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- Hannibal Barca



Jul 27, 2015

Top Gear at Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2015

The Outdoor Journal lists top eight gear brands to look out for, from the 20th European outdoor trade exhibition at Friedrichshafen, Germany.


Trivik Verma

Lesser known brands make their mark with creative leaps in technology for longer and safer experiences.

Versant 60L
Versandt 60L expedition pack
1. Versant 60L Versant Backpacking Pack

By Thule

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

Polarmond All-in-One Tent
Polarmond All-in-One Tent

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).

Agro | Vegan rock climbing shoe
Photo: Trivik Verma | Agro – Vegan rock climbing shoe
3. Agro V

By Evolv

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

By Klättermusen

Rind Jacket
Rind Jacket
Rind Pants
Rind Pants

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.

Race 2.0 Ultra light sports glasses
Race 2.0 Ultra light sports glasses
5. Race 2.0

By Julbo

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

By Black Diamond

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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

By Dachstein

Super Leggera | Hiking boot
Photo: Trivik Verma | Super Leggera hiking boot

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.

Gecko Sleeping bag | Plant-oil based nylon fabric
Photo: Trivik Verma | Gecco Sleeping bag made from a plant-oil based nylon fabric
8. Sleeping Gear

By Yeti

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

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Adventure Travel

Jul 31, 2018

Kayaking’s Elite Return to India at the Malabar River Festival

During the week of July 18th to 22nd, the Malabar River Festival returned to Kerala, India with one of the biggest cash prizes in whitewater kayaking in the world.



Brooke Hess

A $20,000 purse attracted some of the world’s best kayakers to the region for an epic week battling it out on some of India’s best whitewater.

The kayaking events at Malabar River Festival were held on the Kuttiyadi River, Chalippuzha River, and the Iruvajippuzha River, in South India on the Malabar Coast. The festival was founded and organized by Manik Taneja and Jacopo Nordera of GoodWave Adventures, the first whitewater kayaking school in South India.

Photo: Akash Sharma

“Look out for these guys in the future because there are some future stars there”

One of the goals of the festival is to promote whitewater kayaking in the state of Kerala and encourage locals to get into the sport. One of the event organizers, Vaijayanthi Bhat, feels that the festival plays a large part in promoting the sport within the community.  “The kayak community is building up through the Malabar Festival. Quite a few people are picking up kayaking… It starts with people watching the event and getting curious.  GoodWave Adventures are teaching the locals.”

Photo: Akash Sharma

Vaijayanthi is not lying when she says the kayak community is starting to build up.  In addition to the pro category, this year’s Malabar Festival hosted an intermediate competition specifically designed for local kayakers. The intermediate competition saw a huge turnout of 22 competitors in the men’s category and 9 competitors in the women’s category. Even the professional kayakers who traveled across the world to compete at the festival were impressed with the talent shown by the local kayakers. Mike Dawson of New Zealand, and the winner of the men’s pro competition had nothing but good things to say about the local kayakers. “I have so much respect for the local kayakers. I was stoked to see huge improvements from these guys since I met them in 2015. It was cool to see them ripping up the rivers and also just trying to hang out and ask as many questions about how to improve their paddling. It was awesome to watch them racing and making it through the rounds. Look out for these guys in the future because there are some future stars there.”

Photo: Akash Sharma


“It was awesome because you had such a great field of racers so you had to push it and be on your game without making a mistake”

Vaijayanthi says the festival has future goals of being named a world championship.  In order to do this, they have to attract world class kayakers to the event.  With names like Dane Jackson, Nouria Newman, Nicole Mansfield, Mike Dawson, and Gerd Serrasolses coming out for the pro competition, it already seems like they are doing a good job of working toward that goal! The pro competition was composed of four different kayaking events- boatercross, freestyle, slalom, and a superfinal race down a technical rapid. “The Finals of the extreme racing held on the Malabar Express was the favourite event for me. It was an epic rapid to race down. 90 seconds of continuous whitewater with a decent flow. It was awesome because you had such a great field of racers so you had to push it and be on your game without making a mistake.” says Dawson.

Photo: Akash Sharma

The impressive amount of prize money wasn’t the only thing that lured these big name kayakers to Kerala for the festival. Many of the kayakers have stayed in South India after the event ended to explore the rivers in the region. With numerous unexplored jungle rivers, the possibilities for exploratory kayaking are seemingly endless. Dawson knows the exploratory nature of the region well.  “I’ve been to the Malabar River Fest in 2015. I loved it then, and that’s why I’ve been so keen to come back. Kerala is an amazing region for kayaking. In the rainy season there is so much water, and because the state has tons of mountains close to the sea it means that there’s a lot of exploring and sections that are around. It’s a unique kind of paddling, with the rivers taking you through some really jungly inaccessible terrain. Looking forward to coming back to Kerala and also exploring the other regions of India in the future.”


For more information on the festival, visit: http://www.malabarfest.com/

Subscribe here: https://www.outdoorjournal.com/in/subscribe/

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