Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found

Enduring sleep deprivation and a cold, we roamed the show on the final day and found some very interesting gear – new trail crampons, very lightweight rain mitts, more collapsible trekking poles, a 9-ounce snow shovel, cool apparel and footwear, and more...

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl | 2011-01-24 00:00:00-07

Introduction

Here’s our report from the fourth and final day of winter OR. Things have really quieted down and attendees leave for home. Everyone is getting a little weary, but the enthusiasm of people in the outdoor industry is always amazing. Despite the fact it was a shorter day, we still found a full complement of things to report on.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 1
Hillsound is a Canadian company exhibiting at OR for the first time. Their only product is trail crampons and they showed us three models. The Trail Crampon (left two photos, 16.2 oz/460 g per pair, US$59, available now) are slip-on crampons available in four sizes. They have a TPU (thermo-plastic-urethane) harness that will withstand very cold temperatures and underfoot toe and heel hardened steel plates with some serious crampons (far left). They are fairly similar to the Kahtoola MicroSpikes, weigh about 3.5 oz (99 g) more, and cost the same. The Cypress 6 (third photo from left, 19.4 oz/550 g, US$55, available now), are an adjustable instep crampon with a midfoot plate, six crampons, and a polycarbonate binding with two ratchet buckles. Their Trail Crampon Pro (far right, 24 oz/680 g, US$79) for fall 2011 is an adjustable 10-point crampon for serious glacier and snow travel. They have a more substantial polycarbonate harness with one ratchet adjustment. This one is comparable to the Kahtoola KTS Steel crampon; it weighs a smidgeon more and costs half as much.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 2
The VestPac is a bit hard to describe. It combines a back hydration pouch with front-mounted panels designed for different applications. For example, the GrandPac (left two photos, about 10 oz/283 g, US$68, available now), has a 3D Airmesh backpanel (far right photo) and neoprene hydration sleeve and reservoir on the back, and a zippered pocket and vinyl pockets on the front. The DriftPac version (third photo from the left, about 10 oz/283 g, US$130) is the same on the backside, but the frontside opens up to provide access to multiple attachments and pockets for fly fishing gear. There are seven basic models in all, each with a different combination of hydration and frontpanel design to make them useful for a multitude of applications like day hiking, trail running, fishing, photography, hunting, XC skiing, travel, and field trips. Also, the frontpanel is interchangeable, so a person can purchase a separate frontpanel for each intended use.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 3
Over at The North Face booth we found the Diaz Jacket (left, sorry, we don’t have complete specs on these items, will update when we get the information) for fall 2011. This pullover jacket has a Pertex Quantum shell (original Quantum) and Primaloft Eco insulation. The Animagi Cap (right) also caught our eye. It has the same face fabric and insulation, plus a Power Stretch fleece ear warmer that extends down over the ears.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 4
At the CAMP USA booth we found a number of lightweight items. They mainly make climbing gear, but their apparel items and other outdoor gear are among the lightest to be found. We previously reported on their Windmit’n (orange shells only), which are wind mitts weighing just 0.4 ounce (12 g) per pair and MSRP of US$25. For fall 2011 a Waterproof Windmit’n will be offered that weighs about 0.9 to 1.1 ounces (25-30 g). They will be made of a silicone coated nylon, so they will not be breathable. Another version available is the G Comp Wind (above) which is a Power Stretch glove with attached Windmit’n in a small pocket so it can be worn over the glove when needed. Sorry, no weight available; the MSRP is US$75.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 5
The CAMP rep also showed us their aluminum Xenon 4 Collapsible Trekking Pole (9.9 oz/281 g, per pair US$70) which employs avalanche pole technology to hold the four sections together (see video). CAMP claims they are the lightest collapsible trekking poles in the world, but in fact the carbon fiber Black Diamond Speed Distance poles weigh 0.2 ounce (5.7 g) less; however, they cost over twice as much. In spring 2011 the CAMP aluminum Xenon Trek Pole (not shown) will be available; this collapsible four-section pole will be stiffer and therefore a bit heavier and will sell for US$80. Both of these poles are a great value, but they are not quite as elegant as the Black Diamond Z-Poles.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 6
CAMP also claims that their Crest Snow Shovel (8.9 oz/253 g, US$38), new for 2011, is the lightest in the world, and I have no reason to dispute that. The 13.8-inch (35-cm) aluminum alloy shaft slides into the blade for packability, and the polypropylene blade measures 7.9 x 7.9 inches (20 x 20 cm). A carry bag is included for lashing to a pack.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 7
CAMP also has lots of lightweight packs. Two that caught our eye are the Phantom (left, US$40), a minuscule weight 15 L stuff sack/summit pack. It is constructed of thin coated nylon, has a large mesh pocket on the front, and mesh shoulder straps and hipbelt for ventilation. The 30 L X3 600 Pack (17 oz/490 g, US$100) is designed for randonee racing and backcountry touring. It’s a top loader with one fiberglass stay, zippered top pocket, two large mesh side pockets, and two large removable hipbelt pockets.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 8
Sea To Summit continues to crank out well-designed useful camping accessories. This time we found their UltraSil Dry Day Pack (left, 3.2 oz/91 g, US$55, available August 2011). It’s a different design and a little larger compared to their UltraSil Day Pack we reported on before which weighs 2.6 oz (74 g). This one has a drybag closure with Hypalon straps and packs down to a very small size (center). The UltraSil Duffle Bag (right, 2.8 oz/79 g, US$40, available March 2011) has a zippered top opening and 40 liters of capacity and looks to be a very useful piece. Sea To Summit’s new sleeping bags, which we reported on from the summer 2010 OR, will arrive in March 2011. The lightest one is the Micro II (36F/2C EN rated, 19 oz/539 g, US$350) which has 850 down fill and a YKK #3 full-length zipper.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 9
Another new exhibitor at OR is ToughStakes, which makes flat aluminum alloy stakes designed specifically for sand and snow. According to owner Eric Simonson, sand/snow stakes currently on the market fail due to repeated tugging on the stakes on a windy day, followed by a good gust that pulls them out. As shown in the video, ToughStakes have a guyline attached to the bottom and require ten times more pulling power to pull them out compared to conventional stakes. ToughStakes will come in three sizes: Small (1.5 oz each/42.5 g, sold in a pack of four for US$20), Medium (5.1 oz each/ 145g, sold individually for US$25), and Large (8 oz each/227 g, US$35); all come with a wire guyline and tie loop. Besides staking tents and canopies, the large stake can be used to tie down a canoe.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 10
A new product from Adventure Medical Kits is their SOL Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy (3.8 oz/108 g, US$16, available now). It’s made of a metallicized plastic, which is quieter than Mylar, and the coating does not rub off on clothing. Dimensions are 36 inches wide x 84 inches long (91 x 213 cm). AMK claims that the coating reflects 90% of body heat. Although it’s not breathable at all, it’s enough for many thru-hikers in warmer temperatures.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 11
A really cool midlayer piece from SmartWool for fall 2011 is the TML Mid Full-Zip Hoody (10.9 oz/370 g, US$190). It will also be available as a hoodless half-zip and a vest, each with one zippered chest pocket and two hand pockets. It’s made of a 64% merino wool/34% nylon blend and looks like a softshell, but there is no surface treatment to repel water. It can be worn as an outer layer and its fabric will provide some natural wind and water resistance. It’s mainly intended as a substitute for a fleece midlayer. Men’s and women’s versions will be available in several colors.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 12
Teva Footwear will be introducing additional versions of its popular Forge Pro shoe this August. They will be the Forge Pro Mid eVENT (right, 15.4 oz/437 g per shoe, US$140) and Forge Pro Mid Winter (left, 16.2 oz/459 g per shoe, US$160). Teva shoes are wider in the toebox, which suits hikers with wider feet. The Winter version will use Thinsulate insulation. Both shoes will be waterproof and feature Teva’s HyperGrrip outsole, which has embedded fiberglass fibers for extra traction on ice.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 13
A very lightweight rain jacket is the Montane Minimus Jacket (8 oz/215 g, US$219) made of 2.5-layer Pertex Shield. Using 15 denier face fabric, it’s one of the lightest constructions yet with Pertex Shield. With 20,000 mm of waterproofness and MVTR of about 25,000, Pertex Shield is “on top of the pile of polyurethane laminates” according to a Pertex representative. Pertex is working with GE Energy to develop lightweight laminates using the eVENT ePTFE membrane and Pertex fabrics, which will be branded as Pertex Shield DV (for Direct Venting).

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found - 14
Primaloft introduced a new synthetic insulation called Primaloft Synergy, which is a multi-denier continuous filament insulation engineered for superior warmth, softness, and loft. It’s constructed of fine and ultra fine denier continuous filament fibers, which makes it thicker and warmer without sacrificing compressibility; loft is claimed to be 25% higher than Primaloft Infinity. The intended use is in sleeping bags and outerwear. The current Primaloft insulations are One, Sport, Eco, Infinity, Eco Footwear, and now Synergy.

In other textile news, Outlast announced the application of its technology to a polyester fabric. Originally developed for NASA, Outlast is a phase-change substance that is applied to fabric threads. It absorbs heat and provides heat regulation. So far, Outlast has mostly been used in bedding, especially sheets, but now it is being applied to a polyester fabric to combine the benefits of Outlast’s heat regulation with polyester’s moisture-wicking and durability qualities. The brand sees a lot of potential for applications in technical base layers and socks.

This wraps up our daily coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011. Our final article will address the emerging new revolution in waterproof-breathable technologies. Gore-Tex has dominated the high-end waterproof-breathable category for over 30 years, challenged only by eVENT. Now some major players and new technologies - Polartec’s NeoVent, Mountain Hardwear’s DryQ, and Columbia’s Omni-Dry - seek to raise the bar with marketing campaigns emphasizing the need for air permeability in order to achieve true fabric breathability. Of course Gore is not sitting idly by; they introduced Gore Active Shell, which is their lightest most breathable construction yet. Our upcoming article will describe the technologies and analyze where the trend may be going.


Citation

"Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found," by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/orwm_2011_day_4_interesting_gear.html, 2011-01-24 00:00:00-07.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

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

Forum Index » Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011 » Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found


Display Avatars
Sort By:
Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found on 01/24/2011 13:21:41 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Camp on 01/24/2011 14:53:47 MST Print View

Love the CAMP stuff, they make top-notch climbing gear of the best quality. I own some of their stuff, and can vouch for their quality and lightness.

If I'd camp in the desert a lot, then those Thoughstakes could be worth the $.

By far the best report of the four days, this one =)

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Tough Stakes on 01/24/2011 17:40:02 MST Print View

I like the Tough Stakes; 1.5 oz each and $20 for a set of four seems really reasonable.

Is this the same Eric Simonson that guides for IMG?

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found on 01/24/2011 21:45:16 MST Print View

Thanks Will, Janet, and the Backpacking Light OR Crew! It's always fun to get a snapshot of the coolest new gear coming out. I've been there and I know how much work it is to cover OR (and how fun it is too!) Thanks for all of the extra effort! Doug

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
rain on 01/24/2011 23:08:52 MST Print View

hmmmm .... my OR helium weights 6 oz for a med with 20D pertex shield ds .... maybe the montane has a different pertex shield or has pit zips?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found on 01/24/2011 23:53:02 MST Print View

Hopefully the new Camp shovel works better than the Snowclaw.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Montane minimus vs helium on 01/25/2011 04:03:33 MST Print View

Well the face fabric should presumably be fractionally lighter on the minimus. Not at all sure if membranes/backer are the same though - the quoted breathability/HH figures for this are really much higher than the ones for the current versions of Shield DS.

The minimus will add weight from from the features like the velcro arm closures and the hood which looks a bit fancier. Pit zips would surprise me slightly as Montane don't really use them.

Long term, sticking the Event membrane onto Pertex outers does seem a promising idea.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: Day 4 – Final Day and Still Plenty of Interesting Gear to be Found on 01/26/2011 06:22:43 MST Print View

Hey Will,
what are your thoughts on the CAMP poles vs the BD Z-pole you tested. Did they seem durable? I am so sick of breaking UL poles and dealing with twisty adjustables. Thank you for your feedback.

Scott H.
(handyman439) - F
Re: rain on 01/26/2011 14:44:44 MST Print View

I have the OR helium also. It is Pertex Shield DS which has a breath ability rating of 8000 g/m2/24hrs.

The montane must use Shield 2 or 3 which is more breathable, and by the looks of this jacket possibly slightly heavier.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
CAMP Xenon Poles versus BD Speed Distance on 01/27/2011 13:25:49 MST Print View

Jonathan, the BD Speed Distance is a CF pole while the CAMP Xenon is an aluminum pole. As mentioned, CAMP is coming out with a stiffer version. I really like the BD poles I tested; they are quite stiff and solid. The sections fit tightly together and there is no wobble. The connection system is elegant. Of course you pay for all that, because you can have a pair of GG LighTrek 4's for the same money. Don't forget that there are 4 different poles in the BD Z-Pole line; the other 3 are aluminum.

I have only had my hands on the Xenon briefly at OR. The connection system is a simple cord through the sections with a knot at the top that secures in a slot, not nearly as elegant as the BD design. The CAMP website is not clear if the cost is $80 per pole or per pair; I will email them to get a clarification.

The new Leki Micro Stick has an adjustable first section and then a cord running through the bottom 2 sections. I just got a pair and the first thing I noticed is they have some slack in the sections, so the poles wobble a bit. After I played with them a bit, I found that extending the first section while locking the mechanism took the slack out and eliminated the wobble. They also weight 16.1 ounces/pair.

Hope this helps. Best, Will

Edited by WilliWabbit on 01/30/2011 09:40:55 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
poles on 01/28/2011 21:15:03 MST Print View

also- unless it's a typo on their site, the Xenon poles are $79 per pole, not a pair

I also like the looks of the toughstakes, looks like they would make a great trowel too

Anders Bentsen
(andben) - M

Locale: Oppdal
Toughstake on 01/31/2011 02:21:30 MST Print View

Where could I find Toughstake? I looked at their website but there's no contactinfo.
Maybe they're not available yet?

Edited by andben on 01/31/2011 02:48:20 MST.

Laurie Gibson
(lagibson) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
ToughStake on 01/31/2011 07:24:23 MST Print View

I saw some here: http://bigskyproducts.com/ToughStake-4pc-sand-snow-stake-small.aspx

jonathan hauptman
(6hauptman6)

Locale: A white padded room in crazy town.
synergy weight ??? on 02/09/2011 14:07:02 MST Print View

Any info on the new primaloft insulation weight(square yard)? Is it pre-quilted? I wonder how compressible it is?