Summer is fast ending and it's time to start looking at new gear for the Fall and Winter
So what's good this year, well lots of things by the look of it at least according to Gear Junkie staff who were at the latest Outdoor retailer show in Salt Lake City recently. So here is a rundown of what they liked best, happily there is plenty of new and innovative gear heading our way plus some pretty neat changes to old favourites so read on and enjoy choosing your next investment...
Suspend Hammock With Car — ENO Roadie Hammock Holder Quite possibly our favorite hammock innovation of the year, the Roadie lets you suspend a hammock anywhere you have a car, truck or van. Just park the wheels over the base and the protruding metal poles give you a perfect pitch. Genius!
The Roadie eliminates the need for trees to tie up your swinging bed. The rack fits most any car or truck, and you then simply hook up the hammock on the slings, ready for a perfect hang out or sleeping spot next to your parked ride.
Flexible Sunglasses Fit Any Face — Julbo Breeze The frames of the Julbo Breeze are flexible and can be molded to any face size. They can wrap around the head, gripping you for security — our tester wore them doing handstands, and they stayed snug.
At the OR Show, to try them out, we put the glasses on the faces of folks from 5’2″ to 6′ tall, and it fit them all. The Julbo Breeze will cost $180 with photochromic lenses. Available for the first time this fall.
Easy Inflation — Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad A huge opening on top lets you inflate the Therm-A-Rest Camper SV in just a few breaths. The technology isn’t new (small brands showed this technology at past Outdoor Retailer shows) but with wide distribution, the sounds of huffing and puffing to fill your pad may soon wane at the campground.
How’s it work? The pads inflate thanks to a natural phenomenon called Bernoulli’s principle in fluid dynamics — as you blow air fast into the large opening of the pad, the high-speed stream draws a large volume of air with it, rapidly inflating the pad in just a few breaths. We tested it on the show floor; it’s a mysterious effect, with the large, 3-inch-thick mattress inflating nearly in full in about 10 big breaths.
Solar Backpack — Gregory Baltoro Gregory and Goal Zero teamed up to launch the Baltoro 75 GZ, which adds a removable solar panel to the top of the pack. It lets you hike and soak in the sun to recharge gadgets on the trail.
While a hiker can certainly just rig a light panel atop any pack, the collab of Gregory and Goal Zero makes for a slicker solution — the top panel of the pack lid unfolds and clicks in place with magnets. Cords reach inside, where your iPhone or GoPro sits in the pack lid getting recharged as you trek to the next objective or a base camp below a peak.
Pop-Up, Connectable Tent – Alite Sierra Shack At $120, we applaud the affordability of this basic pop-up tent. But what makes it unique is Alite’s zip-together feature, letting you connect many tents in a row.
The company, based in San Francisco, is a big proponent of reaching beyond the core and getting everyone to try camping. It markets the hoop-pole tent as “the easiest tent you’ll ever set up,” eliminating some of the intimidation factor. It’s made for outdoor and music festivals, car camping, and even backyard camping where kids or newbies can get their first taste of sleeping under the stars.
Self-Bailing Packrafts — Aire and Kokopelli Two brands are entering the packraft market with the category’s first lightweight self-bailing models. Both brands — Aire and Kokopelli — are creating rafts that will weigh in under 10 pounds and pack up to the size of a small tent. Self-bailer boats let a paddler remain more comfortable, and the craft to remain lighter and more maneuverable through rapids, because water can come over the top and flow back out into the river. This is opposed to most packrafts, which hold water inside and become floating bathtubs. The Bacraft by Aire (above) weighs in at 7 pounds, is dual-chambered, incredibly durable with an outer skin protecting the air chambers, and an inflatable floor. It is designed primarily for whitewater.
The Kokopelli boats are sleek, all-around packrafts suitable for moderate whitewater (up to class III) and longer expeditions. They also have two chambers and the self-bailing floor. Kokopelli self-bailing Castaway packraft is 104 inches long (and 36 inches wide) The base model Kokopelli weighs 8 pounds, with many options available, including internal gear storage (inside the tubes!), a modular inflatable seat, and different material options for the tubes and body, which allow users to opt for a higher pressure and stiffer boat.
There is far more than this to share so if you want to get a full tour of the best of this years outdoor retailer show then head over to Gear Junkie where they really dig into the best of what's on offer this year.