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Ask anyone that’s spent much time in (or driving through) Utah, and they’ll tell you it’s basically one big outdoor adventure, with a freeway running up the middle. We’ve got Moab for mountain bikers, Zions for hikers, as well as Alta and Snowbird for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. There are plenty more great places to visit in the state, but the point I’m getting at is that if you want to play outside, it’s not a bad place to start. With that much open space, it’s no surprise that so many great outdoor brands call Utah home. Here’s a few.
Altra: Launched in 2011, Altra went from very humble beginnings to one of the top running shoe brands in the world. Their Altra Zero Drop combines a roomy toe box with a cushioned zero drop sole for comfort and performance. While they may look a bit retro, make no mistake – they are all about function.
EmberLit: A wood burning stove that packs flat, yet burns wood, and very efficiently at that. Available in a variety of sizes, they even offer a titanium model. This is great for the the minimalist as well as your 72 hour kit. All it takes is some twigs and a small amount of dry wood to get a fire hot enough for boiling water or cooking.
PowerPot: Talk about local synergy, the EmberLit rep had a PowerPot perched on one of his stoves. This innovative piece of gear generates electricity for charging USB devices while boiling water. A thermoelectric generator in the base of the pot takes advantage of the heat difference between your fire and cold water, with the result being up to 5 watts of power. It can fully charge a phone about as quickly as an A/C outlet USB charger, making it perfect for topping up your phone, headlamp, or GPS while camping.
Jetflow: If you are one of those people that doesn’t like the idea of cleaning your hydration pack after each use, or just wants a simple, low maintenance option, the Jetflow was made for you. From the outside, they might look like a traditional hydration pack. But inside, you won’t find a soft bladder that can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Instead, Jetflow uses standard single use water and sports drink bottles (not our first choice), as well as reusable bottles like those from Nalgene and Lifeline.
Voile: Skis, splitboards, Telemark bindings, and avalanche shovels. They manufacture products in Salt Lake City, not far from the site of Outdoor Retailer. It seemed like every rep there was stoked about getting out to the backcountry, and proud of the products they offered.