Fresh Gear: Outdoor Retailer Show, Pt. 1
With more than 1,000 outdoor industry brands showing off their latest, greatest gear from now and the near future (spring/summer 2013), Outoor Retailer offers a glimpse into how far outdoor tech has come, and gives an idea of where it's going. Here's a quick look at some of the stand-out products we found.
The crazy bright Ultra Rush headlamp from Petzl puts out 700 lumens—enough to light 100-plus meters of singletrack, ski run or trail—for up to two hours. With the addition of the Ultra Rush Belt, you get twice the battery life while unloading 150 grams of weight from your head and moving it to your hip.
Last year SteriPEN dramatically shrunk down its water purification system with the release of the 2.6-ounce Freedom with a built-in, USB-powered rechargeable battery. This fall, it's adding a portable solar panel to the kit and calling it the Freedom Solar Bundle, so you can power up on-the-go in the backcountry.
Until very recently, Black Diamond's Vapor helmet was considered the lightest climbing helmet ever, weighing in at a scant 186 grams (6.5 ounces). And it's safe, too, with a sheet of Kevlar and carbon rods sandwiched between layers of EPS foam. It's not the lightest helmet anymore (see Petzl's Sirocco in Part 2), but it's probably still the lowest-profile, best ventilated there is.
French knife company Baladeo makes some of the world's lightest blades in its G-Series (so named for how many grams each weighs), ranging from 15 grams (0.5 ounces) on up to 37 grams (1.3 ounces). They're razor-thin and have an elegant, singular design. This year, the company has introduced a limited edition (300 total) Conrad Anker version of the knife. It's engraved with Anker's signature and motto: "be good be kind be happy." Proceeds benefit the Khumbu Climbing School.
It's not a lot to look at from the outside, but Arc'teryx's new Haku Rope Bag is a transformer of the highest utility where craghounds are concerned. A tarp and bag that roll into one, it makes hauling rope from one crag to the next easy with an innovative folding design that eliminates the tangled mess of yesteryear. It's compact and simple, and works like magic. See it in action here.
The 10-foot SlackRack from Gibbon Slacklines gives slackers a go-anywhere, slack-anytime option, wooly weather and lack of woody-stemmed flora be damned.