Part of the charm of Outdoor Retailer is that it feels like a big reunion. The other reason I love this twice-a-year event is that I always discover cool, new outdoor gear companies, and get to meet the people behind them.
Last week I gave you all the inside scoop on the people I’ve been meeting with at OR for years. This week, I share my six best new finds from the Winter OR Show 2016. Stay tuned, as we hope to be selling at least some of these companies in our online store soon.
A cross between a tent and a hammock, Tentsile accommodates multiple people and actually has enough tension in the design to offer a fairly flat sleeping surface. String it up between palm trees or next to a high mountain lake for a one-of-a-kind treehouse. The company got its start in an abandoned church in the United Kingdom, and just recently moved its headquarters across the ocean to the Utah.
Sunglasses have a way of getting crunched, cracked and lost. It’s almost as if it’s in their DNA. A new breed of sunglasses is changing that. Popticals are high-quality, high-performance sunglasses that fold up and store in a pocket-size, hard-shell case. The sunglasses may not win it on fashion, but there’s no arguing with their function.
French press coffee tastes amazing, right? Except when it’s been sitting around for hours, or the grinds seep through, or you get the dredges at the bottom. Espro solved these problems by creating a new filter system. It uses two layers of super fine mesh that actually creates a seal when you press it down. In other words, the coffee stops brewing as soon as you plunge. Espro was originally created as a countertop appliance, but the company’s new vacuum-insulated travel press now makes it possible to use the system on the go and in the backcountry.
St. Bernard’s Barrier Balm and Lip Therapy
Designed for endurance athletes, St. Bernard’s Barrier Balm and Lip Therapy protect your face from the sun and wind, while also hydrating and restoring your skin. The brand new, just-launched-this-month company also offers Salty Caps to help replace electrolytes and Sky Caps to help with elevation sickness.
When a Minnesota mom discovered that her daughter was eating fast food donuts before collegiate cycling races, she knew there had to be a better option. So she began baking and sending her daughter nutritious cookies. One thing led to another and soon Sue Kakuk launched Kakookies. The delicious treats come in flavors like almond cranberry, pecan apricot, and cashew blondie.
Skiing with a pack has its faults. It bounces around, chafes hips and can be unnecessarily bulky. SubQ decided a vest would be a much better solution – especially if it integrated seamlessly with your ski jacket and included an ABS avalanche air bag. The result is a lightweight, compact way to hit the backcountry and sidecountry, without sacrificing the safety of a probe, shovel, skins and air bag.