Every summer, more than 30,000 people flock to Salt Lake City, Utah, to attend Outdoor Retailer, the outdoor industry’s largest gathering of the year.
Clad in flannel and “practical” footwear, the mission is simple: Discover the best products, most innovative technology and coolest trends about to hit the outdoor world.
Here’s the gear we’re clearing space in our garages for.
Wild Country Revo Belay Device ($129)
Rock climbing is dangerous by nature but made safer by design, and that’s the idea behind Wild Country’s revolutionary Revo. The new assisted-locking, bi-directional belay device has the potential to prevent accidents by reducing user error: The device’s rope-griping function is independent from the loading orientation of the rope, which could help eliminate one of the most common causes of belay-related accidents. Anything that makes one of our favorite sports even safer gets a spot on our list.
Biolite BaseLantern ($100)
You can buy a basecamp lantern at any big-box store for pocket change. So why invest in BioLite’s incarnation? The bells and whistles. The Kickstarter-backed BaseLantern is the world’s first flatpack, Bluetooth-enabled lantern that doubles as your own smartgrid. It’s the size of a sandwich (four times smaller than the competition) but it packs a major punch by lighting your campsite and powering your phones, tablets and GoPro cameras. You can control the color of your lantern and get real-time energy analytics by connecting the lantern to your smart phone. The coolest part? You can set the BaseLantern to automatically turn on and off depending on your proximity to your tent.
Yakima DrTray Bike Rack ($579)
If you’re going to spend more than a grand on a mountain or road bike, it makes sense to invest in a premium rack to transport it. Enter DrTray, Yakima’s versatile, lightweight and thoughtful take on the tray rack. The 34-pound rack slides right onto your hitch and can accommodate up to three bikes with tires up to 5-inches wide, leaving plenty of space between bikes. Also, for the first time in the tray-rack category, you can use quick-release levers to adjust the bikes after they are loaded with side-to-side and front-to-back sliding capabilities, eliminating handlebar or seat rub. The whole tray tilts down easily for rear-of-car access, and, circling back to that expensive bike, the rack has built in locks for extra safety making it well worth the price.
Igloo Coolers Welded Backpack ($140)
In a landscape of Yeti coolers, we’re always ready for some healthy competition. Igloo must have heard the memo as they just announced the launch of their welded collection, a range of waterproof, leak-proof, soft-sided coolers. The rugged, insulated coolers block heat and feature welded seams, tie-down attachment points, dry storage, and roll-top openings. Perfect for fishing, camping, or just lugging beer around the neighborhood.
Tepui White Lightning Rooftop Tent ($3,500-$3,800)
After camping in New Zealand this year, we’re totally sold on rooftop tents. They’re ready when you are, involve minimal setup and keep you off the wet ground (the views aren’t bad, either). Now, Tepui is solving one of our biggest gripes with lost rooftop storage space by debuting the Kickstarter-funded White Lightning Rooftop two-person tent. With the lowest profile on the market, this hard-shell tent is the first of its kind to include side rails, so you can still bring your bike, surfboard, or kayak along on the trip. It’s an investment, but it’s got an ultra-comfy 2.5-inch foam mattress and the whole thing is made right here in the U.S.A.
Right Bank Scrambler Pant ($80)
Mountain HardwareMountain Hardware is trimming the fat and getting back to its roots as a true “summit” brand, with a strong focus on making the lightest, fastest and most innovative technical outdoor gear. If it’s not top-of-line, it doesn’t get made. The piece that caught our eyes was a pair of mechanical stretch climbing pants that hit all the right marks: UPF 50 sun protection, adjustable cinched ankle cuffs, quick-dry materials and a comfortable waistband that doesn’t bulk up under a harness. It would look pretty damn good with a pair of flats back in town, too.
CamelBak Crux Reservoir ($35)
CamelBak has become synonymous with hands-free hydration, but their flexible blue bladders were not without their problems. That’s why the company re-imagined and revamped their products and debuted the Crux Reservoir, which delivers 20-percent more water per sip and features a leak-proof cap, on/off lever and larger handle for one-handed filling.
Teva Arrowood Boot (Price Varies)
This season, Teva branched out from its iconic webbing-strap sandals and created the Arrowood, a casual sneakerboot that’s both waterproof and versatile. Built with the brand’s ultra-light FloatLite technology, the hiking shoes step up the outdoor style game with a sleek, classic look that was missing from our outdoor wardrobes. It’s not the right boot for summiting a 14er, but it’ll get the job done for your next walkabout, and we’re just hoping more rugged brands follow suit when it comes to style.
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