Outdoor Retailer is a trade show held every summer where gear manufacturers come together and show off the gear they plan to bring to market in the upcoming year. It’s a very social event where you get to catch up with old friends, drink a lot of beer together, and try to figure out what the most promising new products will be in the upcoming year. My focus at these shows is to look for new gear that I can use on trips and adventures and that I think my readers will benefit from knowing about.
Here are the most interesting new products that I saw at Outdoor Retailer 2017.
Osprey’s Levity and Lumina Ultralight Backpacks
Osprey Packs has new ultralight backpacks, the Levity and Lumina, which will be available this autumn. Both will be available in men’s and women’s-specific versions in 60L and 45L sizes and cost $270 and $250. All four packs are top loaders with a non-detachable top lids and a large wrap-around solid stretch pocket that provides plenty of external storage for water bottles, extra clothing layers, or wet gear. Both packs use the ventilated mesh AirSpeed frame system which has a partially visible wire aluminum frame with top and bottom cross pieces for rigidity.
The Levity and Lumina are made with a lightweight, durable, and nearly waterproof fabric that Osprey calls NanoFly. It’s an abrasion resistant mix of 100 denier Cordura nylon and (UHMWPE) ultra high molecular weight polyethylene that is in the same wheelhouse as the cuben fiber composites used by some cottage manufacturers. It will be interesting to see if the Levity and Lumina packs will impact the popularity of the ultralight backpacks sold by them or whether they’ll be able to innovate in time to compete head-to-head with Osprey.
|Levity 60||S | M | L||57 | 60 | 63||1.82 | 1.83 | 1.84||0.83 | 0.83 | 0.83||10-30 lb | 4-13 kg|
|Levity 45||S | M | L||42 | 45 | 48||1.76 | 1.76 | 1.77||0.80 | 0.80 | 0.80||5-25 lb | 2-11 kg|
|Lumina 60||WXS | WS | WM||53 | 56 | 60||1.82 | 1.82 | 1.83||0.82 | 0.83 | 0.83||10-30 lb | 4-13 kg|
|Lumina 45||WXS | WS | WM||38 | 41 | 45||1.75 | 1.76 | 1.76||0.79 | 0.80 | 0.80||5-25 lb | 2-11 kg|
One notable omission on Osprey’s Levity and Lumina packs is the lack of hip belt pockets and hip belt padding. While their larger and heavier packs still have hip belts and pockets, I think Osprey wants to to make the case that form fitting nature of their AirSpeed mesh frame eliminates for the lack of a beefy hipbelt. That’s a pretty bold statement and it will be interesting to see how customers react to it when these new packs reach market. An updated Exos and a new women’s-specific Exos, called the Eja, also have the same mesh hipbelt as the Levity and Lumina.
Gregory Packs Optic and Octal Ultralight Backpacks
Gregory Packs also announced four new men’s and women’s ultralight backpacks which will be available in Spring 2018. The men’s Optic will be available in 58L and 48L sizes that weigh 2.52 lbs and 2.47 lbs, while the women’s specific Octal will be available in 55L and 45L sizes, weighing 2.34 lbs and 2.31 lbs.
Both packs have an ultralight 7001 aluminum UL frame with a ventilated back panel and leaf spring lumbar pad. The pack bodies are made with 100 denier high tenacity nylon with a 210 denier high tenacity nylon base for durability. The top lids of the packs can be removed to reduce weight and both include a stretch mesh front pocket. Unlike Osprey’s Levity and Lumina packs, Gregory’s UL packs have beefy hip belts and large hip belt pockets.
Granite Gear Crown2 38L Backpack
Granite Gear announced a lower capacity 38L version of the wildly popular 60L Crown 2 backpack that came out earlier this year. The 38L Crown 2 weighs 2.265 lbs when configured with a top lid, frame sheet, and adjustable hip belt. All of those components are removable though, depending on your needs, bringing the pack’s weight down to a measly 1.3 lbs for fast and light day hikes or overnight adventures. The 38L Crown 2 will be available in men’s and women’s specific models with an MSRP of $184.95. I think the 38L Crown2 will be great for one-nighters or as a technical day pack and can’t wait to try it out.
Big Agnes Goose Creek Deluxe Hammock
Big Agnes has entered the hammock market with two gathered end hammocks, the Goose Creek Deluxe (12 oz) and the UL Headwall (6 oz). The Goose Creek Deluxe Hammock has an integrated sleeping pad sleeve that’s compatible with any inflatable sleeping pad with multiple attachment points to fit a variety of different pad sizes and shapes. You can also configure your pad to have a bend under the knees to help prevent knee hyperextension, a common user problem with many short or narrow hammocks where it’s difficult to sleep on a diagonal.
Big Agnes AXL and Insulated AXL Sleeping Pads
Big Agnes also has several new sleeping pads that push the boundaries on ultralight inflatable sleeping pad weights. The AXL Air (9 oz) and Insulated AXL Air (10 oz) are full size 20″ x 72″ pads with a reflective heat layers. Big Agnes also introduced their first ever foam pad, the 12 oz Third Degree Pad, for use under an inflatable pad in extreme winter and alpine conditions.
Sierra Designs High Side 1P Tent
The Sierra Designs High Side is a new 1 lb 14 oz single person, side-entrance bivy style tent designed for solo trips and bikepacking in mind. It’s small pack size and pole length (12.5 inches) make it an interesting option for trips where keeping your load size to a minimum is important. It has an MSRP of $280 USD.
Western Mountaineering Quilts
Western Mountaineering has two new ultralight quilts, the 11 oz Nanolite ($330) and the 16 oz Astralite ($400). Both quilts have 7 denier shells with 850+ fill power goose down. They are available in regular 5’8″ and long 6’4″ lengths and have yoke-shaped top draft collars to help seal in heat around a person’s neck and shoulders. I suspect that Western Mountaineering is feeling competitive pressure from quilt manufacturers that is eroding sales of their ultralight warm weather sleeping bags and that these new quilts are a competitive response.
|Name and Length||Temp (F/C)||Total Weight (oz/h)||Fill Weight (oz/g)||MSRP|
|Nanolite 5'8"/175 cm||38 F / 3C||11 oz / 312 g||6.5 oz / 184 g||330 USD|
|Nanolite 6'4"/195 cm||38 F / 3C||12.5 oz /354 g||7.25 oz / 206 g||345 USD|
|Astralite 5'8"/175 cm||26 F / -3C||16 oz / 454 g||10.5 oz / 298 g||400 USD|
|Astralite 6'4"/195 cm||26 F / -3C||17.5 oz /496 g||11.25 oz / 319 g||$15 USD|
MSR Windburner Duo Stove Systems
MSR has several new radiant stove and cook pot systems built around a remote, decoupled version of the Windburner radiant stove for people who want to cook for a group and not just boil water. The new Duo stove stores inside the pots for ease of packing and has a very stable stove base that’s a big improvement over the top-heavy, single-user, Windburner system.
ENO Fuse Side-By-Side Hammock System
If you’ve ever want to position your hammock next to a companions’ at night, but couldn’t find two pairs of aligned trees to hang from, look no further. The Eno Fuse lets you hang a pair of hammocks side-by-side from the same tree, separated by spreader bars. It’s an ideal solution for hammocking couples or families, so you can sleep next to a child who needs a little more assurance when hammock camping.
Rab Mythic 200 Sleeping Bag
Rab introduced the Mythic 200, a 16.5 ounce down mummy bag rated for 34 degrees that’s filled with 900 fill power goose down and has a silky 7 denier Pertex Quantum inner and outer shell. The Mythic is a 1/4 zip bag with a trapezoidal baffle chamber design, snag-free zipper guards, and an internal draft collar.
Sea-to-Summit Alpha Cook Pots and Pans
The new Alpha Series Cook Pots are made with a lightweight, hard-anodized alloy with a polished internal surface, while the Alpha Pans have a durable PFOA-free Halo non-stick surface. The pots are stamped with internal volume measurements and the base is textured for better stability on camp stoves. The pot lids have build-in colander holes for straining pasta or nice, as well as fold-away handles that lock the lids in place for transport. The Alpha Pans also have fold-away handles and are compatible with the pots, so you can nest them inside each other for easy transport.
|Model & Description||Weight|
|Alpha Pot 1.2L||6.6 oz|
|Alpha Pot 1.9L||8.1 oz|
|Alpha Pot 2.7L||9.6 oz|
|Alpha Pot 3.7L||11.9 oz|
|Alpha Pan 8"||8.6 oz|
|Alpha Pan 10"||11.8 oz|
The Exped Hyperquilt combines the best properties of a quilt and a mummy sleeping bag with an optional integrated hood. Weighing 18.2 oz, the Hyperquilt is insulated with 800+ fill power goose down and has a 20 denier ripstop nylon shell. It connects to sleeping pads using a toggle-based sheet system and is also available in a two person, two hood model for couples. When not needed, the hood opening cinches shut so cold air doesn’t leak into the quilt.
Wenzel Shenanigan 5
Wenzel has a fun new pyramid shelter designed for car camping and music festivals called the Shenanigan that sleeps 5. Priced at $120 (a great deal), it has mesh covered windows which zip close in the event of rain.
Other Notable Products
- Petzl has a new USB rechargeable 200 lumen headlamp call the BINDI that weighs 35 g with an elastic cord headstrap.
- Katadyn launched a 3L gravity version of their BeFree water filter system.
- Katadyn acquired Steripen last week in order to increase their share of the water filter and purification market.
- Osprey introduced a new daypack called the “Hike,” available in 18L and 24L sizes.
- Sealline has a new line of compression stuff sacks with air purge valves.
- NEMO has a great new rocking camp chair called the Stargazer that makes it easy to view the stars at night.
- Cutter announced a new mail-away, DNA-based Tick Test that tests ticks (but not people) you pull off your skin for Lyme Disease. Their lab provides a response within 3 days, so you can initiate treatment quickly if advised by your doctor.
- CamelBak has a new vest-style hydration pack called the Chase Bike Vest. Designed for cyclists, the tool pockets are designed to hold bike tools to help counter balance the water weight in the hydration bladder.
- Good To Go has a new dinner flavor called Chicken Gumbo.
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