It is big news in the outdoor industry that many prominent brands have pulled out of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City. Some brands are acting in protest of Utah’s leaders attempting to rescind the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument while others will be absent due to financial constraints and other factors. But as they say, the show goes on. Nevertheless, these brands still have exciting new products worthy of the climber’s attention, and here are just a few.
Arc’teryx Men’s and Women’s Konseal FL Approach Shoe
The Konseal FL Approach shoe seems like a direct response to criticisms placed on the brand’s earlier forays into the shoe market, including some from myself. The Konseal FL promises to be lighter, with a minimalist single layer ripstop mesh upper, but remain durable with a .4mm TPU coating and 1mm Nubuck synthetic overlays in high wear areas. The claimed weight for a men’s size 6 is 9.2 oz per pair. Raised midsole sidewalls and a TPU reinforced EVA midsole promise stability. A Vibram Megagrip outsole with solid climbing zones and square edges in the heel for descending assure grip in demanding situations. A 4mm, 3D Ortholite insole and a smooth transition from heel to toe deliver comfort while hiking with a heavy pack. The Konseal FL will be available in Spring 2018 in four colorways for men and three for women with an MSRP of $165.00.
Tension Climbing Grindstone Pro Hangboard
Wood presents several advantages to the hard training rock climber. The less aggressive texture saves precious skin, allowing longer training sessions, and demands more active gripping of holds. The manufacturing process reduces the production of nonbiodegradable waste, and many find wood more aesthetically pleasing, a potential concern when mounting inside the home. Tension Climbing sources American hardwoods and utilizes a non-toxic and chemical-free manufacturing process in making holds and training products in Denver, Colorado. Ben Spannuth and Will Anglin possess 30+ years of collective climbing experience with V13 boulders, 5.14+ sports routes and 5.13 trad routes included in their tick lists. Ben holds a Master’s degree in Integrative Physiology, and Will is a certified personal trainer and coach for competitive climbers, all this experience, education, and knowledge is forging the shapes of their products. The just released Grindstone Pro hangboard has warm up jugs, edges ranging from 35mm down to 7mm incut crimps, 25mm two-finger pockets, 45mm mono pockets and a phone slot so you can stare down your time remaining. All the skin contacting surfaces have been designed for comfort and effectiveness, adding to the already desirable characteristics of wood, and holds sizes are laser engraved. A less aggressive model is also offered (The Grindstone). Available now with an MSRP of $115.00.
Salewa Men’s and Women’s Agner Engineered Cordura DST Jacket
The Salewa brand carries a deep history in the alpine arena, reaching back to 1935 and including critical innovations such as the tubular ice screw. The German born, Italy based brand introduced apparel to the US market this year, following their well-received footwear. The Agner Engineered Cordura DST is a new jacket globally, the hybrid construction making it well-suited for the mobility and durability demands of climbing. The technical soft-shell jacket combines light, four-way stretch and highly breathable Durastretch fabric with Cordura DST fabric reinforcements on the top of the arms, shoulder and lower back. Cordura DST blends Durastretch with Cordura, producing an abrasion resistant fabric that still provides freedom of movement and quick drying. An athletic fit, adjustable hood, hip belt/harness-compatible front chest pockets, elastic edged lower hem, and a compression stow pouch complete climber-friendly elements. The claimed weight is 10.2 oz for men’s medium. Available Spring 2018 with three colorways for men and two for women, with an MSRP of $199.95.
Metolius Rope Tarp
Simplicity often reigns as king in climbing and Metolius brings this fundamental truth to rope transport and protection. The originator of the climbing rope tarp, Metolius stripped all unnecessary fluff and materials away for their Rope Tarp. A round shape efficiently provides coverage and eliminates packing tarp area that is normally unused. The simple closure system uses a carabiner, reducing total pack weight and broken buckles. Color coded tie in points prevent tangles, and the rope pocket makes for quick packing. The minimalism allows the rope and Metolius Rope tarp to pack up tightly and compactly, saving valuable pack space and keeps the weight down to 9.4 oz and the price at under 20 bucks! Available Spring 2018 with an MSRP of $19.95.
Dynafit Men’s and Women’s Speed MTN Gore-Tex
Modern alpine adventures often place a priority on speed, which translates to weight, especially in footwear. Dyanfit directly addresses the speed/weight formula with their Speed MTN Gore-Tex shoe, which tips the scales at a feathery 13.8 oz per pair in a men’s size nine while still sporting a Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane. A technical upper construction with leather for abrasion resistance helps keep the weight down, while a ballistic bumper provides impact protection for the toes. The heel has a diagonal reinforcement (a “preloader”) to help with a fit and comfort while a custom Pomoca (of ski climbing skin fame) engineered and built outsole features tacky rubber for enhanced traction required in the alpine realm. A quick lacing system is tucked out of the way and out of sight. Available Spring 2018 with an MSRP of $179.95.
Patagonia Linked Pack 18L
Multi-pitch climbs require hauling a few essential up the route, while still being able to pull tricky moves in possibly confined spaces. Patagonia specifically addresses the needs of the multi-pitch connoisseur with their Linked Pack 18L. This simple, close fitting rucksack combines streamlined dimensions, durability, ease of access and other desirable characteristics for long vertical adventures. The body of the pack is constructed with a 9.2 oz 940 denier Cordura ballistic nylon and is lined with 3.3 oz 200 denier polyester, both receiving a polyurethane coating and DWR finish for sheer ruggedness and water repellency. The simple top loading design closes with just a drawcord, and an adjustable top strap accommodates a rope and overstuffing. Robust back panel and shoulder strap padding ensure a comfortable carry, even with dense trad gear aboard and a hydration sleeve keeps fluids available on the fly. Top mounted handles make managing the pack at hanging belays easier and facilitate hauling when required. Abundant lashing points and a webbing hip belt round out this multi-pitch Maestro. Available Spring of 2018 with an MSRP of $99.00.