Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Highlights

After spending four days roaming the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City, we’re pretty excited about a lot of the products we saw, and can’t wait to start sharing them with our readers. Quite a bit of it won’t hit the market until Spring of next year, but you’ll see it here first. From soft goods like performance socks and clothing, to the latest high-tech gear, expect to read about some really cool stuff soon. Here’s just a few of them:

Camping gear gets lighter, stronger, and better every year, and 2013 is no exception. High Peak, Mile High Mountaineering, Mountainsmith, Eureka!, Bergans, GSI Outdoors and Klymit all had something new to show. Whether it’s new materials or design, each company has found a way to make your outdoor experience a little better.

TEVA footwear displayChoosing a sock used to be easy – it was either cotton or wool. But we’ve seen the best of the best from Darn Tough Vermont, Lorpen, Dahlgren, Point6, Swiftwick, Drymax and FITS. Merino is the new king of this category, but there are still plenty of blends out there, including some all-synthetic, offering everything from extreme moisture control to premium insulation in the coldest weather, as well as all the usual features we’ve come to expect from a performance sock. If compression for performance or recovery interests you, we’ll cover that too.

There’s no better way to test out your new socks than in some new footwear, and we saw plenty. Of course, we’re not leaving out footwear designed to be worn without socks either. So we visited Skechers, Baffin, Adidas, OOFOS, Aku, Teva (that’s their display, right) ECCO, Forsake, Birki’s, Crispi, Lizard, Salomon and Lowa. We’ll get info published quickly, then follow up with reviews as we get our feet into them.

“Accessories” covers a pretty broad range of gear, and a lot of what we saw probably falls into the “necessity” category. Safe water via SteriPEN, green electronics from Eton, beautiful handmade knives from Helle of Norway, portable solar power from Wenger, more knives and a sweet camp axe from SOG, lighting and portable power solutions from Energizer, solar power from Powertraveller, utility knives and more lighting from Coast, and emergency gear from Adventure Medical Kits are just some of the other companies we met with.

For the traveler, new bags and packs from Pacsafe, and cleverly designed mosquito-repellant clothing from Craghoppers are both “must-see” items. Trust us. It’s attention to detail, plus.

In our quest to rid the world of disposable bottles, as well as remain hydrated, we met with CamelBak, Eco Bottle, Geigerrig, Avex, Vapur and Eco Vessel. A special thanks goes out to Vapur for giving away their folding Anti-bottle at various filling stations throughout the event. Not only could visitors pick up a free Vapur, but they could refill any brand of bottle (or even a cup) at these locations. CamelBak also had some of their electrolytes mixed up and on tap. Speaking of beverages on tap, it was also great to see many exhibitors choose to support our fine Utah brewing companies when 5:00PM rolled around, and it was time for a cold one.

That’s probably not even scratching the surface, since between the two of us, we met with well over 100 exhibitors. Check back daily as we’re going to start banging out articles right away.

– Brian

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