of last week’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market officially marks the end of a 22-year run for Salt Lake City as the host city as the twice-yearly trade show will now head to Colorado. And so for one last time we made our own pilgrimage to the Salt Palace to scout out the best new gear from the outdoor industry launching in 2018. Our annual “Best in Show” awards represent some of the most unique and innovative new items that will be hitting the shelves later this year.
Through the years, Outdoor Retailer has been the launching stage for cutting edge technologies and industry firsts. And so it’s fitting that at the 2017 Summer Market Tecnica announced the launch of the world’s first ever heat-moldable hiker. After a lengthy and intensive research into outdoor consumer needs, combined with integrated development between footwear and ski boots, Tecnica is about to shake up the hiking world with Forge, a new collection of trekking boots that combines a precise anatomical fit right out-of-the box with effective heat moldable customization capabilities. Featuring a technology new to footwear, Custom Adaptive Shape or C.A.S (first used in Tecnica’s alpine ski boots), Forge offers a fully heat moldable customizable, personalized fit that can be achieved in only 20 minutes at selected specialty retailers.
A leader in innovative, high performance gear that reflects a love of adventure and devotion to the outdoors, Osprey is once again shaking up the backpacking category. For Spring 2018 Osprey enters the ultralight category with the introduction of the Levity (men’s) and Lumina (women’s) backpacks. Levity and Lumina deliver unmatched comfort, ventilation and load-carrying ability in this category.
Key to the pack design is the strategic integration of complimentary high-performing fabrics including lightweight materials with durable outer fabrics to minimize pack weight without sacrificing durability. Osprey’s NanoFly™ fabric integrates ultra-highmolecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) Ripstop and nylon to create an incredibly strong, light fabric with remarkable resistance against water, abrasion and UV rays/chemicals.
Since the debut of its first shelter in 1973, MSR has been engineering for superior livability and ultimate reliability. The tradition continues in 2018 with the introduction of the Hubba Tour Series. Aimed at those those who embark on self-supported adventure tours, this new line include spacious interiors, and a unified, exoskeleton frame for a swift, easy and dry setup in foul weather.
Available in one, two, and three-person models, the Hubba Tour Series offers fully featured, three-season protection and superior livability at 3 lbs 15 oz, 5 lbs 13 oz and 5 lbs 12 oz, respectively. A massive hooped vestibule provides extra protection for changing wet clothes, lounging after a long day and storing the gear required for week- to year-long adventure tours. The line will also feature the latest Xtreme Shield waterproofing from MSR on both the rainfly and floor. The durable coating, exclusive to MSR tents, lasts 3 times longer than standard coatings, preventing the stickiness and fabric leaks that lesser coatings allow.
Yeti has developed the reputation for developing products that allow users to push the boundaries and go further than ever before, and the new Panga™ is no exception to the rule. Whether you’re expecting relentless waves or your gear bag just lands in the wrong spot, the Panga™ was designed to be airtight and 100 percent submersible.
And because it’s Yeti, you don’t have to tiptoe around the mayhem that comes part and parcel to hellish conditions. From the impervious ThickSkin shell to the QuickGrab lash points and the MetalLock hardware, the Panga is ready and willing to take a wicked beating and keep trudging forward. The Panga will be available in three separate models (50, 75, 100) and in one color —Storm Gray —through limited authorized dealers and on yeti.com in fall 2017. Retail prices range from $299.99 to $399.99.
In 2015 Leatherman introduced an industry first: a multi-tool that could be worn on the wrist. At Summer OR the brand debuted the long awaited TREAD™ Tempo. The latest iteration of the Tread band, the Tread Tempo provides users a watch-meets-multi-tool to have on hand for the expected and unexpected.
The Tread Tempo’s watch module features precision quartz movement, is water resistant to 200 meters and features luminous markers and a rotating minute bezel. But the true ingenious of the Tread Tempo is the band which is composed of a series of stainless steel links – each serving as an interchangeable tool. It features six specific tools, including a 3/32-inch screwdriver, 6mm and 4mm hex drivers, two square drivers and a Pozi-Driv.
Since the beginning, Hydro Flask has been on a mission to save the world from lukewarm. For 2018 the brand extends the reach of their mission with a line of new products including the Unbound Series of soft sided coolers. Smart enough for the city and light enough for transporting your favorite food and beverages beyond the trailhead, the 22L Unbound Soft Cooler Pack fills a significant void in the soft-sided cooler market.
These packs use the same TempShield™ technology developed for the bottles, but applied in a new, comfortable 24-liter pack. The TempShield Soft insulation ensures that food and drinks stay chilled up to 48 hours. Advanced Thermal Mapping with Ultralon Buoyancy Foam puts the insulation where it matters most for retaining temperature, resulting in less bulk, more comfort and the lightest soft cooler in its class. The True Access Top opening offers easy access and cleaning, while welded seams provide a completely waterproof interior and exterior. Includes dry storage pockets and an 820D scratch-resistant contoured press-molded base for unsupported self standing when not being worn. Available in four colors.
This Asaar 2.5-Layer Jacket is full of features need to keep you dry and comfortable in an array of conditions. Already an award winner, but now updated with additional features for your adventurous life, the Asaar remains king of the mountain in terms of performance.
Himaltec® laminated 100% nylon four-way mechanical stretch is double ripstop with clear dot pattern laminate and a dry touch print on the fabric backing. This inner fabric layer is a protective layer of raised dots that keeps the fabric from touching the wearer’s skin to provide comfort and enable the quick transfer of vapor through the outside of the fabric. Boasting a 20K/30K waterproof/breathable rating it also has lycra binding around the hood for a snug fit that can be adjusted. Also, updated is that the jacket now self-stuffs into one of the pockets with a nylon webbing loop to secure while on the go.
Meet the world’s first self-heating water bottle. The Cauldryn Fyre is ready to completely change the way you think about water preparation and survival in the great outdoors. Using rechargeable battery power (from AC or DC outlets), the Cauldryn Fyre innovates the outdoor experience with a water bottle that allows the user to bring water to a boil and keep liquids heated all day long. Depending on the need at hand, users can choose a few different settings to heat up liquid: boil, brew, hot and extra hot.
Danner is an American classic – perhaps best known for their iconic brown leather and often red-laced hiking boots. Inspired by the Grand Canyon’s South Rim trail, the South Rim 600 takes the brand’s proven comfort and performance and merges it with a design that offers their most breathable and lightest weight hikers to date.
Borrowing the ultra-cushioning Vibram® SPE midsole and Vibram® Fuga outsole with Megagrip from the highly-acclaimed Mountain 600 hiking boot, the South Rim 600 offers classic Danner style combined with proven comfort and performance. Unique to the South Rim 600, however, is the lightweight mesh and water-resistant suede upper that maximizes breathability, making this your go-to summer boot when there’s an incline in both temperature and terrain.
Klymit has developed a reputation for challenging the traditional approaches to conception and fabrication of outdoor goods all with the aim of providing a better outdoor experience. The Armored V is the first inflatable air pad featuring 300,000 SuperFabric scales which protect against the toughest ground conditions. Offering all of the comfort of the brand’s Static V, the Armored V steps up the durability game with a virtually impenetrable barrier ready to protect you from the worst Mother Nature and mankind has to offer.
Rituals and traditions swirl around grilling, from the profound (ancient Hawaiians roasted the pig as an offering to the gods) to the prosaic (Dad’s famous beer-based barbecue sauce). Now the LotusGrill by Grill Time offers a mobile, smokeless and clean grilling experience that’s portable enough to go virtually anywhere.
The LotusGrill is comprised of a double-walled bowl, stainless steel inner bowl, ignition plate, charcoal container and lid, and the grill top. A built-in battery operated fan works just like a bellows ensuring the grill is ready to use in minutes. The charcoal lights easily so the grill is ready to use in minutes. The charcoal chamber’s lid prevents the juices from dripping onto the charcoal, which causes smoke. The outer bowl doesn’t get hot, so you can put the grill on virtually any surface. The grill has an optional lid, for added versatility.