The Outdoor Journal lists top eight gear brands to look out for, from the 20th European outdoor trade exhibition at Friedrichshafen, Germany. Lesser known brands make their mark with creative leaps in technology for longer and safer experiences.
1. Versant 60L Versant Backpacking Pack
A carefully designed technical hiking backpack, the Versant series packs are designed for long hikes and expeditions. They are gender specific and available in three sizes (50L, 60L and 70L). The bottom quarter of the pack is lined with a waterproof fabric, ideal for river crossings. Their key is customization, with numerous combinations for very different conditions in the mountains. Thule recently entered the outdoor backpacking industry and has successfully made a stand among top brands with bags ranging from bike attachments to expeditions; all designed with durable and light weight fabrics. Thule-Erik Thulin’s idea to provide fishermen with transport solutions, first in 1942-is primarily known for carriers for surf boards, cycles and ski equipment.
2. Polarmond ALL-IN-ONE tent
By Polarmond AG
The Polarmand technology is a 3-in-1 tent that is designed to have assortments for a sleep shell and bivouac module. It is targeted at extreme expeditions. All components of the tent system can be used separately. The sleep shell is designed to withstand up to -30°C and is marketed as a “self-warming tent” that regulates temperature and integrates a dehumidification management system. It has a light construction of 4.1 – 4.5 kg (depend on the liner insulation thickness) and does not use down in any of its parts. Polarmond is a Swiss startup set up with the help of researchers from EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology).
3. Agro V
The Agro is a high end bouldering shoe devoid of any leather material. Their new Tension Power System (TPS) pulls the forefoot from three different positions. It is light, breathable and exceptionally soft for a midsole-less shoe. Evolv is evolving into an eco-friendly rock climbing shoe manufacturer; Steph Davis is designing a new vegan version of the Evolv Addict.
4. Rind Jacket
Klättermusen (KM) 2016 collection is inspired by the weather in Jämtland, Sweden. A day in this town, situated at the mouth of the North Sea wind, can experience anything from a hailstorm to soaring sunlight. Their collection is a testimony to these weather conditions with gear that is waterproof and light weight, easily removable and compresses in a small backpack. Rind products have taped seams and a 2.5 layer breathable fabric that is recycled from fishing-nets. The series is free from any fluorocarbon. Other products from this brand are so versatile and durable, “customers don’t want a new range. Instead they want the old product fixed even after excessive use”, Malin Nilsson told The Outdoor Journal at the KM booth.
5. Race 2.0
The Race 2.0 version has side vents for better ventilation and prevention of fog. Its temples curve to provide a snug fit on any sized skull. The nose grip enhances the fit by adjusting the rubbers attached to it according to the shape of the nose. It is extremely light weight, a huge relief for long distance runners.
6. Camalot Ultraight
This version shaves 25% weight from the Camalot camming device used for traditional climbing. A continuous loop of dyneema core replaces the steel cables in the shell of the traditional Camalot. Trigger wires are reinforced with plastic after shrinking them. Cams can add a lot of weight for long trad climbs. This is going to be a welcoming surprise for climbers around the world and perhaps allow cam manufacturers to completely revolutionise the cam industry. Black Diamond was initially called Chouinard Equipment, when climber Yvon Chouinard started selling hand-forged pitons in Yosemite.
7. Super Leggera DDS
The Super Leggera has a knitted upper body, meshed using a flexible fabric that employs an interplay of tensile and compressive tissue zones. The boot fits like socks and is incredibly light weight compared to any other similar shoe grade on the market. The sole integrates Vibram’s Motion Flex Sole technology, making walking on rocky surfaces seem effortless. The company was established in 1925 after a successful shoemaker’s workshop, getting its name from the famous Dachstein mountain region in Austria.
8. Sleeping Gear
The sleeping tent gear set (mat, sleeping bag, tent) fits in a day backpack of 20L. Its combined weight is less than 1500 grams. Yeti is focusing on designing light weight breathable down packs for sleeping bags, tents, and camping mats. Their newest Gecko sleeping bag is eco-friendly, with a 100% recycled polyester lining and is filled with light weight down in their factory in Germany. Their unique Gecco fabric is based on renewable plant oil extracted from the non-food Ricinus plant. Yeti has renewed its brand focus in the recent years, committing to the lightest camping gear available.
Image courtesy : Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2015 Press Release
Feature Image : Trivik Verma