The Outdoor Retailer Show descends on Salt Lake City twice a year to show case new gear, styles, and trends in the outdoor market. We were lucky enough to walk the show floor for a few days and get sneak peaks of everything from extreme mountaineering gear to casual camping gadgets. If your idea of a fun time is geeking out over pack fabric and GORE-TEX membranes over a few beers, then our picks for Best in Show accolades will have you drooling over all the best new gear. If you’re anything like us, you won’t be able to patiently wait for any of this stuff to hit retailers in the next few months. Read on for the very best products from the Outdoor Retailer Summer 2015
The Guardian was born from a massive R&D effort for the US Military. After six years of development, MSR introduced the first purifier that is rated for viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and particulate contamination. The ground breaking hollow fiber technology is rated for 10,000 liters. Look for them on the shelves in early 2016.
It seems like every time we head to Salt Lake for the show Goal Zero launches something we immediately fall in love with. This time around we spotted the Lighthouse Mini. On low setting it will light up your camp for up to 500 hundred hours. It also serves as a portable battery, keeping your phones and GoPros juiced up in a pinch. This little lantern will also crank out 210 lumens when you really need to light the night.
From early morning hikes to post-work trail running, the Versatrail is KEEN’s answer to light, comfortable trail shoes. A toggle lace system keeps things snug, and weighing in under eleven ounces, this shoe will cover some serious terrain. Why can’t this one hit the market sooner than January?
We love our Jetboil stoves for backpacking, but they are really only built to boil water. The all new Genesis changes that. The clamshell design has two burners and nests in an included five liter pot. This juggernaut is the perfect car camping or river trip stove for backcountry chefs. A satellite burner can be added for even more versatility – think french press coffee. We are very impatiently waiting a chance to test this one.
Featuring the new Apollo three person shelter (or one plus your favorite mountain bike), Escape Pod inflatable bug net, and Moonwalk sleeping bag , this kit is a minimalist trekker’s dream. All three together weigh in just under four pounds for a complete shelter and sleep system. As an added bonus, the bag has a completely waterproof base and pad sleeve for peace of mind and a dry night. Color us impressed.
Taking cues from backpackers and gear heads who have been using carabiners to attach their solar panels to packs on the trail, Gregory teamed up with Goal Zero to create a dedicated solar pack. The result is a new Baltoro with an integrated panel carrier built for Goal Zer0’s brand new Nomad 7 Plus system. Combine one of the most comfortable packs ever built with the ability to keep our electronics juiced up for an entire week of adventure? Yes, please.
We’ve been using the Brunton All Day batteries on our GoPros for long mountain bike and paddling adventures. This fall Brunton launches an All Night version that includes an integrated flashlight to the battery and camera housing so your filming doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. Who’s up for some late night single track ripping?
We love having an overbuilt camping mattress, but hate spending twenty minutes blowing it up. Thermarest’s Speed Valve technology utilizes Bernouli’s principle to aid in creating a low pressure vortex that can suck ten to fifteen times the air you blow in. The result? We blew the Camper SV up in four breaths. We also loved the rails on the side of the pad that kept us from sliding off.
We first discovered Arc’teryx’s Atom puffy jackets on a rainy trip to Southern Utah with their Law Enforcement and Armed Forces (LEAF) team back in the fall of 2013. Our Atom LT has been pulling cold weather duty ever since and still looks brand new after a few hundred trail miles and dozens of summits. The SL takes the LT’s proven design and shrinks it to a four season platform. Using half the insulation, the Atom SL is ideal for summer camping or as a layering piece for fast and light trail runners and mountaineers when things get cold. Look for these to hit retailers in January.
The PowerPot made a splash in 2013 by letting any hiker generate power over a backpacking stove or open fire. We stopped by Power Practical’s booth at the show this time around and got a peak at some of the new batteries coming this fall. The Pronto 12 features quick charge technology and dual USB and 12V output so you can power all your gadgets from one compact battery. From the commute to the backcountry, this battery can handle topping off everything from your phone to power hungry DSLRs or laptops. For those counting the ounces, we especially liked the Lithium 4400 battery too. It gave us a full charge from almost dead to full on both a smartphone and GoPro while walking the show floor.