Munich-The gear industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, the ispo Outdoor Awards were announced in Munich, Germany, on February 6, 2011 as the legendary European tradeshow opened. With more than one dozen separate tradehalls, and literally hundreds of exhibitors, the ispo Outdoor Awards are the most coveted honors of the tradeshow season. They can catapult new gear into the forefront of the market before it hits the shelves, and also stamp the official arrival of up and coming brands. With two winners in each of the three categories, Hardgoods, Softgoods and Accessories, here are ispo’s findings:
Winner Hardgoods (1): Cable Comfort Via Ferrata Set by Edelrid
the ispo jury said the Cable Comfort Via Ferrata Set by Edelrid “presents an excellent innovation in safety and comfort for fixed rope route climbers.” Highlights include the patented Edelrid OneTouch carabiner, the patented release mechanism with automatic safety gate, and the laser-formed, flat shape that “provides maximum safety and flexibility, and prevents the carabiner from breaking in a side-load situation.”
Winner Hardgoods (2): Diablo 10.2 Unicore by Beal
The Diablo 10,2 Unicore is the first outdoor rope by Beal manufactured with the Unicore System, a process that makes it possible to join rope core and sheath without impacting the characteristic rope flexibility. This eliminates sheath slippage even under the worst conditions. If the sheath is cut or ripped, the core and sheath will remain conjoined. “The new technology offers increased safety and optimized handling, as well as maximum comfort for many indoor and outdoor applications,” praised the jury.
Winner Softgoods (1): Snæfell Jacket by 66° North
The extremely ergonomic cut of the ladies’ as well as men’s version impressed the jury. Additional highlights include preformed elbows and seamless shoulders for optimum range of motion. Thanks to the Polartec Neo Shell the jacket is waterproof and breathable. The jury expressed its appreciation: “Perfect finish and clever detail solutions round out the high-quality overall concept, suitable for a broad target group of outdoor athletes.”
Winner Softgoods (2): Eiger Extreme Felsturm Jacket Men by Mammut
Built for a long and challenging climbing tour, the Mammut Felsturm’s brand-new Active Shell material by Gore-Tex and the exclusive spiral zipper by YKK show that the design clearly focuses on minimizing weight and packing volume. “The extraordinary feature of the Mammut Felsturm Jacket is the impeccable tailoring of Gore Active-Shell combined with innovative zippers and a well-thought-out design,” critiqued the jury.
Winner Accessories (1): Vector by Pieps
“The Vector by Pieps represents a quantum leap in avalanche detection equipment,” said the jury. The Vector is the first ever maintenance-free, battery-powered, 4-antenna avalanche beacon with GPS support. The circular range triangulation process simplifies location of the victim and always shows the fastest way to the burial site. An accurate GPS map shows all searched areas to ensure that previously located transmitters are never lost.
Winner Accessories (2): Sol Titanium Advanced Cooking System by Jetboil
Compared to the latest model, Jetboil Flash, the Jetboil Sol Titanium is even lighter and weighs as little as 255g. The Sol Titanium is powered by Jetboil’s new Thermo-Regulate Technology, ensuring constant and dependable heat in temperatures down to -10°C. “A high quality of finish and compelling performance data perfectly complete the overall concept,” commented the jury.