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 a week at the annual show this summer evaluating products at the massive event to find the best to-be-released gear for 2018.
Here are five of the top offerings.
Sleeping pad, Armored Klymit: 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.
‘Eco’ jacket, Jack Wolfskin: 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.
Hiking boot, Tecnica Forge: 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.
Packs, Osprey Levity and Lumina: 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.
Sun Deflector, Columbia Omni-Shade: 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.
On the net: gearjunkie.com.