Explore staffers are currently braving the 35-degree-Celsius heat in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
OR, as it's known, is a worldwide showcase of the newest and best outdoors gear — all the major players are here: The North Face, Columbia, Marmot, Garmin, Sierra Designs, Black Diamond, Mountain Hardware... and hundreds more. Most of the gear on display will be on store shelves in Spring 2014 — so we're treated to a sneak peak. And what a great sneak peak it has been so far.
Trends are definitely steering towards lightweight, bright colours and lower prices (thanks to a struggling US economy and poor retail sales in Summer 2012). We're sorting through piles of gear to find the best stuff to showcase in the print pages of explore magazine for the next Spring and Summer Issues. But here is a (brief) sneak peak of what you can look forward to:
Saucony has a nice new trail runner, the Peregrine. With a sturdy nylon plate and deep-lugged tread, this popular shoe-maker looks to have a winner on its hands. Interestingly, Saucony reps also stated the barefoot running trend "is on its way out."
Mountain Hardwear's new Outdry backpacks are really exciting. Imagine: a fully-waterpoof (except for the top closure, although it's pretty close) backpack — and one that's guide-tested and approved to be tough as nails. No more dry bags, no more wet clothes — even when crossing deep rivers.
Cushe, offering non-technical lifestyle or "recovery" footwear, has a line of Hoffman printed shoes coming out — a re-issue of the original Hawaiian print. Mahalo!
Marmot has a line of super-bright, super light waterproof shells featuring their nanopro technology; dubbed the Hyperlight line. Lighter, tougher, drier and more breathable — and all at a sub-$300 price point.
GoMotion has a very nice light that attaches to backpack straps and provides eight hours-plus of full 100-lumen power — no dimming, just 100 per cent full, clear, luminous light for evening jogs and late-running hikes.
The North Face has updated their Tadpole tent for the first time in 10 years. This two-man ultralight is even lighter (one pound less) yet offers more headroom than before, as well as a dry entry system.
Sierra Designs is shaking-up the world of sleeping bags with their Backcountry Bed, a totally zipper-less bag that bridges the gap between a blanket and a sleeping bag. This one is a game-changer, stay tuned for more on this.
Power Traveller's PowerMonkey Extreme is an awesome portable solar-powered battery-charger that offers access to unlimited power for your electronic gadgets while out on the wilderness.
Adidas Outdoors' Scope approach shoe features their proprietary Stealth rubber for extreme grip, plus Gore-Tex. And it looks cool too.
Hope that whet your appetite for more. Stay tuned to explore-mag.com and subscribe to explore print edition to stay in the loop on all the best gear for 2014.