We’re on the ground at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018, scouting the best new gear from the outdoor industry launching in 2018 and 2019. 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.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Dyneema
The Fly Creek UL 1 Dyneema is the lightest, semi-freestanding tent that Big Agnes has ever made. It weighs in at only one pound thanks to the use of ultralight Dyneema, a material that has an incredible strength to weight ratio that’s used mostly by innovative garage outdoor brands. We’ve praised the use of Dyneema extensively in the past, and it’s exciting to see a bigger brand like Big Agnes put Dyneema to good use.
Tecnica Plasma Hiking Shoe
A year ago, Tecnica, one of the most well-known ski boot companies in the world, announced that it would begin to make hiking boots. In the months since then, its first boot (a fully-customizable model called Forge) has been a huge success. We’ve done some walking in it, and even gave it our Editor’s Choice Award for best hiking boot. This year, Tecnica is expanding the line with a low-cut hiking shoe called Plasma. It features the same hallmark that makes Forge awesome: heat-molded customization. That means a perfect fit and no break-in period. Plasma will be available with Gore-Tex for $180 and without it for $150 in spring of 2019.
Skechers Go Run Razor 3 Hyper
Skechers Performance will launch the newest Go Run Razor 3 Hyper just in time for the New York City marathon this fall. The Hyper Burst foam is shaping up to be quite the game changer in the running space thanks to its lightweight yet durable attributes. The Go Run Razor 3 Hyper weighs just 6.4 ounces (much less than the 8.4 ounces of the Nike Pegasus Turbo) and has a pretty plush, cushioned rocker underfoot. The shoe will launch first in a black and volt colorway this fall for the marathon, followed by a variety of colors next spring.
BioLite is known for tackling and solving tough issues around energy in the backcountry. You need fire and light to prep and eat, and Biolite creates some of the toughest, most durable energy sources around. Lanterns are helpful for backyard, car and backcountry camping, but are sometimes an unnecessary weight. Light, however, is always needed, which is why Biolite launched a new Headlamp. At just 2.3 ounces for 320 lumens, the headlamp is ultra-lightweight and bright. We tried it on, and can vouch that it feels comfortable and doesn’t swing all over your head when you nod or rapidly shake your head. The battery pack redistributes the weight from the front to the back, touching the nape of your neck, and the actual light itself twists up or down with just one hand movement. The headlamp launches spring of 2019.
Hoka One One Evo Rehi and Speedgoat 3 Waterproof
A brand new shoe for Hoka, the Evo Rehi is fast, light and designed for race day. The Rehi combines the same cushioning Hoka is known and loved for with an extremely light, almost weightless upper made from MATRYX. The upper absorbs zero water, so you can fly through puddles and streams with ease, all while forgetting you’re wearing a shoe.
The Speedgoat 2 launched with rave reviews from the trail running community thanks to its plush cushioning and intense Vibram Megagrip whether you’re heading out for a long day on the trails or recovering. Hoka announced its third generation of the shoe, the Speedgoat 3 Waterproof at Outdoor Retailer this year. One complaint with version two was the narrow toe box, which has opened up, plus runners will find a slightly wider midsole as well. The cushioning is the same, with the addition of a waterproof bootie and tongue. There’s also more support on the upper so you can tackle all the technical trails your heart wants.
Peak Design Travel Pack + Organizers
Peak Design started in 2011 with a single camera accessory. Now it makes straps, backpacks, totes and more — many of which have set funding records on Kickstarter. Its latest product is a 45-liter bag called the Travel Backpack. As with every Peak Design product, versatility and customizability are at the heart of pack. It has access points on the back, sides and top, and handles for carrying on every side. Its shoulder straps and hipbelt tuck away. Smaller highlights include theft-deterrent zippers, a concealed passport stash pocket, a soft sunglasses pocket and a compression snap system that brings the bag down to 35 liters when its full capacity isn’t needed.
To complement the Travel Backpack, Peak Design is releasing a tech organizer, a dopp kit and a series of packing cubes that’ll all work separately or together with the brand’s other products. All of Peak Design’s new products are available for pre-order now on Kickstarter and are slated to arrive to customers before the holiday season.
The North Face One Bag
It’d be easy for a four-season camper to own three or more sleeping bags. The North Face knows this, so it made the One Bag — a sleep system comprised of multiple layers that offers a usable temperature range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit down to five. The top and bottom layers of the One Bag are Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation, but the middle is 20-degree rated 800-fill down. Use all three for the most warmth, take out the down layer for the least (or use the down layer as a quilt). You’d think that more sleeping bag would mean more money, but the One Bag costs $289 and will be available at The North Face stores next month.
Patagonia x Danner Foot Tractor
The Foot Tractor wading boot (which is a name that Patagonia has used on previous wading boots), looks a lot like a hiking boot. But instead of hiking, the boot is optimized for fly fishing and, as its name implies, wading up and down the slippery beds of a river.
The upper shares many aesthetic and material similarities with Danner’s Light II, a blend of beautifully tanned leather and tough 1000-Denier nylon. The boot, like many of Danner’s other boots, uses a stitch-down construction that allows it to be re-soled and reconstructed over years of use.
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points on the boot is that they are constructed in Danner’s factory in Portland, Oregon. But that type of high-quality US production comes with a price. The Foot Tractor will sell for between $499 and $549 depending on whether or not you kit them out with aluminum gripping bars on the sole. That’s not cheap for a pair of wading boots, but when you consider that they can be re-soled for as long as the upper will last, it’s a small price to pay. For comparison, the most expensive wading boots from Redington, Simms and Orvis will run you $150, $230 and $198 respectively.
The Foot Tractor is slated to be available for purchase in February 2019.