The four days of dodging human traffic with plaid tops and backpacks came and went as the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market came to a close on Saturday, August 9, 2014. Over 27,000 attendees and 1,595 exhibitors filled the Salt Palace, temporary pavilion structures and other areas just next to the Salt Palace to display some of the newest soon-to-be-released outdoor gear for spring/summer 2015. With so much to see and only four days to do it in, here are some of the things that really stood out and were deemed ‘best gear’ for ORSM 2014.
Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX
The Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX is a hybrid, super light mountaineering shoe that was built with speed and agility in mind for professional mountaineers during ridge ascents, easy climbing sections and glacier crossings. Think Kilian Jornet. Jornet actually helped developed this shoe along with multiple experts. The S-Lab X Alp is flexible and provides outstanding edging, grip and protections for mixed climbing. Salomon’s patented Carbon Edging Chasis is the key ingredient to the versatility of the shoe. This unique plate is built directly into the sole which provides flexibility and lateral stiffness at the same time. The shoe has Salomon’s seamless Sensifit and Quicklace for a perfectly snug fit. GORE-TEX adds weather protection, and there is an integrated gaiter along with insulation for temperatures down to 20°F built in the shoe for keeping you dry and warm through any weather conditions. Other features include heel and toe caps, protective ankle pads and being crampon compatible.
Salewa Alp Flow Mid GTX
Salewa has developed quite the hiking/trekking shoe with the Alp Flow Mid GTX. This shoe comes with quite the bells and whistles, one which includes the new GORE-TEX Surround technology. The GORE-TEX Surround midsole is a laminated lining incorporated into the upper that exploits channels beneath the foot and a lateral radiator to facilitate the passage of air around the foot, while at the same time ensures that the shoe remains completely waterproof and breathable. Other features include Salewa’s 3F System which is a combination of flexibility and anatomic support for the ankle and perfect fit; climbing lacing; and a hike approach sole by Vibram for grip, flexibility and durability. MSRP: $239.00.
Sea to Summit Sleeping Mats
The new line of Sea to Summit sleeping mats will definitely bring more comfort to your sleeping while out backpacking in the wilderness. The mats have Air Sprung Cells™ that are the core technology of the sleeping mat range and really the reason why you’ll sleep better while on your outdoor trip. The sleeping mats are constructed using a dot-weld pattern to create a high surface-area matrix of interconnected chambers called Air Sprung Cells. Air Sprung Cells operate in the same way as a pocket spring mattress. As each cell deforms independently, the mattress conforms to your body shape to make for a softer and more comfortable feel with more body contact area and even dispersion of pressure. And one of the greatest things about these mats is that you can use the Air Stream Dry Sack ($34.95) to blow it up instead of getting completely lightheaded trying to get as much air as possible in the mat before passing out. Or you can get the Jet Stream Pump Sack ($29.95) to inflate the mat as well. MSRP: $99.95-$219.95
Arc’teryx Alpha² FL technical alpine shoe
Arc’teryx revealed their Alpha² FL technical alpine shoe with Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit which is a stretchable liner and seamless laminated outer shell that are manufactured separately for improved comfort, climate management and durability. The shoe has a removable inner boot that utilizes a GORE-TEX Stretch construction and offers a snug fit for optimized breathability and improved waterproof levels. The inner boot is exchangeable which makes for improved washing and dry-ability, and you can wear it as a camp shoe. The boot also comes in different options for higher insulation and protection. The comfort and fit along with perfect grip on rugged alpine terrain are main assets of the Alpha². The upper is fully hydrophobic and offers extremely quick drying. The separate construction of the upper leaves a minute air space between the shell and the liner, acting as a conduit for air exchange and moisture dispersion. The Vibram Arc’teryx Approach outsole is made with the new Megagrip compound that offers stability, traction and perfect braking properties.
Brooks-Range Lt. Breeze Jacket
Brooks-Range displayed a pretty groundbreaking new wind jacket that surprisingly no one else had thought of to do. The Lt. Breeze Jacket features a moisture management system that will change the way you look at wind jackets. The outer shell of the jacket uses a 20d lightweight and breathable nylon to protect the user from the elements and the inside of the jacket is lined with spongy fleece dots. The fleece dots move sweat away from your skin and keep the inside of the jacket from becoming clammy which makes it possible to wear as an outer layer or standalone piece. The Lt. Breeze Jacket weighs only 5.5 oz. and is extremely compressible. MSRP: $149.95.