Outdoor Retailer ‘Best in Show’ Summer 2017
August 3, 2017
From climbing gear to tents (to kayaks, boots, stoves and packs) brands congregate each summer to launch new products at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. I spent last week evaluating products at the massive event to find the best to-be-released gear for 2018. Here are five of the top.
Armored Klymit Sleeping Pad — The Klymit Armored V is an air pad that won't pop or go flat. Go ahead, lay on broken glass. I tried it. This pad has some of the toughest fabric I've seen — an "armored" splay of scaly Superfabric dominates the underside. For anyone who sleeps on rough terrain, Klymit gives a new, pop-proof option.
Jack Wolfskin 'Eco' Jacket — Meet the industry's first fully recycled waterproof-breathable jacket. That's the claim with Jack Wolfskin's Texapore Ecosphere line, which includes multiple styles with shell fabric, fleece and zippers all built from recycled sources. Significantly, the waterproof-breathable membrane is made of "left-over fabrics from the production of other jackets" to align with the German company's goal of zero waste.
Tecnica Forge Hiking Boot — Tecnica introduced the first hiking boot that can be thermo-molded. Boot fitters heat the footwear in-shop then use inflatable devices to press the boot around the customer's feet and ankles. The result is a custom fit. I tested these $250 hikers and attest the Forge is awesome.
Osprey Levity and Lumina Packs —
Osprey upped its ultralight game for 2018. Among the biggest players in backpacks, Osprey's latest weigh just 1.76 and 1.8 pounds for 45- and 60-liter sizes. That's lighter even than high-end Dyneema bags from boutique brands. In 2018, these will be the packs to watch.
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Columbia Omni-Shade Sun Deflector — Clothing that keeps you cool: This concept is a constant quest for outdoors brands, and Columbia took a new swing at it with Omni-Shade Sun Deflector. This technology — which will first be introduced in shirts for running and fishing — literally reflects the heat. Yep, they're shiny thanks to the titanium-dioxide dots. It's a welcome new technology that will keep you cooler when standing in the sun.
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com.
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