Every January the outdoor industry gathers in Denver to show off its gear for next year. The OR show is where innovations are unveiled, new technologies are touted and athletes sign autographs against a backdrop of gear shops from around the world placing the orders to stock their shelves for next winter.
Thanks to COVID-19, we’re not gathering in person this winter, but brands are still announcing their latest and greatest at a virtual show that’s going on now. As always, we’ve compiled a teaser of highlights. Check out the coolest stuff being announced at the virtual OR show below.
Hestra Tactility Heat Liner Turn any gloves or mitts into heated handwear with what Hestra says is the world’s thinnest heated liner. Instead of bulky wires, the Tactility liner uses Inuheat heated threads. An app lets you control the level of heat, and tells you how long the battery will last at each output level. The warmth can also be controlled using buttons on the removable power packs. [$320; hestragloves.com]
Fjallraven Tree Kånken This 16-liter pack uses Pine Weave, a new 100 percent plant-based fabric made from spruce and pine trees sustainably grown in FSC-managed forests in northern Sweden. The fully-traceable, bio-based backpack’s fabric production uses an average of 65 percent less water, 40 percent less energy, and 50 percent fewer chemicals compared to other Fjällräven bag fabrics. All dyes and chemicals are Bluesign-certified. The Tree Kånken is triple-woven for durability with a solvent-free coating so it has the same reliability and longevity as other Fjällräven gear. [$115, fjallraven.com]
Helly Hansen Odin Infinity Insulated Jacket Made for big days on the mountain, and developed with the feedback from search-and-rescue professionals, Helly Hansen’s Odin is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof without using any DWRs (durable water repellents). It’s also sustainably made. Helly’s Lifa Infinity Pro fabric is hydrophobic, which gives it permanent water repellency that never needs to be reproofed with chemical treatments. The three-layer jacket has helmet-, backpack-, and harness-compatible construction and pockets. It’s insulated with LifaLoft Insulation by Primaloft, which is also hydrophobic. [$800; hellyhansen.com]
Adidas Terrex Goggles With a photochromic lens engineered to change faster in winter’s frigid temps, Adidas’ new goggles combine optical clarity, impact resistance, and a lightweight feel. Thelenses enhance brightness and color contrast while protecting against UV, impacts, and chemicals. Made for medium- to high-brightness days, the cylindrical design provides a wide field of view. Fifteen small, aerodynamic vents have an injected-rubber top layer so air can flow outside the goggles, keeping the inside from fogging in any weather. [$145; adidas.com]
Smith Survey Snow Helmet with Integrated Visor Smith’s Survey combines a great helmet with a goggle you’ll never forget at home. The integrated ChromaPop visor has a wide field of view with contrast, color, and terrain-enhancing definition and clarity. It’s over-the-glass-compatible. The in-mold helmet construction fuses the exterior shell and EPS foam into one-piece with zonal Koroyd, crumple-zone cylinders that crush uniformly on impact for lightweight, durable, energy-absorbing, and ventilated impact protection. MIPS reduces rotational forces in a crash that are caused by angled impacts. Also available for kids. Replacement visor lenses, including clear and photochromic, are sold separately. [$270, smithoptics.com]
SPY+ Maurader Elite Last year the SPY+ Marauder tackled the biggest weather issues with magnet lens-change systems with a lens that didn’t blow out when a skier crashed. The Marauder Elite ups the ante with superior optics and an even more secure hold. Six total magnets snap the lens into place so you can lock it down. Spy’s Toric Happy Lens mimics the shape of the eye to make it easier to see and to reduce glare. The lens also harnesses the beneficial effects of long-wave blue light, which can improve mood and alertness. As with the original Marauder, Spy’s “Deadbolt” glove-friendly locking system adds two levers to magnets to let you lock it down. [$270, spyoptic.com]
Mammut 9.5 Crag We Care Classic Rope To reduce the environmental footprint of its ropes, and to tackle its carbon emissions as a company, Mammut created the 9.5 Crag We Care Classic Rope for sport and traditional climbing. The sheath of the single rope is made from residual yarn leftover from other rope construction. Each Crag We Care Rope is one of a kind, with an individual pattern. [$149 (60m), $209 (80m); mammut.com]
Baffin Men’s Compass Collection Baffin is best known for its “polar-proven” winter boots for extreme temperatures and adventures. The new Compass collection gives urban users insulation and grip for less intense outdoor outings. The boots are light but rugged and waterproof, with creature comforts like soft-backed felt collars. Soles use Baffin’s Ice Bite rubber and mineral lugs. They’re three times more slip-resistant than regular rubber and flexible for grip in cold weather. True to Baffin’s heritage, the Compass Collection is also rated for cold, from 14°F to 50°F. We like the tall, laced Northern ($200), and the slip-on Eastern ($180). baffin.com
Sweet Protection Grimnir 2VI MIPS Don’t be fooled by the familiar name. Sweet Protection’s 2021 Grimnir 2VI MIPS has been redesigned from the ground up. The goal for “Project 2Vi” was to make the safest helmet possible, both for linear and rotational impacts—without increasing volume, and as well as trying to reduce weight as much as possible. Because the human head is more vulnerable at the temples and at the back of the skull where the cerebral cortex attaches to the spinal cord, Sweet Protection made the new Grimnir more rigid there, and more elastic at the ridge of the skull so that the helmet better dissipates impacts to protect you in a crash while reducing this carbon helmet’s weight, and, according to Sweet Protection staff, “blasting past safety standards and certifications.” The Goggle garage lip at the forehead better eliminates goggle gap and enhances goggle venting. Vents are now polycarbonate, not steel, as rigid as past versions but lighter. The helmet uses a two-layer MIPS system, with the layer under the liner at the forehead designed to slide more easily in a crash. [$400, sweetprotection.com]
Optimus Gemini Stove The first two-burner stove made by this heritage brand, Optimus says the Gemini is the smallest, lightest two-burner stove ever made. It’s also one of the only canister gas two-burner stoves. The Gemini is large enough to use for car camping, family camping, and van life, but small enough to pack for multi-day cycling, canoeing, horse packing, motorcycling, and backpacking trips. Katadyn Group US President Shawn Hostetter said, “We strived for minimalist design in an extremely rugged and long-lasting form factor. Both of these are critical to sustainability. Some of our customers are still using stoves like the Optimus Svea, 123R, and Hiker, that have been passed down from grandparents to parents to children.” With a standard over-the-counter converter, the Gemini can be used with propane fuel as well. [$150, optimusstoves.com]
Scott Pure Ski If you’ve seen Jeremie Heitz ski, you know that he uses his skis like a weapon as well as a tool. Scott’s Pure was designed by and for Heitz. The twin-tip rocker ski has a short radius in front, a long radius underfoot, and an in-between radius at the back to make it agile anywhere. A titanal layer and titanal reinforcements over the paulownia- and beechwood-core ski makes it quick and precise, as well as stable in challenging conditions and at speed. Full-length ti/carbon/aramid sidewalls. Available in two lengths, 182 cm, and 192 cm. Dimensions: 142-109-128, Weight: 2000 grams/4.4 lbs. scott-sports.com
Fischer TransAlp Pro At 1300 grams, Fischer’s TransAlp Pro sits firmly in the lightweight 1200- to 1500-gram ski touring boot category, which makes up most of the market. But the Pro delivers a lot more ski performance for its weight than similar boots. The boot is built on a beefed-up version of Fischer’s existing TransAlp. They’ve replaced Boa lacing with two latch buckles, a power strap, and a whopping 80-degree cuff rotation. To give the boot guts, Fischer created a reinforced liner that’s thin and powerful, with power-transmitting inserts on the upper cuff and tongue. The boots Pebax Renew Shell, which combines a 65 percent castor-bean oil-based plastic and nylon/Grilamid is light, stiff, and more consistent in cold temps, as well as less impactful on the environment than other plastics. The Pro is available in a wide range of sizes, from 22.5-30.5. [$849, fischerskis.com]