We’re on the ground at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2017, scouting the best new gear from the outdoor industry launching in 2018. Ahead of announcing our annual picks for Best in Show, we’re taking a moment each day of the show to share some our favorite items from the floor.
Vasque Saga GTX
The Saga GTX builds upon the successes of Vasque’s best-selling Breeze III GTX, adding a lightweight, breathable, engineered upper and a Vibram MegaGrip sole. For 50+ years, Vasque has been an innovator in the outdoor space; the Saga GTX is evidence that the Minnesota-based company is continuing its push for lighter, faster, stronger boots.
Big Agnes AXL Core Sleeping Pad
The words “ultralight” and “comfortable” rarely, if ever, go together. That’s especially true with sleeping pads. Big Agnes’s ALX sleeping pad, however, marks a much-needed push in the right direction. It’s tiny (packed down, no bigger than a pop can), extremely light, yet as thick as a mid-sized pad.
Gregory Optic 58 Backpack
At a time when many companies are squeezing ultralight technology for all its worth, Gregory has often gone the opposite direction, focusing instead on making meaty, comfortable packs. Now, with the Optic 58, Gregory is finally having a go at the ultralight category. It’s the brand’s lightest backpacking pack ever.
Scarpa Ribelle Tech OD
Before Ueli Steck’s tragic death earlier this year, he worked with Scarpa to create the Ribelle Tech OD, a special mountaineering boot designed specifically for “fast and light” alpinism, Steck’s claim to fame. It’s not a boot you’d wear on an ordinary hiking trail, but the technology — sock-like construction, integrated waterproof gaiter and more — shows the kind of innovation that might eventually trickle down to sea-level footwear.
Filson Neoshell Reliance Rain Jacket
Historically, Filson has focused solely on Americana — heritage products built the old-fashioned way, with non-technical materials and tried-and-true construction methods. Recently, however, the brand has been making more and more technical apparel. The Neoshell Reliance Rain Jacket, due out in spring 2018, perfectly balances Filson’s unmistakable aesthetic with forward-thinking, fully waterproof materials.
Outdoor Retailer Summer 2017 Highlights: Day 2
The best new gear launching in 2018 from Thule, Yeti, Spyderco and more. Read the Story