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3 Quick Cool Things We've Already Seen at Outdoor Retailer

An awesome running vest, a rave-ready lantern and a game-changing phone mount.

outdoor retailer 2021
Steve Mazzucchi
2021 outdoor retailer badging

As you may know, the Outdoor Retailer trade show is kinda the outdoor industry's Mecca — a twice-annual gathering at Denver's Colorado Convention Center for brands, distributors, media members and other recreational gear aficionados to gather and ogle all the cool new products on the horizon.

As you might guess, the pandemic has put the event on hiatus for quite a long time. The last edition was way back in late January/early February of 2020, right before the world shut down.

But lo and behold, OR is finally back this week, and while the show officially begins today, we've already gotten hands on with a few pretty new products thanks to an unofficial night-before happy hour. Here are three widely different items that jumped out. (Please forgive the on-the-fly iPhone photography and video and general geeking out.)

Peak Design Out-Front Bike Mount

We covered Peak Design's sweeping new approach to phone cases and mounts when the project launched on Kickstarter last fall. After raising more than $2 million, Peak Design has brought it to life, with a bunch of new products available for pre-order. We are impressed with the multifunctional foldout tripod, but even more stoked about how the case interacts with the bike mount. It locks in with magnets and clips and is super secure — we even gave the bars a vigorous shake (not shown) — yet can be detached using one hand via a clever button-release system. You can also easily rotate the mount to use as your phone as a handlebar cam or turn the flashlight into a bike light.

Price: $69.95


BioLite AlpenGlow Lanterns

These borderline organic new lanterns from BioLite are as practical as they are fun. Shake them for a magic 8-ball-like effect, generating mesmerizing ChromaReal LED hues at random — or press the button on top to toggle through options including a candlelight flicker effect and a multi-colored aurora borealis-like light show. The lanterns have an IPX4 rating to shine on through rain and splashing, and the long-lasting rechargeable battery can also give life to your devices.

Price: $59.95+


Nathan Pinnacle Hydration Race Vest

nathan vest front
Steve Mazzucchi
nathan vest back
Steve Mazzucchi

This lightweight, breathable vest is absolutely loaded with pockets. Two water-resistant pockets on the chest protect your phone and other devices. There's also a pill pocket on the front and side pockets for accessing layers, and snacks. There are two kangaroo pockets: one side-entry easy access slot and a vertical sleeve for stashing larger items. And of course there are two pockets for 20-ounce soft flasks so you never go thirsty. Total pocket count: 12.

Price: $175


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