observations on gear, adventure, and the world

What I missed at OR, but Read about at GearJunkie.com

OR Via GearJunkie

I posted a little bit about some of the cool stuff I saw at OR, but since I was there as an Outreach Director for an SLC non-profit (my day job… read only job), I didn’t get to do all the Gear Geeking out that I wanted to. Fortunately there are professionals for that.

GearJunkiw.com does a nice previewand then a “Best-in-Show” set of posts, which, taken together, offer better access to the cool stuff at the show that even a quite well connected human such as myself could get.

Here are the posts:

  • 2012: The Coming Gearpocalypse – I’m psyched about the improvements in down that are showing up everywhere, especially from Sierra Designs. And the new Merrell Pulse Glove for winter minimalist running. Also, the wool as packable insulation trend is interesting.
  • Gear for 2012: Outdoor Rerailer Trade Show: The Dynafit boots. Evolv’s minimalist approach shoe.
  • ‘Best in Show’ Awards: Latest Greatest Gear for 2012: Petzl has an interesting headlamp, gotta admit I’m skeptical about things that adjust on their own “smart” gear, I’ll have to wait to see some reviews, but the technology is cool and the solution innovative so I’m open minded. Helly Hansen’s coat with sort of no back is interesting as well. Again for me new hi-loft insulations are probably the most important innovation for the real active gear user.
  • ‘Best in Show’ Awards: Part II of Greatest Gear in 2012: Sorry. I don’t care about gizmo-goggles, I want REAL antifog, photochromatic goggles that I can forget are on my face. That’s it. I’d appreciate if the industry would get back to my needs and stop dorking around with POVs GPSs and bongs… I have to admit I’m kinda interested in POC. The new Suunto is AMAZING, but needs about 10 million times the battery… though if you could charge it with a solar panel or something. .  Solomon – my first trail runners were from these guys and they looked just like the Sense… well a little. I fell in love with running in a pair. Then the rest of the shoes I had for the next few years sucked. I’m optimistic about where the Sense is going. OK the winter version of this is interesting! The Gear Caster has a post with more info on them (not a review but a good list of features) I’m calling them the Timberland Z-TICb short for the Timberland Zip Together Insulated Camp Boots. The Z-TICb seems like the foot version of my Patagonia Mitts a warm thing you’ll have when you need it because you won’t leave it behind. There is a lot out there that seems gimmicky to me, and I suppose the line between brilliant innovation and gimmick is quite thin, but the DPS spoon with it’s convex cleated base is just a little bit brilliant! And that’s coming from a Minnesotan who thinks powder is just a little bit overrated.

For example I didn’t even clap eyes on this beautiful bit of boot from Dynafit:

Via GearJunkie.com: 790 g!

Why? I couldn’t get into their booth, because I didn’t have an appointment! Holding superlight boots and giggling is what you won’t get to do vicariously through these posts. Sorry. Also, La Sportiva’s carbon SkiMo boot is silly light. Still can’t get over that.

A less comprehensive, but in many ways more insightful (I’m not complaining! I’m greatful for GearJunkie’s acess!) , trip through OR is from Andrew McLean at StraightChuter.com.

Andrew noticed a few products that I missed/dismissed:

  • Missed – The Peips Vector: A Beacon like the DSP but with some GPS stuff. Interesting but doesn’t seem to have any added rescue value, and since my Suunto and my phone can play the GPS game, I’m not going to be turning in my BCA Tracker any time soon. I just want a beacon that’s good at being a beacon. End.Of.Story… though USB charging isn’t all bad.
  • Missed – Mountain Hardware Chute Packs: Designed by the Chuter himself, I’m definitely interested. My next pack will most likely be a Camp Rapid 260 or a Cilio Gear, but at the very least these will be worth getting a hand on and seeing what wisdom has been designed in!
  • Missed – The Voile Vector: skis with fish scales also caught my attention. I imagine that in a Skimo race there is not a role for these scales, but we’ve all been in one of those positions where you’re wallowing through deep flat terrain linking two parts of a descent and talking yourself in and out of doing a full transition with skins. The fish scales give you a half transition option, saving you time… and brain cells. I’m already a fan.
  • ABS Packs – My goal is to never need one of these. Do I miss out on the gnar? Yes. I’m also a big fan of compatibility so I’m happy to see that ABS is going into a broad spectrum of packs from various manufacturers. This means that they get to more of the sponsored riders and other girls and guys who are really pushing the limits of safety. The ones who REALLY need them, because getting sending that sick line is their lively hood. I’m just training for the cycling season so I can always go back the way I came.

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