The OE editorial team report back from one of the biggest outdoor trade shows, held each year in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Find out what caught our eye this year at OutDoor.
Friedrichshafen is a great opportunity to find out what’s cooking in the outdoors industry. This year, all the big brands are hot to trot for trail running, with several launching whole lines of running apparel and others updating and augmenting their established lines. A nice side effect of this focus is that there should be many more non goretex versions coming through – something that trail shoe wearers in the UK have been saying was needed for years! Petzl are doing alot of nice innovation in winter hardware design, and insulation from Vango, Montane and others continues the down/synthetic mix trend that’s emerged in recent years. A high point for us was the demo over at Edelrid, with a no nonsense emphasis on added safety value and high environmental standards, not just new gizmos.
Talking of which, we were pleased to see a continuing focus on greening the industry in production processes. If any industry should be paying close attention to this, it’s ours. One of the nicest stands to hang out on was Patagonia’s, with their ‘worn wear’ sewing station encouraging people to repair, not just replace. We were also seriously impressed with the lead that Berghaus continue to take in the UK, especially on reducing the amount of water and chemicals used in production – that looks set to continue and evolve. The brands we spoke to were open and honest about where they were in the process of transiting different lines, and the challenges that still exist, especially when looking at the supply chain and manufacture. We’re not there yet – far from it – but it’s good to see it’s going beyond greenwash.
Outdoor Enthusiast’s Top 10 ‘ones to watch’
TN make great backpacking tents, and the new, 4 season Southern Cross 1 and 2 person shelters are built for the job, with poles extending out to the porches and still at low and practical weights. Completely freestanding and pitch flysheet first.
Vango Fuse sleeping bags
70% hydrophobic responsibly sourced down mixed with 30% ‘4T’ synthetic insualtion, these new bags looked well thought out for the UK’s cooler, damper climate. We’re hoping to get the winter bag, rated to -12c and weighing in at 1.5kgs, in to test for the winter.
Lowe Alpine eclipse 25 day pack
This is an obvious choice for us multisport fans here at OE – a multi activity daysack from bomber backpack providers and OutDoor award winners Lowe Alpine, with an updated back system for next season. This looks spot on for walking, biking and running.
Berghaus Hydroshell Hybrid Jacket
A fully spec’ed and featured alpine hardshell in lovely 2-tone green, zoned for breathability and durability in all the right places, rib zips to dump heat and with a more manageable price point than some competitors, this definitely caught our eye.
Montane Black Ice down Jacket
Another down and synthetic mix, this features ‘gold blend’ insulation from Primaloft. It’s a fully spec’ed winter down jacket that seemed to radiate deep pile warmth when we tried it on. There’s a longer tail and well-designed hood to keep the top and bottom cosy.
MSR Guardian Purifier
This was a bit of a water cooler conversation piece for our team! The Guardian filters 2.5 litres of water per minute and just one treats over 10,000 litres of water. It physically removes bacteria, protozoa and even viruses, and it’s completely self-cleaning- so no need to backflush or clean the filter. An Outdoor Industry gold award winner, and a pretty impressive package for adventure travel off the beaten track.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Camper SV mattress
Using ‘Speed Valve’ technology, the NeoAir Camper inflates three times faster than standard camping mattresses, deflates within seconds and packs away small.
Salewa Lite Train
Salewa have teamed up with tyre manufacturers Michelin and developed Lite Train, the first mountain training shoe with a Michelin outsole! They are surprisingly light and have Salewa’s new 3F Total System on board, which should translate into a better fit.
Montane Ultra Alpine 38+5
Developed by big wall climber and comedian Andy Kirkpatrick, this technical climbing pack is no laughing matter. It’s very minimalistic and Montane’s lightest pack to date, but still built for abuse using Dimension Polyant VX-21 fabric.
All the good stuff, none of the bad… and packable. Lyo are freeze-dried, organic certified, powdered fruits and vegetables, and contain no preservatives, additives or synthetic vitamins. The OutDoor show is incredibly warm – we tried them on the Arc’teryx stand, and got a real boost!