Fresh Gear: Outdoor Retailer Show, Pt. 2
Sierra Designs' new Mojo UFO is light as a feather at 1lb. 15ozs., and it looks like it would blow like one in a strong breeze. But its poles are a sturdy carbon and its rain fly is made from lightweight, ultra-durable (and, yes, expensive) cuben (not carbon) fiber—the same material America's Cup racing yachts use in their sailcloth. Ounce-counters will love this space-age shelter, as long as they're not also bean counters—it retails for $1,799!
Petzl's funky-looking climbing helmet, the Sirocco, is made from a single block of expanded polypropylene (EPP), which means it has excellent impact resistance without going to the trouble of incorporating a hard shell. Fewer parts means less weight—the max is a scant 165 grams (5.8 ounces), making it the lightest helmet available. A magnetic buckle allows for easy, single-handed chinstrap closure.
Admittedly, there's no new technology at work in Stanley's Limited Edition 100th Anniversary Bottle, but it's worth a mention all the same. Its vintage 1944 brushed green finish looks just like grandpa's bottle, and its classic stainless steel construction means it's as rugged as ever (according to some Stanley users, these things have survived coal mine collapses). What's more, it keeps coffee hot for 24 hours, and cold drinks frosty for 32 hours.
Salewa's newest approach shoe, the Wildfire GTX, uses a fused frame and an exoskeleton-like injected shell (the cross-hatch pattern that wraps around the reinforced mesh) on its upper—rather than sewing together separate pieces—to keep the shoe light and durable. Add a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex lining; a customizable footbed, and a Vibram EVO sole that's good for edging, and you've got the ultimate approach shoe.
Sport and trad climbers have a new lightweight, warm option from The North Face in its Verto Micro Hoodie. With 800-fill down throughout the torso, and unlined Pertex Quantum fabric in the sleeves and hood (with North Face's proprietary FlashDry tech at critical points on the sleeves), it keeps your vitals warm while fending off drafts that a traditional vest would allow. The half-pound layer compresses down to a fraction of its full size (making it easy to add to a climbing kit), and it's part of the four-piece Verto Climb Collection, which weighs in at a diminutive two pounds (total!).
It's not brand-new, but the concept behind Snow Peak's Hozuki Lantern seemed worth mentioning. It's a perfectly functional campsite light—putting out 100 lumens using four AA batteries (or USB, if you're cushy camping)—that hangs inside your tent or on a tree branch, but it's also good for mood lighting. A unique candle mode causes the light to flicker like a candle would, in response to sound and wind.