After a long first day at OR Show, Adam and I are back at our home base for the night looking over a swarm of notes and images from the day. Packed with day one appointments, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what OR offers. Something I quickly noticed after my first Outdoor Retailer experience is the level of excitement and energy surrounding the show. This is truly an active, outdoor, adventure minded, ready for anything, group of people. Passionate people, passionate about their products.
It’s time for us to finally grab some dinner and prepare for day two.
One of our first stops of the day was at the Marmot booth. I’ve owned quite a few of their waterproof jackets over the years, always impressed. Both Adam and I were struck by their Super Mica Jacket. Knowing how much stress a loaded pack can put on your jacket, Marmot added Dura-Lite zonal reinforcements to prolong the life of your gear. The little things can often make a huge difference.
For the fisherman in all of us, INNO Racks had their new 8 pole interior rack loaded with rods on display. Each rod is held at both ends with a one-touch easy clamp system. A great solution for keeping your fishing gear organized and safely out of the way for you and your expensive rods.
The new Jaybird X2 Wireless/Bluetooth Earbuds improve upon the original Jaybird X with double battery life to 8 hours, new comply sport foam ear tips, improved Bluetooth connectivity, drivers have increased in size 6mm to 10mm and a new sweatproof design.
Under Armor‘s launch into footwear is looking pretty excellent if you ask us. They have an entire line ready for day-hikes to full-on trekking adventures. One specific shoe that caught our eye is the new Fat Tire GTX Trail Running shoes. Using a Michelin Wild Gripper bicycle tire sole, fatbike riders will feel right at home in these.
Watching a pair of Keen Uneek 8mm Open Air shoes being born was a unique experience. It’s not everyday you can see your shoes being made right in front of your eyes. The nylon cord upper moves with your feet and the lightweight PU midsole makes them a great light hiker and water shoe.
Kletterwerks has been building Made in USA packs since 1975. Starting in his garage, Dana Gleason wanted to create the toughest packs he could using the best materials he could find. As a climber, the development of his packs saw years of abuse, tweaks and changes until they were just right. As Kletterwerks grew into Mystery Ranch developing a more extensive line of packs for every outdoor channel, the Kletterwerks collection is still Made in USA and tough as nails.
This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned the Hydrapak Stash on AGW. We just love it. A collapsible water bottle tough enough to stand on (we did) that won’t take up nearly any space empty.
Something new from Hydrapak is their Seeker line. We didn’t get much information on them as everyone in the booth seemed pretty hush hush. Due to launch next Spring, the Seeker water packs have a slim design great for stashing excess water on longer trail days.
If you’re looking for a light hiker that doubles as a trail running shoe, take a look at the Lowa Innox EVO. What’s unique about this shoe is the polyurethane dual-density midsole that doesn’t compress over time, always retaining its original shape and performance. Traditional midsoles breakdown and collapse quickly.
The new Shwood Eyewear collection would be welcomed on our face any day of the week. The craftsmanship is great, the wood sets them apart from other sunglasses we’ve seen and hey, there was a guy carving an axe handle in their booth. That’ll grant a visit from us every time.
You can freeze it, light it on fire, let your dog chew on it, drive over it with your car, or make it a baby bottle. The Bubi Bottle is a nearly indestructible, reusable, collapsible, BPA Free water bottle. It will never mold, you can microwave it, it will always retain its shape, use it as an ice or hot pack, and no it’s not made of unobtainium. This silicone bottle would be good for just about anything.
The new Skagit jacket from Filson looked so good on the display I had to try it on. Named after Skagit Bay in Washington, this jacket carries all the technical features you need in a fishing, duck hunting, or outdoor jacket. It’s built with an 11oz. poly/cotton laminate with a waterproof membrane, 7oz. cotton lining, seam-sealed, and waterproof zippers. The large chest pockets are great for gear and a generous back pocket (Hunter/Game) is perfect for your gloves, small camera or water bottle. The neoprene interior cuffs and velcro adjustable exterior cuffs aid in waterproofing. Look for this to drop later this year.
We learned a lot in the ExOfficio booth today. Known for their comfortable underwear, we were equally impressed with their new Men’s SOL Cool Cryogen Shirt. A short-sleeve button down shirt that looks handsome and also provides UPF 30 protection, odor-resistance, armhole gusset ventilation, a hidden security chest pocket for traveling and 3 position back-cape ventilation. Also available are matching SOL Cool shorts and a long-sleeve top. Stay tuned for more from ExOfficio, including their Insect-Repellent Travel Clothing.
Day One Dog Count = 19.
[Photos: Adam Bendig]