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Jonathan Stull | 07.08.2019

The Outdoor Project team went to Outdoor Retailer in Denver this past June, and amid the chaos of the outdoor industry’s biggest trade show we previewed the coolest, most intriguing gear from the biggest outdoor brands slated for the coming seasons. We saw trends that continue to incorporate travel lifestyle and athletic design elements into the look and performance of outdoor gear, improvements in sustainability, and a continued push toward equity and diversity in the outdoors—and there is always work to be done here.

But first, before we jump into exciting new gear from brands we know and love: We were quite pleased to see brands take on the challenge of carbon neutrality with the official release of Climate Neutral, the first carbon neutrality effort in the outdoor industry. When public policy fails, it's important for outdoor brands to pick up the mantel. Once in full swing, brands with the Climate Neutral certification will label their products so you can see how much they’re investing in carbon offsets.

In the meantime, check out the gear we loved at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2019!


Designed for women only, the Bravada is a sneaker-like performance hiker. Abbe Simmons.

Merrell Bravada

$130 • Available first half 2020

Designed specifically with women in mind, the Bravada was redesigned from the ground up as a performance sneaker for hikers—for which it has been lovingly nicknamed "the sniker." The Bravada is available in three colorways, including more conservative aluminum and black/white alternatives, and besides the comfortable sneaker-like fit the shoe boasts a waterproof mesh upper and Merrell's stickiest outsole for a resilient grip on tough terrain.


The Summit series, a FUTURELIGHT line. Jonathan Stull.


Price varies • Available fall 2019

The North Face debuted numerous lines of breathable, waterproof gear set for release in the fall. Part of The North Face’s push for sustainability, FUTURELIGHT is TNF’s new, proprietary outerwear technology that promises improvements in breathability for waterproof gear. For the first time, The North Face is sourcing recycled materials, and they're using a non-PFC, DWR finish with technology that reduces chemical and water consumption during production. The outerwear titan has jumped all in on FUTURELIGHT with a line of apparel dedicated to mountaineering, running, hiking, snow sports, and a lifestyle line that will release in spring of 2020.


The Yakima TopWater on display at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Abbe Simmons.

Yakima TopWater

$549 • Available August 2019

The days of securing your rod and reel to the hood and cab or bed of your truck are over. In August, Yakima will release a line of premium roof racks designed specifically for anglers. The biggest of them, the TopWater is designed to carry eight fully rigged rods up to 8 feet long. That means you can prep and transport them to your favorite fishing spot ready to cast your first line. Yakima also offers a longer option for rods up to 10 feet (DoubleHaul, $699) and an option without housing (ReelDeel, $169).


The Altra Provision 4 adds ProperARCH technology designed to prevent overpronation. Jonathan Stull.


Available spring 2020

Altra’s Lone Peak shifted the market when thru-hikers began buying the model for their long-distance treks, and it has forever changed how hikers are designed. The bandwagon was in full gear at the summer market, and there were more low- and mid-heeled performance hikers than we could count. Altra released an updated Lone Peak mid and a new version of the original Lone Peak, but we’re intrigued by the Provision 4. New for 2020, the street runner now features a new arch support system that integrates with the laces to help prevent overpronation of the foot.


Marmot Yolla Bolly. Jonathan Stull.

Marmot Yolla Bolly

$299 • Available February 2020

We’ve seen new types of camping gear hit the market that shakes up ordinary sleeping bags—think Poler’s Napsack or the ZenBivy camping bed, or camping quilts in general. Marmot tips its cap to new innovation with the Yolla Bolly, which features a wider body for more comfort, an interior blanket for added insulation, and the ability to completely unzip into a quilt for more versatile use.


The Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse in our favorite canyonlands orange colorway. Abbe Simmons.

Ruffwear Overcoat Fuse

$79.95 • Available October 2019

Ruffwear expands its line of harnesses with an all-weather option. Rugged and easy to use, the Overcoat Fuse is essentially a wearable jacket that integrates a soft fleece lining for canine comfort and a breathable, durable outer shell that resists weather and abrasion on long hikes in conditions that are less than ideal. We love the canyonlands orange colorway.


The Hydro Flask Trail Series offers three bottle styles and sizes. Jonathan Stull.

Hydro Flask Trail Series

Starts at $45.95 • Available spring 2020

Hydro Flask trimmed 35% of the weight with an all-new titanium build for its 21-ounce bottle. The incredibly light bottle maintains the insulating ability we know and love about Hydro Flask, but with a profile that will satisfy the gram-counters and ultralight backpackers.


Updated for spring 2020, the Hopper M30 now features a wider opening. Abbe Simmons.

Yeti Hopper M30

$299.99 • Available spring 2020

The Hopper M30 of old had an opening that was too narrow—or so those loyal to YETI’s top-line coolers claimed. So YETI updated the design of the M30 with a wider opening to make it much easier to grab and go with your favorite food and drink. All else is what you’ve come to expect with a YETI: tough, durable, waterproof materials and long-lasting temperature control.


The clean, matte finish of Osprey's Archeon series. Jonathan Stull.

Osprey Archeon Series

Price varies • Available spring 2020

Looks to us like a travel aesthetic has crossed over into pack design, too, and if the Osprey Archeon lineup is a foretaste of what’s to come, we’re all about it. Sustainability informed its design more than taste did—Osprey incorporates GRS-certified recycled materials—but the minimalist design is gorgeous and clean, and Osprey has released a pack size for just about every activity, including a 25-liter roll-top bag for urban adventures.


The Nemo Stargaze Recliner (right) and Stargaze Camp Chair (left). Aron Bosworth.

Nemo Stargaze Camp Chair

Spring 2020

Nemo released the Stargaze Recliner, which forever changed camping chairs with a hammock-like suspension that allows you to lean back comfortably. The recliner design inspired Nemo to launch a new camp chair using the same design in a smaller profile. Thus, the Stargaze Camp Chair was born. A pound lighter and 2 inches shorter, the chair is also closer to the ground, which means it’s easier to reach into the cooler for that ice-cold beer while you search for Orion’s belt.


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