Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016 Report

Outdoor Retailer, referred to as “OR”, is a huge trade show that attracts thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their products for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. From rock climbing, to camping, to prepping, OR has it all.

In addition to some of the products from our favorite brands, I’ll also discuss a few of the trends I saw at the show. As you read this, if you think there was something cool I happened to have overlooked, hit me up with a comment below. With the introduction out of the the way, let’s get to the reason you’re reading this article – the gear!

The peeps over at Kelty never cease to impress with their gear. This year they rolled out the men’s version of the Tru.Comfort 20 sleeping bag to complement the women’s version previously released. Not to just be satisfied with those two awesome 3 season bags, at OR they showed off their new Double Tru.Comfort sleeping bag designed for two!

The folks over at Optic Nerve introduced me to the Flip Off series of interchangeable sunglasses. With a flip of a finger on a quick release lever you can remove one lens and replace it with another. Very cool.

Optic Nerve Flip Off interchangeable lens locking system

Grand Trunk showed off their new Double Trunktech hammock. Their Trunktech nylon feels amazing, super light and strong.

The Nite Ize booth was full of cool gear and fun gadgets for the whole family, including your fur babies.

One of the biggest trends at OR this year was the Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). The sheer number of fixed and inflatable SUPs at OR was overwhelming. One thing for certain is that there is an SUP for any budget. Now,  no one has an excuse to not get out on the water.

SOG showed us some of their super cool, top secret goodies for 2017 that will be announced later this year. All I can say is that if you’re a fan of nice blades, keep an eye out. You DO NOT want to miss it.

Sorry, we promised not to share just yet

There was no shortage of insulated bottles at the show, and I really liked Takeya‘s take on theirs. The Thermoflask features a lid with a locking spout. In these triple digit temperatures we are experiencing in Utah, this cap is sure to deliver my cold drink quickly.

Re-Fuel showed off some amazing options for extending the battery life of you GoPro action cameras for up to 24 hours of run time! Not to mention some great mobile device powerbank solutions.

For our readers with younger kids, Real Shades impressed us with their Unbreakable series of 100% UV protection sunglasses. Watch for a review of these soon.

Treksta has some very exciting offerings. I was especially impressed with their approach to forming their shoes’ “last” (or mold) based on the actual foot shape.

Treksta NestFit last vs traditional last. Which looks more like your foot?

Aku also showed off some incredible footwear. The craftsmanship and design is exactly what you’d expect from an Italian company. Their partnership with Michelin has resulted in great outer sole designs as well.

MyPakage (now BN3TH) showed off a number of cool things to keep your tender bits snug and comfy in all 4 seasons. In addition to some awesome Merino wool active briefs, their Pro Series Black 2-in-1 looks to be an outstanding product for fall-to-early winter riding and running.

Point6 unveiled their new 37.5 line of socks. Not only do they feature some really cool technology for keeping your feet comfy and dry, they also have some of the coolest colors available.

If you are interested in taking an extended cycling trip or bikepacking adventure, Ortleib has a fantastic seat bag that weighs only 430 grams and can hold up to 16.5 liters of gear. You read that right, 16.5 liters. Did I mention that it is waterproof?

Ortlieb bags on a sweet Masi


Oofos again proved why they are the premiere recovery sandal for after a grueling run or after 3 days walking the OR. I can tell you that the OO never felt better!

The cool guys and gals at Cotopaxi wowed me with their newest tent that features a small gear area/room and still maintains a nice low weight for backpacking.  Their new pack offerings and their latest colors for their jackets are sweet too.

As expected, the pavilions at OR were full of innovative and fresh products. While there were a lot of cool things I’d love to mention here, in the interest of keeping this short I’ve cherry-picked a few of my favorites.

One of new guys was Big Kat Buggy. They showed off a cool product that is both a tow hitch cargo carrier and a tough as nails wagon. It has a built-in hitch that slides into the receiver just like the regular cargo carriers do. After being removed from the car, it can be rolled away like a wagon.

I was able to check out the Blue Freedom, a portable hydroelectric power plant that fits in your backpack. Weighing in at just 600 grams, I see it as a real game changer in the portable charging market. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to see it in action.

Speaking of charging, in addition to some cool rechargeable lighting and Bluetooth products, the folks over at Secur Products showed off a solar charging, 10,000mAh power bank that was about the size of my hand.

If you have a penchant for taking your 4×4 off the beaten path, or you like your camping trips to be longer than a weekend, do yourself a favor and check out the series of multi-tool shovels by Chengdu Duoji Outdoor Products.  Depending on the model, they contain more than twenty tools.

Andy, “testing” a pre-production inflatable chair

Finally, no report about OR would be complete without mentioning the FOOD. So many great and tasty products and so little room in my belly.

For fast snack/energy bars, I really liked Nature’s Bakery bars and Skout Backcountry bars (the Almond Blueberry was off the charts). One other bar to mention is Chapul’s cricket bars. Personally, I liked the Chaco bar, while Brian preferred the Aztec bar. Either way, they are really tasty. Navitas Naturals offers Tumeric Tamari almonds that are just awesome.

On the meal side of things I was really impressed with Omeals. Hot meals that don’t require any cooking gear to make. Not only that, they are really good too. We’ll be providing a full review of these in the near future.

My favorite edible item showed off at the show has to be B.Redisalsa. They offer three flavors (and temperatures) of just-add-water packets that are awesome. They all taste great and would make an excellent sauce for a meal, a tasty rub on fresh fish, or just a great salsa dip for chips at home or on a weekender car campout.

These are just a small sampling of my favorite highlights from the many cool things at OR this year. Hopefully, we”ll have the chance to provide you, our readers with complete reviews of these and other cool products. Stay Tuned!




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