A day at Outdoor Retailer means back-to-back meetings with brands for me as I search for innovative outdoor and travel gear. Priorities for me are multi-functional, sustainability, durability, compactability, and price. I also like to find fun products that would make great selections for my Holiday Gift Guide, which I road test every item.
Acteev – I was really interested in Acteev’s zinc ion antimicrobial technology as an alternative to metals. The brand launched in 2021 and is part of Ascend Performance Materials based in Houston, Texas. Acteev uses zinc, an essential mineral, within the fabric nylon. The technology is based by science and last 150+ washes. Acteev doesn’t sell clothing under their own label but does partner with brands like Coalatree for their Suray Sun Shirt with 50+ SPF and zinc technology to keep it odor free. You can pre-order for delivery in August. This technology is pretty amazing and is being used in products from athletic wear to outdoor gear, infant gear, and oral care.
California Cowboy – After finding this company at OR Winter 2022 I wanted to see what they have coming out later this year as the brand is quickly expanding. Their High Water shirt with tons of pockets and features is now available in short sleeves. An active High Water that feels like a fishing shirt is coming out soon. My favorite is the guayabera coming out hopefully by end of summer. Polos are also coming out soon and will have a lower price point. They recently introduced their robes in solid colors. Coming out soon are lightweight joggers.
Rumpl – I’ve been a fan of this brand for a long time. I keep one of the original puffy blankets in my car as part of my extensive emergency kit. Rumpl Artist Division (RAD) is a cool partnerships with established and up and coming artists with some proceeds going to charity with a tie in to the artist. Everywhere Towel line has new prints and national park prints out now with more coming in 2023. The Everywhere Mats line features lightweight mats with waterproof backing that are great for festivals and concerts. They have a fire resistent Nanoloft puffy blanket coming out mid-sept that would be great for sitting around a campfire. I also really like the travel size blanket because they roll up to the size of a 32 ounce water bottle.
Wallaroo Hats – As a hat gal, I enjoyed getting to know more about this Boulder, Colorado based company. A lot of their hats have people names or are named after destinations like Marseille. The popular Sloan hat is out in new colors. I really liked the Tulip and Baja hats artisanally made with palm fibers in Guadalajara, Mexico. I also really like the Elise hat. Not new, but I love Elise hats with scarves designed by actress Jane Seymour who played Elise in the movie Somewhere in Time. The Sedona visor was launching that day. Carkella is a new line from Wallaroo and features hats with UPF of 30 or 50 and have built in magnets in the brim ribbons. The customizable emblem magnets are great for resorts, weddings, and events. The magnets could also be ball markers. The Scrunchie was one of my favorites because it’s super packable. Wallaroo is a woman owned, Colorado based company that donates 1% annually to skin cancer prevention and education.
Sawyer – This company has the number one water filter for disaster relief and has impacted over 27 million lives. As a meteorologist who has been in and covered numerous natural disasters that is important to me. I also happen to be a mosquito magnet and was really interested in their sprays for clothes with repellent that last for 6 weeks or 6 washes. They have a wide assortment of water filters from bottles to gravity systems that would be great for camping, hiking, and adventuring around the world. The tap filter is a game changer in Third World countries. I had a ton of questions related to the filter buckets. They are use those with disaster and charity partners like American Red Cross. They’ve sent over 50,000 to Ukraine recently. Based in Florida, Sawyer products are made in the USA.
Gathr Outdoors – This family of brands focusing on everything you need to gather together in the outdoors. I first checked out Klymit and their new 1-person backpacking tent with more headroom. Their comfort camping pillowcase has a soft case side and a durable water resistent shell. At $25, it’s great for car camping or RVing. I also checked out their variety of sleeping pads and bags. They focus on being value driven and solving problem of being uncomfortable outside. I was already a fan of Orca and use their water bottle everyday. I loved checking out the Chasertini glasses. They are a hot item and great for beverages, shrimp cocktail, or ice cream. A margarita version is coming out in late fall. They have new colors in their Traveler. Cool reusable straws are coming out soon. For the coolers, a 65 quart and 80 quart versions are coming out this fall featuring a latch re-design and larger lock area. Orca is made in USA. I and a quick stop to check out GCI Outdoor chair rockers. I really like the SunShade Comfort Pro Chair. Coming out early next year is the Level Up featuring a 1 person/1 minute set up. Last thing I looked at in the Gathr boot was Rightline Gear Moki Door Step. It was featured on the TV show Shark Tank. They’re $44.95. If you put stuff on the roof of your vehicle, you need one of these!
Mystery Ranch – This pack company was founded in 2000 originally for military special ops. I knew a little about the brand but wanted to learn more since their focus is on making packs for load carriage comfortability. They still have contracts with the government including for wildfire firefighters and are also wildly popular for hunting. Sustainable fabrics now meeting their durability standards so expect to see more of these fabrics in future designs. New to their trail series is the Bridget 55 and 65. Coming out soon are 35 and 45 liter options. The Cooli has a 100% recycled body with 20,30, 50L options coming out in late September. I was really jazzed about some of their travel gear including the Mission Wheelie, which is a rolling duffel, and Stuffels with separate shoe compartment. They have a great packing cubes set with three cubes. The In & Out pack comes in 19 or 22 liter options, a variety of colors, and these are self-stuffing daypacks that stuff into the front mesh pocket.
Thermacell – As a mosquito magnet I was really interested in learning more about these zone mosquito repellent diffusers, especially since they are scent free and aren’t a spray. The E55 is rechargeable, provides up to 5.5 hours of protection per charge, and has a 20 foot zone of protection. It’s $39.99 and great for camping or the backyard. The E90 is a little more at $49.99 but provides up to 9 hours of protection per charge and a 20-foot zone of protection. It’s the one I want. Patio Shield is perfect for the backyard patio, garden or pool. It has a 15-foot zone of protection and uses a 12-hour fuel cartridge. Since it uses butane, the price point is lower at $24.99. New this year are their hardwired systems that are great for large patios, pool areas, and even restaurants. They also have tick control tubes which target ticks on deer and mice. These won’t harm your pets and are great for areas known for Lyme disease including New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Northern Woods.
Puffin Drinkwear – This is a fun company based in Bend, Oregon with price points ranging $12.99-25.95 for their fun koozies. They have a sports line coming out in the fall which will be great for tailgating at football games. They have all sorts of fun vests, jackets, and parkas to dress up your cans and bottles. My favorites are the spa robes, astronaut suit, wine bottle sleeping bags, and red beverage vest.
Author Jennifer Broome loves to attend Outdoor Retailer to search for great outdoors and travel gear finds. For more checking post 3 Up and Coming Brands I Discovered at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.