Everyone expects to see a plethora of new products and new innovative designs at Outdoor Retailer, the outdoor industry's premiere trade show held in Salt Lake City every year. This year was a little different. Though there are a few patient-pending items floating around, there wasn't a whole lot of NEW in the sense of the word, but improved was a consistent theme.
Dual purpose, more features, and packable or inflatable are seemed to be the highlight of the show. Last year paddle boards swept the stage and this year inflatable boards were all the rage. Initially, inflatable boards were perceived as inferior products but they have come a long way and certainly have their benefits. In addition to taking up less space and less costly, these boards are more durable making them suitable for white river paddling. In addition, we saw packable canoes and 3-piece hard shell kayaks.
Most of the backpacks we saw were described as having new features or new fabrics. These fabrics weren't necessarily more technical, but meant to appeal to the urban, fashion-conscious adventurer who also wants a durable product.
It wasn't only packs that boasted new features, sleeping bags and apparel followed suit. Sleeping bags with no-slip fabric, extra blanket-like inserts and mummy-style bags with a hood that fits your pillow from home. Everything to make getting outdoors more approachable and more comfortable.
All that being said, here are a few of our favorite products from the show.
The Primus Onja is part of the CampFire range and is Primus’ most compact two-burner stove. Suitable for large pots and real cooking, it’s also fully portable with an integrated carry strap. Once unfolded the body becomes a stable cooking unit that also protects the burners from the wind. Its oak lid doubles as a cutting board, or a platter to serve food on. The Onja is powered by Primus 100 g, 230 g or 450 g canister gas, the lightweight cartridges typically used for backpacking stoves.
Brunton reintroduced its SOLARIS line of solar power with new size capacities and an updated design. The three models— SOLARIS 6, SOLARIS 24 and SOLARIS 72—are flexible, high-efficient solar panels with a lightweight laminated construction, excellent low-light efficiency and indestructible CIG cells that keep working even if damaged. The SOLARIS 24, or 24-watt version, has a compact, two-panel design for maximum performance and portability. Brunton’s most powerful solar array yet will debut with the 72-watt SOLARIS 72, an ideal device for remote film crews, high-alpine expeditions, and isolated research teams and work seamlessly with Brunton’s BOLT PRO and SERVO high-capacity battery systems.
With the rise of solar chargers in the market, StrongVolt took it to the next level. StrongVolt SmartCharger with patent pending SunTrack Technology™ keeps your devices charging when others don't and can charge devices as fast as a wall outlet. By turning sun into power, users are able to stay charged up even when clouds or shade disrupt the charging connection. The StrongVolt SmartCharger is said to be the world’s most advanced solar charger.
This Portland based company is well known for their gear that is both waterproof and breathable. They have expanded their product offerings to include socks and gloves any cyclist who braves the elements; from city dwellers heading to the pub to pro cyclists heading to the top of L'Alpe d'Huez.
Of Hala's 7 different inflatable paddle board styles, you're sure to find the perfect fit. Whether you're paddling a lake, paddle surfing or whitewater paddling, their diverse styles are all made with the highest quality material, progressive shaping, rocker stiffening stringer, an unbreakable universal fin box, flex fins, the toughest 6" drop stitching, double reinforced seams, double reinforced D-rings, and outfitted with a removable kayak seat and foot bar. The Hula Lula is the strangest looking board we saw, it was designed to dominate in whitewater.
Their logo is "Quality Goods Made With Purpose" and companies that don't just stand behind their values, but put their values at the forefront are pretty awesome. Each Parks Project Collection is created with a specific purpose, to fund a project in one of our parks. Visit the Parks Project website to browse their products all made in the USA and view their current projects.