Twice a year, there is a tradeshow called Outdoor Retailer where the hottest outdoor gear companies convene in one central building to brag about their newest product innovations. Sometimes, they give away gear like candy, other times, they make attendees drool over the latest and greatest until samples are finished into production.
We went to said tradeshow and walked among the halls with outdoor and travel legends. Here were some of our favorite gear picks arriving this year.
Eagle’s Nest Outfitters – DoubleNest Hammock combined Vulcan Underquilt, Blaze Underquilt, Ignitor TopQuilt and HouseFly Tarp
The combination of ENO’s DoubleNEst with two underquilts (the Vulcan insulated with Primaloft Synergy and the Blaze, with 750 FP Duck Down), a top quilt (the Ignitor – another duck down insulator) and a HouseFly tarp, brings the temperature rating of this hammock combination to below 0 centrigrade. Thanks to the innovations at ENO, Winter hammock camping is not only possible, but arguably, more comfortable and more convenient than lugging a tent/sleeping bag combo. Just add some trees and suddenly you have a four season sleeping system that can be used around the world.
NEMO Canon -40
Yep, that dash in front of the 40 isn’t a typo – it’s a minus sign, as in negative 40. With 850 FP goose down, and two zippered openings that resemble ventilation gills, and a 15 denier nylon treated with a waterproof/breathable layer with DWR to repel moisture (which at that temp can quickly turn into frost), the Canon is meant for one thing – keeping you alive in the freezing cold.
Other great features include arm holes (think of those mini pockets inside your jean pockets that hold change), a chimney for air, and a footbox for your feet. It’ll set you back a grand US, which is arguably better than shivering in the cold.
Sanuk’s Vagabond Sandal Shoes
The only thing that could make a vagabond more of a vagabond is no shoes at all. These sandal shoes are best for slipping on and off at airports, being comfortable (has a molded EVA footbed) and not stinking.
Tilley’s Mashup Hat
One of the things people realize after a lifetime of traveling is how much waste there is in the world. Perhaps this is what inspired Tilley to recycle their old threads into completely indestructible hats. The Mashup is UPF 50+ (a clothing rating for SPF), crushable, packable, floats and repels wind. Best of all? A secret pocket under the lid – giving new meaning to the words, “money on my mind.”
Goal Zero’s Sherpa 50 Recharger with Nomad 13 Solar Panels
Every single person who owns a cell phone has run out of juice right when they needed it. Imagine if you could take a wall charger with you. The Sherpa 50 Recharger is essentially that – a portable wall charger that takes three hours to charge if plugged in, or five to six hours if charged by the Nomad 13 Solar Panel (depending on the availability of sunlight). On a single charge, the Sherpa 50 Recharger will juice up a laptop once, a tablet twice, and a phone up to seven times!
Pacsafe’s Toursafe 29
What would a Pacsafe show roundup be without a Pacsafe? But seriously, our Toursafe earned a spot on this list. Given the fact that nearly 26 million bags go missing, mishandled, or are stolen from each year, it’s a natural fit that we start combating the trend with impenetrable checked luggage. Your stuff is important and we get that, but more important than your stuff is your peace of mind. There’s enough to worry about when traveling so let us defend your gear while you do what you came for: enjoy the trip.
By Yoon Kim