We’re on the ground at Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show Winter Market 2018, scouting the best new gear from the outdoor industry launching in 2018. Ahead of announcing our annual picks for Editor’s Choice, we’re taking a moment each day of the show to share some of our favorite items from the floor.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Pant
There’s a reason why Mountain Hardwear keeps expanding its Ghost Whisperer line: it rocks. This time, the California-based outdoor brand will expand its super-light down insulation into a pair of pants that weight just eight ounces. But while Mountain Hardwear designed the Ghost Whisperer Pant to be used in alpine undertakings, there’s no reason not to wear a pair of hydrophobic down-filled ripstop pants around the house on a regular basis (or even to the bar). Look for these in Fall 2018.
Hydro Flask 15-Liter Soft Cooler Pack and 18-Liter Soft Cooler Tote
For 2018, Hydro Flask has expanded their soft cooler lineup to include two new sizes — a 15L Soft Cooler Pack and an 18L Soft Cooler Tote. The coolers are by far and away the lightest soft coolers on the market and are just as durable as anything else you’d use (within reason). The backpack version features a stuff pocket, a zippered pocket and a zippered dry storage pocket on the lid.
DPS announced its futuristic ski base treatment months ago, but the Phantom received its official coming-out at this year’s show. Phantom represents a new realm for DPS, which is known for making hard-charging banana-esque skis, but it’s also a major innovation for the ski industry as a whole. The main idea behind the new tech? Apply Phantom’s two solutions to the base of your skis (the curing process relies on the sun, so you can do this at home — no shop necessary), and you’ll never have to wax again.
Patagonia Micro Puff Storm Jacket
Patagonia’s Micro Puff was our favorite synthetic jacket of the year, and it’s no surprise that the highly successful PlumaFill insulation would find its way into new apparel for 2018/2019. One of those pieces is an equally lightweight and highly weatherproof jacket called the Micro Puff Storm. Essentially, it’s a Micro Puff with a waterproof outer shell (Patagonia’s lightest waterproof shell), so it’s still packable, but will fend off the rain and cold that much better.
Vasque Saga LTR
Expanding on its popular and durable Saga hiking boot line, Vasque is launching a leather version in 2018 that draws inspiration from the brand’s long history in the outdoors. The boot features the same great midsole, Gore-Tex liner and Vibram MegaGrip outsole with the added durability and style of a leather upper.