Day one of Outdoor Retailer was jam-packed with visits to several of the key players in the outdoor industry. With all the Spring 2011 products on display, I was able to size up many of the great new products coming to retailers in the coming months. Lets proceed to day one in a nutshell. For even more gear, check out my Outdoor Retailer Recap, Part 2.
Hot on the heels of the Montrail Rockridge and Sabino Trail comes three new shoes for Spring: Fairhaven ($110), Badrock ($100) and Rogue Racer ($110). The Fairhaven and Badrockfirst use Montrail’s new FluidPost technology with triple-density EVA foam to provide “custom” pronation control under all conditions and terrain. As the foot falls inward, it rolls smoothly from soft to firm support for an adaptive and safer foot strike — it all sounds pretty cool and is applicable to all foot types.
The Rogue Racer is a lightweight race-day shoe or a training shoe for those who prefer a more minimalistic design. At 8.8 oz, there are lighter shoes on the market, but the Rogue’s are packed with a bit more features than your standard racing flat.
For post-running comfort, Montrail is introducing the Lithia Loop ($60) and Lithia Slide ($65) sandals with dual-density PRFRM thermo-moldable footbeds for soothing trail-worn feet.
Extending the Hardwave Suspension design, Mountain Hardwear is now pushing its use throughout most of the line. This system is flexible, yet supportive and breathable and has been adapted slightly for use in larger packs, like the Men’s Molimo 70 ($250) and the Women’s Lomasi 60 ($250).
It’s been a long time since Sierra Designs had backpacks in their line, but they didn’t get into it halfway… their complete pack lineup is as impressive as many who have been making packs for much longer. Utilizing aircraft-grade aluminum stays, the Fulcrum Suspension system is both light and strong. The entire package is built to carry weight well with the suspension design and other little features, like the angled pack bottom to further concentrate weight on the waistbelt. Not only is this design made for comfort in the long haul, it’s made for ventilation with plenty of airflow. Each pack is also hydration compatible. Shown below is the Revival 65 ($240).
Hot off the heels of the success of the Helium Jacket, Outdoor Research keeps the momentum flowing with the ultralight Vigor Jacket ($70) and the Paladin Jacket ($250). Both jackets utilize Pertex laminates for lightweight durability with supreme weather performance. The Vigor is made for cycling and running and weighs a paltry 5 oz. The Paladin is a true 3-layer jacket built with Pertex Shield that can withstand heavy weather and demanding use.
Leading the charge in sustainability, Patagonia’s product line is now 90% recyclable through their Common Threads program. Kudos to Patagonia for that achievement. A new piece is the Ultralight Down Shirt ($250) that tips the scales at a mere 5.6 oz using ultralight ripstop nylon while being packed with 800-fill down for warmth. It’s packable and comfortable.
The new Men’s Torrentshell Pullover ($119) is made for climbers who prefer a minimalist design so nothing gets caught up in harnesses or packs. This pullover is economical and streamlined for demanding climbers and mountaineers.
Another great introduction is the new Air Flow running shirts. Available in both short-sleeve ($59) and sleeveless ($55), the Air Flow fabric features a subtle weave for extreme moisture wicking and performance.
The North Face
Ultralight continues to be the story with The North Face launching the Verto Jacket ($99) that tips the scales at a paltry 3.2 oz. This ultralight jacket will save your bacon in a pinch and packs away into its own energy bar-sized pouch.
With the success of the Single Track trail runners, The North Face is evolving their designs with the introduction of the Double Track ($110). This shoe features a bit more stability (X-Dome Cradle), yet still promises the overall performance that the Single Track’s are known for.
Another great piece from The North Face is the new Silicate mountain bike shorts ($85). These are more trail-friendly with a high-quality removable liner. The chamois is infused with silver microbial technology and was Italian-designed.
I saw a few great pieces from the great folks at GoLite, but the one that stands out the most is the Kenai jacket ($200). Built with Pertex Shield, this technical 2.5-layer jacket is trim-fitting and perfect for demanding pursuits. I tried it on and loved the anatomical sleeve cuffs, pit zips and helmet-compatible hood. Weight is listed as 10 oz. on this, so it’s light, but not scary-light.
There’s just no stopping the Arc’teryx momentum from year-to-year. They just keep on innovating. For starters, the new Motus Crew shirt ($59, short-sleeve or $69, long-sleeve) is built to keep you warm (when needed), dry and comfortable with its hydrophobic and silver ion infused yarn.
Another cool bit from Arc’teryx is the new Cierzo ultralight pack line. Available in three sizes with several fun colors, the Cierzo line is simplistic yet still full-featured and is priced from $59-$119.
After the announcement of the new La Sportiva MorphoDynamic trail runners last week, I thought they’d be content with that. Well, to my surprise, there are a few new or updated models and that includes the new La Sportiva Crosslite 2.0. Built with the same outsole and a similar upper, the Crosslite 2.0 has all the makings of a race-day feel with day-to-day training capability.