Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Very Best Gear From Summer Outdoor Retailer 2017

As most of you know, last week the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market took place in Salt Lake City, Utah. This semi-annual gear convention brings together the largest brands in the outdoor industry to share their latest and greatest products. For those of us who love our tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, boots, and other gear, it is quite the show, and as always there was plenty of things to see. So much so, that it is impossible for one person to see it all. Thankfully, there are plenty of online outlets that were in attendance, providing us with a good overview of the best new products to keep an eye on.

As you would expect, Outside magazine was at the show, and have posted their picks for the best products that they saw there. Amongst the items making the cut were a slick new solar lighting system from BioLite and the new waterproof duffle bag from Yeti. The Gear Junkie also weighed in with its favorite new products as well, including a tiny, lightweight, yet powerful headlamp from Petzl and an eco-friendly jacket from Jack Wolfskin. Men's Journal also shared their selection for the most impressive items, spotlighting new climbing shoes from Black Diamond as well as an ultralight backpack from Osprey. Finally, my friends at Gear Institute also posted our picks for the best new gear, handing out awards to Tecnica for a custom made hiking boot and Mountain Hardwear for its new Ghost Whisperer sleeping bag.

When reading these various articles, you'll see a few of the products have made multiple lists, including the aforementioned custom hiking boots and lightweight backpack. That is usually a good sign that a product truly standouts in the crowded field at OR, and is something to watch out for when it arrives in stores. Most of the new gear won't become available until the spring of 2018, but some will start to trickle into retailers before the end of the year.

As for me, it is hard to pick which items I liked best from the show. There was so much to see there and there are a lot of companies making outstanding products for our use in the outdoors these days. Still, I'll be getting my hands on some of these items in the weeks ahead, at which point I'll be sharing my thoughts and reviews. Suffice as to say, it has never been a better time to be an outdoor athlete, hiker, backpacker, climber, and so on. The gear we have now is top notch, and it is only getting better.

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