In less than two weeks we’ll be skiing, testing gear, networking and handing out awards in Salt Lake City as the entire outdoor industry converges for the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. Here’s Part Two of our exclusive look at just a few of the products competing for our Gear of the Year Awards.
Patagonia Hyperpuff Hoody
Patagonia says its Fall 2017 Snow line is about “durability, reparability and extended play,” with the specific intent of designing the pieces in a way that makes them easier to repair after hard use. The Pow Slayer apparel kit is the pinnacle of the Snow line that now features recycled Gore-Tex Pro fabric. The new Hyper Puff Hoody has an accordion-like construction allowing more opportunity to create warm dead air space. The Hyper Das insulation is highly compressible yet pops back to full loft as soon as the compression pressure is released. The material and insulation combo create an armor like feel and impressive warmth-to-weight attributes. The line includes a 100-gram Jacket and Hoody and a 200-gram filled Parka weight that is warmer than previous DAS parkas.
Salomon X-Alp Series Continued
The all new X-Alp Boot features a carbon cuff, full thermo-liner, mid-sized gator, Sensifit shell, and Contragrip sole, weighing in at 1190 grams per pair. The 3D rotating cuff allows for 23 degree internal and 12 degree external lateral motion for ankle mobility when climbing, hiking or skinning in steep and sketchy conditions. Sensifit technology uses a thinner shell wall with strategic reinforcement points — making the boots light yet stiff for superior climbing and downhill performance. ($1000) The new X-Alp Ski is being engineered for adventure ski touring: extremely light but also stable using a high-performance, full wood core made of lightweight Karuba wood with thin ply reinforcements of basalt/fiberglass running through the core. A koroyd tip increases dampening, shock resistance and agility while also cutting weight. A thin layer of basalt runs the full length, absorbing vibrations and dampening the ski for a controlled and confident ride in changing conditions. ($850) The new MTN Binding is tech-pin style, lightweight, and, Salomon promises, easy to use, lightweight and strong. You can choose to use a brake or a leash with these bindings. Multiple climbing aid heights assist ascents; and a wide screw pattern lends confidence on descents. ($625)
Flylow Lab Coat & Compound Pant with new eVent DVexpedition
Flylow is the first ski apparel brand to use new eVent DVexpedition, adding extra toughness to a waterproof-breathable 3-layer construction. The improved Lab Coat and Compound Pant deliver burly, innovative, air-permeable technology for “instant” venting of heat that builds up while hiking, yet still protects. DVexpedition is eVent’s most durable, air permeable, waterproof membrane, purpose-built for skiers who push the limits of outerwear in extreme weather conditions. Flylow’s Lab Coat brings a new level of waterproof durability to the backcountry or the resort featuring high pockets so it can be worn with a pack, helmet-compatible hood, removable powder skirt, YKK waterproof zippers, fully-taped seams, and 14-inch pit zips. (604 grams, $525) The Compound Pant features cross flow vents, Cordura-reinforced cuffs, 7/8ths length side zips, powder skirt attachment, and four pockets. (745 grams, $475)
Montane Women’s Phoenix Jacket, Men’s Icarus Jacket and Quattro Fusion Jacket
The Montane Quattro Fusion Jacket
The new Phoenix and Icarus are lightweight and packable puffies utilizing new PrimaLoft ThermoPlume, a new synthetic fill which comes the closet yet to mimicking the structure of down for lightweight and warm insulation, with the advantage of performing in wet or damp conditions. Thermoplume is the first blow-in down substitute with baffles like this, another step closer to the holy grail of a synthetic down-replica. The Women’s Phoenix Jacket is made with Pertex Quantum Eco outer fabric for lightweight, breathable wind protection, filled with PrimaLoft ThermoPlume synthetic fill. Micro-baffle construction allows for a close fit yet dynamic freedom of movement. Features include articulated arms, insulated hood designed to be worn under a climbing helmet, two concealed hand pockets, internal left hand concealed zipped pocket, full-length front zip with internal storm flap and microfleece lined chinguard. (15 oz.) The Quattro Fusion Jacket looks to be a great active piece for uphill skiing, touring, and climbing, made with 800+ fill power Allied Feather & Down Titanium water resistant fluorocarbon-free HyperDRY goose down insulation and Alpha Direct Fleece, thermo-mapped throughout the garment and covered with the latest Pertex face fabric. Lightweight and tough Pertex Quantum Diamond Fuse micro-baffles are filled with down in the core front body, upper arms and side panels. Zoned construction places warm Polartec Alpha Direct 120g/m2 fleece across the back, hood, forearms and lower side panels, with Pertex Quantum covering the fleece areas for wind protection. A PEAQ Down lining provides breathable and fast-drying comfort next to skin. Also features articulated arms with engineered tailoring, adjustable roll-away insulated climbing helmet compatible hood, two hand-warmer pockets, concealed zipped chest pocket, YKK center front zip with internal storm flap, glove friendly ergonomic lightweight zip pulls, microfleece lined chinguard, and adjustable hem with cinchable drawcord. (17oz.)
Grivel Climbing Equipment
Grivel is introducing some pretty exciting looking new gear in two weeks: new Stealth Hard Shell helmets ($70) and new G-20 Crampons ($220). The Stealth line of helmets that is on the market now has added two new helmets to the offering. Our favorite of these is the Stealth Hard Shell (Stealth HS) that is still lightweight, but also more durable than the original Stealth, which is injected foam with a polycarbonate shell. The HS features an EPS inner shell for protection, along with with an outer ABS shell for durability, and uses a new webbing harness, eliminating the need for clunky and fragile click-wheels. The G20 Plus Crampon is a redesign of their best-selling ultralight crampon. It has a single front point that is now replaceable, eliminating the need to replace the entire front piece once the front point eventually wears down.
Chaco Teton Winter Lifestyle Footwear
All new for Fall 2017, Chaco’s Teton boot blends classic mountain style with the versatility, durability and comfort in the way Chaco footwear is known. With a waxed canvas and full grain leather upper, moc toe detailing, padded collar with pigskin lining, “Luvseat” pollerethane footbed, and “ChacoGrip” full rubber block outsole, the Teton is going to be one of those versatile favorites. ($140)
Under Armour Newell Ridge Mid Reactor
This awesome looking boot takes inspiration from UA’s statement boot we’ve previously reviewed, the Infil Hike GTX. The Newell Ridge Mid Reactor features UA’s Cold Gear Reactor active insulation for comfort, Anafoam molded support structure in the upper, and full length dual-density EVA midsole with responsive Charged foam components. The Newell Ridge’s Michelin outsole is based on Michelin’s Wild Grip’R tires for a lightweight, stable and supportive winter shoe.
Ibex Outdoor Clothing Mixed Route Hoody
Ibex is introducing a brand new insulation from PrimaLoft that the brand is calling Catalyst — pairing duck down with Merino wool in an innovative insulation that mixes the warmth of wool with the packable light weight of down. Catalyst will be in all of Ibex’s Fall 2017 Mixed Route collection for men and women that comprises vests, hoodies and jackets. The Mixed Route Hoody is a water-resistant, ripstop layering piece that can be used either as a stand-alone outer layer or an insulating mid layer under a shell, geared toward anyone who wants a highly functional insulating layer for keeping warm and dry while pursuing winter sports.The Aire Shell (40 g/m2) is made from 100-percent recycled nylon with a fluorocarbon-free DWR and the blend of down and wool keep the jacket from being overly puffy, so it stows well in a pack. ($275)
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech
These little Pack-It stuff sacks from Eagle Creek will change the way you pack, and the new Pack-It Specter Tech line adds to the best features of the Pack-It line in an even lighter weight with new durable silhouettes for outdoor adventurers. New Bluesign approved fabric, dual zippers on a clamshell opening, climbing rope inspired pulls, contents visibility, and long-lasting durability add up to the most strategic and efficient packing we’ve found to date.
Swix EVO Power Edger
Just when you thought your tune shed was dialed, Swix is introducing the Evo Pro Edger — a precision electrical side-edge tuner, developed to restore and maintain harder more durable edges for icy/artificial snow. A key is that the long-lasting diamond disc is independent from user pressure, attached to a spring, making it impossible to mistakenly change the radius of the ski. The EVO comes with a Fine polishing disc included; Course and Medium also available. ($400)