Most of this gear won't come to market until next year. But this week in Salt Lake City, more than 1,000 outdoors brands gather for the Outdoor Retailer trade show to debut new equipment, apparel, outerwear and gear. Here's a look at a few items that already caught my eye.
Red steel — Made in the USA, and each one treated with a red powdercoat finish for rust and corrosion resistance, Buck Knives' Compadre Series is something new. The line has a camping knife, a hatchet and a machete-like tool called a chopping froe, all made with steel and walnut-dymondwood handles.
Two-sided hydration — With water on one side, and sports drink on the other, the D|Vide Hydration Bladder from Source gives options. Two hoses route to two chambers within the same reservoir. Drink at will on the go, be it water or a fruit-flavored liquid rich in electrolytes.
Flashlight with a charge — A tiny torch from Black Diamond, called the Ember Power Light, doubles as a charging unit. You plug it in at home to add electricity. In the field a hiker can use it as a light or plug in a phone or gadget to milk off some of the juice for a recharge off the grid.
Arc'teryx footwear — With eight models in all, including boots and shoes in men’s and women’s models, next year high-end Canadian brand Arc’teryx will jump into performance footwear. These are not your average hiking shoes; they come with removable booties, rubberized textiles, injected EVA midsoles, custom pattern Vibram soles and models with no tongues.
Tiny hydration hose — Geigerrig will show off its mini drink hoses at the OR Show. The hoses are about the size of an IV tube. Why the shrinking? The flexible hose can be routed through clothing and clipped to a collar, and it weighs almost nothing but delivers on-demand water with Geigerrig's pressurized hydration packs.
'Fishnet' duffel bag — A fishing bag made from recycled commercial fishing nets, that's the premise of the Westwater Zippered Duffel from Fishpond. The body material is waterproof, and it has water-resistant zippers and rod tube straps for use in any navigable craft.
GoTenna — "No service? No problem!" That tag line explains the premise of the GoTenna. The small radio beacons sync with phones off a cellular network and let users send text messages back and forth. Call it a modern day walkie-talkie. The cited range to text via the GoTenna is up to 50 miles, depending on the terrain.