Right after the new year, the outdoor industry will convene yet again in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, where hundreds of new products will be introduced to retailers and to media. Here’s a small peak behind the curtain into next years goods…and from our list (look for them in a series of three posts over the next two weeks), we’ll select our coveted Gear of the Show awards, which we hand out in person in Salt Lake City during the show.
Crescent Moon Eva All-Foam Sports Snowshoe
“This is the most innovative thing in snowshoes since the aluminum frame,” Jake Thamm, Crescent Moon Snowshoe president, told us. “This new snowshoe’s performance is like nothing we’ve ever experienced.” Thamm’s design uses dual-density EVA soles to form a large rocker-shaped platform, while featuring tire-tread-like lugs, with no rotational hinge, resembling the love child of an Adidas running shoe and a Blizzak snow tire, with material similar to that found on football cleats. ($149)
Good To-Go Mexican Quinoa Bowl
Often referred to as the national dish of Mexico, Mole Poblano is a mix of Butternut Squash and Black Beans in a Mole Poblano Sauce loved around the world. Good To-Go is a backpacking food company that experienced a swift rise to the top of the dehydrated food chain, and its new Mexican Quinoa Bowl is likely to help keep the small brand on top, with a traditional sauce including ancho chiles, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and organic cacao powder, a source of antioxidants with an abundance of magnesium and iron—a healthier alternative to cocoa powder used in baking. Comes in two sizes.
Arc’teryx Backcountry Outerwear
Arc’teryx Men’s Alpha IS
Arc’teryx has some innovative insulation pieces that simplify layering. The new single-piece Alpha IS Jacket is a lightweight, weatherproof insulation solution for lighter mountain travel, replacing a hardshell-plus-midlayer system. Arc’teryx says the Alpha IS Jacket is 18 percent lighter in weight than two separate jackets. For the female ski tourer, the new Airah Jacket combines waterproof/ breathable protection with lightweight, air permeable insulation, conceived as a compliment to the multiple layers that ski tourers need. It will be insulated with Polartec Alpha with Gore-Tex face fabric, at 595 grams. There’s also new touring bibs for both men and women, but they were conceived from a collaboration between a female designer and one of the female Arc’teryx athletes, so you have to figure these are both functional and stylish. They used C-knit Gore-Tex in the body and a softshell for the bib portion. We’re looking forward to the cool cuff system that accommodates adjusting ski touring boots.
Superfeet 3D Scanning and Printing
Superfeet has partnered with tech giant HP and SafeSize, a concept innovation firm, to bring fully customized 3D printed insoles and footwear recommendations to retail shops. Consumers will be able to walk into a store and get a scan completed of his or her feet, whereby the machine will make recommendations on which pair of shoes (and which size within that style) will fit best. Beyond that, scans will be stored and a customer will be able to order 3D printed insoles specific to his or her respective scans and, eventually, customized, one-off recovery sandals to match. In 2016 Superfeet jumped into footwear with the launches of the several sandals, and now the insole leader is introducing a collection of footwear for fall and winter 2017/18. Each shoe starts with a breathable cork insole — a nod to the brand’s custom ski insole, and features premium leathers, waterproofing, warmth, and unique styles.
New to the North American market, Japanese ski apparel brand Goldwin is expanding its line to the backcountry. New for 2018 are the Arris Jacket (available in both Zip Up and Pullover) and the Arris Bib Pant. The Gore-Tex pieces are feature strategically placed pockets to sustain wear and provide comfort with a backpack. Goldwin says it looked to Samurai garments from the 1500’s for inspiration and developed a construction method through the shoulder panel and pant fit that offers superior mobility with limited seams. Also, the new Titan Jacket in both the men’s’ and women’s offers front side skiers a hybrid down jacket in 2-layer Gore-Tex that features Kodenshi Down in the body and PrimaLoft in the arms. It’s a fully taped, classic ski silhouette with a modern structured collar and removable hood. Look for goggle pockets, security pockets, and pass pockets along with premium fabrics throughout the line.
Osprey’s new SnowKit duffel (45L, $130) is something unique from the iconic pack brand for skiers and snowboarders, designed to function as a kind of grab-and-go basecamp. Features include a large compartment for boots (with ventilation window), a dual compartment, internal zip mesh organizer pocket; stowaway contoured harness and yoke for backpack carry; large, lockable U-zip access to weather-protected main compartment with dual-zippered 3D end pockets with overlapping rain flaps for quick access to smaller items. In addition to the SnowKit, the new GearKit series includes TrailKit (for trail running/mountain bike) and BigKit (for extended trips with lots of gear).
Glerups Tall Boot
We don’t know a lot about these apres boots yet, except that we need them. Glerups, known for comfortable kick about shoes made with a blend of crossbred Merino and Gotland wool, is introducing a tall boot to complement their popular Model G ankle boot. The handmade tall boot has a new natural rubber slip resistant sole but otherwise is 100 percent wool, with a lace and a pull tab on the back. It’s said that the double-wool felted footbed molds to the shape of your foot. Much like Uggs, the wool is breathable and can capture up to 35 percent of moisture, keeping them dry and warm no matter the climate. ($195)
Farm to Feet Backcountry Socks
Farm to Feet is launching its new Cottonwood Collection of backcountry socks, made in America with all U.S.-sourced materials, named after the iconic Utah canyons where Outdoor Retailer attendees will be playing before and after the tradeshow. The Cottonwood Collection includes two styles, the Big and Little, and both feature a new Wool2 toe box for additional warmth and reinforced ankle zones for comfort and support when walking and pivoting. Trust us, you want some Farm to Feet socks in your drawer.
Metolius Mini Tech Footholds
Climbing gym footholds might not be the first thing on your winter wishlist, but hey, maybe they are. These new Mini Tech Footholds mimic the nature of real rock as the “thinnest, most technical footholds on the market,” and are designed to bolt onto walls at the gym or your home board. Metolius says they are unbreakable, made of 6061-T6 aluminum and cut on a CNC mill, available in five shapes and an assortment of colors. ($39.95 for set of five)
Revamped, Redesigned Gregory Alpinisto
After five years of putting the Alpinisto to the test in high alpine environments, Gregory is introducing a revamped version of a now-classic pack that is lighter, stronger, and more comfortable, due in part to an all-new lightweight Fusion Flex Suspension System designed for alpine trekking and climbing. A 7001-aluminum frame and climbing-specific hip belt and harness lend comfort for technical ascents, Gregory says. Full-length side zippers, new tool attachments for ice axes, over-sized tear-resistant crampon pockets, an A-frame ski carry system with wider, more user-friendly straps, and lighter, stronger fabrics that reduce pack weight by 10 percent are all part of this alpine pack picture coming out next year. (50L, $219; 35L, $199)
La Sportiva Synchro
La Sportiva’s entirely new Synchro AT ski boot for men (and Shadow for women) combines mobility and light weight with power and precision, pushing the limit for what a lightweight Euro AT boot is capable of on piste. The key innovation is a hinged, double-power tongue that increases mobility and flex, eliminating the standard bellows on the front of boots, while providing forward stiffness. A booster strap and carbon reinforced vertebra delivers a 125 flex boot at just 1550 grams. ($759)