With close to one-thousand exhibits in total, there was indeed a lot to see at the 2019 Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show 2019. Luckily, I’ve got your guide to the coolest pieces of gear below!
Welcome to the second part of the series!
From camping gear to skiing and snowboarding equipment, footwear, outerwear and so on, this year’s show just about had it all.
As expected, the most prominent brands could be found on the floor; though, a few of my personal favorites won’t be making an appearance until the next show comes around. Regardless, I still managed to come across plenty of innovation across the Denver, Colorado convention center floor.
Below, you’ll find some of the best highlights from the show.
Vuarnet: Over at the Vuarnet booth, I found a handful of stunningly well-designed and exceptionally fashionable men’s sunglasses. Best of all, they featured a mineral glass construction. Alongside their shades, Vuarnet also launched their latest ski and snowboard goggles featuring Zeiss lenses. They are expected to be released sometime in spring.
Case: At the Case booth, I took a peek at their assisted opening knife, with a feature called the “kickstart.” I also had a chance to check out their traditional Trapper model, which is one of their bestselling patterns. The Barlow knife is making an appearance once again after being locked away in the vault. Case plans to offer it for a limited period of one year. One pattern I found incredibly unique was the white carbon-fiber variation. You have to see in person to truly appreciate it.
Alongside the above, I discovered that Case had partnered with Southern Grind and was offering a handful of beautiful, premium knives in addition to their main collections.
Teva: Notable mentions include their Ember Moc, Highside 84 with a retro-style, and the updated Arrowood boot with a waterproof, mixed material upper.
Vibram: When it comes to Vibram, you can find their name on the bottom of just about most high-end boots and shoes out there. From Danner to Wolverine and beyond, Vibram’s innovations have caught on like wildfire. At Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2019, Vibram proudly displayed their latest concept, called the “side-protect.” The concept will be offered in 200-300 pairs, exclusively at their Milan and Boston stores.
The wrap-and-go concept eliminates the need for an adhesive process and pushes the idea of sustainability forward. All that’s needed is merely heat and pressure to complete the process. Now, while the side-protect sole does look jagged, it can be trimmed off easily for a traditionally smooth look.
Speaking of sustainability, Vibram has also rolled out their new 100% recycled upper and 40% recycle midsole foam. The eco-friendly footwear collection is made from outsole post-production scraps in their Massachusetts factory.
SPY: SPY’s ACE EC ski/snowboard goggles incorporated electronic tinting functionality. With just a simple press of an exterior button, you could adjust the level of tint on the lens. The battery capacity is around 500 or so changes per single charge, while charging is easy thanks to the included USB port.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, SPY released their latest BRAVO goggles at a $220 price point. While the show floor models feature a sparkling gold trim, the final production models won’t have this detail. For a premium goggle, these are a winner in my book.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, SPY’s Crusher Elite is incredibly well-priced at just $50. There’s a junior option too at $30. For all the features you get, the value in return is absolutely tremendous.
K2: K2’s Mindbender collection is unlike other skis you’ll find out there thanks to the unique length and same waist width. You’ll find six distinctive variations for men and another 6 for women. Most notably, you’ll see a high-level of focus placed on the edge response, and a tapered rear design. Inside, a titanium y-beams can be found.
Shot Show 2019 Part One
Hydrapack: Over at the Hydrapack booth, plenty of their latest STOW 500ml water bottles could be found on the display wall. Unlike the popular hard plastic Nalgene bottles, Hydrapack has taken a different approach by making their bottles foldable, flexible, and as lightweight as possible. Are they as robust as the hard plastic versions? Time will tell.
Icebug: When I first saw the giant ice walkway at Icebug’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show booth, I became curious enough to stop on by. After picking up a pair of their latest men’s winter boots in my hands, I noticed something unique: Carbide tipped spikes integrated in the bottom of the outsole. I’ve seen this done on Salomon boots in the past, but it’s still rare to find the technology being used elsewhere.
After talking with Icebug, I came to really like how they designed these boots to operate. Even though winter may bring about icy-conditions, let’s face it, there’s going to be times where you’re merely walking over hard, dry pavement. To prevent the carbide tips from grinding across ice-free surfaces, Icebug added rubber nubs to improve traction in virtually all conditions. I can’t wait to try on my first pair!
NITE IZE: I’ve seen a lot of waterproof bags in my day, and well, most of them just don’t work; instead, they leak, tear, etc. Just about the only dry bags, I’ve found that actually stay dry are ones by Watershed. When I came across Nite Ize’s latest waterproof dry bags, instantly I knew I had found another winner.
These things are super sturdy and feature a zipper that’s incredibly unique. Best of all, the zipper locks itself at the end thanks to some brilliant engineering. While at the booth I asked one of the Nite Ize team members to fill one of their latest bags up with air them step on it. With over 200 pounds of pressure on it, the bag didn’t bust or leak! Now, that’s rugged.
Lastly, I also wanted to mention that their new waterproof bags are also compressible. IF you’re looking for a piece of gear that can keep your cargo dry and compacted, Nite Ize is the answer!
Rumpl: If you’ve seen my Rumpl blanket reviews in the past you’ll know that I personally really like them. At the show I found Rumpl rolling out their new series of blankets called the “Nanoloft.” Curious, I picked one up and well, it weighed next to nothing but still had all of that warm insulation that I came to love in the past blankets.
Snow Peak: If you love crème Brulee so much that you want to make it while camping, well, Snow Peak has a tool for that. Paired with their Giga Power fuel canister, Snow Peak’s portable torch can be used for cooking among many other things.
Inside the booth I found a massive tent set up, featuring double beds, a covered living space equipped with a full camp kitchen, and much more. In terms of tents, this is easily one of the nicest not to mention, also one of the coolest setups I’ve seen in a long time.