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The Best New Gear for Under $30

Expensive skis and jackets are great, but we scoured the show floor at this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to find the best new products for under $30. Watch to see what our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, was able to find at the show. 

Filed To: Gear

Video Transcript

Hey, this is Joe Jackson, Outside Online's Gear Guy. And I'm here at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Trade Show. Outdoor Retailer is a bi-annual show that's the largest one in our space in North America. And for the gear team at Outside, it's one of the best opportunities to get our hands on new gear that's going to be coming down the line next year. 
One thing we like to do is look past the thousand dollar one-sies and two-thousand dollar skis and try to find things that are more affordable. This year we picked our five favorite items that are under $30. Let's take a look.

Our first stop is here at the Sunday Afternoons' booth. We love the Northwest Trucker because of the Northern Lights color wave it has going. It was hand created by an artist Chris Herbst of FlowFactory NW. We were excited than when we talked to the guys here, it was under $30 and hit our price point at twenty-eight bucks. The interior has this sweat-wicking tech band. We are often out skiing in the backcountry in a normal trucker hat, but quite often you get sweaty. We're excited to have something that has the tech detail but has that trucker hat styling. 

Normally, when we think about the brand Leatherman, we think of super feature rich multitools. What caught our eye this year was an everyday carry knife that's actually incredibly simple, but really intelligently built. The Leatherman Skeletool KBx: it has an awesome stainless steel four-twenty blade. It has a serrated as well as a flat portion. This sturdy little knife is only twenty-five bucks. One of my about this knife is that is that it has an aluminum backer which makes it incredibly well balanced. At only 1.5 ounces you're barely going to notice that this thing is in your pocket. Another really cool thing is that the backer has a bottle opener which is always nice to have on you.

The designers at LED LENSER asked people for feedback from the Hood to Coast Relay. It's one hundred ninety-nine miles where people actually run completely through the night. And what they got back was that people wanted something really lightweight, really simple, and inexpensive. This absolutely delivers on all three fronts. At the same time, it's a really comprehensive simple running light. It has one button in the front which is easy to get to. Small. It shoots at one hundred lumens, which isn't going to be some five hundred lumen powerhouse, but it has a slightly downturned angle and one hundred fifty degrees of where it lights. Unless you want to stop a bear from attacking you, you probably only need those one hundred lumens to get along on a trail or on a road. Another thing we really liked about it is that the battery is incredibly easy to get to. It's just this simple silicon backing you can pop open to change the battery.

Montana-based Duckworth sources all of their Merino Wool out of the Helle Ranch in Dillon, Montana. All of the sheep who live at this ranch, live at high elevation between six and ten thousand feet. That area of Montana has these incredibly big temperature shifts. The result is this incredibly high crimp wool which they use to make these ski socks, the Duckworth Lightweight Ski Socks. With all this technology and having locally sourced wool, you'd expect them to be really expensive socks, but they're actually only $26. These socks are incredibly warm in spite of the fact that they are light and thin, which is the only type of ski sock we like to ski in. Another cool factor with these socks is even though they're really lightweight they have a tiny bit of extra cushion in the toe and the heel, very ski specific. I actually went skiing with two of the ranchers and one of the owners last Monday and they crushed me. So it's clear they know what they're doing on skis. Also, it's clear they know how to make ski socks.

For our last stop, we're here at Chums where we found the key chain key quiver organizer. What this does is allows you to take four to five keys, and put them all together in this tight little two-inch package. It also adds this smart little five function multitool. You can open a beer with it. It has a phillips driver. It has essentially a flathead driver and it also has a couple of rulers on it. It may not be as decorative as the one that your aunt gave you in your stocking for Christmas. But for $9.99 this thing is a great utilitarian piece that we're excited to use to organize our keys all year.

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