Gear Roundup: New Outdoor Gear for 2004


Many new products are released in the Fall–some because of Interbike and some because of the Christmas season. Either way, there’s plenty of new products to be had right now or very soon at a retailer near you. We’ve gathered a sampling of new products from nutrition bars to luggage, just to give you a taste of what’s new. Check out the list for some of the latest and greatest.


FOX 36 Fork
Call it what you want… the all-new FOX 36 freeride fork is the head of the class in the single-crown freeride market. It’s also got a little secret–it weighs in at under 5 lbs.! Not only is this thing light, it’s burly. 36mm stanchions and a true 20mm thru-axle top this fork off as the new king of single-crown forks. It’s a full two pounds lighter than the forks from Marzocchi. FOX has really stepped it up once more with their new DH/FR forks, the FOX 66 and FOX 36. If you’re looking for all-day performance, light weight squish, look no further than the all-new FOX 36 fork. Check out the FOX Racing Shox Web site.

The Bottom Line: The new undisputed single-crown champion of the world. The FOX 36 fork will provide the squish in a lightweight and bombproof package.


High Sierra has been stepping it up lately. Long dedicated to the budget-conscious consumer, they are beginning to develop sensibly-priced outdoor gear for the masses. These products offer lifetime warranties, just like the big-name brands, but at lower pricepoints.
High Sierra Drench
This hydration pack offers volumes of space and is comfortable for hiking and biking. Sizeable upper and lower pockets are great for storing bike tools or sandwiches and yogurt. The suspension design is clean and comfortable on hot summer excursions. It’s mesh straps and contoured back padding help to keep you comfortable.

The Bottom Line: This little pack offers alot of bang for the buck. An insulated hydration tube, 70 oz. bladder, mesh straps and contoured back make this stand out above other budget hydration packs.

High Sierra Trek 35+ Backpack
An entirely new pack for 2004, the Trek 35+ is a medium-sized technical daypack with enough room for extended trips in the backcountry. The Trek 35+ includes two ice axe loops, a daisy chain and a comfortable suspension design. This pack sits nicely on your back and carries ample gear for whatever you are into. Just one note, some of the straps are pretty long, so you may need scissors to get them to more manageable lengths.

The Bottom Line: Great looking pack and solid design for extended day excursions in the backcountry. Perfect for day hiking, climbing or backcountry skiing.

A.T. Gear 4-in-1 Cargo Duffel
The jack of all trades for usable, durable and functional luggage. This bag is convertible, just like Inspector Gadget. It’s 4 bags in one: cargo bag, daypack, shoulder bag or tote bag. The ends zip off for a quick hike, then zips back on to consolidate space. This bag is great for trips where you don’t want to carry a day pack and luggage–it’s all in one piece!

The Bottom Line: An exremely versatile piece of luggage. You can haul this along just in case the unexpected hike comes along. Great quality and nice looking.


FruitTrekker Bars
Looking for alternatives to the chemical-laden nutrition bars you’ve grown to hate? Give the new FruitTrekker bars from Kalahari a try. Derived from natural fruits, not unnatural chemical additives. The FruitTrekker energy bars offer a refreshing option to refuel without that instant gag reflex kicking in. You can trust the natural energy source used for centuries–all packed into a bite-sized bar.

The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an alternative to those other chemical-laden bars, try the fruity alternative in energy bars. Kalahari FruitTrekker bars provide good energy using all-natural fruits instead of chemicals.

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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