Four days of scouring the Outdoor Retailer trade show turned up some exciting and unique outdoor products. Here are the highlights in Outerwear.
Alpine runners need the lightest gear they can get their hands on, and when it comes to jackets, nothing is lighter than Dynafit’s new React Ultralight Jacket—it’s lighter than the actual plastic packaging. The men’s React comes in at a mere 2.75 ounces and the women’s at 2.5 ounces. This ultralight hooded jacket is water and wind resistant with a minimalist cut to optimize function and packability. The React offers good freedom of movement, ensuring runners won’t feel restricted during their workouts. The React stows away in its sleeve pocket, taking up less space than an energy bar.
Canada Goose—best known for their Arctic-ready insulated parkas—offers three softshell jackets for Spring 2015, but the most impressive and technical model for active adventure is the Trenton. The Trenton Jacket’s back and hood use Canada goose’s Tri-Durance fabric with 4-way stretch. The rest of the jacket is made of the Tri-Durance softshell 2-way stretch fabric. The Lycra cuffs are extra long and include a thumbhole to help keep the sleeves in place over the wrists. The Trenton offers the details and features needed for everything from spring skiing to climbing or biking.
The Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody helps keep hikers green as they explore outdoors. This versatile layer uses recycled materials in a technical package. Polartec Power Grid fabric, made with 100 percent recycled yarn, makes up the back, sleeves and hood of the jacket while Polartec Alpha insulation is body mapped into the front and side panels for warmth. The light, packable insulation has outstanding breathability, excellent wicking, and quick dry times. Additionally, a wicking polyester stretch mesh internal liner and an extremely light 7-denier face fabric improve breathability of the jacket. The 10.8-ounce hoody comes in men’s and women’s versions.
The North Face FuseForm Dot Matrix Jacket blends different fabrics together through fusion rather than stitched seams to reduce weight while improving performance. In addition to cutting weight, the jacket’s unique design produces integrated abrasion resistance as well as waterproofness and breathability. Other features of this performance shell include an attached hood with hidden cord locks, semi-concealed hand pockets—set high enough to be pack-friendly—and cinching cuffs and hem. The Dot Matrix jacket weighs in at only 10.93 ounces.
When you turn 50, you can wear pretty much anything you damn well please. Which is why it’s no surprise that Sierra Designs has debuted the outdoor industry’s very first rain chaps to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Launching in 2015, the company’s 50th Anniversary Elite Collection includes a range of shelters, sleeping bags, and apparel such as the rain-busting Sierra Designs Chaps.Unconventional? No doubt. Effective? At a lean 4 ounces, the Elite Rain Chaps employ a waterproof (but minimally breathable) fabric to keep legs dry while providing serious ventilation for comfort during backcountry ventures. The Rain Chaps system, which hooks to pockets or belt loops, consists of two separate pieces, one for each leg. The perfect complement to rain chaps? Sierra Designs’ Cagoule ($109)—a six-ounce, thigh-length jacket that covers the Chaps’ open zones and offers hip belt compatibility and under-arm venting while that works even when wearing a pack.