We could fill weeks of posts about all the cool new products we saw at last week's Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. But we won't. Instead, we've begun calling it in and field-testing it. Depending on how it fares, you'll likely read about more of it here on Gear Shed, in the monthly magazine, and in our Buyer's Guides special issues and iPad apps. Until then, here are three final products to geek out on.
Alchemy Goods Belt: Stuff made from recycled bicycle inner tubes is a great idea on paper, but generally not that good looking in real life. That was until Alchemy Goods came along. The company's recycled adjustable inner tube belt is in fact two nested tubes, but it looks like overstitched leather with a little extra flair. Thanks to the stitching, it stretches just enough to be comfortable, and won't stretch out like leather. The belt is made from 90% upcycled materials and, for $55 more, is also available with a hand forged, recycled, and pretty damn cool-looking bike cog buckle (regular buckle is pictured). Available now, $42, alchemygoods.com
Mountain Khakis Fairway: For years, Mountain Khakis has made some of our favorite pants, so when we heard they started making shirts, too, we had high expectations. Based on the Fairway, above, it sounds like we won't be disappointed. To weave the shirt, MK has partnered with a company called Bionic Yarn, which has created a hybrid thread by spinning cotton around a recycled plastic core. According to MK, it wears three times longer, and still feels soft and natural because the cotton, not the PET, is against your skin. Plus it helps solve the problem of what to do with millions of discarded plastic bottles--each Fairway shirt contains about 14. Bionic is the first fabric that can use any recycled PET bottles, not just pristine and fancy ones from Fiji water and other high end drinks. Available February 2012, $70, mountainkhakis.com
Gerber Steady: It's a multitool...it's a tripod...it's everything we gadget-loving outdoorsy types need in one tool. Gerber's Steady multitool has two pop out legs to steady it when you're shooting, and two camera mounts--one for your phone and one for a point and shoot. But it's also got all the standard mulitool features, like a serrated knife, bottle opener, screw drivers, and pliers. It's a rocket in your pocket--four inches long and just under six ounces. As one gearhead friend of ours remarked, upon realizing he now no longer will have to carry a multitool and a tripod: "Why hasn't someone thought of this before?" Good question. Available in March 2012, $60, gerbergear.com