So what's new at OR 2013? As it would turn out, plenty. Here are a few quick teasers — look to future issues of Explore for tests and gear review articles.
* Thermarest has new, super-thick, super-comfy inflatable mattresses — that amazingly roll up to be not much larger than a standard sleeper. We're talking thick here, like "at home comfort" thick.
• Helly Hansen's new Thrym Jacket is a sight to behold — at $900, it promises (and delivers) extreme performance.
• Smith goggles unveils its "Dr. Bob" — a totally retro design (think tri-colour straps) with all modern technology.
• Backcountry Access' new iPhone/iPad app is incredble — chart routes, stay in touch, check out weather and avalanche forecasts. Very nice — and free (for now).
• Louis Garneau's new boa-system running snowshoe is the lightest snowshoe I've ever picked up. Can't wait to test this one.
• Adidas Outdoors' new "speed hikers" are impressive — the Fast R shoe and Swift R shoe look particularly promising.
• Rossignol's new backcountry touring, skinless/waxless skis look awesome — fat enough to make some real turns with, yet light and versatile for touring.
• I loved JanSport's Skip Yell collection — super stylish, throwback style "rucksacks."
• Mountain Hardwear and Outdry will be soon unveiling a, fully functional waterproof backpack. Stay tuned — this looks like the real dea.
OK — so I know that's not a lot of information. But I'm doing it on purpose — to get you excited about our upcoming gear reviews. Look for this and so much more, online and in print.