Like others in the outdoor industry, I couldn’t wait to see the hottest new trends, game changing gear, and what’s cool at Outdoor Retailer. I’ll admit, it’s a bit overwhelming when you enter the Colorado Convention Center maxed out with gear from duffles to crampons to go gear food to a plethora of clothes and shoes. But like the Big Blue Bear peering in to see the goods, I eyed some really cool stuff.
With some help from OR peeps, I selected some of the most innovative items I found for a segment on Fox 31 Denver. Those are the real game changers for the 2019-2020 ski season. Some of them are really revolutionizing the way their niche product is made. The products I featured in the tv segment were: Sweet Protection Interstellar Goggles, Dahu Ski Boots (which debuted at OR Snow Show), NexOptic Double Take, Nite Ize Runoff waterproof bags, and HEAD CORE skis for women.
My first stop was Stegmann. They’ve been making clogs since 1888. What’s new is their most eco-friendly shoe ever using natural wool from Austria and Scotland. There are no seams and the top has a raw edge. In the sole they’re using cork and other recycled materials. They have pretty cool styles debuting in the fall too.
Speaking of recycled wine corks, no one does it better than SOLE through ReCORK, North America’s largest wine cork recycling initiative. I have a pair of their flip flops so I was curious to see what’s coming. They have new flips coming out in March, but I was super excited about the shoes they have coming out this fall. I love the slip-ons and the ankle lace ups. My favorite are in a nubuck material. All of the shoes have the cork footbed SOLE is known for.
I had to make a stop at Eagle Creek. I’m a big fan of their Specter Pack-It cubes. I can’t wait to road test the Migrate Duffle 60L they gave me. One big plus for me – the shoulder straps are on the zip side. Don’t have to worry about anyone reaching into the duffle when it’s on my back! Just for fun I auditioned for their “Quit Your Job” trip of a lifetime promotion they’re doing with G Adventures. Can’t win if you don’t throw your name in the game! They’re doing auditions in cities across the country.
I’m looking for new skis and jumped at the chance to check out HEAD skis. The Joy series is just for women. They have skies in the series for all abilities. What’s coming next is KORE. The men’s ski was named best ski in 2018. When I picked up the ski I couldn’t believe how light it is. The skis have graphene in them to distribute weight. They also have koroyd, a honeycomb material used in helmets, for shock absorption. I can’t wait to demo a pair of the Joy and KORE skis. I was also excited to check out HEAD’s new sportswear line of ski clothes and base layers. Love the color blocking and tonal hues to the clothes.
I was super intrigued when I got an email about Double Take. It’s a digital binoculars by NexOptic. I couldn’t stop zooming in and out while exploring Prague in the prototype. They’re hoping to have the Double Take out for retail by the end of the year. Since it can take video and pictures, this is high on my wish list!
My next stop is a skiwear line I’ve been a fan of for years. Obermeyer does ski clothes right. I love some of the twists they’re doing on clothes for 2019-20 but was super excited about the lifestyle line which launched fall 2018. I’m a huge fan of versatile and multi-purpose clothes that can be worn on the slopes, on the trail and at happy hour or on an urban adventure.
Next I headed over to Mobile Warming, a company I didn’t know much about. With deep roots in the motorcycle industry, I was fascinated by the heated clothes including jackets, base layers, gloves, and socks. Strategic heat panels see you warm and you have four levels of warmth you can choose from. You can even control the heat from an app on your phone. They even have heated pet vests!
The next day I went in search of snowshoes with stops at Tubbs and Atlas. Tubbs in introducing a new easy binding system and added foam for comfort. They look really easy to get on and off. I can’t wait to try a pair. Over at Atas they’re doing their first artist collaboration to make it fun and for the mega mountaineer the Apex Mountain is burly, rugged, yet ultra lightweight.
Seirus is a company I’m familiar with for their heated gloves but I wanted to see what they have cooking. In the fall they are launching a workwear line for $39.99. It’s got the heatwave liner on time and fleece on the palm side. These would be great on warmer days in the outdoors or in the city. I really like their new bandit face mask with the neoprene over the nose. There are two magnet so you can easily pull down the mask if you need to.
OGIO was a company I didn’t know much about but was interested in learning about their luggage and backpacks. Owned by Calloway, I could see some influences from golf especially in the apparel. I really liked how the luggage has a hard back and soft front with lots of pockets. Inside the luggage has easy zippered compartments. I’m not normally a fan of rollmop backpacks, but theirs has a zipper on the side for easy access. I really like the utilitarian colors of the line.
My last stop was at Bula. I instantly fell in love with their new hat and can’t wait to get one. I was also super excited to find out their launching lightweight hats this summer. Since I have to wait a little bit for the hat I want, they hooked me up with two cute beanies and a glasses case. I was in shopping heaven mulling over hats and scarves. I also put on my wish list some new base layers in really cool patterns. Can’t wait to order a few!