Outdoor Retailer Top 10
Last week Salt Lake hosted the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show, the place where manufacturers show off their hottest new gear, clothes, skis, and more. This is the gear that will be arriving on retail shelves later this year. Four Climbing and Urban Climber editors roamed the Salt Palace for three days, checking out the wares. Here, our picks for the 10 coolest new products for climbers.
• Petzl Nao headlamp. The pioneering headlamp maker introduced its “reactive lighting” technology, in which the beam automatically adjusts from 7 to 355 lumens, depending on the amount of outside light hitting the lamp. Great for battery life and user comfort, but it comes at a price: $175.
• Water-resistant down from Brooks Range and Sierra Design. Down offers the best warmth for weight of any insulation, but it collapses and clumps if it gets wet. So, how about if you could keep the down from absorbing water? Parkas and sleeping bags that promise to do just that are coming soon.
• Marmot Alpinist Hybrid jacket. A tricked-out, light-and-fast layer with Primaloft insulation in the front, Power Stretch fleece on the back, arms, and shoulders, and a low-volume Lycra hood to wear under a helmet. $250.
• Goal Zero Sherpa 50 portable recharger. Sleeker and lighter (14 oz.), the new Sherpa 50 weighs less than half as much as its predecessor but still provides 50 watt-hours to power up a phone, laptop, or GPS. $250
• Grivel X Blade ice tools. A decent ice tool for just $120? At less than half of the cost of many tools, the all-steel X Blade, with interchangeable grips for mixed or ice, might be just the thing for the casual ice climber. $120
• Scarpa Tech Ascent boots. A cross between a light hiking boot and an approach shoe, these look like just the ticket for climbs like the Grand Teton, especially for those who want more support than an approach shoe will give you. $219
• Outdoor Research Lodestar jacket and pants. This is high-breathing, wicking yet weatherproof softshell for cold, dry climbs. On the torso, it uses a new Polartec fabric called Power Shield High Loft that’s lined with lofty fleece on the inside and has a cool-looking molded pattern on the outside. The hood, shoulders, and sleeves add Power Shield Pro softshell with a laminate for more protection. $450 jacket; $399 pant.
• Mammut Alpine Rider helmet. A lightweight, fully adjustable helmet that meets European standards for climbing and skiing. With a removable fleece lining and ear protection for skiing, and at just under $100, it looks like a great value.
• Wild Things Insulight jacket. An ultralight puffy with a thin layer of Primaloft insulation, a Nextec Epic shell for big-time water-resistance, and breathable side panels under the arms, this made-in-the-USA jacket looks brilliant for breezy spring and fall rock climbs. Bonus: Wild Things is making this and many other clothes for women now. $189.
• CAMP X Draw. A super-light, super-compact load-limiting quickdraw made with Dyneema sling, the X Draw is said to reduce the impact of Factor 1 falls by 50 percent. Will be available with or without Photon carabiners.