01ColumbiasNewWaterproofPuffy

(Photo courtesy of Columbia Sportwear)

Every week, we bring you five gear-related stories, from all over, that you won’t want to miss. Here are this week’s highlights:

Tested: Columbia’s New Waterproof Puffy
Two weeks ago, outdoor writer Andrew Skurka published a blog post critical toward Gore-Tex’s claims of “waterproof, breathable technology,” as well as gear reviews that skimp on adequately assessing true breathability of these fabrics. In the meantime, Gear Junkie managing editor Sean McCoy was busy testing out Columbia Sportswear’s new “waterproof puffy,” made with their OutDry Extreme waterproof, breathable fabric, and due out in 2016.

What did McCoy think of the 1-lb-12-oz, 800-fill down parka, and—in a nod to Skurka’s blog post—how well did it really breathe?

Read on …

02ABackpackThatTurnsIntoaTent

(Photo courtsesy of Freestyle Bivypack Kickstarter)

A Backpack That Turns into a Tent
From the Kickstarter set this week: Kenny Flannery of hobolifestyle.com has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of an ultralight backpack that turns into a small tent.

“The bivy extends from a wrapped hidden pocket in the collar of the backpack, the pack frame slides out to now function as tent poles that create some breathing room around your head while blocking out mosquitoes,” proclaims the campaign. “The whole setup weighs about 1.5 pounds and takes just a couple minutes or less to transform between backpack to bivy and vice versa.”

Read on …

03HowSocialMediaIsChangingSponsorships

(Photo courtesy of Brock Butterfield | Instagram)

How Social Media is Changing Sponsorships in Outdoor Sports
This week on Teton Gravity Research, Brock Butterfield interviewed a few sponsored skiers and snowboarders about the role social media plays in their lives and sponsorship terms. Specifically, he lamented a sponsorship that included $1,500 in film budget last year that went to zero this year, because, in his own words, “the company had plenty of interested amateurs who were willing to sign this contract without any dispute.”

How do other athletes and gear companies negotiate terms of sponsorships in the land of Instagram?

Read on …

04ModernDayFishery

(Photo of David Jacob, Courtesy of Katmai NP | CC 2.0)

A Modern-Day Fishery Inspired by Native-American Nets
Grist published a story this week on Lummi Island’s reef-net fishery that employs “energy and supply-chain efficiencies, clean harvesting techniques, and state-of-art fisheries management to operate one of the best practice fisheries on the planet.”

Drawing inspiration from the ancient cedar and willow reef nets of the indigenous Pacific Northwest anglers, the fishery aims to continue integrating responsible fishing practices in their modern-day operation.

Read on …

05AdidasSpeedfactory

(Photo courtesy of Adidas)

Adidas’ Robot Factory to Supercharge Production
Adidas recently announced the creation of a new “speedfactory,” operated primarily by robots, which will begin production of Adidas running shoes early this coming year. (Adidas currently works with 1,100 independent factories, with over one million human workers, to manufacture their athletic shoes.)

“Our consumers become more challenging and demanding,” Gerd Manz, head of technology innovation at Adidas, reported to Yahoo. “Customization to markets and individuals will become the norm.”

Read on …

 

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