Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008

Mike Martin gives us the skinny on what to expect from BackpackingLight.com's coverage in the coming days.

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by Mike Martin | 2008-08-05 00:05:00-06

Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 - 1
The Three "Backpackaneers." From left: Mike Martin, Don Wilson, and Will Rietveld walking through downtown Salt Lake City on their way to a previous Outdoor Retailer show. We will NOT be bringing coats for the summer show.

Once again, I find myself in a frenzy of preparation for the upcoming Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. I'm in the midst of a daily stream of emails and phone calls with vendors and fellow Backpacking Light staff as we schedule appointments, sift through hundreds of press releases proclaiming the (supposed) greatest new outdoor gadgets, and organize our show coverage. This show will be my fifth for Backpacking Light, which I suppose makes me a veteran. Still, rather than becoming jaded, I look forward in anticipation as each show gives me an unprecedented opportunity to see the latest new gear, but more importantly, also gives me a chance to renew relationships with vendors and staff.

"I love you, man."

It may not be evident to our readers, but our staff is far flung and relies on electronic communication for much of our contact and planning. Strange though it may seem, over the years I've developed close friendships with people like our Senior Technology Editor, Roger Caffin, whom I've never actually met in person, and our co-founder Alan Dixon, whom I've only ever met during these shows. Our biannual convergence on Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer is one of the few times I can enjoy the company of fellow staff members - even if it's at a time of sleep deprivation and caffeine-fueled late night editing.

The Crew

This show, I'm very pleased to welcome longtime BackpackingLight.com member and University of Utah student Ryan Gardner to our crew. With a notepad, camera, and shiny new media badge in hand, Ryan will be joining Will Rietveld, Janet Reichl, and myself as the on-site editorial team. The four of us will be doing the groundwork at the Salt Palace, while being supported off-site by much of the remaining Backpacking Light staff - Chris Townsend, Steve Nelson, and Alan Dixon are all writing articles remotely; Ken Knight, Don Wilson, Cat Jasins, and Rick Dreher have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our article production runs smoothly; Jared Schlender, our resident "home page artist" has created another wonderful banner for the event; while Addie Morstad and Gisela Krack are the lone guardians holding down the fort every day back at Backpacking Light headquarters in Bozeman.

I owe this off-site group a very special thank you as they have signed up to experience the thrill of the long hours, technical snafus, and time pressure of Outdoor Retailer without the drudgery of actually having to see cool new gear, visit with staff members, or meet industry players. To this group (and anyone I've inadvertently missed), thank you all - the show would be impossible to produce without your support.

In addition to our editorial team above, Ryan and Stephanie Jordan, Sam Haraldson, and Nicole Chilton will be joining us in Salt Lake City. Our magazine is, after all, an outdoor-related business. Ryan will be focusing on new product development and business partnerships; Stephanie will be sourcing materials for our in-house brands; Sam will be buying merchandise for our gear shop; and Nicole will be working on ad sales and wholesale distribution of Backpacking Light books and magazines.

Gear Coverage

Much of our planned content this time is in the form of Product Roundups - shelters, stoves, raingear, etc. We thought this format would provide better information to our readers by showcasing similarly grouped products together to make it easier to compare new offerings. Of course, there are also several promising products that deserve attention by themselves or don't fit into a particular category, so be ready for some surprises.

This year we are covering new sleeping pads that dramatically improve warmth per weight and comfort per weight ratios with new pad technology. We're also expecting to see the world's lightest canister stove (purported to be fifty-three grams) as well as a reduced-weight version of one of the "integrated stove systems" introduced last year. Highlights of our Shelter Roundup will include a sub-two-pound double-walled tent and an eighteen-ounce Tyvek tarp tent. On the apparel side, we're planning rainwear and footwear comparisons, as well as writing about new garments from Western Mountaineering, Integral Designs, Rab, and others.

Friedrichshafen

Finally, the European OutDoor trade show was held in Friedrichshafen, Germany in July. This show precedes Outdoor Retailer and, as such, is the venue for many new international product introductions. Chris Townsend attended OutDoor this year and has shared his impressions of that European experience in contrast with the distinctly North American Outdoor Retailer. He'll also give readers a glimpse of some of the gear that we've been missing here in the States.

Thanks for joining us again. I don't want to give away all the secrets we have planned for the show, but this brief introduction will hopefully whet your appetite for more from Outdoor Retailer. Please check back throughout the next week, as we'll be publishing new content daily as the show unfolds.


Citation

"Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008," by Mike Martin. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/intro_orsm08.html, 2008-08-05 00:05:00-06.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008
Display Avatars
Sort By:
Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/05/2008 20:59:45 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008

Edited by ryan on 08/07/2008 21:18:17 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/05/2008 22:23:11 MDT Print View

Hi Mike

Rocking onwards.

> world's lightest canister stove (purported to be fifty-three grams)
Ahhhh... considering that our Forum correspondent Tony Beasley has already posted photos of a canister stove he made weighing TEN grams, that perhaps should be rephrased as 'world's lightest commercial canister stove'.
But then, you wouldn't expect anything less from BPL members, would you! :-) :-) :-)

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/05/2008 22:44:54 MDT Print View

Yes. Of course you're right, Roger. That should read "commercially available", or some such disclaimer. ;)

I think some BPL readers could make gear lighter than you could buy in just about any category you'd care to name.

Cheers,

-Mike

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/05/2008 23:07:46 MDT Print View

Since some here are interested in that tunnel design that Roger is always going on about, can you check out the MSR Skinny 1 and 2 and ask them if later on they will have a version for the American market and how come the Asian version is out first .
Franco

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/07/2008 10:07:26 MDT Print View

Hi ORSM-2008 team.

I got the following email from IDFL - the Down testers.

It might be of interest to us members if one of you all paid them a visit and got a briefing on how they do their testing.

"Hello -------, It's that time of year again for the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you plan on attending the OR show during August 8-11, please come visit us at booth #155-224. IDFL also welcomes all Outdoor Retailer attendees to come visit or tour our main office in Salt Lake City.

If you would like more information on visiting our main office please contact us at +1.801.467.7611 or via email: info@idfl.com.

Regards,

Your friends at IDFL"

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/07/2008 21:17:33 MDT Print View

Hi Bill,

I'll be meeting with IDFL.

What specifically are you looking for?

IDFL is equipped to, and will run, any of the standard down tests, and does directed research as well.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
MSR Skinny Tent on 08/09/2008 23:20:34 MDT Print View

Hi Franco, we saw the Skinny at the Cascade Designs booth yesterday. It's scheduled for spring introduction in the US.
Very nice tent.

Will

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/10/2008 08:04:56 MDT Print View

Bill et al.,

I spoke at length with IDFL yesterday about down testing.

None of their tests stimulate real world testing. 900 fp in a test is going to be a pipe dream in the field, because they steam wash and dry the down to nearly zero humidity before doing the test. Ironically, this most recent iteration of test methods was designed to determine the maximum possible fill power for down rather than what it will look like in the field.

Interestingly as a side note, we did some 900 fp testing of down a few years ago on two manufacturer's 900 bags. We cut the bags open and sent them to IDFL. Neither made the claimed 900 spec (they tested 830-870 using the steam method). What was more dramatic was that when each down (which clearly came from different sources as evidenced by visual inspection) was subjected to 50% humidity, the differences were pretty dramatic. One bag tested at 770 fp, the other at 680 fp. It seems that at least these two sources of 900 down had feathers in it that were not resilient in response to humidity.

The kicker is that we ran the same test next to down taken from a manufacturer's 750 fp bag. at 50% humidity, the fp was 720. Why? It had more feathers that were stiff enough to preserve the loft in moist conditions.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/10/2008 11:29:14 MDT Print View

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for sharing this information with us.

For me the most important part of your reply has to do with your comments about the independent testing you did.

Based on your results with the 750 fp down some combination of feathers and puff-down might be the way to go for a quicker dry out rate.

I should start picking out the feathers in the down I hand stuff and save them for a special test. And as you are rolling around on the floor laughing at that get your son to take some pictures of you.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/29/2008 21:39:57 MDT Print View

Can we expect additional articles about the ORSM 2008... or what is posted all that there will be? Seems like the coverage this year was pretty light. I have heard of a number of interesting productions that where at the show which didn't seem to get mentioned in any of the reports. For example, a friend mentioned that the Osprey Exos was at the show.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/29/2008 21:45:12 MDT Print View

Hi Mark-

Yes, more is coming. The articles are more in-depth this time, so they're being published over a longer period.

Cheers,

-Mike

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/29/2008 22:06:09 MDT Print View

"The articles are more in-depth this time, so they're being published over a longer period."

NOTE:
Mike - When I first wrote this I shot Mike. I should not have shot Mike as he was just the messanger. I have change my comment to say BPL.com.

I hope BPL.com doesn't think that we are a bunch of dopes.

By the time you get around to rationing out what was at this past ORS we will have read about it in the slowest magazine published. I guess it does give you something to post each week as it seems really good stuff has all but dried up. News is only news for a very short time. Is this what BPL.com is coming to? And we are still paying for this?

I am on several other backpacking site everyday and you folks are way behind the power curve.

This idea is about as smart as wanting to keep what fabric the new shirt and pants are made out of a secret.

I think it is about time to vote a few of you folks "Off the Island".

Edited by bfornshell on 08/29/2008 23:52:27 MDT.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/29/2008 22:15:24 MDT Print View

Bill-

1. No, I hold BPL readers, especially yourself, in very high esteem.

2. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive tonight, but I take the tone of your last post personally. FWIW, the schedule is not in my hands.

3. I stand by my "in-depth" comment. You'll have to judge for yourself if they are worth the wait.

4. Sometimes for the privilege of using state-of-the-art materials, you're obligated to keep secrets.

-Mike

Edited by MikeMartin on 08/29/2008 22:29:36 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/29/2008 23:49:09 MDT Print View

Hi Mike,

You know it is the messenger that always gets shot.

Sorry, I should have used the term BPL.com instead of your name. I will change that.

As for the suggestion that:

"4. Sometimes for the privilege of using state-of-the-art materials, you're obligated to keep secrets."

I don't buy that. When I first touched it I thought it was a Pertex product and stated that. After following the Pertex link on the home page and reading all the Specs for the different Pertex products and comparing them to my shirt front and back I am about 99.9% sure I know which one it is. If I am correct that it is a Pertex product I find it hard to believe Pertex would require you to keep something a secret that is described on their web site.

I would go along with a suggestion that Ryan would like to protect his investment by not telling us what the material is.

I don't intend to publish what I think the material is as I like Ryan to much to do that. I would send my idea to him in a direct email for his amusement.

I have been able to buy or get samples of several "state of the art" materials and insulation and when I ask if I can talk about it, I have always been told yes.

Edited by bfornshell on 08/30/2008 06:21:14 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/30/2008 00:39:48 MDT Print View

> By the time you get around to rationing out what was at this past ORS we will have read about it in the slowest magazine published. I guess it does give you something to post each week as it seems really good stuff has all but dried up. News is only news for a very short time. Is this what BPL.com is coming to? And we are still paying for this?
> I am on several other backpacking site everyday and you folks are way behind the power curve.

I would be interested in hearing what other readers think about this issue - while noting Mike's comment that some of the to-be-published articles have greater depth than a simple news-flash.

Cheers
Roger Caffin
Online Community Manager

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/30/2008 05:14:26 MDT Print View

I'd prefer a news flash about all the latest gear during the week of the show. Following that with more in-depth material would be icing on the cake. But then, I have not renewed my subscription just yet so my opine may not mean much.

I think many BPL paying customers like getting the latest info before it is seen on every other non-paying website covering the show. That is part of the draw (or major part of the draw) to BPL.

Edited by jshann on 08/30/2008 05:15:44 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/30/2008 05:39:18 MDT Print View

John,

As a "paying" customer, I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the issue!

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 on 08/30/2008 12:30:38 MDT Print View

about the downtesting and the big difference between quoted FP values and actual FP values, this actually doesn't surprise me. I remember the review of a number of sleeping bag models in a magazine some years ago in which the down itself was also tested. The difference between quoted and tested values was on average 13%.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Introduction to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 - Down testing on 08/30/2008 13:07:36 MDT Print View

So it seems like the data shows that no matter what the fill power number is above about 750, in humid conditions the field number will be about 750.

Would this theorectically be due to the fact that high fill power, i.e. 900, doesn't have enough "structure" to it to hold up under humid conditions and "collapses?" Whereas 750 down has enough feathers in it to keep the item bulked up?

If this is true, then it would be a waste to purchase items above 750 fill power in the east where I live because 50% humidity is considered an arid day! Just as importantly, when figuring components for MYOG projects, 750 cu.in./ounce should be used to calculated how much down is needed, no matter what the "dry" fill power rating is.

This may not be of great concern to you folks in the desert southwest or high rockies but my normal hiking territory is from Florida to New England.

I'm glad this came up now because my next planned project is a down vest for this coming winter and I've been planning the project with 900 F.P. down! I could have had a pretty skimpy vest!

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
stale news on 08/30/2008 15:26:19 MDT Print View

A year or two ago there was fairly comprehensive coverage including an abundance of photos, particularly of tents, but many other trail staples as well. This years coverage was a bit disappointing and most of the news re: upcoming gear was gleaned from a European provider who occasionally posted a link in this forum. At my age I’ve learned the unpalatable taste of eating my own words too many times when discovering that there is good reason for a particular result that has been hastily criticized by my incontinent lips. Therefore I remain disappointed while benefiting from the many other great assets of this site.