Outdoor Retailer Wrap-Up: Gear Junkie Shares the Best of the Show


Last week the Outdoor Retailer show took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, with many in the outdoor industry making their biannual pilgrimage to check out all the new gear. (I promise I’ll be there in January everyone!) I made a couple of posts on the event, noting some of the more interesting gear that I spotted from afar, but as usual, the Gear Junkie has the low down on the most innovative new products that we can expect to see in our favorite stores in the months ahead.

The list contains 12 new products, most of which probably won’t be available until 2011, but each brings something new and interesting to their category. For instance, the new Z-Pole from Black Diamond is a nice looking set of trekking poles for light hikers and endurance athletes, that feature carbon fiber poles that easily break down to make them easier to pack. Other items include new SteriPEN Sidewinder, which does away with batteries in favor of a hand crank system for your water treatment needs, and the new Anitdote water reservoir from CamelBak looks like a nice evolution of the product, making it lighter and easier to clean.

The one item on the list that I’m really looking forward to hearing more about, and seeing how it performs, is the nPowerPEG, which is a device that promises to use the kinetic energy gained from our movements while hiking to charge our portable gadgets, such as GPS devices, cell phones, iPods, and so on. The idea of using kinetic energy in this way isn’t a new one, but it hasn’t always been very efficient either. It’ll be interesting to see if this actually works well in the real world, and what kind of charges it produces.

There are plenty of other interesting items on the Gear Junkie list as well, ranging from tents and sleeping bags to innovative new footwear, and just about everything in between. Looks like I’ll need to start saving my pennies today to afford some of this stuff in a few months time.

Kraig Becker