Editor's Note: This article was opened to the public on July 22, 2010. To subscribe and see Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 articles as they are published, click here .
Thursday, July 23, 2009
We finished another full day at the trade show and came up with another batch of interesting gear and technologies. Its much akin to a treasure hunt - we need to know where to look and be able recognize something interesting or truly innovative when we see it. There is something of interest to most everyone here, and as usual, we present it in no particular order. All items are new for spring 2010 unless stated otherwise.
The GoLite booth is always a good place to look for lightweight, exciting new gear, and the good folks there came through as expected. GoLite will add a second quilt called the Ultralite 1+ Season Quilt (left, 20 ounces, three lengths, $200-$240) to their Ultralite sleeping bag line. It's insulated with 800-fill down and rated at 40F. The current quilt will be packed with a little more down to drop its rating to 20F and will be renamed the Ultralight 3-Season Quilt (right, 25 ounces, three lengths, $255-$295).
GoLite will also be adding the Peak Backpack (2318 cubic inches for size M, 27 oz, $125) to their Ultralite backpack series. The new Peak is a smaller version of the Jam (2857 cubic inches, 31 oz, $150), and both packs feature a new recycled nylon fabric (still with Dyneema gridstop), revised padding in the backpanel, and a new hipbelt that wraps around the hips better. Note it will be called the Jam, rather than the Jam2. With the new Peak, the frameless Ultralite pack series will offer three pack sizes (Pinnacle, Jam, Peak) to meet the needs of most hikers.
At this OR, we decided to concentrate more on really lightweight mid-height footwear for a possible future article for Backpacking Light. Salomon has several shoes in this category. We reported on the Salomon 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX (left, 15.2 oz/shoe, $150) in our coverage of summer 2008 Outdoor Retailer. This time we found the new Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid GTX Ultra (center, 13.2 oz/shoe, $160) and the Salomon Wings Sky GTX (right, 18.7 oz/shoe, $200). The latter appears heavy, but the weight is actually not bad for a full-height boot. All of these shoes are based on trail running platforms to minimize weight while adding cushioning and support. Salomon knows that many buyers prefer Gore-Tex shoes so their feet won't get wet (!), but we would prefer a more breathable shoe rather than a waterproof one that traps moisture inside. Many footwear manufacturers (including Salomon) offer two versions f...