When we attend Outdoor Retailer, we usual book back to back meetings for three days straight, which doesn’t leave much time for browsing. But this show was a little different. With only a handful of appointments today, we got to spend some time walking the floor and looking at stuff we wouldn’t normally get to see.
That meant checking out some really impressive solar technology from EnerPlex, which has flexible panels that they can mount on backpacks and panniers, as well as roll up for storage. Smelly Proof showed us their heavy duty, reusable plastic bags that are great for camping, fishing, emergency storage, and more. We like that you can boil your camping meals right in these bags. Sun Day Afternoons makes hats that look fairly simple, yet are technical enough to impress even me. Nite Ize showed us a variety of lighting and storage solutions for home and outdoors. Local company Pro Bar provided some nutritious vegan, gluten-free snacks when we started to run out of steam in the afternoon. L.L. Bean showed us footwear, outerwear, and Maine hospitality in the form of delicious lobster rolls. Task Lab found a way to make the iPhone actually useful, by adding as many as 22 functions to a case for the latest model. They have tools for cyclists and office geeks, plus some interesting uses we would never have imagined. Stay tuned for that.
In addition, we stopped by Industrial Revolution, and saw so much fun and innovative gear, we could dedicate a whole week just to them. At the Coast booth, we saw their current line of flashlights and knives, plus a couple of new lanterns. Eco Vessel showed off new bottles, and collapsible food storage for camping or even just taking meals to work and school.
Every company that we stopped to speak with either had something completely new, or had improved their existing line based on advances in design and materials, or feedback from their users. It’s exciting to see all the new stuff, but just as much, it’s great to see that consumers are being heard, and the result is something lighter, more efficient, or more affordable. This is a great time to be a part of this industry, both as a media outlet, and an end-user. We can’t wait to test all this cool stuff, and share it with our readers, as we’re sure out enthusiasm will be shared. Look for more coverage of the show in the next few days, then reviews in the coming weeks.
– Brian and the IndustryOutsider crew