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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.

The Lyngen Down 850 Parka, with 850-fill down and 10d face fabric. It weighs 12 oz (M's Large) and retails for $419.

Brand intro: Norrøna || Premium & technical, ubiquitous in Norway

Outdoor Retailer is an opportunity to learn about brands I’ve never heard and brands about which I know little. So when I was invited into the Norrøna booth, I said yes. Norrøna is a 90 year-old Norwegian company that is still owned and managed by the original family. The intended application, materials and construction quality, and […]

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new hoka

Preview: Hoka Challenger ATR 5 || Multiple changes, wide sizes

The intended use of the next generation Challenger ATR remains the same: easy and moderate trails, and runs with mixed pavement and dirt. But multiple changes have been made to its construction and features. The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 retails for $130 and will be available exclusively from REI on December 1, 2018. Distribution […]

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The new Clifton 6 is a mix of old and new: it's lighter and softer than recent generations, but keeps the improved fit and durability.

Preview: Hoka Clifton 6 || Mix of old & new generations

The first three generations of the Hoka One One Clifton (my review of the Clifton 2) were wonderfully plush and lightweight. They were widely adored, to the degree that Hoka recently re-released the Clifton 1 for a limited time. But v1, v2, and v3 were not flawless. Specifically, the fit was too narrow and low-volume for […]

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Why mess with success? The Speedgoat 3 has been tweaked, but mostly remains the same.

Preview: Hoka Speedgoat 3 || Tweaks to a top-seller

For two years the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 (my review) has been the brand’s top-selling trail shoe. So in developing the third generation, it was understandably reluctant to mess with success. The most significant change to the Speedgoat is the midfoot lockdown. The TPU overlays have been re-mapped, and a yoke-like collar has been […]

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The upper looks like other Sense shoes: mesh with TPU overlays, elasticized tongue, and Quick Lace.

Preview: Salomon X Alpine Pro || For scrambly runs, maybe high routes

When running and racing on trails, I normally wear Salomon Sense or Salomon Ultra shoes. But for hiking and backpacking, I currently have to look elsewhere. For two years my go-to has been the La Sportiva Bushido (my review; and my preview of the Bushido II), which is perfectly suited for high routes: they’re securely fitting, durable, […]

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The Altra Tusher will be released in July 2019. It is a conventional hiking boot but with Altra's famed zero drop and wide foot-shaped last.

Preview: Altra Tusher || Hiking boot with zero drop & foot shape

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 starts with Altra, which has developed a cult-like following among hikers and runners for its zero drop shoes, wide lasts, and gender-specific fits. Altra revealed three new shoes at the show: the Tusher, Grafton, and Wahweap. They will be available in July 2019. Availability is uncertain at this […]

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I thought the toebox of the Pro was roomy, but press materials indicate that the Triple Crown will be even more generous.

Preview: Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown || Altra Lone Peak alternative

The Salomon Odyssey Pro (my review) is somewhat unique: instead of being a trail running shoe that has been adopted by hikers, it’s a hiking shoe that has the comfort, breathability, and weight of a trail runner. In spring 2019 Salomon will release the second generation Odyssey, the Odyssey Triple Crown. The target market is not […]

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The La Sportiva Bushido II is mostly the same as the first-generation, but with a few nice tweaks.

Preview: La Sportiva Bushido II || Go-to “high route shoe” gets better

The La Sportiva Bushido is designed for running on rugged mountain trails, but I’ve found it to be best suited for backpacking high routes. Most notably, it: Sits low to the ground, for stability on uneven surfaces; Features a stiff midsole, for kicking steps in snow and hard dirt, and for holding an edge on […]

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The updated Sierra Designs High Route will be smaller and 10 oz lighter than the original.

Preview: Sierra Designs High Route 2.0 || Smaller, but now just 27 oz for fly + inner

The Sierra Designs High Route 1FL was launched in fall 2016, and a second-generation will arrive in spring 2019. Its name will not change (i.e. not High Route 2.0 or High Route II), and the existing design will be phased out. MSRP remains $300. Most notably, the updated High Route is smaller than the original. Instead of being […]

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The BD Distance Tent is new for spring 2019, and the first BD tent that uses trekking poles for support. It's full sided, fully enclosed, and weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Preview: Black Diamond Distant Tent || Got ventilation?

Nearly all backpacking shelters from cottage manufacturers use trekking poles for support, e.g. MLD SoloMid, TarpTent Notch, and ZPacks Duplex. The explanation is simple: This saves weight over geometries that require dedicated pole sets, e.g. Big Agnes Copper Spur, REI Quarter Dome. Some of the weight must be given back to achieve a minimum of […]

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