The Gear Junkie Scoop: Outdoor Retailer Winter Gear

By Stephen Regenold

The twice-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show gives a peek at what's to come in the world of outside gear. The winter version begins today. Here's a quick look at a few hot items:

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Polarmax T-shirts: As the old saying goes, cotton kills. But the "killer" material is back and better than ever, according to Polarmax. For a new line of T-shirts, the company uses "wicking cotton," which has treated and un-treated yarn to remove sweat. That's the theory, at least.

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CGear Sand-Free Multimat: Desert campers take note: Originally designed as an ad hoc helicopter landing pad, the material used in CGear's new Multimat is constructed of mesh nylon and designed to let sand and dirt "fall straight through." For the camping market, the technology--made for use inside tents or on the ground outside--can keep a camp site dust-free.

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Marmot Cat Track Jacket: In case your jacket's hood didn't already fit close enough, there's a new tweak to Marmot's Cat Track--a twist-to-fit micro-cable made by Boa to give better adjustment to the hood. Elbow protection is also beefed up with the jacket's integrated d3o Shock Absorption pads in the sleeves. Price: $350.

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Rossignol X-ium Skate Package: Olympians will wear these skis in Vancouver, Rossignol says. The X-ium is a top-end XC kit that includes lightweight skis, boots, bindings, and poles. It's touted as the "lightest weight race package Rossignol has ever offered." In total, the skis weigh 550 grams, the boots 595 grams, and the bindings 170 grams.

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La Sportiva Crossover GTX: All-terrain shoe-boots with Gore-Tex lining. This LaSportiva footwear has integrated gaiters and is made for running in snowy conditions, snowshoeing, and big, fast mountain traverses. Available this summer for $140.

Polartec Power Shield Pro: Ten years ago, Polartec helpedpopularize the then-new category of softshell jackets. This year,Polartec is unveiling a new softshell it's touting as a "breakthrough."Polartec Power Shield Pro fabric, soon to be available on jackets fromThe North Face, Millet, and others, "ratchets up the fabric’s waterresistance, while retaining critical breathability," the company touts.This is thanks to a new proprietary membrane technology and laminationtechniques. For gear wonks, it can hold a water column of5,000 millimeters (meaning it's almost fully waterproof).

--Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

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