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Gear Junkie: Standout stuff from Outdoor Retailer Show

Sun., Jan. 26, 2014

The Gear Junkie is in Utah this week for the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show. The event has thousands of exhibitors and is a major venue for unveiling new products to the world.

Here are a few of my favorites so far, most not available until late 2014 or into next year.

Jetforce backpack: Most avalanche packs require a compressed-gas cylinder. But a new technology from Black Diamond Equipment uses a high-power fan. The proprietary “JetForce Technology” spins at 60,000 RPMs to fill 200-liter lift balloons in an instant and keep a skier safer if caught in an avalanche.

Kid snow bike: A kit from Strider transforms a scoot bike into a snow-ready vehicle. Made for kids 18 months to 5 years, the Snow Ski kit attaches to a wheeled scoot bike with straps, no tools required.

Winterized shoes:  Made for running on snow and icy surfaces, the toe-segmented Bikila EVO WP from Vibram are sure to turn heads on your next winter trail run. A special rubber compound on the sole gives “snow tire”-like grip, Vibram touts.

Wood-burning generator: This group-size camp stove from BioLite burns sticks and logs. Its flames are channeled to warm a grill on top as well as to a module on the side that makes electricity from the heat. Plug in a phone or a gadget in need of a recharge at your camp site.

Solar speakers: Sunlight charges these Bluetooth speakers as they pump tunes outdoors. Made by Goal Zero, the Rock Out 2 Solar speakers have a bass chamber and will be marketed to “adventurous audiophiles.” 

Down rain jacket: Mixing genres, Sierra Designs will sell a rain jacket stuffed with 600-fill goose down. Warmth and waterproofness are promised. The company employs a special hydrophobic down as insulation for a final line of defense against moisture from body sweat inside. 

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