Referring to the Outdoor Retailer Show as just another “trade-show” would be akin to calling Mount Everest just “another mountain”. With 515,000 square feet of exhibit space, 164,000 square feet of meeting space and over 1,000 exhibitors showcasing their products, 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.
Our Best In Show Awards
Over the course of our time at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show, we sifted through thousands of products and made our way through a vast array of meetings. Since then, we’ve spent hundreds of hours comparing files, poring over notes and then doing it all over again. The end result is our annual “Best in Show” awards which represent some of the most unique and innovative items that will be hitting the shelves later this year.
Vibram Artic Grip
If there was one product that stole the show at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show, it was undoubtedly the new Artic Grip from Vibram. A state-of-the-art sole technology that makes ice obsolete, Arctic Grip is the most advanced cold-weather gripping system Vibram has ever created. This groundbreaking sole technology, will be available exclusively on six Wolverine Worldwide brands for 2016: Merrell, Sperry, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine and Cat Footwear.
All Wolverine Worldwide product with Vibram Arctic Grip will feature designated lugs with Arctic Grip sole technology that grips slick wet ice, as well as thermochromatic lugs, which sense when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and change color in cold conditions. We had the opportunity to try the new technology first hand – and believe us when we tell you it’s worth every ounce of hype.
Petzl Bluetooth Headlamps
Once again Petzl is changing the game and raising expectations when it comes to headlamp technology. At Winter OR, Petzl unveiled the new REACTIK+ and NAO+ Bluetooth compatible headlamps. These new headlamps feature rechargeable batteries and will fling 300 and 750 lumens (respectively) of light onto the dark trail ahead.
The true beauty of these headlamps is that they can be controlled by a smartphone to regulate their light output for a specified amount of time. So, if you know that your nighttime trail run will last two hours, you can program your headlamp via Bluetooth so that it kicks out maximum light possible for the exact amount of battery power that remains.
Canada Goose Hybridge 2.0 Sutton Hoody
Building on the success of the iconic HyBridge and HyBridge Lite collections, Canada Goose is taking their jacket design and function to a new level. New Strati-Forma 30D fabric that is exceptionally lightweight, breathable, windproof and water-resistant ensure this jacket is made for movement.
The 3L Fleece Shell panels and 3L Knit flex points on the shoulders, elbows and waist increase both warmth and flexibility. The latest in Thermal Mapping Technology ensures down is strategically placed where the body loses heat the fastest, and the subtle quilt-through detailing creates a sleek fit yet rugged feel that can handle any obstacle.
Suunto Ambit3 Vertical
For those who live their life, and adventure above the treeline, the Suunto Ambit3 Vertical multisport GPS is set to become a must have adventure accessory. This newest member to the Ambit3 Connected family provides a solution for sports where planning and tracking elevation is essential to training and competing such as running, cycling and skiing.
The Ambit3 Vertical combines a new lightweight construction with built-in barometric pressure, route altitude profile, vibration alerts and versatile multisport functions for running, cycling and swimming with up to 100 hours of battery life.
Altra Lone Peak Mid Neoshell
Offering the perfect balance of rugged tread, significant protection and a feathery light weight, the Lone Peak has become a trusted favorite within the trail running community. By introducing a mid-cut version in the Lone Peak Mid Neoshell, Altra meets the demand from both retailers and hikers to create a mid-high trail shoe with all the features that have made the Lone Peak a crowd favorite. Trust us when we tell you that this is the mountain shoe that will have hikers, backpackers and thru-hikers re-thinking their choice in footwear.
STANLEY Classic Vacuum Stein
In 1913 inventor William Stanley Jr. forever changed the way hot drinks were consumed by fusing vacuum insulation and the strength of steel in one portable bottle. 100 years later and STANLEY is making products better than ever, and that trend continues with their new 24oz. Classic Vacuum Stein.
Designed like their classic vacuum bottles and 64 oz. growler, the Stein features Stanley’s iconic green hammered enamel finish, a big burly handle and latching lid. It’s a perfect blend of old world style and modern insulating technology that Henry VIII would have killed for. All told, this stein keeps your beverage tap fresh and cold all day long.
Helly Hansen Elevation Shell Jacket
Every Helly Hansen item we’ve ever tested has been nothing short of exceptional. The new Elevation Shell Jacket is no exception. Built around a Helly Tech Professional 3L fabric with new air permeable ultra-breathable membrane and featuring their award winning H2Flow temperature regulating system, the Elevation Shell takes protection, performance and comfort to a new level for endless freeride adventures.
Hi-viz details and brim ensure your friends can find you in deep powder, while large adjustable cuffs are easy to use with gloves. Additional details such as a longer length and a relaxed tailored fit allow the shell to work flawlessly with your backpack. Simply put, this is one killer piece that stands ready to crush your big mountain sessions.
Primus Winter Gas
For those that revel in the cold conditions of winter, Primus is giving you a new reason to celebrate. Primus Winter Gas is an adapted fuel blend that improves performance in cold conditions down to -22°C (-7°F). This new blend of propane and isobutane features an innovative paper on the inside of the cartridge called Vapour Mesh.
This insert keeps the canister pressure higher due to the increased evaporation surface on which the gas liquid can escape. The result is quicker boiling times with less gas consumption even when Old Man Winter is at his worst.
Saucony Razor ICE+
The Saucony Razor ICE+ removes barriers between trail running and icy winter conditions. In this one shoe, the brand has beautifully combined all of their best tech – the internal ISOFIT System, fluid dynamic fit that moves with you as you run, a heel insert for continuous cushioning, and a FlexFilm-Infused Upper that molds to your foot without adding weight.
And for the finishing touch, they’ve added Vibram’s new Arctic Grip. In addition to being the most advanced cold-weather gripping system ever created by Vibram, Arctic Grip also offers outstanding durability to maintain performance despite miles of wear. All told, there’s no longer a reason to toss on a pair of crampons to make it through your winter run.