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Volume 46 / Issue 8

August 2013 Publisher & Editor In Chief James Hartford 303.997.7302

LIFETRNR Senior Business Editor Thomas J. Ryan Contributing Editors Aaron H. Bible Fernando J. Delgado Charlie Lunan Matt Powell Editorial & Creative Director Teresa Hartford Senior Graphic Designer Camila Amortegui Circulation & Subscriptions 704.987.3450 (x7106)

VP Business Development / East Barry Gauthier 774.553.5312

Chief Information Officer Mark Fine 561.615.0240 (x224)

VP Business Development / West Barry Schrimsher 503.784.6267

Advertising Sales Account Managers

VP New Business Development Dave Hoskinson 303.997.7302

Buz Keenan 201.887.5112 Katie O'Donohue 828.244.3043

VP Market and Consumer Insights Neil Schwartz 561.692.6722 Director Business Operations Jennifer Soulé 303.997.7302



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SGB, Copyright 2013 is a trademark of SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the authors and contributors to SGB are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. SGB is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in SGB many not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. SGB, Volume 46, Issue 8, (USPS 457-390; ISSN 1548-7407) is published monthly plus a special December Issue by SportsOneSource, LLC., 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450. Subscription rates: one year $79 (U.S. funds) in the U.S. and its possessions; Canada and Mexico $119 (U.S. funds); all other foreign delivery $199 (U.S. funds). Printed in the U.S.A. Periodical postage paid at Charlotte, NC and additional mailing offices. Postmaster send address changes to SGB, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450.

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RETAILER PROFILE Kittery Trading Post Hits 75


VENDOR PROFILE Colorado Yurt Company Meet the founders of the country's largest supplier of soft-sided dwelling structures


SGB PROFILE Chris Goddard, President, CGPR Public Relations


GIVING BACK Adventure 16's Donate-A-Pack Foundation

78 Calendar 79 Marketplace 80 I Am…SGB - Sally MCCoy, president & CEO, CambelBak


4 AUGUST 2013


Outdoor Footwear Gains More Support Outdoor Footwear benefits from running trends and technology…better construction, better fit through design, material improvements and more support


A Step Ahead - Spring 2014 Socks A preview of the latest outdoor, running and athletic socks


Gear Of The Year A look at the most significant product developments for the upcoming fall selling season


Camping Segment Still Growing The camping and backpacking markets continue to grow despite a slow start this spring


Backpacking and Travel Apparel Fashion-forward with an eye toward multi-use


Back To Packs A continually growing category with more functional, lighter weight and better-fitting product


Lifestyle Packs The bag you choose truly makes all the difference. A review of products designed to outfit the journey off the trail.




Kittery Trading Post's main entrance was completed in 2006 after a three year expansion project. “We added 50,000 square feet and rehabbed 30,000 and never lost a square foot of selling space or closed a department,” said Bobby Adams, who is in charge of facilities. “As we completed an area we would move that department over.”

Kittery Trading Post Hits 75 By Charles Lunan

If you were an outdoorsman near Southern Maine in the 1940s and did not have a lot of money to spend on your next gun, Philip “Bing” Adams was the man to see. An avid hunter and fisherman, Adams had acquired a one-room shack and gas station in 1938 called Kittery Trading Post and he was known for taking trade-ins and even an occasional deerskin or fur pelt to close a sale. Dick Pinney remembers meeting him in 1943, when at the age of 15 a family friend and poker buddy

6 AUGUST 2013

of Adams took him to the store to trade in his 20-gauge shotgun for a 12-gauge. “I did not have enough money to consummate the trade, but he said that’s okay; it’s enough,” recalls Pinney, who went on to become a prominent outdoor writer and publicist for Kittery Trading Post. “Then he asked if I had ammo and I did not and he gave me some. And then has asked me if I had a gun case and I did not and he gave me a gun case. I walked out of there with gun, ammo and gun case and I’ve been a customer ever since.” As Kittery Trading Post celebrates its 75th year of doing business, it’s hard not to be struck by how much it has changed and how much it’s stayed the same. With 120,000 square feet of retail, warehouse and administrative space - and

542 parking spaces - Kittery Trading Post now spans 12 acres. To hunters and gun enthusiasts it’s known as having the largest selection of new and used guns in New England. To fisherman, it’s known for its extensive selection of fresh and saltwater tackle. To locals, it’s known simply as “The Post,” a great place to buy work wear and a must see attraction for out-of-town visitors. To millions of tourists, a trip to Kittery Trading Post has become a cherished part of their annual summer vacation. To vendors, it’s considered a

Kittery Trading Post is one of New England's largest paddlesports dealers. The company keeps about 700 boats in stock on site and holds the regions largest consumer show every spring at the University of New Hampshire. When David Labbe, VP finance (center), joined the comapny in 1987, he remembers the company kept about 200 canoes and 10 kayaks in stock. Today it carries about 600 kayaks, 100 SUPs and canoes. Pictured left is Fox Keim, VP and at right Robert Adams, facilities director / Co-Owner.

key national account with unrivaled sales per square feet, which are again approaching the pivotal $1,000 mark. Location, Location, Location Customers, vendors and employees attribute Kittery Trading Post’s longevity to its broad selection of national brands, its commitment to the core categories of hunting, fishing and shooting sports and the knowledge and longevity of its staff. At a weekly managers meeting in late July, 11 of 19 managers in attendance said they had worked for the company for 20 years or more. Another five had worked there more than 15 years. But top executives are quick to point out that the store’s success has hinged in large part on its location at the southern gateway to Maine, where 80 percent of tourists arrive by car. “Maine is like a funnel,” said Chris Lathrop, an independent rep who has been calling on Kittery Trading Post for decades. “Ninety percent of the traffic coming into the state has to drive right by it and anyone going to Maine on a regular basis knows they’re there and that it’s very easy to get off the highway and get back on. They just have that captured audience.” About 3.5 million people patronized the 120 outlet stores that have sprouted up around Kittery Trading Post since the 1980s, estimates a local merchants’ association. A third came from Canada. At Kittery Trading

With more than 5,000 guns in stock, Kittery Trading Post is New England's largest gun dealer and one of the very few that does not keep most its inventory locked away behind glass cases or chained to a wall. Handguns and tactical firearms still remain under the glass or behind the counter.

Post, credit card records indicate 60 percent of sales come from customers who shop there just once a year, according to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Labbe. The traffic yields many benefits. Kittery Trading Post spends less than 1 percent of its revenues on traditional advertising, well below the industry standard of 5 percent. It has also enabled three generations of the Adams family to build a $50 million a year company

without having to spend half their lives on the road managing multiple stores. “Let’s face it,” said Fox Keim, a Maine native and former Cabela’s executive who has run sales and marketing at the company since 2006. “We can say we are great merchandisers and great marketers but at the end of the day it’s location.”



When Philip "Bing" Adams bought Kittery Trading Post in 1938, it consisted of a one room shack and gas station. To get the business going, he would take just about anything in trade from outdoor sportsmen, including deer hides and fur pelts. Today, the company still has a thriving gun trade and is known to take the occassional stuffed moose, bear or deer head to close a sale.

There is some false modesty there. Kittery is just three miles away from New Hampshire, which charges no sales tax. Had the Adamses not done such a good job serving their customers, developers might have built their outlet mall a few exits down I-95. Instead, they opted to use Kittery Trading Post as anchor.

Kevin O. Adams, who acquired the business in 1961, is shown shaking hands with company founder Philip "Bing" Adams in the late 1970s, when Kittery Trading Post was routinely booking the highest sales per square foot of any sporting goods retailer. By the time Kevin O. Adams sold control of the business to his brother Gary in 1986, sales had reached $17 million a year.

8 AUGUST 2013

Do It Big The Adamses have also shown a commitment to growth that has led to 17 major expansions, about one every four years. When Bing Adams’ son Kevin Adams bought the business in 1961 at age 21, it was located in a two-story, 5,200-square-foot building. The family ran the store out of the first floor and lived on the second. When Kevin announced he was going to add 11,000 square feet of retail space and 4,700 square feet of warehouse in 1972, Bing Adams told him he was crazy, recalls Bobby Adams, the son of Kevin Adams’ brother Gary. “It’s too big,” Bobby Adams recalls his grandfather saying. “When Kevin added another 18,000 square feet in 1976, grandfather said the same thing. When my father added 21,000 square feet in 1989, I can remember Kevin telling him he was crazy. We used to have an unofficial saying around here that if you are going to do it, do it big. And that’s what we did.” By the time Gary Adams bought the business from his brother in 1986, Kittery Trading Post was widely recognized as having the highest sales per square foot in the sporting goods industry. So Gary Adams and Labbe set a simple rule. Every time sales hit $1,000 per square foot, they would expand with the expectation that sales would return to that level within five years. This simple rule drives much of the merchandising at Kittery Trading Post, and turned the Adamses into expert renovators. To minimize the impact of its last and largest expansion on sales, the company divided the project into three phases over three years. In the first phase, Kittery moved its footwear department into adjoining space, moved its footwear warehouse into a tent on the parking lot and relocated administrative offices to a nearby building. In the second phase, the store built a tunnel so customers could continue to


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In the final phase of its last expansion, which took place from 2003 to 2006, Kittery Trading Post expanded the showroom off its main entrance on the north side of the building. To continue operating througout construction, it built around and over the showroom and then removed the roof. Here is the current view from the new second story down to the expanded first floor off the north entrance

use the north entrance while they built around and over an existing one-floor showroom. When that addition was completed, contractors simply punched through the old roof to the second story. “We added 50,000 square feet and rehabbed 30,000 and never lost a square foot of selling space or closed a department,” said Bobby Adams, who is in charge of facilities. “As we completed an area we would move that department over.” The project allowed the company to dramatically increase its exposure along U.S. 1 with a façade and display windows more befitting of a destination store that draws repeat customers from as far away as Pennsylvania and Canada. The Recession Unfortunately, the new store opened in 2006 as the economy was hurtling toward its worst recession since World War II. In 2007, Labbe began getting phone calls questioning whether the company was going to have enough cash on hand to pay its bills. The president of a family-owned company that was scheduled to ship $30,000 in augers used by ice fishermen called to confirm that Kittery Trading Post could pay for the order. “We never got this type of call before 2007,” said Labbe, who described conditions from 2007 to 2009 as the most challenging he has faced in his 27 years with the company. “But no one ever withheld shipment to us during the recession or put us on COD.” The Fudge Factor Kittery Trading Post has yet to hit its next $1,000-per-square-foot threshold, but sales surpassed 2007 levels for the first time in 2012, reaching $730 per square foot thanks to a spike in firearms sales, a recovery in tourism and some

10 AUGUST 2013

good old Yankee merchandizing. In 2010, for instance, the company installed a 10x4-foot counter at the center of its first floor and began making and selling fudge. It was such a success that the store began buying candy in bulk and repackaging it into $4, 12-ounce bags this summer. As of July, sales were exceeding expectations. “We used to call it moving on a dime at Cabela’s, but here we can really move on a dime,” said Keim, who’s been working closely with Labbe since 2006 to reduce overhead costs and enhance margins. “With the big boxes, every store is planogrammed identically. I feel that kills the entrepreneurial spirit that empowers employees to find solutions and implement them.” The improvements have enabled Kitter to reduce peak employment by nearly 12 percent since 2008 and full-time employees have recovered much of the pay they forfeited from 2008 to 2009, and learned to run a much leaner operation. “I used to have 475 employees from July through December,” said Labbe. “Now we are 320 at peak. It used to be that when we had a line at a register the whole company would freak out and now we see a line at the register and we say great, we are not overstaffed.” 2013 sales are on pace to reach $800 per square foot, or more than $50 million. “It’s taken us a little longer to grow into the latest expansion because of the recession, but we’re getting close now,” said Labbe. ■



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litany of other pop culture clients, not to mention many of the major alpine and Nordic ski resorts in the U.S. as clients.

The Supply Side

So how did this true-to-life mom and pop operation rise to such

Colorado Yurt Company

notoriety? SGB tracked them down at

their Montrose home base (they gave up tipi dwelling after about 20 years) for a quick Q and A.

Meet the founders of the country’s largest supplier of soft-sided dwelling structures

What year did you sell your first

By Aaron H. Bible Goblin Valley State Park Photos courtesy Colorado Yurt Company

When the Colorado Yurt Company got a phone call asking to design, build and deliver over 200 canvas tents and 100 tipis in less than two months to the Coachella music festival in Indio, CA, for a veritable city of premium camping, owners Dan and Emma Kigar couldn't say no. Since 1976, the Colorado Yurt Company, the nation's largest supplier of soft-sided dwellings, has been making and selling high-quality yurts, tipis and canvas wall tents to ski resorts, private landowners, celebrities, outfitters and campgrounds. With products ranging from 30-foot diameter yurts to custom-sized platform tents, the Colorado Yurt Company proudly makes all of its structures in Montrose, CO. The shelters can be outfitted for nearly any use, from yoga studios and personal offices, to second homes and infinite resort applications. All of their yurts are engineered and designed to meet the structural requirements of

12 AUGUST 2013

Dan and Emma Kigar, founders and owners, Colorado Yurt Company

the International Building Code - which means you can live in them year-round in any environment on earth. They pride themselves on providing real solutions for people looking for both an alternative dwelling structure and commercial applications to get people out of the elements and into a communal environment. Coachella charged $6,500 to stay in one of the Colorado Yurt Company’s safari tents for two at this year's festival. Accommodations included two festival passes for all four nights, plus one or two queen beds, linens, tables, flooring, electrical outlets and air conditioning inside the canvas walls. Beyond Coachella, the Kigar’s can list How It’s Made, HGTV’s Design Star, SXSW, Ralph Lauren, Oprah and a

product? The first product in 1977 was a tipi in a selection of sizes. We had a hand-printed black- and-white brochure; we took out classified ads in The Mother Earth News, East West Journal and a few others. Stewart Brand published the first Whole Earth Catalogue and the original Shelter Book came out…it was the “back to the land movement” of the 1970s. We also ran Summit Recycling at the time and the two companies - Summit Recycling and Earthworks Tipis - shared a phone but we didn’t need a phone because it was a true mail-order business. We used to get 30 to 40 mailedin requests a week for our brochure (with a dollar in the envelope). We’d send out the brochure and price list and order form. Customers would mail in the order form with a deposit check and we’d make their order and send it out COD. What has your growth curve been like? We’ve gone from $35,000 to $3.5 million –modest, steady growth while bubbles inflated and burst. We had minor dips at 9/11 and the great recession. We were back on track with a steady growth pattern by 2010. How did revenue last year compare

Previous to 2012, our best year was 2008. 2012 surpassed 2008 by 6 to 8 percent. to other recent years?

Photos courtesy of Colorado Yurt Company

How did the Coachella order differ from your typical

Our first order from Coachella was for 200 tents and 100 tipis. We quoted the job in the fall of 2011, but we hadn’t heard from them. In late January, a day after they opened ticket sales for the 2012 festival, they called and placed the order for delivery by the first of March; and, we had a pretty full production schedule already. We had just hired our proteam production manager Doug Severson and he stepped up, put his considerable experience (from Chaco Sandals, among other places) to the task, and, along with our talented crew, got it done. customer?

How did that Coachella order change your operations or what special considerations did it create?

Tipi in winter

The Coachella job forced us to streamline our operations overall, but in an interesting way. It taught us to take production one efficient step at a time without unnecessarily stressing our capacity and staff.

Luxurious bath inside Colorado Yurt tent

What’s the biggest area of growth? Yurts are by far the biggest growth area, but there’s also great interest in our safari tents. We ship all over the world these days. A couple years ago we received an export achievement award from the Department of Commerce. We have yurts in Asia, all over Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Caribbean, Belize. The Province of Manitoba has about 60 yurts. We have a container on its way to Hawaii next week. What keeps you inspired after all these years? Challenging

jobs successfully completed. We’ve worked with some firstclass architects and designers on custom jobs -structures for celebrity weddings, gourmet restaurants, and four star resorts where we did a lot of the designing in demanding situations. Also, reasonably happy employees who have some decent perks and a chance to get ahead.

a friend’s cabin leafing through the Shelter Book or Handmade Houses or Benson’s Timber Framing. We’d sketch designs and then build them. Dan knew design and carpentry and I (Emma) had some skill as a seamstress. That first tipi was such great fun to build. We borrowed a sewing machine and set up a sewing loft in a hay barn to build the tipi cover. We’re still daydreaming about new structures and sketching and building them. Where do you see the

What's the strangest or most challenging tipi or yurt

A 36-foot tipi with 45-foot poles for wine tastings in Mendocino County, CA. We pitched a 24-foot yurt at a little ski area near Gore Pass on a 17 degree day. We had to schlep the whole thing (including the deck) about 300 yards down a powder covered tree-shot, but we got it done in a day’s time.

you've set up?

What made you decide to make yurts as well as tipis?

Think 1977 overall-wearing hippies, living in the mountains, skiing their brains out in the backcountry. We used to spend evenings sitting around the stove in our tipi or

We’ll just keep growing steadily like we have been. We’re currently located in our seventh facility - about 15,000 square feet on half a city block - and we’re starting to feel the limits. We’ve got an incipient game plan for the next step to relieve that pressure. company heading?

What impact has the Colorado Yurt Company had on the local economy?

We have about 30 employees now and we put out a substantive payroll every two weeks. We’re interested in the quality of life of the good people who come to work at our place everyday. That’s a major area where we want to constantly improve. The quality of our products, our professionalism, our steady growth and our overall success - a lot of that comes from taking care of the people who do the work. ■




Chris Goddard

President I CGPR Public Relations In 2013, CGPR celebrates its 20th anniversary. Becoming one of the key insiders spreading brand messages over the years, its founder, Chris Goddard, has had a front row seat watching the outdoor industry evolve from a cottage industry to a niche giant. Here, SGB chats with Goddard about her early days in the industry and some lessons she’s picked up over the years.

What was the outdoor specialty industry like in 1993?

Incredibly passionate, committed, and young at heart. Entrepreneurs were starting companies in their garages, and there was no stopping them because they believed come hell or high water that their products, whether gear or apparel, were key to getting more people outdoors. Things were simpler; fewer distractions. How do you think it’s evolved for good or perhaps

It’s more sophisticated, both with regard to connecting with consumers and with regard to technology. With more communication tools, brands have been successful in getting more people outdoors. Better insulations, waterproof breathable evolutions, lighter, faster, etc., all enables consumers to be more comfortable outdoors. We still don't have enough diversity but I know many brands are looking at this closely. I would say that Wall Street has also had somewhat of a negative impact. While there has been more available money for investment, CEOs and CFOs have to spend more time worrying about their stock prices and what the board of directors want.


and significant point of difference. Perhaps this seems obvious, but this industry is completely cluttered with wannabes. The marketplace is incredibly appealing to brands because it is, for the most part, resilient. We’ve had our share of tough times because of weather and the economy, but no matter how bad things get, consumers still want to spend time outdoors and feel good about themselves - so it is attractive not only to brands, but also to private equity firms that are circling.

What else helps? Aside from a clear point of difference, an authentic heritage is critical and a commitment to the industry for the long haul. This is not a oneand-done option. Outdoor brands not only need to be committed, they also How does an outdoor brand break through the need to support, in some form or fashion, the recreation playgrounds where clutter? Most of all, an outdoor brand must have a clear their consumers play.

14 AUGUST 2013

Is it tougher for a new brand to break into the channel? Entering this world is dramatically more difficult. It requires a lot more money - in fact, a ton more money. It is more competitive and brands have to put significantly more effort into reaching consumers because there are so many more distractions. New brands also have to have focus, a clear growth path, be methodical and have patience. But most of all, they have to realize that this is a big investment. How has your job changed? In the early days, there was a sense you could leave the office at six and really leave the office, but this is impossible today. Yes, you have to be able to turn off, but it is more difficult because the news cycle is 24-7 and the world is far more connected today. Today's PR professional has to be consistently on but must learn how to balance work and personal life. How do you cope? The key is developing a process for soaking in the most rel-

evant information and ignoring the clutter. It is about walking a fine line. It has gotten easier in the sense that there is so much more information available on a more timely basis. In addition, we have a multitude of ways to reach media day or night - the question is knowing the best way to reach media - but always it is about being able to sell your story so that it resonates. Latte, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Huffington Post and the Drudge Report. I am a news junkie from my early days as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

What’s your morning routine?

What drives you? My passion for PR - really that simple.

I love the discipline. It is different every day, which is what makes it fun and insane at the same time.

ROI is definitely still evolving. There are a number of tools to measure social media and some are better than others. It is important for a brand to understand the tone of conversation going on about their products and the frequency of those conversations. Social media is here to stay. Today, it is about having a two-way dialog (or threeway or four-way, etc.) and not pushing stories. There is no question that social media has been at the heart of many great brand launches and has contributed to the bottom line. The key here for companies is to understand how social media fits into their marketing mix and, as a result, their investment.

What do you think of social media’s potential?

You work in several industries. What do you especially

The spirit of people involved and the friends I have made over the years. This industry is a community that has a heart - unlike many of the other categories where we do business. You can't beat that. â–

like about outdoor?

2o years of

sailing 781.639.4924 #cgpr20




Adventure 16's Donate-A-Pack Foundation By Aaron H. Bible


hen John D. Mead, president of Adventure 16, first joined his uncle's chain in 1978 after graduating college, he soon realized that many kids, especially in the inner cities of Southern California, were facing challenges finding their way to the outdoors. “Growing up in a small town in Idaho in the 60's and 70's, I had outdoor opportunities many kids do not,” said Mead. “My father was an avid backpacker, my uncle owned an outdoor company (Adventure 16, which took its name from the 16mm film they used to shoot their early adventure films) and I belonged to an active Boy Scout Troop and lived within biking distance of deep canyon walls and pine-covered hills." He also knew first hand how a positive outdoor experience could have a profound and lasting effect on anyone, especially a child. Over the years, A16 had been approached continuously by organizations seeking gear donations, but Mead recognized that a retailer alone could only do so much. "As both of my sons grew, I would sit in scout meetings and watch the parents wince as I read the list of equipment that Robby, Jr. would need for our next outing,” said Mead. “As much as I wanted to, it simply wasn’t possible that A16 could afford to help with all the requests. Like most outdoor retailers, we did what we could, but the effort was modest and the impact minor." At one of A16's annual Backpacker Swapmeets, it dawned on Mead that thousands of backpacks and other outdoor gear were collecting dust in attics all over Southern California. He also suspected that outdoor enthusiasts, many impassioned to share the outdoor experience, may just be willing to relinquish their used equipment to help local community organizations provide children with quality outdoor experiences. With the help of outdoor colleague and American Hiking Society volunteer David MacDonald, Mead in 1997 recruited a board of directors dedicated to the

16 AUGUST 2013

cause and together they founded Adventure 16's DonateA-Pack Foundation as a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation. "The non-profit designation gave us instant credibility and the tax status needed to allow donors the ability to deduct their gifts," Mead said. "That, along with a 10 percent discount on a new Gregory Mountain Products pack and the satisfaction of giving, was more than enough to motivate people to give." Within a matter of months Donate-A-Pack had donated some $6,000 worth of gear to youth-focused outdoor organizations. Sixteen years later, the Donate-A-Pack foundation has served as the conduit for thousands of pieces of donated gear to well over 100 worthy non-profit organizations throughout Southern California. The program makes it a point to assist organizations that work with at-risk or underprivileged children. Among the recipients:

• Adventure Nature Camp, dedicated to inner-city kids who have never been camping;

• Big City Mountaineers, which offers underserved urban teens a challenging wilderness experience;

• Camp Laurel, which helps children living with HIV •

and AIDS receive an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors; Destiny Education, offering at-risk adolescents an outdoor experience;

• Foundation for the Junior Blind, offering hiking and camping experiences for visually impaired young people;

• Outward Bound Adventures, which provides nature-based education for •

low income and at risk urban youth; and Dozens of Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews; Outdoor Outreach, who's mission is to empower at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming.

"Many of our children arrive to camp without even a coat. Very few have ever had camping gear,” said Elaine Manso, Adventure Nature Camp. “The need for packs, sleeping bags, pads and tents is great." The larger goal is to enhance the ability of young people to enjoy the outdoors, learn outdoor skills and deepen their personal awareness about the environment. Its mission statement reads, “Our ultimate goal is to help young people learn outdoor skills and foster an appreciation for the natural environment, all the while understanding that such exposure helps develop responsible, healthy, confident and enlightened adults who, in turn, will pass on their meaningful experiences and good values to the next generation.” Overseen by Del Owen, executive director, the organization’s website is The most needed items tend to be sleeping bags, pads, tents and backpacks; but cook sets, stoves, water filters and footwear are also accepted. One step involves rallying customers and local communities near A16’s five stores to clean their garages and find unused items to donate (and perhaps benefit from a tax deduction). But the vendor community has also rallied around the

cause. Beyond Gregory, its list of vendor supporters include Coleman, Eagle Creek, Jansport, Black Diamond, Johnson Outdoors, Cascade Designs, Kelty, Clif Bar, Leki, Deuter, Mountain Hardwear, Stansport, Optic Nerve, The North Face and Sierra Designs. "Our gear donations have helped many local organizations expand their reach and grow their programs,” said Mead. “Over the years, A16 customers and a handful of vendors have been extremely generous with their giving and as a result, countless numbers of disadvantaged kids and young adults have been given an opportunity to learn invaluable lessons that are best taught in a wilderness setting.” He added, "I'm proud to say that the gear has helped to enrich the lives of thousands of young people." ■

Outdoor Footwear Gains More Support Outdoor Footwear is benefiting from the same technology and trends as Run… better construction, better fit through design, material improvements, and more support. By Thomas J. Ryan


hile minimalism made a big impact on hiking and trail shoes, the pendulum is swinging back toward trail-minded product that offers true cushioning and a level of protection. “Fairly predictably, the zero-drop, ultra minimal trend is starting to cool off and people seem to be moving back to a little more stability and cushioning,” said Jeff Dill, Keen’s outdoor business unit director. But like other footwear designers, Dill doesn’t expect

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construction to revert back to the way shoes were made 10 years ago. The best aspects of the minimal movement; i.e., lighter weight, lower heel-to-toe drop differentials, and frequently greater proprioception, that created a new wave for outdoor shoes that deliver performance and comfort on the trail or the hike - are expected to continue, albeit in a more supportive package. Said Charles Cole, Five Ten founder and president, “With the minimal trend and dematerialization of shoes to reduce

components and complexity, we see more material innovation that allows designers to create products with less.” “Not wanting to give up how good the ultra-lightweight aspect was or the glove-like fit, brands are using some tricks from the minimal arsenal and combining those with more traditional midsole and traction solutions,” added Dill. “I think it really represents the best of both worlds.” Jon Teipen, Brooks’ footwear product line manager, said interest and demand for lightweight trail product is still a bit stronger than the demand for lightweight product in road running. But the industry is starting to see a shift back toward more protective footwear. “We're seeing a resurgence in demand for cushioning in trail shoes,” said Teipen. “This isn't new or something that wasn't offered in the trail category, but what the runner is buying is shifting. The market is trending back toward shoes with a little more underfoot as runners like comfort and protection.” “We also see a higher degree of athleticism in hiking pursuits,” added Vasque’s Director of Product Development Brian Hall. “We see a consumer that needs something between a trail running shoe and a light hiking boot. Something that is versatile for a variety of terrain, has technical features, and is lightweight.” Yahn Lebo, outdoor product line manager for the Wolverine brand, sees the athletic influences, particularly in color, contributing a spark to the outdoor footwear category. “There are so many different styles, from traditional hiking shoes to athletic outdoor to athletic, and they all have relevance,” said Lebo. “The common denominator among them is color, durability and some measure of performance.” Timberland is bringing in a huge selection of both classic and fresh silhouettes with color combinations consumers haven’t seen from the brand, like on its outsoles. In its boat shoes specifically, Timberland will be showing bright blues, yellows, reds and oranges. Timberland trail shoes and hikers will also feature bright pops of color in hardware and laces. But Gregg Duffy, Timberland’s senior director of outdoor performance, believes the biggest trend in styling within the outdoor market seems to be the "casualization" of the business.



“More and more retailers, consumers and buyers are looking to augment their mix with more casual performance styles,” said Duffy. “This plays well for Timberland since our footwear is designed to be ruggedly styled while delivering on the performance aspect consumers expect - there are no sacrifices. While gear created for a specific activity is still very viable, more consumers are looking for footwear that can transition with them easily. This allows them to get out and perform, yet continue their look and feel with more style and a lot more convenience.” A strong ongoing trend is increasing demand for versatility or multiple-use, whether having a shoe that performs on the trail but is also stylish enough for social occasions as well as shoes that can tackle more than one outdoor activity. “Hybrid shoes like trail running/hiking, approach/ hike or paddle/portage reflect the actual usage and hybrid technologies are popping up that support that trend,” said Dill. “Sticky rubber soles on paddle shoes, and super light backpacking are two great examples.” Also supporting the outdoor footwear market, according to Carey Platto, product director, footwear at The North Face, is 2012 outdoor participation rates reaching a six-year high, skewing young and driven by activities such as trail running and hiking, in which footwear is a major component. Outdoor brands are being adopted by the growing non-traditional training and race communities for their durability and dependability. But Platto said that ongoing evolutionary advancements being made in weight saving, midsole resiliency, upper fit systems and manufacturing techniques are also still supporting strong innovation stories. “In Spring 2014 our Ultra Protection Series incorporates an advanced polymer called Pebax typically found in ski boots, cleats and spike plates,” said Platto. “It is lighter, has a greater energy return rate and is less temperature sensitive that TPU.” Platto also expects technical knitting and engineered meshes will likely become more prevalent in outdoor footwear in the coming seasons. “This said,” Platto added, “what intrigues me most is what's happening with materials’ innovation on a molecular level. For example, materials that are supple in their static state but become rigid and disperse force upon impact are already commercially available in helmets and body armor. Sure, this specific innovation has potential in outdoor footwear. More importantly though is what this innovation represents: the ability to scientifically enhance materials to enhance a user's experience.”

For Spring 2014, The North Face is launching the Ultra Protection Series that runs across hiking, training and trail running categories. North Face’s design team believes the series offers the perfect balance of lightweight performance and protection. “Right now, a lot of consumers are looking for the feel of a minimal shoe with the protection of traditional,” said Platto. “As minimalist footwear pervaded our culture over the past few years, people learned to love the glove like, nimble feel they provided. But, they missed the durability and protection offered by more traditional constructions and materials.” The Men's Ultra Hike GTX, MSRP $160, is a waterproof hiker featuring Cradle Guide technology with a Pebax heel cradle and Snake Plate for protection and support for fast and light travel over challenging terrain. The North Face Men's Ultra Hike GTX

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The North Face Men's Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX

The Men's Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX, MSRP $160, offers lightweight performance and protection in a mid‑cut hiker built for moving light and fast, enThe North Face Men's Ultra Trail gineered with a minimal GTX weight upper, Pebax shank, Gore‑Tex waterproof membrane and Vibram outsole. Offering extreme protection to manage tough trails in a lightweight package, the Men's Ultra Trail GTX, MSRP $140, features Cradle Guide technology, an Ultra airmesh upper, waterproof Gore‑Tex membrane and a trail‑specific Vibram outsole. For Spring 2014, La Sportiva is debuting 10 new technical models, including three machine-washable climbing shoes. The Trango Cube GTX, MSRP $375, is a lightweight boot that acts as a crossover model between mountaineering and backpacking. The style features the La Sportive La Sportiva Trango One, a Vibram outsole with Cube GTX impact brake system lugs on the heel and climbing zone at the toe. It also features PU in the toe and heel, EVA in the central zone and in the heel, and a TPU insert for rear crampon attachment. For mountain running, the Bushido, MSRP $125, is super-lightweight, sticky and aggressive. It's designed to guarantee stability on holds on all types of off-road terrain thanks to STB control construction. The sole features a dual density FriXionXT V-Groove2 with impact brake system. At Scarpa, Mark Mathews, director of sales and summer product development at Scarpa North America, said Scarpa is seeing a couple of trends continuing to drive the outdoor footwear business, including minimal and hybrid footwear. “Minimal has come back to center, from barefoot and zero drop to what we think is the sweet spot at 4 to 8mm drop,” said Mathews. “Hybrid shoes are fueling growth too, with both trail run/approach hybrids and trail/lifestyle hybrids doing well.”

He also sees bright color stories driving business. He added, “Whether for actual technical use or just wanting to identify with that look, it is growing the category right now.” In the trail category, Scarpa is introducing the Ignite, MSRP $125, ideal for people tackling longer-distances on the trail. The trail runner pairs an 18mm heel with a 10 mm forefoot in a flexible and lightweight (10.2 ounces per shoe, size 42) package. The Speed Track outsole uses an aggressive design with 4.5mm-deep lugs for traction and angular lugs on the back for braking, along with an exclusive rubber compound for traction and durability. Also features injected Scarpa Ignite EVA midsoles, a thin high-density EVA trail plate, and air mesh uppers balanced with a webbing exoskeleton for support and responsiveness. In the light hiking/trail space, the Zen Scarpa Zen Pro Pro, MSRP $169, features Scarpa’s new Sock-fit design, which reduces bulk, allowing the shoe to more readily adapt to a user’s foot while improving responsiveness and precision on the trail. The outsole platform features an injected EVA midsole and Vibram Spyder2 outsole with sticky rubber for grip. Suede leather upper is reinforced with a rubber toe rand, and TPU is over-injected in critical wear areas. Combining approach function with Scarpa Mystic Lite GTX urban aesthetics, the Mystic Lite GTX, MSRP $119, is an all-suede shoe that seamlessly crosses from light hiking and approach uses with a Vibram Vertical sole built exclusively for Scarpa. It handles traction but also features a more subdued lifestyle for casual wear. “Multiple features like this provide the customer with added value and more versatility,” said Matthews.

“Comfort, fit and performance on the trail is still the driving force in developing new or updated products. New technologies are allowing us to build higher performance into shoes in all categories while still retaining the Lowa heritage and trademarks customers know us for.” - Peter Sachs, general manager, Lowa Boots.

Lowa Boots Innox GTX Mid

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Designed to meet the needs of power walkers, speed hikers as well as fast packers, the Innox GTX Mid, MSRP $120, from Lowa Boots features a lightweight synthetic upper, Lowa’s injected PU sole technology, and Monowrap construction for support and stability. Also features Gore-Tex waterproof lining and NXT sole for traction and durability.

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The Hudson GTX Mid, MSRP $260, is a lightweight trekking boot with Heinen Terracare full-grain leather upper made with low-impact, plant-based tanning agents. The boot is also Gore-Tex lined with a rubber toe guard Lowa Boots Hudson GTX Mid for added durability and PU midsole and Trac Lite II outsole for grip. Women's specific lasts are also available for both models. Lowa Boots is also revamping and expanding its Tempest collection featuring its new Enduro sole unit for lighter and faster performance. Golite Footwear is debuting its expansive Variōs by GoLite off-road performance collection, including the highly responsive Mountain Gecko, MSRP $90, designed for outdoor cross training, trail running and light hiking. The responsiveness comes from the Gecko 270 torsional, lateral and longitudinal flex and trail feedback system, and the Rock AbGolite Footwear Mountain Gecko sorber system that protects the foot but still gives a “real feel” of the terrain. The shoe also features sticky Gecko rubber for traction, an asymmetrical rubber rand for durability and protection, and zero lift heel for a natural stride and better balance.

“We satisfy the needs of the consumer that wants to consider running on more than just pavement.” – Lauren Beaudoin, brand footwear category manager, Salomon USA

At Salomon USA, Lauren Beaudoin, the brand’s footwear category manager, believes consumers are looking for a shoe that offers natural motion, flexibility and the right level of protection. But while trail running is certainly growing, the separation between trail running and road running is being less distinct. “It’s just becoming ‘running,’ which is great,” said Beaudoin. “We’re also seeing running shoe technologies work their way into active wear options so that people can travel in comfort and enjoy everyday adventures in footwear that offers a bit more performance than lifestyle shoes of the past.”

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She also noted that more trail runners are now training and racing in shoes designed for dynamic terrain rather than road, and becoming more sophisticated about the benefits of specific technologies. Finally, color is in more demand than in the past as runners look for multiple-uses for shoes. Said Beaudoin, “We satisfy the needs of the consumer that wants to consider running on more than just pavement.” Salomon USA XA Pro 3D

Salomon USA X-Scream

Salomon USA Sense Pro

An example is the X-Scream, MSRP $110, described as a Citytrail shoe that injects mountain spirit into running in an urban landscape. Salomon’s Sensifit and Quicklace work together for a secure and customized fit while the cushioned ride comes from the LT Muscle and OS Tendon. The XA Pro 3D, MSRP $130, is an adventure shoe with a snug fit, improved durability, and grip. This shoe provides quick drying breathable mesh with a mudguard and rubber toe cap for protections. Inspired by the S-Lab natural motion training and racing shoe, the Sense Pro, MSRP $130, offers both protection and underfoot feel. Building on current footwear trends of light, fast and end-use specific, Vasque is debuting its new Elemental Collection, a performance hiking line created for mastering all the elements you can face when you’re out on the trail. Designed for all-day use across a variety of terrain, the Grand Traverse, MSRP $130, features a dual compound sticky Vibram Ibex outsole for traction Vasque Grand Traverse and durability. A protective layer of PU molded over the mesh upper offers added abrasion resistance without compromising breathability, and a webbing yoke around the heel tightens for a consistent Vasque Lotic secure fit by pulling on the laces. Built to handle wet environments, Vasque’s Lotic, MSRP $100, features a Vibram Slickrock outsole with Idrogrip and has 3mm lugs & ultra-stickiness for traction. Portals in the soles allow water to drain, and a monofilament screen prevents silt and particulates from coming in. A Kevlar one-pull lacing system tightens a webbing yoke around the ankle for a secure fit and keeps out dirt and silt.

In addition to the new Elemental Collection, Vasque will also be updating the Mantra 2.0 and Talus UD with a molded EVA midsole instead of PU to cut weight on both styles and will offer new colors in both the Taku GTX and the Pendulum trail running shoe. Oboz is introducing the Helium, MSRP $120, featuring a bulk-free upper for a precise, conforming fit, essential support, strategic protection and grippy traction - all in a light shoe with a low profile design that promotes on-theOboz Bridger ground feel and agility. The Bridger, MSRP $160, sports a pliable leather upper that requires little break-in and is cushy around the ankle yet has supportive thickness. Oboz Granite Peak undercarriage with components engineered to work together - including the last, BFit Deluxe footbed,

molded EVA midsole, TPU chassis and nylon shank and toothy outsole round out the package. Oboz BDry makes the style waterproof and breathable.

“Fit has improved on boots 1 million percent and the same durability and stability can be had now for half the weight that was possible just a few short years ago.”

Oboz Helium

- Jeff Dill, outdoor business unit director, Keen

At Keen, the Madison CNX low-cut, lightweight, multi-sport shoe, MSRP $110, features of low profile PU midsole with multidirectional lugs in the rubber outsole for traction in all conditions. An integrated arch and TPU insert is included for added stability as well as reverse strobe construction with Keen.Zorb for a seamless interior. Ultra lightweight upper construction with less foam provides a close, precise fit. Keen’s Jeff Dill, who who directs Keen’s trailhead outdoor footwear business, said the past 3 to 4 years have seen a collision of athletic shoes like running and training merge with outdoor silhouettes to make for some great fast and light product. Keen Madison CNX

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“Fit has improved on boots 1 million percent and the same durability and stability can be had now for half the weight that was possible just a few short years ago,” said Dill. “More and more welded and bonded uppers, ultralight and durable synthetics replacing leather, and of the shelf fit that is miles ahead of where we were. Of course the explosion of loud color is finally starting to mellow just a bit, and more subtle combinations of earth tones is merging with the fluro brights that some of the Euro brands sent our way the past few years.”

“… (with) technology like Wolverine ICS+ … people can choose their comfort setting and then enjoy their adventure. They can experience the benefits of the technology without thinking about it.” – Yahn Lebo, outdoor product line manager Wolverine

For the Wolverine brand, Bushwhack Wild, MSRP $175, features Wolverine’s ICS+ technology, an new integrated support system with multi-density layers that work together to provide firm support and stability. Paired with a small, lightweight Wolverine Bushwhack nitrogen-filled disc in Wild the heel, the technology allows the wearer to choose their ideal comfort setting, selecting from cushioned, firm, inner or outer support. Wolverine’s Yahn Lebo, outdoor product line manager, noted that while lightweight, durable and waterproof remain important features for hiking boots, today’s consumer strives to be tech enabled but not tech dependent. “Many people are glued to their cell phones a majority of the time, and want to tune out technology to some extent when they’re outdoors,” said Lebo. “This doesn’t mean that they don’t want the benefits technology has to offer, which is where technology like Wolverine ICS+ comes into play. People can choose their comfort setting and then enjoy their adventure. They can experience the benefits of the technology without thinking about it.” Inspired by Wolverine’s Guardian Project designed to connect with professionals such as wildland firefighters and search and rescue organizations in the outdoors, the Alert Hiker, MSRP $120, is a lightweight, highly-breathable and quick-drying hiker designed with volunteer search and

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Wolverine Alert Hiker

rescue groups in mind, specifically those who work with K9 units. The Alert has an athletic fit and a light flex, while also providing ankle support and traction with a Vibram outsole.

“The trail consumer is moving toward lower offsets and lighter, more flexible materials that move with the foot,” - Pat O’Malley, SVP of global product for Saucony

Saucony is introducing the Peregrine 4, MSRP $110, the lightest in the series at 9.4 ounces. The trail runner features an aggressive outsole, a rock plate upgraded to nylon fiber mesh, and Saucony Peregrine 4 PowerGrid replacing ProGrid in the heel for enhanced grip. “The trail consumer is moving toward lower offsets and lighter, more flexible materials that move with the foot,” asserted Pat O’Malley, SVP of global product for Saucony. “The new Peregrine delivers on this with a 4mm offset; lightweight materials like the strategically placed FlexFilm in the upper that reduces overlays while allowing for a seamless, flexible feel; and an overall dynamic fit that adapts and moves with the foot over the terrain.”

New from Brooks, the Cascadia 9, MSRP $120, enables the wearer to tackle difficult terrain with 4-point pivot posts for balance. No-sew construction brings comfort without weight and a BioMoGo DNA midsole adapts cushioning to feet and to surfaces. Enhancements include a slightly lowered heel and flat laces. “The consumer wants intuitive cues that the shoe will take care of them on the trail,” said Brooks’ Teipen. “Aggressive and luggy outsoles for traction, integrated shields that protect from rocks and sharp objects, durable uppers that will hold up to abrasions, and a secure, comfortable, locked in fit. The Cascadia 9 for Spring 2014 offers all these benefits and others such as the BioMogo DNA midsole that provides and adaptable and smooth ride and our proprietary pivot system that uniquely helps stabilize the foot on uneven terrain.” At New Balance, the Minimus Zero v2 Trail, New Balance MSRP $110, looks at the needs of Team New Minimus Zero v2 Trail Balance outdoor athletes who run a lot of mountains and aggressive trails although the inspiration comes from the RX Terrain, a style formerly made out of the New Balance’s Flimby U.K. factory. The update gets a new sticky rubber outsole with extra-large lug heights, allowing for stability and traction for trail and mountain running. A full-length RevLite midsole on the New Balance 99 Outdoor Zero v2 Trail provides the runner with a responsive, cushioned ride in a lightweight, durable package. A running take on an outdoor shoe, the 99 Outdoor, MSRP $125, allows for a wide range of use from trail running to light hiking and climbing. The shoe is also breathable and cushioned for all-day wear. Brooks Cascadia 9

At Blundstone, its classic round toe boot is updated with bright side elastic detail in the Blundstone 519, MSRP $150. The boot features weatherproof 2.5mm oiled leather, a new TPU outsole and PU midsole, SPS shock protection, Poron in the heel strike zone, and a steel shank. Ahnu Sugarpine Boot

Ahnu Zero/Zero

At Ahnu, the Sugarpine Boot, MSRP $140, offers brightly colored uppers and low-profile. Waterproof technology, Vibram rubber outsole, and its signature Numentum technology for underfoot support and comfort round out the features. Named after its athlete Trevor Thomas, a blind ultra thru-hiker who recently completed the 530-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina in just 78 days, the Zero/Zero, MSRP $150, is designed to support the body’s natural biomechanics and provide extra shock absorption and stability. The waterproof hiker combines a Vibram rubber outsole, duel density EVA and Ahnu’s Numentum technology.

Taking an education from minimalism to light/fast hiking and trail running, Merrell will launch the AllOut Collection featuring a flexible underfoot wrap that mobilizes the arch. The design activates the body’s natural form by creating

continuous ground contact for increased mobility and efficiency. Key running styles include the AllOut Fuse, MSRP $110, a hybrid running shoe built to transition from road to trail; and AllOut Rush, MSRP $120, for the trail or ultra runner looking for a training or race shoe. “We continue to see the pull of nature and its varied experiences influencing both the hike and run categories,” said Craig Throne, vice president of global marketing at Merrell. “Born in the outdoors we have always been drawn to innovations that give people a physical connection to the natural world. Barefoot was a clear example of this and we are still seeing people wanting solutions that deliver a greater experience through connection. You will increasingly see us developing product that optimizes the outside experience.” Merrell AllOut Blaze

Merrell Grasshopper Air

For hiking and backpacking, the waterproof AllOut Blaze, MSRP $130 (low-cut); $150 (mid-cut), features arch activation and UniFly Impact Protection of resilient, strategically placed foam pads for a soft landing, ample ground feel and protection. M Select Grip outsole uses rubber built in a circular design so each lug can move independently for multi-directional contact and increased surface area. In its core performance outdoor hiking program, the Grasshopper Air, MSRP $100, plays up sporty, youthfulminded uppers placed atop outdoor technologies to perform equally on rugged trail or city streets. Also features an M Select Grip outsole and a Merrell Trail Protect Pad that buffers impact. Chaco continued to notice an overall trend in versatility as consumers look for products that do more for them and can be used and worn in more places. “Chaco fans continue to use our classic performance “Z” sandals in many applications – but have asked for increased toe and foot protection on rivers or rocky hikes,” said Colin Butts, marketing manager for Chaco Footwear. “Additionally, these fans sometimes have to shed their sandals at work or other situations where toe coverage is required.” Those requests have been addressed with the Chaco OutCross Web, MSRP $120, which uses a non-marking Vibram TC-1 compound Chaco OutCross Web with 3mm lugs with wet and dry performance while wrapping the foot in webbing that evokes the classic



“Z” style and ensures a reliable hold with a molded ladder lock. The OutCross Lace, MSRP $120, offers zip-zag polyester webbing straps that conform to the foot with a tethered lace lock for a secure fit and a Vibram outsole with superior breaking and traction pattern. Chaco OutCross Lace

Patagonia Footwear introduces the Everlong, MSRP $110, a road-inspired trail shoe that’s lightweight, (8.4 oz. for men), and uses a 4mm drop. While it has an increased overall

28 AUGUST 2013

Patagonia Footwear Everlong

stack height in the midsole for cushioning, it foregoes the heavier, stiffer features found in other trail shoes such as rockplates and a stiff heel counter in favor of built in collaboration with elite ultra runner Jeff Browning. “Runners want something that performs and runs well first then some consideration for trail performance,” said Mark Hofmann, Patagonia Footwear’s product marketing manager. “We continue to see lightweight as a ‘feature’, which more people want, along with a more stripped down shoe.” The upper uses a welded construction to minimize seams and maximize breathability; it also drains well. The outsole is stripped down with a pod-style construction to save weight but still gives traction where and when the wearer needs it.

For long distance training and multi-surface running, the updated Tsali 3.0, MSRP $110, benefits from a new welded upper design that sheds weight and minimizes seams. The neutral-cushioned shoe includes a durable synthetic toe bumper, a forefoot shock and absorption plate, and a multi-density sticky rubber outsole for increased traction and comfort.

Patagonia Footwear Tsali 3.0,

The newer models complement Patagonia Footwear’s most minimal styles, the Evermore and Fore Runner EVO. Overall in terms of natural/minimal and light stability/stability, Patagonia Footwear is definitely hearing its Ultrarunning Team demand more of a “middle road,” high-performance shoes that don’t have unnecessary features. “That said, they still require something that feels good to wear over the long haul - like 50 to 100 miles - so we removed weight from our more traditional styles such as the Tsali 3.0, and combined a lower drop with more cushioning as we did with the EverLong,” said Hoffman. “This gives our athletes - and consumers - a nice range of shoes for training and racing.”

The Biom Ultra Trail Running Shoe, MSRP $180, embodies Ecco’s core elements of natural motion with its flexibility, low-to-the-ground construction, anatomical fit and biomechanical support. The slim outsole with two dedicated performance zones and large sole cleats combine for enhanced agility and ground penetration. A durable toe cap and mud guard offer additional protection along the whole footbed. It is now also available in yak leather. Building on the success of the Natural Shape Asolo Quadrant lightweight hiker collection launched in Spring 2013, Asolo is introducing a new line of low-cut hiking shoes for Spring 2014 across leather, fabric/leathAsolo Emberm er and mesh. The Natural Shape technology involves a new last that cradles the foot but is also lower and less boxy than a traditional hiking boot, and is more rounded in the sole and heel. Combined with Asolo’s approach of ground up sole construction, the boot has a lower more sensitive feel to the terrain. The men’s Quadrant and women’s Emberm, MSRP $145 for both, are constructed of mesh, using Schoeller and Vibram technology. A combined lasting process offers a toe bumper that gives offers protection on tough terraine.

Hi-Tec Sports Altitude Pro RGS WP

Ecco Terracruise

Ecco Biom Ultra Trail Running Shoe

At Ecco, the Terracruise, MSRP $130 (open mesh); $140 (closed mesh Gore-Tex), is a low-profile, multifunctional sneaker that’s supportive yet flexible. Combining a direct-injected midsole and rugged outsole, it’s well suited for multiple terrain use.

Hi-Tec Sports Men’s Altitude Sport i WP

Hi-Tec Sports is expanding its popular Altitude boot, created with the Altitude IV in 1990, to a series with a collection of five special light-hiking boots. Said Hi-Tec’s U.S. VP of Sales and Product Peter Shean, “We worked hard to exceed consumers’ expectations by delivering outstanding value with added product features and benefits.” The Altitude Pro RGS WP, MSRP $180, uses Vibram RollinGait System (RGS) technology – an engineered rounded midsole/outsole combination that offers an organic, rolling movement to soften impact and conserve



energy on once-strenuous downhill endeavors. The boot also features a waterproof full grain leather upper, waterproof bootie construction, rustproof metal hardware, and PU midsole. The Men’s Altitude Sport i WP, MSRP $100, mixes suede and mesh upper to support a lightweight, breathable boot. The addition of ion-mask technology keeps the style cleaner and free from water build .

“…We have seen that while many consumers are adaptive to new trends, like barefoot, there will always be a segment of the community that sticks to the fundamentals, as well as those that take a hybrid approach.” - Greg Duffy, senior director of Performance Footwear, Timberland

Timberland’s Greg Duffy, senior director of Performance Footwear, said one current trend Timberland is seeing breakthrough is lightweight comfort - a continuation of the barefoot trend. “This includes new technoloTimberland Earthkeepers gies that perform without bulk, Pembroke like Timberland’s SensorFlex Cabbie technology,” said Duffy. “It’s a three-layer platform in the sole that’s lightweight and includes underfoot support, suspension and flexibility. We use this in our Earthkeepers Trailbreak Mid which can adapt to any type of surface.” The Earthkeepers Trailbreak Mid Waterproof, Timberland Earthkeepers Trailbreak Mid Waterproof MSRP $135, also features a premium full-grain waterproof leather upper and 100 percent recycled PET lining. For spring 2014, Timberland will introduce the Earthkeepers Pembroke Cabbie, MSRP $110, which merges a skate-inspired low profile leather and suede upper with a Vibram EcoStep outsole made with recycled rubber. Overall, Timberland is also seeing folks re-embracing their core classic hiking gear. “You could say it's, ‘What's old is new again,’” said Duffy. “We've experienced this at Timberland with an increase in our core hiking business, including the Chocorua, Mt. Maddsen, and White Ledge styles. We have seen that while many consumers are adaptive to new trends, like barefoot, there will always be a segment of the community that sticks to the fundamentals, as well as those that take a hybrid approach.” At Columbia Sportswear, the men’s Conspiracy Razor Outdry, MSRP $110, is lowto-the-ground, waterproof and flexible with a 3mm offset. Part of Columbia’s Conspiracy collection, the multisport shoe features a lightweight welded textile and mesh upper; Columbia Sportswear Conspiracy Razor Outdry OutDry waterproof, breathable construction; a Techlite midsole; and Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber.

30 AUGUST 2013

Columbia Sportswear Powervent,

Part of Columbia’s Vent collection, the men’s Powervent, MSRP $90, is a quick drying and ventilated hybrid land, boat and water shoe. It features air-flow and water drainable midsole ports.

"The cool thing about the Slackcruiser with Stealth is the grip, which is an advantage not only on the slackline; straightforward approach climbs for highlining are also no problem." -Lukas Irmler, professional slackliner, Adidas

At Adidas Outdoor, the Terrex Solo, MSRP $120, finally arrives, featuring a Stealth rubber outsole in its first collaboration with Five Ten. Thanks to the fine balance between viscosity and elasticity, Stealth rubber, designed by Five Ten specifically for risk sports, flows into microscopic cavities on Adidas Outdoor Terrex Solo surfaces to create extremely high friction. The lightweight approach shoe also features a protective ripstop upper, EVA midsole cushioning, a climbing zone on the forefoot, and an Ortholite sockliner. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Scope

The Terrex Scope, MSRP $160, also features stealth rubber for grip as well as interfacing L-shaped studs that claw into the ground for extra grip. The Scope also features a GoreTex membrane, abrasion-resistant mesh and large rubber toe caps. With laces featuring a thin diameter in the mid-section and thicker ends, it can be fitted with a single tug. Adidas Outdoor will also introduce a slacklining shoe, the Slackcruiser, MSRP $95, a low-to-the-ground shoe with a grippy Stealth rubber outsole and are constructed from tough canvas and reinforced with TPU. It also features a pro-moderator midsole for stability, increased forefoot flexibility, EVA cushioning and sock-like mono tongue.

Adidas Outdoor Slackcruiser

"The cool thing about the Slackcruiser with Stealth is the grip, which is an advantage not only on the slackline; straightforward approach climbs for highlining are also no problem," said Lukas Irmler, a professional slackliner who worked closely with Adidas Outdoor in developing the shoe. At Five Ten, the Guide Tennie Mid, MSRP $140, is a hybrid climbing/hiking shoe that goes from trail to rock, from flat to vertical. The first time the classic approach shoe has been made in a midheight, the shoe offers more ankle protection and lateral stability than the low-cut version. A new last offers an athletic-fit while Stealth C4 rubber still provides standardsetting durability and grip. Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid

Icebug is introducing the Enlight RB9X, MSRP $160. The trail runner features an abrasion-resistant ripstop nylon with quick-dry mesh lining and proprietary RB9X rubber outsole with integrated high-durometer rubber stud design that grabs hold of surfaces and sheds mud. A medium-flex midsole supports natural movement without compromising stability. Icebug Enlight Evan Wert, Icebug’s U.S. RB9X marketing director, said that while components are getting lighter, the trick is in balancing lightweight with stability, cushion and protection. “I'd say stability never really left, but people were going through an experimental phase,” Wert said of the hypedup minimalism trend. “After trying many different kinds of shoes, the trend seems to be coming back to a little rise with some cushioning, allowing the body to move naturally, but with support. A little heel lift is especially helpful when trail running, as an unsupported heel can stretch the Icebug Ardor Achille's tendon to injury pretty quickly. Colors are still very hot, and Icebug's Spring 2014 collection is no exception."

Also from Icebug, the Ardor, MSRP $145, is positioned as the “ultimate summer trail/off-trail running shoe” with breathable, nonabsorbent uppers, a reinforced toe box and Icebug's, patented 17-fixed carbide steel studs that grip slippery surfaces.

“Our shoes, whether they are for trail running, hiking, backpacking, or just running around with the kids, are reliable, attractive and come at a great value, and that's what we think is important." - Jack Wolfin, president & CMO, Northside Northside is debuting the Base Camp Low, MSRP $90, that loses the insulation in the original Base Camp but keeps the waterproofing and rugged trail design. Its dualdensity EVA midsole with a TPU heel cradle offers stability and comfort. The Camacho trail runner, MSRP: $60, features a leather/mesh lightweight upper integrated into a lightweight midsole and a nylon loop speed lacing system for a customized fit. Jack Wolfin, president and CMO of Northside, believes that while many brands Northside Camacho trail runner are “clawing to over-engineer and push the limits on highly technical footwear,” the majority of Americans just need enough performance features to help them have fun outdoors. “People want to try outdoor activities and get active with their friends and family, and they just want an unintimidating, affordable shoe to let them make the most of it,” said Wolfin. “Our shoes, whether they are for trail running, hiking, backpacking, or just running around with the kids, are reliable, attractive and come at a great value, and that's what we think is important." ■ Northside Base Camp Low



32 AUGUST 2013

A Step Ahead Spring 2014


A preview of the latest outdoor, running and athletic socks including several styles to be featured for the first time at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this year. By Fernando J. Delgado

Socks continue to be an essential - yet often overlooked – item of gear. And they continue to sell well, with manufacturers bringing flashier, techier, more improved styles to market every season. According to sales data provided by SportScanInfo, consumers have been buying socks in droves this year, as Sock sales are up 35 percent year-to-date (as of July), with Internet sales up a whopping 70 percent over the comparable period in 2012. Such strength is reflected across several sub-categories, with Full Line/Athletic Specialty socks up 40 percent and Running socks up 10 percent year-to-date. Outdoor sock sales fell flat. With business brisk and manufacturers – both industry veterans and newer brands – providing a growing variety of styles, sock buyers have never had more options available to them. Functionality – including both the performance and comfort of a sock – remains the ultimate feature that leads a consumer to their sock purchase. But as manufacturers constantly introduce new and improved fabrics and technologies, socks can also stand out through appearance. The new styles available for Spring 2014 that cater to outdoor, running and general athletic participants reveal an impressive array of socks that help wearers not only perform better but look good, too. Buyers will get their first glimpse of the newest 2014 styles from leading manufacturers at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Bruce Barrows, VP of sales & marketing for Lorpen North America, has noticed that consumers are more acutely appreciative of the effects of improved technologies in performance and comfort in socks. Put simply, sock buyers are more informed about the products they purchase. “We’re seeing a fairly significant uptick in requests for Coolmax products, both in Canada and the U.S.,” said Barrows. “We’re also seeing requests for thinner, lighter-weight styles of socks. And it’s across

the board in running, trail running, and hiking where we’re hearing the demand for lightweight.” Barrows attributes the heightened consumer awareness to customers’ previous experience with other products, such as shoes and apparel. The influence of shoes and how they fit with socks also plays a part in the change in consumer preference toward better materials. “When you sit down and talk to a retailer, or when you talk to a consumer at a trade show, the consumer is becoming more aware of moisture management and how that affects how a foot feels in a shoe,” he offered. “And you’re seeing so many of the shoe companies – or boot companies for hiking boots – are now working to try to make that shoe lighter-weight and cooler, so the ability of a sock to work as a layering piece to help move that moisture away from the foot into the shoe, so it becomes evaporated faster, is resonating with a lot of the consumers out there. When they look at fibers they’re wearing in shorts or t-shirts, or hiking gear, they’re looking at a lot of technical fibers, and combinations of fibers, that can create a better cooling environment for the foot.” Barrows also noted that Lorpen has seen a significant growth in trail running, and expects the sub-category to sell well in 2014. Lorpen also hopes that 2014 continues to build on the positive momentum seen in other categories recently. “Because we entered the sleeve market in the compression category, we’ve seen that increase nicely as well, and that’s why we’re going to grow the category with additional styles,” he added. “We’ve also seen the lighter-weight, Coolmax hiking socks take off. People aren’t just looking at buying a particular fiber all year round. They’re looking at trying to find fibers, and combinations of fibers, that work well seasonally.”



Lorpen Coolmax Multisport Ultralight Sock

Lorpen Variable Calf Compression Sleeve

Lorpen will offer two new styles for Spring 2014 that will help athletes perform and keep cool in warm weather. The Coolmax Multisport Ultralight Sock, MSRP $11, is made to help athletes who perform under extreme heat, combining two yarns - Coolmax and nylon - that work together to wick moisture away from the foot, keeping it dry. An advanced thin design, along with an open mesh construction, reduces bulk in the shoe, to maintain foot placement within the sock and also prevent friction that causes blisters. The Variable Calf Compression Sleeve, MSRP $30, meanwhile, is designed to reduce calf vibrations during exercise in warm weather. Variable compression technology provides the athlete with different levels of pressure to areas of the leg, wherever the compression is needed most. The compression sleeves can be paired with Lorpen’s T3 sock line. Both items will be available at retail, as well as online directly from Lorpen, in February 2014.

Cutting-edge technology will also remain a key calling card for Point6, which will introduce several new styles next spring, including some to be found at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Peter Duke, Point6’s founder and CEO, believes that sock-wearers are more sophisticated than ever, and manufacturers Point6 Celliant, must be able to meet their needs with high-performing Graduated styles. “Consumers want the best of nature, such as Compression merino wool for optimal comfort, and science, which Technology we provide with Celliant, Graduated Compression Technology to boost performance,” he said. “Point6 recently signed an exclusive agreement with Celliant and will be the only merino sock brand to feature this Point6 Celliant, Ultra Light Mini technology. It is widely used in medical products, and Crew is gaining traction in performance sportswear.” Originally developed for the medical community, Celliant is a responsive textile also used extensively by leading outdoor manufacturers for its ability to relieve pain, reduce recovery time between workouts, regulate body temperature, improve blood flow, improve sleep quality and enhance athletic performance. As of spring 2014, all Point6 styles with Graduated Compression Technology will feature Celliant. “Graduated Compression Technology is applied at the ankle to help push blood back to the heart to increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the cells,” Duke stated. “Celliant also helps dilate blood vessels and is clinically proven to increase blood oxygen levels for peak athletic performance. More oxygen means less lactic acid buildup, muscle cramping and fatigue.” According to Duke, the brand will also introduce a new extra heavy, mid-calf crew designed for expedition and extreme high alpine excursions. “Running and cycling continue to be an important focus for Point6 next spring, as well as the introduction of our socks made with Celliant technology,” said Duke.

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Despite all the technological advances in fiber, construction, and features that socks have undergone in recent years, manufacturers are also brightening the look of the product. Color has had a noticeable impact in the category. One manufacturer leading the charge in colr with their performance socks across several styles is Sheboygan, WI-based Wigwam. “We’re seeing that the consumer is asking for color, and they’re looking for something technical, especially when they’re going to be spending a little bit more on a sock,” observed Natalie Stangl, field marketing manager for Wigwam. “Color is big, and lightweight, and form-fitting socks are also notable for Spring 2014. Consumers want to be sure that the technology piece is there, too, so backing those products up with technology is really important.” Lorpen’s Barrows concurred, noting that color on sock walls on retail floors helps products catch the attention of consumers. “It makes the sock wall look a little more exciting,” he observed. “It’s not just a white or a black product that you can pick from. Merchandising certainly has something to do with the increase in color – to make it look more exciting. There’s definitely some initiative from the retailer to carry the extra colors, even if the bulk of sales are still in black and white.”

Wigwam Ironman Spectrum Pro Low Cut Running Sock

Wigwam Merino Trailblaze Pro Hiking Sock

Wigwam Signature Pro Low Cut Running Sock

One notable new style for Wigwam will be the Ironman Spectrum Pro Low Cut Running Sock. Wigwam, which has been the official sock of Ironman for the past 18 years, expects the style to be a big seller in 2014 because of its ultra-lightweight construction and technological features. “It has our patented Ultimax technology in it that utilizes both hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers to move moisture - from the foot bottom - up and out of the sock,” Wigwam’s Stangl explained. “This sock has a lot of color and accent-patterning, as well as Freshguard odor control. The other interesting piece of this style is that our Dri-release technology, which was typically a polyester and cotton mix in the past, has now been switched over to Tencel instead of cotton. We’ve found that, in the running market, when the customer would see that word ‘cotton’ in



the breakdown of the material, they would shy away from it. With the Ironman Spectrum Pro Low Cut, we’ve switched to the Drirelease with Tencel. We’ve shown samples at a few different trade shows and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.” The Ironman Spectrum Pro Low Cut sock will be shipping out for the first time in October. When it comes to running socks, Stangl has noticed aesthetic appearance becoming a hot trend in part due to an influence from shoes. The thing that comes to mind when it comes to runningspecific socks, whether it’s a specialty run store or a big box store, is that most running shoe brands have come out with intense colors. And I think a lot of accessories are starting to move their products to more color as well – really bright, eye-catching colors. The shoe brands started the trend of these color pops, and then all of a sudden sock companies and other accessory brands started coming out with something similar, and something that even matches a running shoe. We’re seeing a lot of colors that we’ve never seen before in the industry, and I think that’s going to continue.” Other key styles new for 2014 knitted in its Sheboygan, WI plant, include the Electra Low Cut Running Sock, Signature Pro Low Cut Running Sock, and the Merino Trailblaze Pro Hiking Sock, among others.


FITS Light Runner Low Coolmax Sock

FITS Light Hiker Crew Coolmax Sock

Spring 2014 will represent an exciting time for FITS Sock Co., as the manufacturer will be launching its very first completely synthetic sock line featuring Coolmax and FITS ergonomic knitting technology. In addition to making its socks in the U.S., the company owns four U.S. patents on an ergonomic knit design that closely wraps around the foot, eliminating hot spots, rubbing or constriction. Historically, every sock made by FITS has been constructed with merino wool, but that will change next year. The new synthetic line will be led by the Light Runner Low Coolmax Sock, MSRP $13, and the Light Hiker Crew Coolmax Sock, MSRP $16. Also debuting at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is Swiftwick’s newest sock line, the Sustain, MSRP $12 to $17. It is the only sock on the market created from post-industrial recycled nylon and reflects Swiftwick’s commitment to the environment and the earth-conscious athlete and outdoorsman. The Sustain One Compression Sock, MSRP $13, similar to other styles in the collection, uses no chemicals to wick moisture, yet still offers enhanced compression and moisture-wicking capabilities.

ULTIMAX ® MERINO TRAILBLAZE PRO. Patented moisture control from the bottom - up enhanced with MERINO WOOL keeps feet warm and dry. SPORTSONESOURCE.COM


Patagonia Lightweight Merino Run Anklet,

Patagonia’s newest sock is the Lightweight Merino Run Anklet, MSRP $18, made for lightweight running and biking. Manufactured in the U.S. and constructed from a blend of merino wool, nylon and polyester for breathability, cooling airflow and durability, They have excellent stretch and recovery that lasts the lifetime of the sock.

Balega, a leader in specialty running socks, will offer several exciting new styles in 2014 that combine performance, fit and colors. Leading off the new styles is the Hidden Contour, MSRP $14. Launched in late June and tailored specifically for the run market, it provides both cushioning and a tactile fit. Balega developed the sock as a meet-in-the-middle product cross between its Hidden Balega Hidden Comfort Comfort and Ultralight socks. The newest iteration of Hidden Comfort, MSRP $12, a staple in the company’s line, will introduce ontrend colors such as zesty lemon, teal, neon orange and candy pink. Balega will also support October's Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives with its Breast Cancer Awareness line launching September 1, to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund. Inspirational slogans such as "Don't Tell Me I Can't", "Mind Over Miles" and "Never Give Up" are sewn into the limited edition socks, with one dollar of every Breast Cancer Awareness sock sold going to the Breast Cancer Fund. Sellers at big box retailers who deal with socks on a daily basis also provide a valuable perspective on what the market can expect next spring. Chris Spangler, sales manager, soft goods, at REI, Inc. in Timonium, MD, took time to speak Balega Hidden Contour with SGB while on the sales floor, sharing his observations of sock sales at the leading outdoor retailer. According to Spangler, specialization and improved construction lead the way when it comes to trends in socks. “We’re continuing to see sport-specific socks sell well with customers,” said Spangler. “We get everything from basic walking socks to different types of hiking socks, and runningspecific socks. We now have a whole slew of socks that have the separate toes for the Vibram FiveFingers-type of shoes. The trend of increased sport-specific socks has been around for the past decade or so, but it’s really picked up recently.” Specific fabrics and materials also remain sought after by sock purchasers. “I wouldn’t say there’s a new fabric that’s taken over the market lately, but natural

36 AUGUST 2013

fibers – especially merino wool – have continued to grow in importance, including in the more cardiovascular and athletic performance or running socks,” observed Spangler. “Synthetic fabrics - such as polyesters and nylon blends to wick moisture - and blended fabrics also continue to be important, but merino wool as a natural fiber does a great job of wicking moisture, and it’s naturally anti-microbial. It’s very popular with consumers.” He added that at his REI store, customers are prioritizing sock liners much less in hiking socks, a strong-selling category for the retailer. “People used to use sock liners a lot to help control moisture, as well as prevent blisters, but because fabrics in the hiking socks themselves are so good now, we’ve seen less of a need for sock liners,” Spangler explained. The sales veteran also confirmed the trend towards brighter colors from sock manufacturers. “With athletic socks in particular, you used to see just white or slight variations, but a lot of running socks have added color,” he said. “Hiking socks have always been standard tans, greens, blues, and grays, but we’ve seen running socks add a variety of colors. It’s been guided by the shoe colors. We’ve seen less and less standard white running shoes, and we now get a lot of different colors in shoes. Some socks, like the ones with the individual toes, are very driven by the shoe market.” Spangler went on to share that REI typically sells through a large volume of its own brand of hiking socks and general athletic socks, while he’s also noticed a large

Injinji No Show Running Sock

Injinji Sport Life Original Weight Crew Coolmax Sock

increase in categories such as running, trail running and light hiking in recent seasons. He noted that strong-selling brands include Wigwam, SmartWool, Injinji, and Thorlo, with notable styles such as the SmartWool PhD Outdoor line, Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker, and Thorlo Experia running socks gaining in popularity. While surveying his location’s sock section, Spangler pointed out that Injinji has done a good job increasing its presence with toe socks. One sock wall, for example, was comprised of four rows of Injinji socks showing several styles and colors. “You can see the huge assortment of Injinjis, and that’s been guided by the whole Vibram FiveFingers and similar kinds of minimalist shoes,” he noted, adding that, only two years ago, his location featured only one or two rows of the brand on the same sock wall. Injinji will build on their reputation as the leader in performance toe socks in 2014, combining function with style. Two of its notable new socks are the Sport Life Original Weight Crew Coolmax and Sport Original Weight Micro Coolmax. The brand will introduce new stripe designs to its Sport lifestyle series, designed for everyday wear in any shoe, and made from advanced fiber technology. Injinji will also add bright colors in a twisted yarn to the general Sport series in micro length, as well as new colors throughout its Run and Trail series. “We keep an eye on footwear trends because, of course, the intention of our product is to make it a better performance experience in a customer’s shoe,”

said Deirdre Ostrowski, marketing director for Injinji, Inc. “We see a lot of the industry as a whole using materials and construction to take advantage of the human body’s abilities, whether it’s technology that absorbs the body’s energy and re-uses it, or temperaturecontrolling fibers. You have to really work hard to perfect that fabric choice, to make sure that it has the best feel, that it’s comfortable, and that they also have the best performance capabilities. “Sock companies and shoe companies seem to be taking the benefits of minimalist footwear - such as lighter weight, less restrictive construction, and a wider toebox - and marrying it with aspects that were lacking in most of the minimalist running shoes such as protection,” Ostrowski continued. “Because shoe companies seem to be using much better materials that can provide even more protection while also allowing for more flexibility it’s been very beneficial for Injinji customers to get the advantages of our socks without risking injury due to a lack of protection.” Ostrowski believes that the challenge for sock companies is to ensure that the best possible materials are used to get every advantage possible. Injinji has found a way to do that with a combination of Coolmax Xtra-life and lycra, allowing for the durability of a thicker sock, improved moisture management, and compression where needed for customers. This is also the basis for Injinji’s Performance 2.0 line, which has been well received by the market. At the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Darn Tough Vermont will debut new styles for 2014. The brand will add to its Women’s Hike/ Trek line the Daphne Quarter Length Cushion, MSRP $17, and the Light Hiker Aztec Micro Crew Light Cushion socks, MSRP $19. According to Ric Cabot, founder and president of Darn Tough Vermont, the company has noticed that many runners and bikers strive for lighter and thinner socks to improve the fit and feel in combination with their shoes, leading the Light Cushion line to continue “to grow thanks to technology that offers durability and cushion in a light weight sock.” Three new Light Cushion socks for women in new colors at this year’s show, include the No-Show Mountain Top Light Cushion socks, MSRP $15, the Fast Back Light Cushion socks, available in No-Show length, MSRP $15, and Quarter length, MSRP $17. The brand will also introduce its new No-Show Tab Ultra-Light

Darn Tough Vermont Daphne Quarter Length Cushion,

Darn Tough Vermont Light Hiker Aztec Micro Crew Light Cushion socks

Darn Tough Vermont No-Show Mountain Top Light Cushion socks



Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Smartwool PhD Run Graduated Compression Ultra Light

Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Crew

• Outdoor - The PhD Outdoor Light Crew, MSRP $21,

and the Women's PhD Outdoor Ultra Light Micro, MSRP $16, use ventilation zones for temperature and moisture management. Performance - The Women's Striped Hike Light Crew, MSRP $20, is a key new style, and part of SmartWool’s Classic Hike Collection offering 18 different styles for men, women, kids, mountaineering and other groups.

Run/Bike socks for men, MSRP $14, and women, MSRP $14. The ultra-thin sock uses flat jersey construction on the botOn the general athletic/team sport side, Under Armour will look to gain motom and breathable mesh panels on top, but are still made mentum and to continue to expand its presence in the sock market for 2014. with high-density yarns and feature a popular articulated tab One of its signature styles, the Ignite Crew sock, MSRP $13, will remain a introduced at last year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. centerpiece for the brand, while the U406 All Sport Crew is a great option for All of the new styles will ship to retail for spring 2014. multi-sport use. In addition to several team sport-specific lines, Under Armour Thorlo will be show will also offer several styles in running and performance. It has also made its three new styles at Out- presence known in the sock category by bringing sublimation to the market - a door Retail Summer technology that has become a staple in uniforms and apparel but rarely seen Market, all of which are in socks. Bold colors and intricate designs made possible by sublimation are part of the company’s evident in the U445 UA Lax Sublimated Crew and the U442 Stars and Stripes Thorlo Clinically Tested Padded Sublimated Crew. Trail Sock wearers will have plenty of great new products to choose from next Sock Collection. “Items Hiker in this collection have spring, and customers will be lining up every season to get their needs met, been clinically shown to Thorlo Ultra Light Hiker reduce pain, pressure, moisture, and blisters,” said Eric Cody, senior VP merchandising/consumer segmentation, Under Armour at Thorlo. “We receive multiple emails U406 All Sport and letters daily from customers who Crew share with us how these products have changed their lives and allow them to enjoy their activities.” The styles include the Under Armour U445 UA Lax U442 Stars and Stripes Ultra Light Hiker, MSRP $16; Crew, $17 Thorlo Sublimated Crew Sublimated Crew Extreme (Over-the-Calf); Trail Hiker, MSRP $17; Cold and Extreme Cold, MSRP $23. whether they demand performance, want to look fashionable, or both. REI’s Spangler has observed a tendency by customers to buy at least two or three pairs The SmartWool 2014 socks span across several categories. of socks at a time. In order to appeal to those customers, REI runs a special promotion of 10 percent off any order of three full price sock styles, which can • Run - SmartWool will feature new entries to its popular be a combination of any brands. “I think that promotion does guide the customPhD line, including the PhD Run Ultra Light Micro, ers thought process, especially with hiking socks, because those customers are MSRP $16; and PhD Run Graduated Compression usually going on extended trips and usually need more than one pair,” he conUltra Light, MSRP $38. Both styles utilize ReliaWool cluded. “Our business hasn’t been affected much by price changes, even when technology in high impact areas and the 4Degree elite fit it comes to increases in fabric prices such as merino wool and natural fibers. system with two elastics for greater stretch and recovery. Socks are still very strong sellers because they’re such a core item.” ■

38 AUGUST 2013



Gear of the Year Working in the sporting goods industry, sometimes everyday can feel like the holidays. But the real holidays, you know the ones, with the bells, the muzak and the floor traffic, come only once a year. You have to capitalize on this wonderful phenomenon by having your store stocked with everything that’s great from the outdoor industry and beyond. This look at some of the most significant product developments available for fall will have you drooling in the aisles and carefully considering your retail offerings for the upcoming selling season. By Aaron H. Bible 40 AUGUST 2013

CLIMB Trango Antidote Rope Bag, available September 1, is the antidote to a dirty, tangled cord. With 25 liters of volume and a 4x5’ foldout tarp, you’ve got an oversized clean surface for handling all gear. Two padded/removable straps allow carrying as a backpack or shoulder bag. Ideally placed green and red tie-off loops mean less bending over and a tarp window shows which rope you have stashed inside, MSRP $34.

also a very light shoe, providing 360 degrees of friction with almost full coverage of Stealth MI6 rubber, MSRP $170. The Anasazi Lace-Up is now available in the iconic Pink, now with Stealth C4 toe rand, new heel construction, and a lined Cordura synthetic upper, MSRP $150. And for après climb, the new Flip Off has more cushioning, shock absorption, and traction than most sandals. New Stealth MI6 rubber has 50 percent more cushioning and shock absorption than other soles, with surefooted grip in wet and dry terrain, MSRP $40. SNOW The Pieps DSP Sport is a dynamic threeantenna device for the young freeride generation that retails for less than $300. It features ease-of-use, a digital circular receiving range, fine search, built-in intelligence (auto antenna switch, signal adjustment, iProbe support), self-check during power up, marking and other features to save lives in the event of an avalanche.

Pieps DSP Sport

Trango Antidote Rope Bag

Metolius Contact Training Board is a deluxe, full-featured training board with a variety of holds. Designed for mirrored symmetry and ergonomically curved for less joint stress. This pain-free training tool is made with a fine grain texture that's easy to grip

Metolius Contact Training Board

and easy on skin. Easy to mount, includes instructions and comes in a variety of colors, MSRP $95. Five Ten Team VXi

Five Ten Flip Off

Five Ten Anasazi Lace-Up

From Five Ten, the new Team VXi climbing shoes are not only masters at smearing (or, Smedging, a new term/technique the company has coined), but the flexibility in both the rubber and the shoe itself give more surface contact resulting in increased friction and faster foot placement. It’s



The new Factor Mx 130 from Black Diamond is a state-of-the-art, high-performance AT boot with a patented, swappable binding interface allowing it to be used with any binding. New Mx Direct Connect technology increases lateral stiffness 70 percent over many bolt-on systems, which translates to more precise power transmission. For freeride touring comfort, the new Triax Pro frame is 100 grams lighter with twice the resistance-free touring range than the previous generation Factor, offered in a performance 100mm V-shaped-last, MSRP $769. The revamped AMPerage 115 Ski now has sidewalls and has been stiffened beyond the contact point in the tail for easier landings and more ollie power. It’s made to crank smear-turns in powder while still laying trenches on groomers. The floaty 115mm waist and underfoot camber offer easy transitions from powder to hardpack. It features poplar 3D CNC wood core with pre-preg composite construction and Formula One Technology with three ribs for maximum torsional stiffness, MSRP $799. G3 Empire 115 Skis are designed for hard-charging skiers who demand versatile performance in bounds or out. It’s a big-mountain incarnation of the award-winning Empire 127, the fattest freeride ski in the G3 line. The Empire 115 maintains the same PowerRide construction as the original Empire ski, with two sheets of Titanal aluminum, a Fiberglass laminate and Poplar full wood core, making it a powerful and stable ride without extra weight. G3’s SweetRise 2 full reverse-camber design gives it ample floatation, yet the progressive camber line allows a solid edge on firm snow. Geared for bigmountain freeride skiing, the Empire 115 is light enough to take touring, but handles any kind of big line it comes across. (145/115/126; 4.5 lbs. per ski at 175, MSRP $780. The new Scarpa Freedom SL melds high-performance, reduced weight and wide cuff motion range to create a best-in-class Freeride ski boot using Pebax Scarpa and carbon fiber. Scarpa’s Freedom SL proprietary Carbon Core Technology yields a 120-flex index and alpine performance, paired with category-leading 27 degrees of cuff range, all at 3 lbs., 15 oz. per boot. Swappable soles bolted through the carbon fiber frame offer compatibility with any ski binding, from alpine to tech bindings, in a design that improves strength and power transfer to the ski. Included is the Vibram Mountain Plus sole, a lugged sole that offers compatibility with any AT binding, including tech bindings; and the Vibram Mountain Piste Sole, DIN compatible for use in alpine bindings, is available as an accessory. Inside, the Scarpa Intuition FR Speed liner puts thermo-moldable foam into a multiG3 Empire 115 Skis density alpine-style liner designed to match the power

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and tourability of the boot. Men’s and women’s specific fit versions are available with shell sizing from 21.5 to 31. MSRP $769. Ortovox ABS Tour Packs (32+7 and the 30+7 W for women) retail with the complete set of activator unit, Mass unit and pack for $1,203. The modular pack system makes this a versatile backcountry companion: with the expanding compartment, you have a pack that can tour, daytrip or hut trip. The bottom compartment holds crampons or skins, the activator handle can be positioned on the right or left side, the back has excellent venting and the X-Skifix Ortovox ABS Tour Packs attachment is great for skis, snowshoes or snowboards.

K2 Shaxe

The K2 Shaxe is a fantastic tool to add to your kit: an ice axe and rescue shovel in one, from K2’s emerging BackSide collection. Modeled off of K2’s successful Rescue Shovel Plus platform, designed to function as a standard shovel and a hoe, emergency rescue sled, anchor, and as a flat surface for a stove, the new Ice Axe edition of the Rescue Shovel Plus features a removable handle with an interchangeable ice axe head to save



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weight and add an additional function for extreme winter conditions, MSRP $139. Dakine BC Vest is a great alternative to a pack for a minimalist backcountry or sidecountry outing. Available in two sizes, it weighs just 1.9 pounds and features vertical snowboard carry, retractable cable ski carry, pockets for accessories, tools and a radio. It’s hydration compatible with side compression Dakine BC Vest straps and even an internal skins pocket, MSRP $130. Smith Optics Hybrid-Shell Vantage Helmet with Aerocore technology maximizes full-coverage protection and increases airflow - a honeycomb interior offers a 30 percent reduction in energy transmission and drastic improvements in ventilation. Where previous vent holes were open, the addition of Koroyd adds a level of protection against sticks, rocks, etc coming through the helmet during a fall Smith Optics or crash. Combine this Hybrid-Shell with the Smith pioneered Vantage Helmet AirEvac technology for goggle integration and ventilation, Boa FS360 for a full halo fit, and the Vantage delivers a perfect blend of technology and style. Skullcandy Audio System compatible (sold separately). Available in men's and women's specific styles and color ways, MSRP $220. Swix Sport in partnership with freeskier Eric Hjorleifson announced the new Swix Sonic Adjustable Pole collection. With an innovative spin locking system, lightweight shaft and other unique features, the collection is designed to be an advanced pole for alpine touring. The ultralite Leki Cristallo features Leki’s SpeedLock system - the strongest external locking system in the world as rated by TUV and the only locking system to meet the minimum holding force recommended by TUV. Pole length adjustments are quick and easy, even while wearing gloves or mittens. The Cristallo also features the exclusive Aergon Soft (rubber) grip, edgeless and Leki Cristallo rounded for comfort at all angles, including palming on steeps. The built-in 8° Positive

Angle keeps wrists in a neutral position and provides more efficient pole plants. The Cristallo is adjustable from 64-135cm and includes Carbide Flextips with interchangeable basket system. The Jannu has the same technical features as the Cristallo, but with a 15 percent smaller grip and shorter strap for women. (Leki was the first to address specific pole features for women.) Narrow profile shafts reduce weight and shorter shaft sections allow poles to fit women-specific backpacks, MSRP $120. PACKS Photo accessories make great gifts, and the highly technical Mountainsmith Parallax Pack features a backcountry suspension and ample camera and media organization. It features an innovative side access DSLR case that can be deployed as a stand-alone pod or chest mounted accessory. Other features include a padded compartment with internal dividers, two front pockets including a padded laptop sleeve, secondary pad sleeve and a rain cover, MSRP $270. Osprey’s Portal Collection allows easy access to and Mountainsmith Parallax Pack interaction with laptops, tablets and smart phones. All Portal styles feature organization and protection coupled with clean design lines in retro textured fabric. The “port” models feature Osprey’s ingenious Port

Osprey’s Portal Collection

Obermeyer Ginger Wool Coat

window, allowing use of a tablet without removing it from the pack. (Pixel Port, MSRP $119). Other notable features include separate padded laptop and tablet sleeves; magazine/document sleeves; organizer panel; scratch-free electronics/ sunglass pocket; and top padded grab handle. From Kelty, a backpack-style bag with travel-friendly features - like a separate compartment for shoes or dirty clothes and a pack cover that protects shoulder straps when checked - the 43L Flyway carries easily and fits enough gear for a long weekend. A padded sleeve protects a laptop while keeping it easy to remove at security. Serving double duty, it is also an excellent pack for day hikes and around town, MSRP $129. The expandable/ modular Ascender 22 bag with detachable, rolling chassis is the foundation of Kelty’s new Travel line. It exKelty 43L Flyway pands from a 40L carry-on to 55- and 70-liter checked bag sizes. Stow-away shoulder straps allow it to be carried like a backpack, with or without the chassis. The chassis is also compatible with the water-resistant Ascender WR Duffel and gear-friendly Ascender Trunk bags (sold separately) for storage and organization. MSRP $349.

Obermeyer Ginger Wool Coat is a classic with Klaus’ Bavarian-alpine influences and exudes mountain elegance and après flair. Made of 100 percent boiled wool for a tight-knit weave of superior warmth. Style accents such as an integrated faux fur hood, edelweiss snap buttons and a heritage patch add personality to the Ginger’s sophisticated aesthetic, MSRP $300. From Bluesmiths, the Kula Hoodie is the ticket for travel, post-surf, mid-layer and sometimes outer layer. In other words, a go-to hoodie. The Kula is wind and water repellant, lightweight and breathable, made in Canada from Polartec Windpro with a strong face and a soft, warm interior. The tailoring, fit and details are hard to beat, MSRP $225. Bluesmiths Kula Hoodie

APPAREL Designed for active winter use, the new Capiz Jacket, MSRP $199, from Sierra Designs, is a lightweight hybrid piece insulated with 600-fill DriDown in the body and tops of the sleeves. A nylon/spandex stretch knit gusset on the sides and under the arms increases comfort and mobility by venting excess heat while allowing unrestricted range of motion. The 75gms of DriDown stays lofty and warm. The Capiz series also includes the women’s skirt, MSRP $99, and women’s vest, MSRP $149.



Wigwam Ultimax Merino Trailblaze Pro

The innovative Legend Longsleeve Zip from Icebreaker’s Realfleece collection is made from 320gm of brushed merino fabric lined with 200gm of Bodyfit fabric. A warm and versatile mid-layer, the lightweight low-bulk Legend for men and women also includes insulating quilting. It's perfect for skiing or hiking but also great as a lifestyle piece. An internal storm flap keeps out the cold and zipped hand pockets hold valuables, MSRP $220. The Wigwam Ultimax Merino Trailblaze Pro, MSRP $16, is a hightech merino blend from the country’s top selling sock company located in Sheboygan, WI. The sock is made in America with 39 percent Dri-release, 30 percent Merino Wool, 29 percent Stretch Nylon and 2 percent Stretch Polyester for a performance stretch with wool benefits. “Wigwam's Ultimax Merino Trailblaze is the worlds greatest merino wool hiker. The

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Icebreaker Legend Longsleeve Zip

simple reasons why: soft, light, keeps feet dry, blister free, odor free, and extremely durable – guaranteed,” said Wigwam executive VP of Sales and Marketing Jim Einhauser. Retailers have done very well with the progressive Point6 Ski sock collection. The Carve/Christie is their best selling, lightweight ski sock, now in new designs and colorways. Sport specific cushioning and undetectable toe seams deliver a precision fit for maximum performance. Proprietary Achilles pad prevents friction, hot spots and blisters. Made Point6 in the USA using 100 per- Christie Point6 Enzian cent compact spun merino yarns, MSRP $22. The Enzian/Park is a perfect choice for long, cold powder days. Medium weight, terry loop cushioning surrounds the entire leg and foot for warmth and volume, MSRP $23. Fitsok makes great socks with a sweet price point. They come in Fitsok 3-packs in several styles. The philosophy is to support retailers and runners by making sure there's always a clean, fresh pair on hand (or foot). They also do customs for retailer try-ons. They make good stocking stuffers, offer great value and are a solid retail partner. Made in the North Carolina with technologically advanced fabrics, designs that enhance airflow, maximum arch support and engineered heel and toes. (Prices range from $19 for three packs.) Adidas Outdoors Terrex Advanced Jacket is made from next-generation Gore-Tex Pro. The Terrex is rugged, breathable and waterproof, with style and advanced functionality. The facemask provides protection from wind and cold along with the helmet-compatible hood. RIDE Buy that special someone what they wouldn’t buy for themselves, starting with the carbon powerhouse Revenio Carbon 4.0 from Raleigh Bikes. Ultra light and durable, the Revenio 4.0 is the top model in the Revenio series of carbon endurance road bikes. Decked out in high performance electric Shimano Ultegra components that make shifting as easy as clicking a mouse, the Revenio 4.0 is the road rig for serious weekend warriors who log 100-plus miles a week and also bag a few races, MSRP $4,300. If racing isn’t their thing, check out the Raleigh Tripper the commuter that

Raleigh Bikes Revenio Carbon 4.0

Raleigh Bikes Raleigh Tripper

thinks it’s a race bike. It has an internally geared 3-speed drivetrain, disc brakes and wide Kenda Tires. The Steel/ Brown finish is low profile yet slick, MSRP $900. New from Yakima/Whispbar is the Frame Mount Bicycle Carrier, MSRP $299, an upright bike carrier that integrates with both rack and vehicle. Its SmartHold design applies perfect clamping presYakima/Whispbar Frame Mount sure to secure the bike Bicycle Carrier and protect the frame, fitting all downtubes. Whispbar’s QuickDock technology provides easy on/off, and the Integrated Lock System secures evYakima/Whispbar Aero Mid-Size Cargo Carrier erything with a single lock. Or try the new Fork Mount Carrier, currently the only fork mount that accommodates standard 9- and 15mm through axle forks without additional adapters. It also has easy on/off with the QuickDock system, MSRP $249. The company’s Aero Mid-Size Cargo Carrier, MSRP $999, is its first cargo box, offering 13.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity in a sleek, aerodynamic package that integrates with any vehicle. It features AccuCore dual-layer lid for stiffness and reduced drag, SmartLift spring-loaded hinges and dualsided opening, and the Integrated Lock System with SmartLatch handles for ultimate security. The Küat Racks Bottle Lock looks like a standard water bottle but inside is five feet of internally coiled 8mm cable that locks back into itself. The bottom is a compartment for storage of smaller items. It’s the most convenient lock for any bike with a water bottle holder, MSRP $29.

Skratch Labs all-natural hydration drink mix is made with ingredients you can pronounce, electrolytes and very little sweetness to make a clean, flavorful drink to help you stay at top performance during exertion. It has a strong reputation, good margins and quick turnover, MSRP $2 Skratch Labs hydration drink mix (single stick); $19.50 (1 lb. pack). Sugoi RSE NeoShell Jacket is the ultimate jacket for wet weather road riding. Available for men only, it features NeoShell main body construction with fully taped seams for full rain protection. An offset front zipper improves fit and comfort at the neck. There’s also a mountain bike specific RSX NeoShell Jacket. In addition to the unique palm venting design, Pearl Izumi's full finger EliteLite Gel-Vent Glove has been updated with the anatomic 1:1 Glove Fit and 1:1 Gel padding, designed to work in harmony with the structure of the hand and relieve pressure on Median and Ulnar nerves for the ultimate in comfort, durability and ventilation for Sugoi RSE NeoShell Jacket both mountain and road cycling, MSRP $45.The new Elite Ltd Climbers Jersey is made entirely of Pearl Izumi Direct-Vent mesh for the ultimate lightweight short sleeve jersey – a stylish necessity for mountain and road. ($100) FLOAT The Dagger Katana is designed for the adventurer who doesn't want to limit their kayaking to strictly whitewater. For beginner paddlers looking for a kayak that will give them comfort, flexibility and stability, and for intermediate or advanced paddlers needing storage for multi-day expeditions, the Katana

Küat Racks Bottle Lock



Wilderness Systems RideX

standing area and features such as new rigid aluminum carry handles with foam comfort sleeves make the Ride X user friendly. The Ride 115X Advance comes with the Phase 3 AirPro elevated seat for better visibility. With sell-through surpassing expectations, the new Kokotat Jackson Collection of three dry tops and one dry suit (and a PFD) is a must-have for cold weather paddling. Along with selecting the bold color pallet of tangerine, yellow, and denim, the Jacksons provided product insights that lead to innovations such as the Dynamic Suspension System (DSS), which was incorporated into the new Maximus PFD. The Gore-Tex Icon rear-entry dry suit and the rest of the collection is easily recognizable with bold colors and graphic details on the arm, a denim blue stripe down the leg and color blocking. Made with a mix of 3-layer Gore-Tex

Dagger Katana Kokotat Legend

is applicable for up to Class III whitewater. Innovative storage and safety options include a comfortable and customizable leg lifter, a streamlined low profile removable bulkhead footbrace system, and a dry stern storage area with an oval hatch for easy access. A large recessed cavity fits a water bottle, throw bag or the included zipper storage bag. The Katana also includes bow and stern deck bungees, storage straps in front and quick-clip gear loops behind. Wilderness Systems RideX 115, MSRP $1029, and RideX 115 Advance, MSRP $1,059, take kayak fishing to the next level. A removable console reveals a large pass through the hull and 8" SlideTrax along the stern tankwell and under the removable console allows anglers to outfit the sit-on-top with Scott, Yak Attack and RAM fishing accessories on the wider bulkhead. Additional scupper tubes increase support in the

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Pro Shell and 330 Cordura Gore-Tex fabrics, the Icon features a Masterseal T-Zip waterproof zipper. The collection of dry tops includes the Legend (offered in Gore-Tex and in Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3-layer fabric) and the Mythic Shorty, made in Hydrus 3L. The tops have latex neck and wrist/gaskets, self- draining neoprene neck and wrist over-cuffs, dual overskirt with hook and loop closure neoprene, and sealed seams. The Legend has an additional zippered chest pocket with key lanyard. Said EJ, “We wanted safe, fun visible colors that set us apart and made Kokatat a leader that way as well in this line. The gear is the best. The colors help the judges see us and looks great.”

ADD ONS LifeProof Samsung Galaxy S III nüüd Case is the only waterproof, all-protective case designed to work and protect without a screen cover. LifeProof ’s nüüd Screenless Technology forms a protective waterproof seal while keeping the screen open for direct touch and clarity. Provides same protection against waLifeProof Samsung Galaxy S III ter, dirt, snow and shock, MSRP $90. nüüd Case Fleece can loose 90 percent of its insulation and become heavy when it absorbs water. New Polar Proof Concentrate from Nikwax is washing machine applied and provides a durable waterproof treatment to fleece. Polar Proof also inhibits pilling, maintaining the quality of the fleece longer. It’s a concentrate, so consumers will spend less to treat more and it comes in an environmentally friendly pouch. Be sure to stock some Base Fresh as well, to help customers keep base layers smelling fresh all season long. When it comes to add-ons, this is one of the best things going. These handy Gerber GDC Zip little zipper pulls Tools Nikwax solve pretty much Polar Proof Concentrate any problem you could have on the go, from a loose seat to a cold beer that needs opening. Convenient and lightweight, the new Gerber GDC (Gerber Daily Carry) Zip Tools consist of four smartly compact utility tools for outdoor adventure. The GDC collection includes the Zip Blade, Zip Driver, Zip Hex and Zip Light+ (with bottle opener), each of which fastens easily and securely to the zipper pull of a pack or jacket. When needed you simply unclip the GDC tool using the quick release, MSRP $12. Snow Peak’s Lapel Torch offers hands-free lighting with a simple magnetic clip to attach to your jacket, shirt or shoulder strap. The light can be tilted and

Princeton Tec 175-lumen Remix Rechargeable Headlamp

turned to focus its beam in any direction. Features 60 lumens on high with four light modes plus variable dim; one charge lasts140 hours on low, MSRP $60. The Princeton Tec 175-lumen Remix Rechargeable Headlamp offers a spot beam, flood beam and red rear flasher for visibility on the road. The rugged-ized, thermal protected lithium ion battery is charged by micro-USB, and the light accepts three AAA batteries for backup power. LED power/charge meter is integrated into the battery pack. Waterproof to one meter, MSRP $80. Liberty continues to be one of the best waterbottle gift buys on the market. These recycled-aluminum bottles are BPA free inside and out, and completely made in the USA. Any consumer can walk up to the factory and take a tour – totally transparent. Fully custom bottles are available for brands, retailers and events with a low minimum of 72 bottles. Print anything in Liberty waterbottle any color. Shock Doctor offers a number of fantastic products not just for team sports but for runners, hikers, skiers, skaters and more. Check out their new Active Ultra Insole, performance insurance for the feet, engineered for foot alignment and shock absorption. At 5mm, the Active Ultra comfortably shapes the foot to stability, and the anti-microbial treated foam Shock Doctor gives 20 percent more rebound than Active Ultra Insole others, MSRP $40. ■

Snow Peak’s Lapel Torch



Camping Segment Still Growing The Camping and Backpacking market continues to march on despite a slow start this spring.

Whether glamping or high-alpine record setting, after getting lighter weights dialed in over the last several seasons, consumers are asking for their comfort back. From packs to cookware to tents, weight continues to be a driver, bolstered by material and construction technology innovations. Other progress can be seen in the ways suppliers are working with dealers, both in labeling and merchandising, but also in displays, packaging and incentives. In apparel, it’s still fashion forward with an eye toward multi-use. By Aaron H. Bible

50 AUGUST 2013




utdoor equipment specialist AceCamp, LLC heads to Outdoor Retailer with a new line of self-contained emergency kits ranging from the Elite 72-Hour Kit to keep a household prepared after a natural disaster to a Kids Bug Out Bag for keeping smaller members of the household ready for anything. These curated kits pull from AceCamp's large product line to package necessities in easy-to-store containers so they’re there when you need them.

AceCamp, LLC Elite 72-Hour Kit

AceCamp, LLC Kids Bug Out Bag

Look for a lot of new introductions from Big Agnes at Outdoor Retailer, beginning with the Angle Spring UL2, MSRP $400, single/double-wall hybrid, weighing 2 lbs., 9 oz. with 29 square feet. The single wall section on the back eliminates unnecessary fly fabric and one large D-shaped door and vestibule make for easy entry. Media pockets above the sleeping area enable clean cord routing. The Stash Sash on the tent body makes stowing the unzipped door simple. Compatible with new Entertainment Center Loft for tablets, sold separately, MSRP $50. The Scout Plus UL2, $350, ultra-lightweight single wall tent weighs 1 lb., 14 oz. and features one door and vestibule. Full eve and rear vent system keep tent well ventilated. Gear bins are built in at the head for storage. Setup requires two trekking poles (not included).

Big Agnes Scout Plus UL2

Big Agnes Angle Spring UL2

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Big Agnes Double Z Air Pad

The 4-inch super-light Double Z Air Pad, MSRP $80, weighs 18 oz. in the 20x72" size. Stabilizer construction distributes weight evenly creating a smooth, comfortable feel and includes a two-piece valve for one-way inflation and quick deflation. The rectangular Big Pine, MSRP $350, can be zipped closed as a sleeping bag or unzipped as a comforter. It’s filled with 700 fill DownTek and features nylon microfiber rip-stop. The new Bald Mountain mummy synthetic sleeping bag features Pinneco Core insulation and Insotect Tubic construction. Pinneco Core is a new synthetic insulation designed to be more breathable, thermally efficient and sustainably engineered (Bluesign certified). Insotect Tubic design provides maximum cubic loft for thermal efficiency and comfort. The bag was designed to decrease weight and size while increasing thermal value using the traditional mummy shape. Imported by Big Agnes is the new Helinox Ground Chair, an ultralight camp or backpacking chair that weighs 1.2 pounds and features lightweight durable DAC poles. Made from mesh on back and sides, this chair is capable of holding up to 145kg and opens and folds back into it’s pouch reliably each use.

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Tension 30

Brooks-Range Mountaineering Tension 40

Big Agnes Helinox Ground Chair

Following up on their CampStove biomass-burning innovation last year, BioLite introduces the add-on KettlePot. The clean design includes a heat skirt to improve efficiency and protect flames from wind. The KettlePot doubles as a carrying case for the CampStove. Offering no-compromise hybrid power and a full feature-set, the Black Diamond BioLite KettlePot ReVolt is a rechargeable (via USB) headlamp that also runs on AAA alkaline batteries. A TriplePower LED, two SinglePower white LEDs and two SinglePower red LEDs emit up to 110 lumens (max setting using alkaline batteries). Red night-vision mode has proximity and strobe settings and activates without cycling through white mode. Settings include full-strength in proximity and distances modes, dimming, strobe, red night vision and lock mode. Power meter shows remaining battery life; and it’s protected against splashing or sprayed water from any angle. MSRP $60.

features one carbon pole that runs across the top, two crossing poles for headroom, and 2mm cord integrated in the seams to create the perfect amount of tension for optimal stability and structure. The double door/double vestibule layout offers ample room without added weight. MSRP estimated, $500. Coghlan’s introduces ten new products for Spring 2014. “Coghlan’s is eager to present its new 2014 product line at Summer OR this year,” said Justin Vandenberg, marketing manager. “Our products are the real deal for outdoor enthusiasts, so whether you’re out trekking in the backwoods, staying at a campsite or just relaxing in the backyard, Coghlan’s gear provides convenience, versatility and safety.” Highlights include the indestructible LED 10” Nail Pegs, which feature single LED lights for night-time visibility, and can be angled 45 degrees to provide light on the ground or up along your tent guy lines. For “go anywhere lighting,” The Adhesive Signal Light is completely submersible, dust-proof and hermetically sealed, providing 80+ hours of use. Coghlan’s Trekking Umbrella is an all-fiberglass design, featuring a vented canopy to buffer strong winds and a bright LED light in the handle. The new Nylon Paracord Bracelets, with a break-strength of 550 pounds, can unravel in seconds and are the ideal emergency survival rope. Also new to the 2014 line are the Clip-On Tube Mantles, 1.4 oz. Personal Safety Air Horn, Cedar Fire Disc, 50’ Paracord and a Bowl of Bear Bells.

Eureka introduces its 2014 camping line with new tents, sleeping bags, lightBrooks-Range Mountaineering is introducing an innovative tent for Spring 2014 in the Tension 30 and Tension 40. ing and camp furniture. “This year has been an exciting one to be working with Weighing 3 and 4 lbs., respectively, the minimalist design Eureka as we have designed the 2014 line to include something for everyone



Eureka Midori Solo

GSI Outdoors Ultralight Halulite Boiler Pots

- including the adrenaline sports, done-in-aday users, the family camper and the backpacking enthusiast,” said Mark Hrubant, senior director, camping, Johnson Outdoors Gear, LLC. The company’s entry into the adventure basecamp market includes Eureka Recliner chair we at her-prote c t ive 3-season tents. The Taron Basecamp 4 and 6 are freestanding two-pole aluminum dome tents with side brim poles for increased headroom and interior volume. They incorporate Eureka’s new E!luminate System, removable reflective ceiling fabric panels which, when installed, reflect the light from a hanging LED lantern back toward the floor. For backpackers, Eureka’s mummy collection of sleeping bags has been redesigned with enhancements to its proprietary Rteq synthetic insulation. Driving better thermal performance, the collection of four models will feature EN Standard temperature ratings. Models range from 0°F to 45°F and are offered in regular, long and women-specific sizes. The all-new Star Valley 45° model is a lightweight, warm weather bag available in regular and long sizes and weighs two lbs. and 2lbs., 3oz., respectively. Eureka is also expanding its camping furniture with four new comfort-focused styles. “Each year GSI Outdoors looks at market trends, but just as important, we talk to our consumers,” said Don Scott, co-owner of GSI Outdoors. “For 2014, we are offering a series of our exclusive Halulite boilers and pots in different sizes. We are a leader in lightweight and compact backpacking cookware and this is just the next step.” They will offer two sizes of the Ultralight Halulite Boiler

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GSI Outdoors Java Mill

Pots in 1.1 and 1.8 liters. The anodized cookware is made of a proprietary alloy that is light like titanium (but less expensive), more heat-efficient with better heat distribution. A sure-grip folding handle locks into place for cooking and also secures the entire set for transport. Mesh bags included, MSRP $30/$35. Three new pots in three sizes (2, 3.2 and 4.7 liters) are also for the ultralightweight fiend. Locking, double stainless steel bail handles make for easy handling. The lid includes strainer holes and silicone thumb pads. The spiral turned bottoms of the pots grip stoves, MSRP $36/$40/$45. The GSI Outdoors Java Mill is an adjustable, conical burr, ceramic coffee grinder. An alloy handle nests down along side the Mill for easy packing. Easy-to-fill top with smooth action bearing makes grinding coffee beans easy. Made of BPA Free Tritan co-polyester, MSRP $30.

Founded in 1971, Sweden-based Hilleberg The Tentmaker is a family-owned company that manufactures lightweight tents of the highest quality for every season. Hilleberg sales are up 50 percent overall compared to the same time last year and they are seeing increases with all retailers and over all models. First introduced last spring, Hilleberg’s first three-season tents have been well received, especially important since they are most well known for their all-season tents. The Anjan GT is carrying over for Spring 2014 and has been getting very favorable reviews in both the GT2, MSRP $655, and GT3, MSRP $725, styles. Hilleberg’s new labeling system helps people select the right model.

Hilleberg The Tentmaker Anjan GT

Comprised of a zipperless pack with smartly designed compartments, an 800-fill DriDown insulated sleeping bag with waterproof panels on the head and foot, a tent with short poles and stargazing fly, and three different sleep pads – the Kelty TraiLogic gear is designed to work together as a system. Conveniently, it works with any other packs, bags, tents or sleep pads as well, and creative labeling will help retailers integrate the new collection into their inventory program.

Leki is introducing its new adjustable strap on 18 trekking pole models (60 percent of their trekking pole line) for 2014. Made with UV-resistant air textured polyester that’s soft yet strong and fray- and abrasion-resistant, the new strap is as strong as its nylon counterparts but dries faster. And since the fabric is easily woven in different configurations - from wide to narrow in the same band – the threads have incredible seam strength and will not fray or cut, giving the strap a soft hand overall. LEKI also introduced its Trekking Pole Guide with Backpacker online that educates consumers on why poles are important to extending life on the trail and how to choose the right pole for individual needs – also a great tool for retailers. “This season the product team pulled some meaningful hat tricks – bringing true innovation to accessibly priced backpacking tents and sleeping bags,” said Robert Fry, Mountain Hardwear director of product merchandising. “Everyone who’s seen the Optic Tent and Ratio/Heratio Bag has had the ‘ah-ha’ moment. With the Tangent 2, we’ve arguably designed the strongest alpine tent ever devised, but in a backpacking tent weight-class.” The Tangent 2, MSRP $450, is Mountain Hardwear’s lightest-weight, double-wall 4-season tent. Strength, integrity and

Mountain Hardwear Tangent 2

stability are increased with twelve points of contact in the Trident Corner instead of four, without additional poles, utilizing a “soft” third leg that flexes and bends with wind force. The Tangent 2 is light and strong with the airflow of a double-wall. Featuring two large adjacent doors that open for a 180-degree view, the Optic Tent 2.5, MSRP $240, welcomes smaller companions or extra gear. Weighing 5 lbs., 13oz., the freestanding tent uses

New For 2014

Fire disc

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DAC Pressfit poles. A reflective starter tab on the rainfly and canopy make pitching after dark easier. Be sure to get a glimpse of the Ratio 32 for men and the Heratio 32 for women, MSRP $230, entry level down bags as well. "As the definition of outdoor recreation expands and evolves over the years, we as an industry search for ways to attract new users,” said Jay Getzel, president of Mountainsmith. “Our line of travel storage products solve problems for a large demographic of recreationalists and offers utilitarian solutions to issues we all face in getting organized from the garage to the vehicle to our destination

Mountainsmith Modular Hauler

in the outdoors." The new Mountainsmith Modular Hauler comes with three Basic Cubes that keep outdoor gear organized. Foam padded for free standing access, they are constructed of 1680 denier ballistic polyester body fabric with reinforced carry handles. Features include side panel haul handles, compression straps and tie-down loops to keep the hauler secure in a vehicle. Individual cubes are designed with weather-resistant linings, tote-style haul and shoulder handles and reinforcement piping for added stability, MSRP $90. This is the first year Millet will bring its entire line of sleeping bags to the U.S. The World Roof is noteworthy for its use of DownTek down on the ground level of the bag and for its bi-directional baffles (horizontal on bottom half of body, vertical on top half) to limit feather shifting and for

Millet World Roof

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built-in loft. It’s a wider, five-season bag designed for expeditions, MSRP $599. The Baikal Extend takes stretch stitching technology that has become popular in down bags and applies it to a synthetic bag. It’s full featured, three-season and water repellent, available in RH or LH zipper for combinability, MSRP $129. For Spring 2014, MSR looked at what they wanted their new tents to be, rather than what did they want to change with the previous Hubba Tent Series. Surprisingly light and easy to assemble, the new Elixir 2 and 3 tents are livable performance tents for budget-conscious backpackers. The freestanding design features two doors and two vestibules and ample room per person. Zipper orientation allows vestibule door to hang out of the way for unrestricted access. Pole geometry creates optimized headroom while adaptable rainfly allows

Millet Baikal Extend

MSR Elixir 2

MSR Elixir 3

MSR MiniGroundhog Tent Stakes

for excellent views. Pole system and color-coded poles, clips and webbing make setup easy. Included footprint offers multiple setup options, including free standing and fast and light pitch with rainfly. The camping stalwart is also introducing a new line of Summer Trekking Poles built to support summer backcountry travelers. Designed around the easy and reliable adjustment system - Trigger Release - they offer unrivaled trekking performance regardless of terrain. Also new from MSR is the Strike Ignitor, the Ultralight Kitchen Set and the 2-Person Mess Kit. The new MiniGroundhog Tent Stakes, MSRP $18, are a lighter version of MSR's popular Groundhog stake; Y-beam design penetrates and holds in firm soil. The 7000-aluminum is light and strong and each includes pull cord for easy removal, 10 g./15 cm. The Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Filter System Complete Kit simplifies backcountry water filtration and includes a 2.0L dirty collection reservoir with quick release fitting, hollow-fiber filter, hoses and a patent-pending Universal Bottle Adapter. The Universal Bottle Adapter is compatible with most water bottles, and also allows users to filter directly into hydration system drink tubes, re-filling reservoirs without needing to remove them from packs. It’s easy: scoop up the dirty water, attach the appropriate adapter, and hold the dirty bag above your hydration pack or bottle to filter water directly into it. It is field maintainable with a four-second backflush to clean the filter, and works with any system, MSRP $110. The new for Spring 2014 from Sierra Designs comes the Backcountry Bed insulated with 800-fill DriDown hydrophobic down and is zipperless - with access through a large top opening. An oversized, integrated comforter seals the opening and can either be tucked in on cold nights or untucked when for warmer weather. The oval-shaped opening naturally adjusts in width to prevent cold drafts but does not restrict your natural Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed

Sierra Designs Flashlight UL

sleeping position. Features an integrated sleeping pad sleeve and is available in 2-season (30-degree, MSRP $349, or 3-season, 15-degree, MSRP $399, with regular, long, and women’s specific models. Non-freestanding and worthy of its legendary name, the new Flashlight is the ultimate backpacking tent for comfort and lightweight. Hybrid single/double wall construction reduces weight and speeds set-up while dual drop doors provide easy access in and out (eight inches of awning over each door provides dry entry and exit and sun protection while allowing the door to remain open during a storm). Unique design keeps packs accessible from inside the tent Sierra Designs eliminating the need to Trench Jacket crawl over gear to get in and out. Weighing 2lbs, 15.5oz., the Flashlight UL has 30 square feet of interior space and a 46inch peak height. Two of the three included poles can be substituted for trekking poles to reduce weight, MSRP $360. For solo backpackers, it’s available as the Flashlight 1 UL, (2lbs, 2oz.; MSRP $299. Sierra Designs is also introducing trail-to-table worthy knit tops, all-weather pants, and the Trench Jacket for men and women. The Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp is made from seam-sealed waterproof 15K Ultra-Sil Nano fabric, the company’s 15 Denier Sil/U coated 1,200mm waterhead rated Nylon. Eight Hypalon tie-out points will each hold the tip of a trekking pole and have a cord adjuster and reflective guy lines pre-attached, helping the Escapist achieve a wide variety of setup options



Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

and also attach easily to the Escapist Mesh Inners, available separately. The Medium Escapist weighs 9.5 ounces. It can protect two sleepers from the rain when set up close to the ground as an A-frame. The Large Escapist weighs 12.3 ounces and also makes a good tent awning or sun shelter. The proven durability and construction of Stanley bottles is now available in cooler form. Stanley Lunch Cooler Featuring a leak resistant lid and adjustable tie down to keep bottles or mugs in place, the new Lunch Cooler doubles as a seat, available in two sizes and two colors with a lifetime guarantee, MSRP $65. The company is also introducing a water bottle version of its classic vacuum sealed thermos; an Adventure Two Pot Prep + Cook Set; Adventure eCycle Nesting Food Containers; and nesting eCycle Infinite Mug/Bowl, MSRP $13. Ticla is a new lifestyle camping brand designed from the ground up. It's not repurposed backpacking designs nor is it low-cost disposable stuff. It's design-intense, high-end gear that fills a huge hole in the current camping world. Inspired and intuitive car camping gear framed by the tagline “Camp Better,” Ticla’s simple and clever debut includes tents, bags, pads and tarps. Ticla’s perspective is the brainchild of Rich Hill, a veteran outdoor industry executive with a resume

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that includes work with Prana, Ibex and Patagonia, and he’s assembled an A-team for this launch. Design epiphanies include strides forward in gear storage, transport and assembly (The G.O.O.D. System); truly human tent ratings (Tsubo Sizing); and a cast iron guarantee. Utilizing WaveCore technology, the new Therm-a-Rest Venture WV, MSRP $70, mattress offers quality and performance for entry-level and recreational backcountry users. WaveCore Technology slows heat loss using a single layer of horizontal Therm-a-Rest Venture WV

Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Classic

wave baffles. It doubles the warmth of uninsulated air mattresses while maintaining similar weights and price points for stability and comfort. The original RidgeRest mattress design is returning as a best value in closed-cell pads. The RidgeRest Classic mattress merges ultra-durable crosslink polyethylene with heat-trapping peaks and valleys. The NeoAir Trekker, Trail Pro, Trail Like and Trail Scout have all been redesigned for 2014. Every Therm-a-Rest mattress is built locally in Seattle and Ireland and tested to strict durability standards. Also new is a line of women’s sleeping bags, featuring ThermaCapture reflective lining, for warmth without added weight or bulk, combined with zoned insulation. Tapered, women’s-specific differential cuts and shorter overall lengths maximize loft and minimize space to capture and retain body heat without restriction, while Synergy-Link Connectors align and integrate bag and mattress. Check out the full line including down blankets. An accessory for the Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite, UltraLite, and Mesh Cot collection, the LuxuryLite Cot Warmer Liner attaches to the underside of your cot with six elasticized hooks to increase its R-Value. Light, easy and eliminates the need for a sleeping pad, and takes a cot from one season to three seasons.

tables and accessories sold by the family-owned company in Washington State. Founded in 1984, Travel Chair uses high quality drawn aluminum tubing and a proprietary plastic formula for joints and feet.

Celebrating 30 years in business at Outdoor Retailer, TravelChair introduces the new Joey Chair and SleepRite Cot, both are lightweight, easy to live with (fewer parts, better construction) and competitively priced. “With both of these products we’re providing the industry’s best quality and durability at price points that are attractive for retailers and their customers,” said Travel Chair VP of Marketing Daniel Roso. “The Joey Chair and SleepRite Cot represent a confluence of features, simplicity, durability and price that can’t be found anywhere else.” The new products join a line of more than 40 camp chairs, stools,

Yonder iPhone App has the community driven recommendations and reviews of Yelp, with the ease and visual appeal of Instagram, 100-percent focused on outdoor fun and adventure. It serves as a resource and an interactive social platform to share adventures, photos and trip notes. As soon as you log on Yonder registers where you are and will show an impressive list of places to check out in the area. You can limit your search by selecting which of 21 activities interest you including: biking, hiking, kayaking, rock-climbing, surfing, camping and more. Yonder has built 20,000 location notes and is growing. Users can keep their “hidden stashes” private among their connections or share their favorites. ■

TravelChair's Joey Chair and SleepRite Cot

Yonder iPhone App




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Columbia Sportswear’s apparel for Spring 2014 is focused on delivering its Omni-Freeze Zero technology to a broader array of consumers with more price-points, styles and color options. Omni-Freeze Zero’s little blue rings position an active cooling agent next to the skin that reacts with sweat to lower the temperature of the fabric and accelerate wicking, creating an instant and prolonged cooling effect. The technology will be available in all men’s and women’s categories including outerwear, PFG and accessories and in youth styles for the first time. All together, the Omni-Freeze Zero line will encompass 58 styles in prices ranging from $20 to $130. In pinnacle styles, the Zero Rules SS in men’s and women’s, MSRP $40, has OmniFreeze Zero technology, comes in a variety of colors, is UPF 30, antimicrobial, offering comfort-stretch and a casual fit.

For women, Columbia took a new approach to its dress collection in outdoor lifestyle. The new products deliver fashion and fit in cotton knits to fabrics with Omni-Freeze Zero or Omni-Wick Evap. The Reel Dress II Maxi Dress, MSRP $60, features Omni-Wick technology in and offers UPF 15 sun-protection in a fun, feminine look that reflects the coastal lifestyle that inspired the collection.

Columbia Sportswear Zero Rules SS

Columbia Sportswear Reel Dress II Maxi Dress

Helly Hanson Challenger Performance Tights Helly Hanson Odin Moon Light Jacket

Mammut Cellon Hoody

Mammut Ultimate Hoody

Mammut MTR 201 Rainspeed Jacket

The new for Spring 2014 Feather Jacket, MSRP $90, men’s and women’s, from Helly Hanson is a lightweight hooded wind jacket with its own self-storing pocket. Elastic cuffs, vents, reflective hits and a back pocket round out details. The fit and fabric of the new Challenger SS, MSRP $60, constructed with the HH Cool fabric that wick moisture away from skin - is hard to beat. The Lifa Stay Dry technology has evolved from four decades of research. Features flatlock seams and regular fit for everyday use. The Challenger Performance Tights, MSRP $130, combine compression fabrics with ergonomically supportive prints. Non-abrasive stitching adds comfort, and an internal key pocket and reflective details provide functionality. For warm trail days, the Fire Active Shorts 7", MSRP $55, are some of the lightest running shorts for men available. The non-restrictive training shorts feature quick-dry, lightweight and highly breathable fabrics. Includes integrated boxer. The Odin Moon Light Jacket, MSRP $200 men and women, is an essential adventure jacket - fully water- and wind-proof yet breathable construction, seam sealed, and includes storm flaps and vents. Fully adjustable cuffs, hood, and waist let you adjust the fit for year-round use. (Also see the Loke Jacket and Guiding Light Jacket in this line.) The Katmai Rain Jacket, MSRP $140, is also worth a look. You won’t be able to miss the Nine K, MSRP $150, with its full weather protection and eye-catching pattern; and the women’s Fremont Jacket, MSRP $130, with a clean, outdoor design. It’s waterproof, breathable and windproof with fully sealed seams and Helly Tech Protection. Mammut updated its line of Gore Windstopper products such as the Ultimate Hoody, Ultimate Jacket, Ultimate Light and the new Cellon Hoody with the newest Windstopper 3-layer and Windstopper Active fabrics in a relaunched line of performance soft shells. Ranging from $179 to $280, highlights are new two-tone wicking backing fabric in the Ultimate Hoody, new cuff designs and brim stiffeners in hoods, better abrasion resistance and overall cleaner lines. In Hardshells, the strongselling Masao Jacket, (Makai for women), gets a facelift and a fabric upgrade with Mammut's new DryTech Premium 3-Layer fabric - 20k mm water resistance, simplified pocket design and a drop hem design. Waterproof zips, pit vents and harness/backpack-compatible pockets round out this $300 shell. Building on the Alpine Performance line's success with the MTR Micro Jacket, look for the new MTR 201 Rainspeed Jacket. Designed for trail running, it’s also an ideal travel piece where space is at a premium. Weighing 6.3 ounces and waterproof to 10k mm. The 2.5-layer DryTech has a honeycomb backer fabric that aids breathability, MSRP $159.



Marmot Men’s Essence Jacket

Marmot Men’s Hyper Lite

Marmot The Accelerator Hoody

Marmot introduces innovative new products for every trail activity for Spring 2014. The Men’s Essence Jacket, MSRP $200, uses Marmot’s new NanoPro Membrain on seam-taped ripstop nylon. It is feature rich with vents, hood, chest pocket, ergonomic design and reflective accents. The Men’s Hyper Lite, MSRP $400, features Gore-Tex Marmot Interval Tank

Marmot Essential Short

Marmot Adroit Jacket

Active Shell instead of the proprietary NanoPro. The Accelerator Hoody, MSRP $150, offers all bonded seams on mid-weight, breathable performance knit fabric with stretch panels. Silicone grip print on shoulders gives it some fashionable functionality. The women’s Adroit Jacket, MSRP $250, includes seam-taped Marmot NanoPro Membrain waterproof/breathable stretch fabric in a fully featured storm jacket. Women can look forward to the lightweight Interval Tank and Essential Short with stretch and breathability. Marmot is also introducing a full line of hydration technology in the Kompressor series; ranging from hand-helds, to belts, to a 32-liter pack. Expanding its Cool.Q Zero collection, Mountain Hardwear introduces new high-performance trail running pieces for athletes. The CoolRunner T, MSRP $65, is a technical tee with Wick.Q Evap on the sides and Cool.Q Zero on the front and back. Flat lock seams prevent chaffing while reflective trim adds visibility. The CoolHiker T, MSRP $45, features Cool.Q technology with a cotton feel. Women will appreciate the Mighty Power Cool SportBra, MSRP $45), billed as the coolest bra for hiking, running, climbing or cross-training with strategically placed Cool.Q Zero panels and a racerback silhouette. They’re also introducing new shells. “Technical shells developed for Spring and Summer need to do everything a winter shell needs to do with regards to weather protection - only they have to be lighter, sleeker, more packable, more breathable and more versatile to accommodate the vagaries of shoulder season weather,” said Robert Fry, director of product merchandising. One of their lightest and fastest climbing jackets for men and women, the Hyaction Jacket, MSRP $350, has

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Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker T

Mountain Hardwear Super Light Plasmic Jacket

soft-shell gaiter made with nylon-spandex Cordura fabric, building on the Outdoor Research gaiter of the same name. Entry and exit uses an offset closure and a single draw cord on the back tightens using an X pattern on both the inside and outside of the gaiter, MSRP $54.

Outdoor Research Astroman Shirt

stretch and UPF 50 sun protection; it’s breathable, dries quickly and offers good mobility. With front snap closures, a subtle check pattern, an understated chest pocket and a collar that stands up and snaps together when you need added sun protection on the neck, this shirt transitions easily from the vertical world to casual wear, MSRP $85.

abrasion-resistant fabric on the upper shoulders and arms, Dry.Q Evap and Dry.Q Elite technologies, and harness and pack compatible pockets. Also light and waterproof, the Super Light Plasmic Jacket, MSRP $200, features a 15D face fabric combined with Dry.Q Evap wicking technology. From outdoor apparel leader Outdoor Research comes new items for backpacking, camping and adventure travel. The Astroman Shirt is made with 85 percent nylon for abrasion resistance, 15 percent Spandex for

Burly enough for the trail, quick drying enough for the water and stylish enough for town, Backcountry Boardshorts answers the call for a single pair of shorts that can do anything - from surfing to hiking. Made with 100 percent poly-twill, they have triple-stitch seams and a 9¼-inch inseam. Lasercut belt loops are low profile, MSRP, $65. Featuring lightweight stretch Madras fabric 98 percent cotton, 1 percent spandex and 1 percent polyester), the Jinx is ideal for hot weather. Front button closures and button pocket finish this classic yarn-dyed plaid, MSRP $70. The women's Flyway Collection features light, airy fabrics and the right combination of performance and design for easy transition from trail to casual wear. Consisting of a tank, dress, zip hoody, long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirt, the collection features a spacedyed, dri-release cotton blend with a multi-tonal look, the performance of synthetic and the feel of cotton. It was developed by the Outdoor Research women’s design team and female athlete ambassadors, MSRP $49 to $79. Flex-Tex II Gaiters are a shorter-cut

While men have always had plenty of backpacking, climbing and trekking apparel options, women have had fewer. Stonewear Designs Rockin’ Pant, is shown in a durable wicking material that includes double topstitching and a hidden side-zip pocket. This is the ideal multi-sport partner as it will move on the rock, through a pose or pack Stonewear Designs Tango Tank

Stonewear Designs Rockin’ Pant

Stonewear Designs Wanderlust Skirt

Stonewear Designs Velocity Top

away as the perfect travel pant. Available in three lengths, MSRP $78. With newly added bra cups, the Tango Tank offers extra support to a climbing essential. Made from quick-dry, lightweight, soft jersey fabric. The halter features a gathered scoop neck, crossover back straps and lengthy hem with a wide cuff, MSRP $64.With kick pleats, a contoured waist and flat piping, the Wanderlust Skirt is made from new quick-dry, wrinkle-free, stretch woven fabric. A detachable stuff-and-stash zip pocket can be worn at the waist or threaded through a belt or carabiner, MSRP $64. The moisture wicking Velocity Top, MSRP $48 and CrossBack Sports Bra, MSRP $36, round out the new styles. ■



Back To Packs Revisiting this vital piece of gear‌ a continually growing category with more functional, lighter weight and better-fitting products than ever before. By Aaron H. Bible

Carrying the bedroom, kitchen and closet all in one compact, portable bag is no easy feat. And while backpacks don’t come with mortgage payments, other things can weigh you down: hot spots, sore backs, sweat-drenched clothing, or digging through a cavernous black hole looking for that one essential item in the middle of a rainstorm. Fortunately, manufacturers continue to put a massive amount of research and consideration into pack architecture, using feedback from athletes, dealers and users to guide their designs. While some innovations are microscopically incremental, others are monumental. And every improvement can help make that 70-pound bag of concrete strapped to your back feel a little more like home. Here's a look at some of the key innovations for Spring 2014.

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a mesh surface. The main compartment can be divided, is accessible from the top and bottom and features a spindrift collar and compression straps. With a top lid, several external pockets, hydration compatibility, an adjustable sternum strap and multiple attachment points for ice axes or poles, it’s a lightweight pack that doesn’t compromise functionality. Made with 420D and 210D Nylon Velocity, they’re available in men's and women's Bergans Rondane 65 Bergans Rondane 46 sizes. The Rondane 38, MSRP $159, is a large daypack or medium hut-to-hut pack. It features a separate compartment at the bottom for gear organization, adjustable sternum strap, ventilated hip belt, and Bergans QuickAdjust shoulder harness. The Rondane 30, MSRP $129, is a lightweight, medium daypack or compact hut backpack with a separate compartment, front expandable pocket and internal and external zippered pockets.The lightweight, ventilated and versatile Rondane 26, MSRP $109, daypack can be adjusted quickly with Bergans QuickAdjust harness to fit both large and small users and has perforated foam and mesh on the Bergans Rondane 30 Bergans Rondane 38 back and harnesses. The Rondane 12, MSRP $109, and 6, MSRP $99, training and competition packs are designed for running, cross-country skiing and mountain biking with back and shoulder harness made of ventilated foam with a mesh surface. Bergans patent-pending

Photo courtesy Gregory

Norway’s Bergans, famous for their folding canoes, hiking, camping, running and hunting gear, is launching the new Rondane pack line this year - an old product name completely revamped. The Rondane 65, MSRP $199, and 46, MSRP $179, are multi-functional, spring steel frame packs featuring Bergan's new QuickAdjust shoulder system. The harness has stabilizing straps reaching from the top of the back panel to the shoulders, and a 3D molded hip belt, both made with perforated foam with

Bergans Rondane 6

Bergans Rondane 12

Bergans Rondane 26

RS3 Stability System prevents the pack from jumping on the shoulders. The integrated Source 2L hydration system helps maintain fluid balance; shoulder strap pockets make it easy to grab something to eat on the fly; the internal zippered pocket stores smaller items; the Gilly lacing system allows wearers to strap items to the outside; and attachment points allow for a bicycle light or reflector. The 12 and 6L packs also have a detachable hip web strap and a dual sternum cord system.



Deuter’s reputation for innovative, high-quality, multiuse packs is highlighted by the ventilated back system they developed and refined over the last 24 years. Since establishing a subsidiary in Longmont, CO in 2001, Deuter USA established over 600 specialty accounts and has been recognized as one of Deuter Aera the top backpack brands in the industry. The new Aera series of smaller, lighter packs, ranging from 22-30L, feature the Aircomfort back system, said to reduce perspiration by 25 percent. These packs are ideal for alpine, fast-and-light endeavors, day trips or weight-concerned overnighters. The series has four different styles, two of them women's. For 2014, Deuter will also address extra-long torso models with three packs that fit up to 24-inch torsos in the sub-50L category. The Act Lite series comes in sizes 70+10 SL (slim line) and 75+10.

Known for their sleek, streamlined designs and intelligent feature sets, Black Diamond’s most versatile climbing pack, the Epic 35, MSRP $170, is built for the spectrum of rock, ice and alpine endeavors. The Epic features a toploading, guidestyle design with ergoActive suspension eliminating sore spots and bruising and allowing the upper body to rotate naturally. Shoulder straps and hip belts keep loads balanced. With the hip belt tightened for maximum load transfer, your waist is still able to move naturally in three dimensions, even when climbing or running, distributing loads across more muscle groups reducing stress on knees and ankles. Black Diamond Epic 35

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With 28 new packs, Spring 2014 will mark the largest collection of new products in Gregory's 35-year history. “Spring 2014 is the most complete and well-rounded product selection we’ve ever offered,” explained John Sears, director of product development at Gregory. “We thought long and hard before deciding to change some of our Gregory Z Series Backpack best-selling packs. We’ve made substantial improvements and we’re confident that our customers will appreciate the time and thought that went into the line.” Gregory designers overhauled the award-winning Z and J Series Backpacks. Known for lightweight yet technically featured design, Z packs for men and J packs for women now use a totally breathable back panel, shoulder harness and waist belt as well as a more sculpted, modern profile. Pack materials have been updated with lightweight, durable fabrics so each pack is up to 30 percent lighter than the previous generation. All Z and J packs Gregory Miwok



without a stuff sack. An integrated rain cover is there when you need it, gone when you don’t. Two ‘wing’ pockets are prefect for standard tent poles and double as compression straps. Suited for use with the Kelty TraiLogic SB sleeping bags, TN tents, and PD sleep pads, the PK 50 will also accommodate all standard backpacking equipment. Available in S/M, M/L, and women’s specific sizing.

feature Gregory’s proprietary CrossFlo Suspension that auto-balances flexibility and stiffness as the load increases. Z packs range from 65 liters for extended multi-day backpacking trips to 25 liters for day hikes. Z55, MSRP $199, J packs start at 63 liters and scale to 23 liters. In Gregory’s Active Trail category, the men’s Miwok and the women’s Maya packs all received revisions. Updated Miwok and Maya packs have new, streamlined designs with active suspension that hugs the body and remains stable for hiking, cycling and multi-use day excursions. The packs all have easy hydration access, moisture-wicking harness, waist belt, backpanel and multi-use features. Extra touches include expandable storage, sunglass stash, safety light lash, quick hook closures, side compression, helmet carry and jacket bungee. The Miwok is offered in 44, 34, 24, 18, 12 and 6-liter versions. (Miwok 18, MSRP $99. The Maya comes in 42, 32, 22, 16, 10 and 5-liter sizes. Based in Boulder, CO, Kelty uses its backyard Rocky Mountains to test, create and continually improve,

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Kelty PK 50

combining new technology with common sense in well-made, affordable outdoor products. The innovative 50-liter PK 50, MSRP $200, is a fixed-suspension pack compartmentalized for organization and engineered for optimum loadcarrying comfort. Cornerstone of the new TraiLogic backpacking gear, it’s a zipperless pack with flip-open design for quick packing and easy access to essentials. A detachable clothing compartment on the front keeps apparel organized and accessible while allowing the PK 50 to convert to a 35-liter pack for shorter trips. A stretch mesh pocket is designed to keep your tent accessible while a separate sleeping bag compartment is designed to stow your bag with or

From Millet, the Prolighter MXP 60+20, MSRP $199, is a mountaineering backpack designed for expeditions at high altitude. The X-Lighter back design features vertical, ventilated pads that follow the spine and are a continuous construction into the shoulder straps, offering lightweight support. The primary fabric is 210D Honeycomb - a lightweight ripstop material with reinforcements in 420D VeMillet Prolighter MXP 60+20 locity and 1000D Cordura. The one large compartment has front access zip and only one compression strap on back of lid for easy one-hand adjustments. Weighing 3lbs, 4oz, the pack features a two-buckle lid expandable via quick buckle, a storm collar, access zip, compression straps, two zipped pockets on the lid, ski-holder straps, side stretch pockets, FPP Ergo ice-axe holder and a removable raised harness/hipbelt for unrestrained walking at altitude. The UBIC 40, MSRP $149, is a backpack for trekking adventures. The new Variloop system Millet UBIC 40 on the outside of the pack provides a carrying system for trekking poles, skis, sleeping pad or snowshoes, making this a versatile pack for every season. The adjustable Foam Lighter thermoformed back system has stretch fabric with 3D mesh and padded continuousconstruction shoulder straps with hand rests. Features include a two-buckle lid, storm collar, rain cover, compression straps, two zipped pockets and external gear holders. While the 40-liter UBIC weighs 2lbs, 14oz it also comes in 60+10, 50+10, and 30-liter sizes. Developed by mountaineers, Mammut prides itself on making efficient packs for every outdoor pursuit. The Neon Crag is a 28L robust backpack for sport climbing. The innovative compression-fold solution keeps the pack stabilized. The large V-cut opening makes it easy to pack. 3D EVA foam with air channels add back ventilation in the



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Contact Vent back system. Anatomically shaped, softly padded hip and shoulder straps add a comfortable fit. Two lid pockets, inner gear organization loops, an A4 format open interior compartment and a large vertical front zip pocket keep maps and guides organized. The padded waist belt is removable. The Crag weighs 900 grams and is made from canvas, 420D Nylon and 300D Polyester Ballshadow. Mountainsmith continues to expand the Mountainlight category with the top loading Mystic 65. It has an adjustable torso and hip belt and the load bearing components like the Iliac Crest Shelf hip belt that focus the carry on the skeleton. The Mountainsmith Mystic 65L Expedition Top Loader Pack with a storm collar is designed for up to 75 lbs. of gear. It utilizes Mountainsmith's proprietary Breezeway trampoline suspension system. Other features include a lumbar control point pad, perforated airflow shoulder straps, spring steel hoop, airmesh foam backpanel and waistbelt with DWR anti-sweat finish. Detachable top lid. S/M/L ladder adjustment, MSRP $220. Mountain Hardwear is a product-focused company dedicated to both its athletes and its consumers. For Spring 2014 they’re introducing waterproof (not submergible) packs featuring OutDry technology, initially introduced in gloves. The new South Col 70, MSRP $300, uses OutDry to bond a durable waterproof membrane directly to the shell fabric for a sealed interface. This allows the pack to stay light and dry without compromising weight or function, and eliminates

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Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 Outdry

the need for additional dry bags, ziplocks, etc. The South Col 70 is designed to be a one-pack solution for mountaineering expeditions on the world’s highest peaks - a place where Mountain Hardwear remains a market leader. Legendary grassroots pack maker Osprey is focusing on lightweight packs for fast-paced travel for Spring 2014. Lightweight, high-performance and ever-popular, the Talon multi-sport series gets an update - although Osprey was careful to maintain all the features, fit and style that contributed to its success, while lightening the weight and

adjusting design to enhance comfort in each size. The Talon is now complimented by the women’s-specific Tempest. Both series contain the AirScape Backpanel, made from ridge-molded foam with air chimney for ventilation. The BioStretch Harness and built-in Hipbelt are mesh covered, made from die-cut slotted foam. The harness includes stretch woven pockets and the slotted adjustable sternum strap comes with a whistle buckle. Hipbelt features zippered stretch mesh pockets and ErgoPull closure. Originally introduced in 2008, the Exos Series became a standard on the Appalachian Trail and with ultralight enthusiasts not willing to sacrifice comfort. For Spring 2014, Osprey has refined the series, maximizing comfort and support with the latest technology. The redesigned Exos combines Osprey's innovative Superlight AirSpeed suspension, featuring a 6065 aluminum frame and 3D tensioned breathable mesh backpanel with side ventilation, the new Exoform harness, with a 15mm adjustable slide sternum strap and a stretch mesh energy gel pocket and an Exoform Hipbelt with ErgoPull closure and

seamless layered mesh. The third generation of the Stratos and Sirrus series continues to offer unparalleled design and features in a ventilated daypack. Two torso sizes match the fit range of Osprey's gender specific styles. Styling and materials have been upgraded as well. For 2014, Patagonia is expanding on its design philosophy and mission statement to "build the best product" with its new technical packs designed from start to finish, using key values - simplicity, functionality and durability. Patagonia said it values versatility and multi-functionality in the gear it produces as well as the need for specificity when required, preferring innovation to invention. According to the company, durability in products has proven to not only be a functional virtue but also an environmental one. This spring, Patagonia will offer a new line of technical climbing packs for fast-and-light alpine endeavors, the Ascensionist packs. The design was guided by athlete feedback Patagonia Ascensionist and the packs are lightweight, streamlined and efficient, offered in three sizes: 25L, 35L and 45L. Granite Gear’s Taku 24, MSRP $120, fits the needs of daily use in town or weekend use in the backcountry. Three compartments keep gear organized: an outer stretch pocket with a vertical zipper for frequently needed items; middle

compartment with top zipper to secure storage and includes a hanging organizer with pen sleeves, pocket for a wallet and clip for keys; larger main compartment accommodates extra layers, food, plus a sleeve to hold a water bladder, tablet or small laptop. Hip belt pockets and hip stabilizer straps fit on the removable hip belt. It features a built-in rainfly, shoulder strap pockets, dual axe loops, haul loops, reflective tabs, front power-mesh pocket, removable HDPE framesheet, and twin mesh pockets for water bottles or poles. The 24Lpack fits torsos 18-21 inches and weighs 2lbs, 6oz. The Rongbuk 28, MSRP $130, features a smaller outer pocket with strap and buckle over the top for quick access items, a larger middle compartment with zippered top and a large main compartment. Inside is a sleeve that can hold a hydration system, tablet or small laptop. A fleece-lined garage for sunglasses or cell phone is at the top. Also equipped with pockets and stabilizer straps on a removable hip belt, shoulder strap pockets, built-in rainfly, reflective tabs, dual axe and haul loops, front stretch pocket, removable HDPE framesheet and twin power-mesh side pockets for water bottles or poles. The Virga 2, MSRP $140, a frameless favorite of ultralight backpackers, gets a serious update and two-ounce reduction in weight. Updates include redesigned shoulder straps, a true roll top closure, mesh pocket in front and a fixed, padded hip belt. Weight saving tweaks include 10mm rather than one-inch webbing. Made of 100D and 210 D Cordura high-tenacity nylon, the Virga comes in three sizes. The Nimbus Trace Access 70, MSRP $350, is the pinnacle of the Nimbus pack series. It’s big enough for longer, unsupported trips, yet lightweight, durable and functional. Made from 100D and 210D Cordura high-tenacity nylon, it features a dual-zipper access panel and internal compression straps so you can get to gear at the bottom of the pack. Tool loops, hydration ports with an internal sleeve, hip pack lid, stretch side pockets and a large front stretch pocket help keep gear accessible. The backbone of the pack rests in the redesigned, three dimensionally molded framesheet now made with a maple-core/composite laminate, which is lighter and offers more longitudinal rigidity. Adjustable torso lengths, four sizes of shoulder straps, four sizes of men's hip belt and four sizes of women's hip belts ensure a proper fit. For 2014 Scott introduces a new collection of outdoor packs designed to be simple yet functional. Incorporating technical ventilation and comfort, the collection is designed to focus on high performance in lightweight design. Each pack is tailored to fit the body with extra stability while simple features allow for multi-use. The top-loading Ultrak 24 is for practical allday use in any outdoor activity. Constructed with 140D Hyperlite Nylon, 190D Taffeta and Airmesh, it’s durable, strong and light, while the DWR finish gives all-weather protection. It has dual density foam shoulder straps and back panel, 3D back-panel ventilation, and a padded waist belt with pockets, hydration system and a retractable side compression strap. The Ultrak also features a retractable external gear carry system and stretch pocket, front and side internal pockets, easy-to-find grab loops, a top pocket with water-resistant zipper, and a pocket for a 14.1-inch laptop in the hydration sleeve. ■ Scott Ultrak 24



Lifestyle Packs

Whether you're through-hiking the AT or heading out on a daily commute, the bag you choose to take with you as part of a functioning system truly makes all the difference. Here are products designed to outfit the journeys you take off the trail. By Aaron H. Bible

The new Index 10+10 from Arc’teryx is a single compartment bag and organizer with a removable shoulder strap, to be used inside luggage or alone as a lightweight and durable carry-on. It features an interior mesh divider for easy packing, an exterior zippered flat pocket sized for magazines, a tablet or documents and a top handle for easy transport. Extremely lightweight and durable, all new Carrier Duffles (35L, 50 and 100) make for easy packing and transportation - they are highly water resistant, easy to clean and can be carried over the shoulder or as a backpack. Built using Advanced Composite Construction,

Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle 35L

Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle 50L

The 36L Dispatch, MSRP $125, organizes all travel essentials with a fleece-lined iPad sleeve, water bottle, organizer and U-lock pockets, an expandable wet/dry pocket and a roll-top main compartment with side access. This 20x16x6” pack is made from 600D or 1200D Polyester with PU coat-

Dakine Crossroads 32L Pack

the bags have fully taped seams and feature N400r-AC² nylon 6 Ripstop fabric with a white coated interior that helps illuminate contents. Adjustable shoulder straps and integrated handles on all four sides make them easy to grab and go.

ing, has an adjustable sternum strap and reflective details. For photographers on the trail, the 16L Trail Photo, MSRP $130, allsport camera pack features a removable padded camera pack, multiple lash points for a tripod, helmet, water bottle pocket and fleecelined sunglass pocket. It has

From snowboard bag and luggage specialist Dakine come three new travel packs to keep gear organized. The Crossroads 32L Pack, MSRP $110, makes the ultimate essentials-only travel companion. Measuring 21x16x8”, the Crossroads padded laptop sleeve fits most 17-inch laptops, the front pocket fits an iPad, has blanket roll straps and a fleece-lined phone pocket. Made from 14 oz. Canvas, Acrylic Flannel and PU Suede, the pack also has a breathable DriMesh back panel and adjustable sternum strap.

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Dakine 36L Dispatch

Dakine 16L Trail Photo



side entry to access camera gear, a deployable rain cover, functionality and backpack carry. It padded waist belt and compression-molded back panel. has an external padded laptop compartment, large luggage-style access Focusing on safety, Eagle Creek has built in All Ways and a bottom compartment to sepaSecure functionality into its new Day Traveler product; rate shoes (40L). (Compass 30 retails ensuring users are always adventure-secure without com- for $99) In the Sketch series of compromise. All Ways Secure is broken down into three parts: muter shoulder bags, Gregory added Anti-Theft qualities, Digital Safe-Zone protection and Per- a new 8L version with a single sling sonal Safety features. Reinventing their Classic Day Trav- strap, perfect to carry a tablet and eler line from top to bottom, Eagle Creek introduces new other essentials. The Graph 10L is a styles in classic black and taupe. The Spring 2014 Classic fully functional messenger bag with Day Travelers feature travel safety features including design capacity for smaller electronics and innovations like RFID Blocker pockets and All Ways Secure daily necessities. functionality. These everyday bags are everything travelers have come to expect From Mammut, the Neon Cargo from Eagle Creek: ver- is a robust transport bag made from satility, travel security, canvas and 1680D Nylon Ballistic. It smart organization can be carried as a bag or backpack. and quality construc- Anatomically shaped, wide and retion. Also new, Sys- movable backpack straps distribute tems Go Duffel Packs the load evenly across the shoulders. feature a minimalist A spacious main compartment, two internal pockets on the underside of the Eagle Creek Systems look with maximum flap, an external compartment and three organizer compartments within the Go Duffel Pack functionality. The bag main compartments store gear. The 40L version, weighing 660g, has stitched features: gear lash- shoulder straps that combine to form a handle. The 60L version, weighing 900g, ing points, lockable has handles for carrying as a bag and anatomically shaped, removable shoulder zippers and durable straps. The Neon Messenger (14 and 23L) is a functional shoulder bag for climbwater-resistant mate- ing and everyday use. The robust canvas and 300D Polyester Ballshadow outer rial. Perfectly stacking material gives it an attractive appearance. The bicycle hip belt system and adjustfive Cubes in the 60L able shoulder straps offer padding. The Neon Element is a 22L, 590g, versatile Eagle Creek (or five Half Cubes in and tough daypack for climbing or everyday use. The anatomically shaped, softUltra-Lights the 35L), Systems Go padded shoulder straps and Contact back system make it comfortable. Added allows users to grab and go. Featuring weight-saving solu- features include a zip pocket with key holder, large vertical front zip pocket for tions like removable padded backpack straps that combine maps or climbing guides and a padded, integrated laptop pocket. to become a single shoulder strap, and the secondary lockOliberté Krabu able bottom compartment with an internal zip divider, the Oliberté expands its collection of handcrafted Systems Go also features a padded hip belt with adjustable leather bags and wallets for Spring 2014. Five waist strap that tucks. Eagle Creek also introduces its new bags in various sizes and styles, two wallets and line of 2-in-1 Ultra-Lights, featuring designs that transform one passport case will be offered using premium not just into larger bags, but with multiple carry options leather sourced from Africa. Oliberté works and looks, all with self-storage pack-in pockets for utility. with a small family-run local bag factory in Addis Ababa, Ethopia. Oliberté first introduced In true Gregory fashion, bags and wallets into its collection in early 2011. stylish commuter meets A highlight is the Krabu, $250, a durable, rugfunctional outdoor enthusiged leather backpack that features adjustable ast in the Compass, Graph leather straps, carrying handle and a dual buckle and Sketch everyday packs, closure, available in rustic brown pullup, camel all built with 420D nylon pullup, dark grey brushed wax, white tan goat, and bold black full grain. An inand 840D ballistic materi- side zipper pocket is ideal for credit cards and an outside snap pocket for small als. The Compass 40 and 30L essentials. Oliberté, headquartered in Oakville, CN, was founded in 2009, by Tal are crossover bags with duffle Dehtiar with the concept of creating sustainable jobs in Africa building rugged Gregory Compass 30

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70L, MSRP $119. Safeguard your tablet in the waterproof Rangefinder Sensor Case, MSRP $49 to $59. It includes a clear, touchscreen-compatible compartment for electronics (in tablet and mini-tablet sizes) and compartments pens, business cards and small items.

casual footwear and goods, and opened its own factory in August 2012. The footwear and bags are handmade using natural rubber outsoles and hand picked natural leather with an average of 1,000 stitches. Materials are currently sourced from Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, Liberia and Ethiopia. Melding a retro cotton-canvas/leather feel with modern technical design, including RF-welded seams and waterproof fabric, the Outdoor Research Rangefinder Collection offers five bags and packs for different situations, from the daily commute to adventure travel, including a messenger bag, backpack, seabag, duffel and a sensor case for touchscreen tablets. Design starts with a polyester fabric that looks like canvas but is fully waterproof. Synthetic leather accent patches and straps and buckles are placed for easy accessibility. The Rangefinder Messenger Bag, MSRP $129, takes a traditional concept and pairs it with modern function with RF-welded seams and weather-resistant zippers. Inside there’s a padded laptop sleeve and three internal organizer pockets. The Rangefinder Backpack, MSRP $149, begins with an urban-inspired look then draws from the technical world with a top hood that covers a weatherrepelling roll-top access point. Details include a laptop compartment and organizer pocket on top. With its single shoulder strap that’s designed to be carried messengerstyle, the Rangefinder Seabag, MSRP $139, is suitable for work or outdoor activity. A padded laptop sleeve, waterproof roll-top closure, compression straps and smaller storage pockets keep things in order. The Rangefinder Duffel is waterproof and available in two sizes, 35L, MSRP $99, or

Staying true to the brands’ heritage of artisan quality, made in the USA leather goods, Phelps expands their collection of handcrafted bags for Spring 2014 with a collection that combines artisan qualities with vintage designs. Three bags will be offered using Bison leather, glazed Italian cowhide and gridwax. The collection has hand set copper rivets, brass buckles, magnetic closures and multi-functional Phelps Clyde compartments. New to the collection is the Messenger Clyde Messenger, MSRP $400, a classic sporting bag made in a 22-ounce waxed cotton fabric with a glazed Italian Cowhide bottom and detailed features. The bag is designed with web carrying straps with a leather snap closure and an adjustable web shoulder strap with marine grade brass snap closures. It’s spacious enough to carry laptops, folders and accessories. Another highlight is the Beardsley Tote, MSRP $250, a handcrafted design available in three textile options: a 22-ounce waxed canvas, Melton wool and 18-ounce Gridwax. All feature a Bison-leather bottom and handles with hand set copper rivets, designed with three exterior pockets and an interior zip pocket organizer with top magnetic closures. The Dover Duffel, MSRP $550, is offered in either 18oz cotton gridwax or wool plaid and features the Bison-leather bottom, reinforced handles and trim. Thomas Bates Accessories specializes in the design and manufacturing of fine belts, bags and accessories for the whole family, including pets, using a variety of materials from leather to sailcloth. Products are made in Haverhill, MA, using a patented digital process called Visiontree, developed and first introduced in Thomas Bates Accessories Sunderland 2000. Visiontree offers 400 unique patterns for a custom belt or bag. “The Thomas Bates brand is all about creating fantastic designs using our patented Visiontree digital imaging system on apparel accessories,” said Thomas Bates, president. “The Red Line Collection is like our Corvette, our top end, the fastest and best we can do.” The Red Line Messenger Bag, MSRP $200, is made of sailcloth and trimmed in polyester with a polyester/ cotton duck lining. Pockets inside and out allow for storage and access to cell phones, tablets, keys, etc. At 20 oz., this bag measures 16x11x4 inches, is dirt and water repellent and machine washable. “Thule's motto is to ‘Bring your Life’ - with the goal of making products that carry the things that are important to you safely, easily and in style. This has historically included things like bicycles, kayaks and skis. Over the past few years Thule has furthered this to include travel gear, day packs, photo bags, computer sleeves and now duffels," said Thule's Karl Wiedemann. The new Thule Chasm adds features to set it apart from other duffels. Available in five sizes and up to five colors, the oversized wide-mouth opening makes it easy to pack and easy



Thule Chasm 90L

to get to your gear. Side access makes it easy to reach the main compartment from any angle. Duffel straps stow cleanly along the side of the duffel to keep them out of the way when not in use, and included straps convert the bag from duffel to a backpack. Internal mesh pockets keep small gear organized and external compression straps prevent contents from falling to the bottom of the bag when in backpack mode. Daisy chain lash points let you attach the duffel to a roof rack, or gear to the bag. Waterproof tarpaulin fabric stands up on its own for easy packing but easily folds for storage, while a padded bottom cushions gear from the ground. Locking zippers deter thieves (lock sold separately). MSRP 27L $100 / 40L $120 / 70L $135 / 90L $145 / 130L $160. Started by a bicycle messenger in 1989, Timbuk2 has manufactured made-to-order, durable products in the Bay area for 25 years. The San Francisco-based bag and accessory innovator is offering four collections for Spring 2014: Travel that includes three styles in varying sizes, MSRP $179 to $259; Technology Portage Solution with products ranging from Timbuk2 Wingwam briefcases to sleeves to messengers, some featuring built-in power sources; Bike Commuting accessories; and Camera Bags designed to blend in to everyday life.

76 AUGUST 2013

Timbuk2 Aviator

Timbuk2 Copilot

Travelpro International, a leading manufacturer of lightweight durable luggage, partnered with National Geographic to produce the Kontiki adventure luggage collection. Inspired by safari travelers, the collection combines a rugged retro look with modern travel features. Kontiki luggage is made with recycled khaki-colored fabric that resembles canvas but lighter and more durable. Faux-leather accents and antique brass hardware finish emphasize the authentic style. The eight-piece collection includes lightweight upright luggage, soft and rolling duffels, a messenger bag and daypack. â–

Winter Market JANUARY 22-25, 2014 All Mountain Demo JANUARY 21, 2014


Summer Market AUGUST 6-9, 2014 Open Air Demo AUGUST 5, 2014




CALENDAR For full year calendar go to

AUGUST 1-3 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Salt Lake City, UT 4-6 Imprinted Sportswear Show Las Vegas, NV 5-7 FFANY New York, NY 7-9

WSA Show Las Vegas, NV

8-10 Sports Inc. Outdoor Show Denver, CO 17-19 Altanta Shoe Market Atlanta, GA 19-21 PGA Expo Las Vegas, NV 20-23 MAGIC Las Vegas, NV

SEPTEMBER 5 Surf Expo Board Demo Day Orlando, FL 6-8 Surf Expo Orlando, FL 18-19 Health & Fitness Business Expo Las Vegas, NV 8-10 NBS Fall Semi-Annual Market Fort Worth, TX

78 AUGUST 2013

18-20 Interbike International Trade Expo Las Vegas, NV 25-26 Sports & Fitness Industry Assoc. Industry Leaders Summit Baltimore, MD 26-28 Imprinted Sportswear Show (ISS) Ft Worth, TX 30-2 OIA Rendezvous San Diego, CA

OCTOBER 7-8 The Retailing Summit Dallas, TX 15-17 SGB Sports & Technology Convergence Palo Alto, CA

NOVEMBER 1-3 NBS Fall Athletic Market Austin, TX 5-7 TAG Fall/Winter Show St. Louis, MO 15-17 A.D.A. Fall Show San Antonio, TX 24-26 Sports, Inc. Athletic Show Las Vegas, NV

Athletic Dealers of America 1395 Highland Avenue Melbourne, FL 32935 t 321.254.0091 f 321.242.7419 National Shooting Sports Foundation Flintlock Ridge Office Center 11 Mile Hill Road Newtown, CT 06470 t 203.426.1320 f. 203.426.1087 National Sporting Goods Association 1601 Feehanville Drive / Suite 300 Mount Prospect, IL 60056 t 847.296.6742 f 847.391.9827 Nation’s Best Sports 4216 Hahn Blvd. Ft. Worth, TX 76117 t 817.788.0034 f 817.788.8542 Outdoor Industry Association 4909 Pearl East Circle / Suite 300 Boulder, CO 80301 t 303.444.3353 f 303.444.3284 Sports & Fitness Industry Association 8505 Fenton St., Suite 211 Silver Spring, MD 20910 t 301.495.6321 f 301.495.6322 Snow Sports Industries America 8377-B Greensboro Drive McLean, VA 22102 t 703.556.9020 f 703.821.8276 Sports, Inc. 333 2nd Avenue North Lewistown, MT 59457 t 406.538.3496 f 406.538.2801 Sports Specialists Ltd. 590 Fishers Station Drive / Suite 110 Victor, NY 14564 t 585.742.1010 f 585.742.2645 Team Athletic Goods 629 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO 63005 t 636.530.3710 f 636.530.3711 Worldwide 8211 South 194th Kent, WA 98032 t 253.872.8746 f 253.872.7603


Advertise in MARKETPLACE 828.244.3043

SGB WEEKLY IS Now Available On Your Ipad to advertise call 704.987.3450

I AM... sgb What first drove you to get active in the outdoors? My parents were the adventuresome sort and took me on my first overnight backpacking trip at age 5 – we hiked 10 miles in the Smoky Mountains. When I was seven my mother headed west with kids from ages 7 to 16 and we camped all over the American and Canadian West (my father joined for the most scenic three weeks). I think my parents inadvertently created my interest in solving the “unsolvable” problems with outdoor gear and clothing because we had the worst in polyethylene tarps and World War II surplus gear. I modified all that wool gear and used it on NOLS courses when I was 13 and 16. What sports did you play growing up and what do you do for fun now? I grew up pre Title IX, so organized athletics were somewhat limited,

but I played every sport available. Back then no one considered outdoor activities sports but I also did all of those I could. I also was the captain of the Woodmen’s Team in 1981. We competed against every major forestry school in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada. We felled trees, we climbed trees, we sawed, we split, we speed chopped, we loaded logs; and at the end of the day we won the championship meet. It was great fun and I am still grateful to the guys at Dartmouth that have stayed committed to that sport. Now-a-days, I’m focused on what my twin nine-year-old boys want to do – so it is baseball, skiing, paddling, etc. What I would like to try next is kite boarding. I like to keep trying new things. How did you get started in the outdoor/sporting goods business?

Sally McCoy

President and CEO, CamelBak


ounded in 1989, CamelBak invented the handsfree hydration category, and is the global leader in personal hydration gear now offering products in more than 50 countries that include everything from technical hydration packs to water bottles and individual UV purification systems. Sally McCoy joined the company in 2006, and her passion for product, for the outdoor industry, and for making a difference, has kept CamelBak at the top. She's renowned as a founding member of the Conservation Alliance and the Outdoor Industry Alliance (OIA) and has chaired the board of each. She has hiked, climbed and biked in 35 countries, including an Everest attempt in 1987 as part of her role at The North Face, where she was a vice president. McCoy also served as president of Sierra Designs and Ultimate Direction. Before coming to CamelBak, McCoy co-founded financial advisory firm Silver Steep Partners, advising clients including Montrail, Helly Hansen and Eagle Creek.

80 AUGUST 2013

The year I graduated college the economy was in the worst recession until 2008. I built trail with an SCA crew in Arkansas, I had a temporary UPS job at the holidays, and then I bought a one-way ticket around the world where as long as you flew one direction you could make as many stops as you wanted. After several months of adventures in Europe, Turkey, Nepal, India, Thailand, I got into China the year they opened it to independent travel. It was there I had my epiphany that business affects the world more than almost anything else and there had to be a way to do business differently. That may not sound much like a revelation now, but social responsibility was not a term very much discussed at that time. My idea was that I would start a mail-order catalog targeted at women’s outdoor gear and clothing based in Jackson, WY. There were only two problems: I didn’t have a dime; and at the time there were almost no options for women’s gear and apparel. I moved to San Francisco and pounded the pavement for six months harassing every company on the West Coast from Patagonia to REI for a job. I even went to the Ski Show, camped in the desert outside of Vegas, and put on my blue blazer and skirt to get into the show. Finally The North Face relented. They still made and designed everything in Berkeley - it was a great place to be, crazy, creative, we could make great products, and I even got to go on an Everest climb as part of my job. Everyday we think about reinventing the way people hydrate, and hence perform. The company began when the founder stuck an IV bag in a tube sock and sewed it to a bike jersey, so no idea is too crazy as long as it helps people change their hydration habits. We want to eliminate the need (habit) of single-use disposable water. We need to make water more convenient and taste better and help people ditch disposables. CamelBak created the hydration reservoir and we get to move that legacy forward. We want to be worthy heirs to that innovative tradition and our values and results pay homage to that desire.

What do you love about working at CamelBak?

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