In a week, all of the outdoor gear companies will convene in Salt Lake City to introduce their new skis and boots, jackets and baselayers, beacons and solar powered iPhone devices, sleeping bags and packs, trekking poles and tents, and all sorts of other outdoor gear and gadgets. We'll be there to look for the coolest new stuff and to hand out our annual Gear of the Show awards. Here's a first look at some of the stuff we're salivating over.
Outdoor Research Lodestar Jacket and Pant – Outdoor Research makes some of the most legit apparel for climbers. It's always smartly designed with features and fabrics that have the end use at the top of the design brief. The Lodestar jacket and pant promises to be two more winners for alpinist and climbers. Capturing the warmth of a puffy with the moisture-wicking properties of fleece and combining it with the protection of a softshell, the Lodestar Jacket and Pant are designed for ice and alpine climbing in the coldest climates.
Both pieces use a new softshell fabric—Polartec Power Shield High Loft, an exceptionally weatherproof and breathable nylon softshell with a fully insulating high-loft fleece inside for breathable warmth without bulk. In high sweat areas, Outdoor Research has combined the High Loft Softshell with Powershield Pro, Polartec's best loved hard face fleece for maximum moisture movement during highly aerobic activities like Alpine Climbing. The result: a jacket that wicks moisture effectively through a wider range of cold temperatures. It lets climbers eliminate layers and gives them freedom of movement. Available fall 2012, $450 jacket; $399 pant, outdoorresearch.com.
Salomon Snowcross CS: Salomon is committed to helping runners excel in all weather conditions—sloppy slush, slippery ice and sloggy snow included. So, the company has taken their best lightweight runner to new frontiers, making it waterproof and adapting it to deep winter conditions. This Climashield lined shoe has a welded exterior, full interior gaitor, metal spikes with carbonlite tips for gripping ice, and weighs just 12.7 ounces. All that, and it still fits like a performance running shoe. Salomon says, “the Snowcross is for people who keep running even when the postman stays in.” $200, available September 2012, salomon.com
Smith I/OX goggles – Smith's interchangeable lens IO/S goggles have set the standard for winter vision. Now, the company is improving their most popular winter eyewear with a new 5X Anti-Fog Inner Lens. Made from a hydrophilic, micro-etched surface, the goggle lens absorbs moisture and disperses it over a wide surface area for more than five times the absorptive properties of anything on the market. According to Smith, initial testing showed standard anti-fog lenses fogging between 30-50 seconds and Smith’s 5X Anti-Fog material resisting fogging for over 120 seconds in the lab. Bonus: Because the antifog is physically carved into the lens, those prone to smearing their goggles with sunscreen or french fry grease won't be able to accidentally wipe away the coating. Available fall 2012, $175-$235, smithoptics.com.