I kept the tradition alive and traveled out to Utah for a bit of work and play. For the second consecutive year I was about to check out the Outdoor Retailer winter tradeshow and get a day of riding in at Brighton. This has become one of my favorite shows for the mix of heritage and emerging brands that cater to the outdoor market. Each brand showcases their products for their definition of the “outdoors lifestyle,” whether it be the traditional camping, hiking, fishing, etc or for the ever growing urban exploration segment – there is something for everyone here. I took a sneak peek at new things that caught my attention.
Alchemy Equipment is a new brand that I can’t talk enough about. I was impressed with their collection as a whole including outerwear and luggage. The design implements a modern and fashion forward fit and innovative material. This was their first time showing here in the US, as they are based in New Zealand, but I’m hoping its not their last.
Snow Peak is one of my favorite Japanese brands to hit stateside. They carry an array of goods from camping equipment to outerwear and apparel. I particularly like their titanium coffee mug and new sake kit complete with bottle and cups, although I would probably fill mine with whiskey.
Zojirushi is another Japanese brand many may be familiar with, known for their kitchen products including technical rice cookers. Their new stainless vacuum insulated mugs are incredibly lightweight and out style the generic Starbucks style tumblers. I’ll need to pick a couple products up from them soon for daily commutes.
Stumptown and Kleen Kanteen showcased their coffee carrying option, which works for pour over coffee as well.
Blundstone has expanded their original “Chelsea” boot with a new women’s and children’s line. Now the whole family can be fashionable and match.
Helinox Chair One is one of the best designs I saw showcased at the show. An ultra compact and lightweight foldable chair perfect for any outdoor adventure. The chair packs up to about the size of a man’s shoe and weighs less than a liter of water. It’s also super easy to assemble and dis-assemble. I may need to test one out for a photography adventure or simply to bring to the beach. Other options are available such as a shorter chair (Ground chair) and one that swivels. After exploring their site a bit more I’ve found other items I’m interested in such as the foldable cot and table…I’m a sucker for good design.
Hydro Flask introduces their True Pint an insulated cup that keeps your brew super cold and tasty without wet hands from the condensation.
OluKai is a brand that I’ve seen progress each season. Their collection of footwear has stood out to me for their details such as the the drop heel and refined yet casual styling. Their new F15 look book was shot at Lana Lane Studios in Hawaii and keeps to its Hawaiian roots with a focus on young creatives. In fact the F15 look book features some of the artists involved with Pow!Wow!Hawaii!, in which I will be shooting the Pow!Wow!SchoolofMusic! again this year.
Mindshift Gear showed off their Rotation 180 line of camera bags. The bags feature a patented rotational belt pack that can hold valuables from cameras and lenses to wallets and more without the need to ever take off the backpack keeping everything safe and secure. They also revealed their new line of GoPro cases for everything from the camera to cards and accessories.
Danner is one of my favorite boot brands and showcased a few new designs along with updates to their classics. If it rained a bit more or was a little colder here in So. Cal I probably would own a few pairs as these are some of the best styled and comfortable boots in the market.
Braven revealed at CES their partnership with Burton that includes a new line of bluetooth speakers and again showed them to the outdoor market here at OR. Each speaker is built tough to withstand shock from drops and is waterproof to protect from the elements. Another great feature is the built in battery bank that has the ability to charge items such as an iPhone via the USB port.
Roark Revival teamed up with Hex to debut a new collection of luggage made for travel and adventure. The apparel designs take inspiration from their worldly travels and experience. Each collection tells a story of one of the many areas of the globe that the team has had an opportunity to visit. I really dug the details and style from this brand.
i.N.i Cooperative is an outdoor company, with an action sports background, that focuses on using renewable resources and materials. i.N.i’s motto is, “Mindfully Manufactured,” and has a mission is to deliver high performance / low-impact garments to the outdoors market utilizing functions such as a detachable sleeves to go from a jacket to vest for double usage and design features that include contoured pant hems to form fit your snowboard boots. I really dug their outerwear collection for the style and details of each piece.
Incase showed off their Reform Collection along with a few new bags. This new collection goes back to the core of the brand infusing innovative material with attention to detail in the design. None of the bags are over designed with multiple external pockets, various zippers, or un-needed tech – just as fashionable as they are functional.
ourCaste is an Orange County based brand that draws inspiration from surf, skate, and motorcycle culture. The apparel collection consists of refined garments with a slight edge to them. I personally saw a few items that I may need to add to my wardrobe.
Rumpl is a new brand that caught my eye at the show. The concept of a high-performance blanket that is made to go anywhere and packs small and light really appeals to me. I love the fact that you can take one of the many variations of this blanket on the go for a spontaneous picnic or to lay on the beach or to keep warm for a movie in the park. Also available are full sized comforters that are modern and stylish enough for home use. The blanket itself fuses high performance materials made for the outdoors with the comfort and warmth of performance fleece that you would find in your favorite sweats. I wonder if I can add one of these to my wedding registry?
Oliberte partnered with fashion designer Mark McNairy to showcase a collection of boots. What’s impressive about this company is that they are the first fair trade certified footwear manufacturing factory in Africa. The McNairy edition boots I saw came in a beautiful blue suede with a couple silhouettes including a classic desert boot.
Topo Designs showed off a few new bags to their every growing collection of outdoor backpacks.
SeaVees is a California classic shoe company. With roots deeply planted in Central California where sunsets and surf are the staple – the designs are very familiar yet comforting. I really liked many of the new releases shown as they go with practically all outfits.
Hippytree teamed up with Jansport to show off a new co-branded backpack collection. The bags were nice and made for the outdoors, but what really caught my eye in their booth was the classic FJ displayed.
Pendleton showed off their wonderful classic blankets, which I heard were on sale on the last day of the show, but unfortunately I missed out.
Fjallraven is a Swedish outdoors company that has amazing products from bags to outerwear and apparel. Their booth display was one of the best of the show complete with snow machine, wall of colorful bags, and even a display on the waxing process.
Athletic Recon is still going strong after seeing their brand exactly a year ago for the first time. The M65 inspired jacket was a personal favorite.
There was a lot of miscellaneous things that caught my attention such as a live owl, Cup O’ Noodles inspired soles on shoes, jerky, bacon topped maple ice cream and more.