The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market expo is ground zero for all new things in outdoor gear design – everything from canoes to camping trailers to backcountry ski gear shows up at the show. MuchAwesome pounded the massive show floor and snaked through the most distant nooks and crannies to find all the latest gear, technology and innovation. Here are some of the highlights.
Sierra Designs Mojo UFO
[youtube id=”xJ0x0caI1dA” width=”450″ height=”338″]Sierra Designs set out to build a tent that is comfortable and livable while maintaining as low of a weight as technically possible. It spared no expense in doing so, using pricey components like the 100 percent cuben fiber body and carbon fiber poles. Similar to the Sea to Summit Specialist Duo, the tent’s integrated rain fly cuts weight while increasing ventilation and comfort over a single-wall tent. The UFO (body, fly and poles) weighs in at just 1 pound 11 ounces. Its $1,800 price tag breaks down to $67 an ounce – not quite as expensive as fine caviar but closer than you’d expect a tent to be. Sierra plans to test the market with a limited run of 50 units. (Tent Pictured above)
Montbell Tachyon Jacket
Speaking of lightweight, backpacking gear specialist Montbell unveiled a feathery jacket that it calls the “world’s lightest.” Despite a weight of just 1.6 ounces, the Tachyon Jacket can knock down “all but the strongest of winds,” according to Montbell. With the help of a DWR coating, it even puts up a fight against light rain. When the weather clears, the jacket packs up tiny, taking up virtually no space in your pack.
GSI Highland Fifth and Drinking Glasses
Sure, a beer is great after a day of adventure. But if you really want to take the edge off and gain some alcohol-driven perspective, you want your barley processed a little longer. Scotch may not be a staple of the campsite or backwoods cabin, but thanks to GSI, it can be. The Highland Fifth ($9.95) is a soft-sided flask designed with liquor – particularly Scotch – in mind. It holds a full 750-ml bottle and won’t shatter on rocks or roots like the glass bottles that liquor is sold in. A set of polycarbonate Highland glasses ($7.95 ea) rounds out the package. Both the glasses and Fifth are launching with GSI’s 2013 line.
Some companies create new gear, and some create new sports. Bellyak did the latter by combining the kayak and the river board into one whitewater-slaying vessel. It’s a full-bodied boat-board that you paddle with your hands. Its creators claim that face-first kayaking is easier to pick up than traditional kayaking – basically just find a set of small rapids and go at it head on, literally. Like a kayak, the Bellyak has a planing hull for maneuvering in the water. Unlike a kayak, it puts you closer to the water and is easy to bail out of. The Bellyak Frequency ($749) is designed for beginners, and the Play ($699) is for more experienced paddlers.