Outdoor Retailer: Best and Brightest (Pun Intended)
Another Outdoor Retailer has come and gone. We drank beer, met a few of our heroes (and could not keep our cool), and hung out with some of the biggest names in the Outdoor Industry all under one roof.
But most importantly, we saw gear. We walked the floor for three days in search of the coolest, shiniest, most useful new gear to look out for. Here’s what we found:
Shwood Stabilized Series
Shwood has proven to be a pioneer in the hand-crafted wooden eyewear space (which is small, perhaps, but growing rapidly). What I was excited about, however, was their experimentation with other natural materials. Their stabilized series includes the Badlands collection, the Sea collection, and the Forest collection, each crafted using the elements found in those spaces. The badlands collection is made from flower pedals and osprey feathers; the Sea collection of sea shells; and the Forest collection out of moss and pine cone. Each element is stabilized in resin, shaved and laminated into a product that is completely unique from anything else on the market, or even on the same shelf.
Seattle Sports Co. FireWater Bottle/Lid
An ultimate survival tool, the FireWater bottle collapses and doubles as a lantern (this is where the brightest pun comes in, feel free to laugh). The lid is solar and USB chargeable, and includes three LED light settings: low, high or flashing. One charge lasts anywhere from 5-12 hours. The lid also comes separately and fits any standard Nalgene or other water bottle mouth.
Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0
Available: Sept. 1
Outdoor Tech came out strong this year with a line of new-and-improved ways to jam outside. We introduce to you: the Buckshot 2.o. The new-and-improved portable speaker includes an added 3.5 mm connector clip so you can take your tunes wherever you go. Wear it, attach it to your bike, clip it to your pack, or put it in your pocket. The 2.0 attachment fits a camera tripod and boasts a better sound than its older brother, but also has the durability and water resistance we’ve come to expect from Outdoor Tech. Coming this fall.
Ibex Axiom Collection
MSRP: $45-65 M; $30-50 W
Ibex introduced its newest line of luxury underwear that boasts the comfort and durability of Ibex base layers, with a more practical every-day touch. I’m pretty vehemently against the “shrink it and pink it” tactics some outdoor brands use on their women’s products, but I was surprisingly pleased to see a lace detail on the women’s undergarments. It’s refreshing to find comfortable, active underwear that still feels intimate. Each garment is made from a blend of 94-percent ultra fine Merino wool and 6-percent spandex, and is machine washable.
Bridgedale CoolFusion RUN Speed Trail Socks
No two socks are ever the same in my world — mostly because I’m always losing them. Seriously, how can it be that one of every sock seems to disappear every time I do laundry? Is it so hard for them to stay together?
Point is, I’m always on the lookout for new performance socks so I can stop pairing my wool knee-highs with KB no-shows I bought at Costco on my runs. Enter Bridgedale. Their blend of Merino wool, Coolmax™, and LYCRA® Sport keep your feet cool, dry and supported. Bridgedale uses a unique T2 anti-compression loop to add even more protection against impact — it’s actually a loop within a loop, the innermost of which has more resilience than the outer for extra cushioning. It is kit into the foot’s key pressure points: the ball of the foot and the lace up. I plan to keep these babies together as long as I can. Bridgedale is a British company, but retail all over the United States. Find the nearest vendor here.
DrinkTank Perfect Growler and Personal Keg
MSRP: $69-74 64 oz; $109-114 128 oz; $45 KegCap
Of course, no Gearographer round-up would be complete without some sort of drinking vessel. You’d be hard-pressed to find any of us outside without a beer in hand, or at least at the ready. The DrinkTank personal growler and keg is an answer to prayers I didn’t even know I had. The stainless steel growler keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 12. The double wall is vacuum insulated, so your drinks stay carbonated. Its sturdy handle allows you to take it on all of your adventures. And I haven’t even gotten to the good part…
…It comes with a keg cap. Because why wouldn’t you want to take a keg on your next camping trip? It’s also designed and assembled at the DrinkTank headquarters in Bend, Oregon, the craft beer capitol of the Northwest.
The Classic growler holds 64 ounces of beverage, while the Juggernaut, the “world’s largest growler and personal keg,” holds 128 oz.
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