Top

Tag Archives | Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer is a semi-annual tradeshow held in Salt Lake City where brands display their current product lines and reveal their latest-and-greatest. Most new products are evolutionary, but there is an occasional ground-breaking one, too.

My coverage of OR is inherently brief. There is only so much to say about a product that I have not worn, slept in, carried, or operated in its intended conditions. I may sound skeptical of its purported benefits (especially for the price) but generally I’ll reserve criticism for an actual review.

A close-up of the 5.5-oz Ultimate Direction Deluge Jacket, which features 20d waterproof/NON-breathable fabric  and taped seams.

Preview: Ultimate Direction Deluge || Waterproof/NON-breathable jacket & pants

The Ultimate Direction Deluge Jacket and Deluge Pants — which will be released in Spring 2018 — are awesomely light, at 5.5 oz and 2.3 oz for men’s Large. But I’m more excited about the fabric. No, they’re not made of the latest-and-greatest membrane that is more waterproof and more breathable than anything the world […]

Continue Reading
The Ultimate Direction FK Poles: fixed-length carbon fiber shafts with extended foam grips and replaceable carbide tips.

Preview: Ultimate Direction FK Poles || 4-oz fixed-length carbon

All things being equal, fixed-length trekking poles will be lighter, stronger, and less expensive than telescoping or foldable models like the Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Poles or Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles. Yet there is currently only one off-the-shelf fixed-length pole that is suitable for backpacking: the Black Diamond Vapor Carbon 1 Pole. […]

Continue Reading
The Nitro (right) and Cloud (right), SD's new premium mummy bags

Preview: Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bags || Highlight: “Zipperless mummy”

The Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bag program includes four distinct models, each with several temperature rating options and in a male and female version: an updated Backcountry Bed and Zissou mummy, and an entirely new Nitro and Cloud, which are an ultralight mummy and “zipperless mummy,” respectively. The Backcountry Bed and Nitro will be available […]

Continue Reading
The third-generation Pocket Cleat from Vargo, which will be available this fall.

Preview: Vargo Pocket Cleats v3 || Sub-3 oz traction for early-season backpacking

The third-generation Pocket Cleats from Vargo have undergone significant revisions since v2, which was tweaked from v1. They will be available in October or November in stainless steel ($40, 2.9 oz) and titanium ($60, 2.1 oz), each in just one size that will fit most running shoes, hiking shoes, and hiking boots. Problems with v1 and […]

Continue Reading
Notice the aggressive, nearly vertical doorway pole, which helps to increase interior volume.

Preview: Sierra Designs 2018 tents || High Side, Studio, Sweet Suite & Meteor

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer starts at the Sierra Designs booth (naturally, since they’re paying for me to be here). For 2018 SD has largely revamped its shelter line-up. Only three current models are being carried forward — the Summer Moon, Clip Flashlight, and my High Route. The remainder will be discontinued and closed out. […]

Continue Reading
The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

Garmin announced two new inReach devices shortly after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES): inReach SE+ inReach Explorer+ Last week I was able to inspect them first-hand and discuss them with representatives at Outdoor Retailer (OR). The original manufacturer of the inReach, DeLorme, was purchased by Garmin a year ago. So the inReach+ […]

Continue Reading
Cork is my preferred grip material, but foam is okay, too. More importantly, they have extension grips.

Lust: Black Diamond Vapor Carbon 1 Poles

I generally recommend telescopic poles like the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork (long-term review) and Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock (long-term review) because they are: Convenient for air-travel; Easily stow-able on the outside of a backpack, for extended talus scrambles; and, Adjustable, and therefore can fit different family members, can be used for different outdoor activities (e.g. […]

Continue Reading
The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which has an optical wrist-based heart rate monitor. Sorry for the file photo -- I forgot to snag a photo during my press meeting with them.

Preview: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, plus Ambit development plans

Suunto had one major product release, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. And I learned of future development plans (or, more accurately, non-plans) for the Ambit collection. Spartan Sport Wrist HR The first GPS sport watch with a wrist-based heart rate monitor was the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, which was announced 12 months ago. But according […]

Continue Reading