The 2010 Winter Outdoor Retailer show has come and gone. We saw a lot of good friends, and got to check out many of the new products that are in store for the coming year. It can be a little overwhelming in there, with all the fluorescent lighting and shiny toys and all. We’ll share more about much of the gear we saw, but here’s the coolest stuff that really stood out and made an impression.
This was hands down the coolest thing I saw over the course of the show. Wolverine Publishing’s Dave Pegg and I sat down, and he showed me the fully functional 3rd edition of the Red River Gorge guidebook…on his iPhone. This wasn’t just pdf pages you scroll through, this was a fully interactive guidebook where you could browse the different areas, cliffs and routes. You could search by rating, sport or trad, number of stars and area. You could scroll left or right to see what routes were next to the one you were currently looking at. You could even add routes to your tick list and make notes about the ones you had sent. Now, I don’t have an iPhone, but many climbers do, and at some point all our phones will be like this. I will always enjoy flipping through an actual guidebook while sitting on the couch, but how cool to have a thick guidebook’s worth of info literally at your finger tips in your phone? This changes the game completely, look for it out in May.
Petzl Tikka Rechargeable Battery
I like rechargeable batteries, it feels a lot better to plug it in when it’s low rather than throwing out another set of AA’s. This year Petzl has developed a new rechargeable battery for the Tikka headlamps that, aside from being reusable, has several amazing features. First off, it fits into any of the newest Tikka headlamp line, so if you’ve already upgraded recently, you don’t have to buy a newer one to use it. Second, you can alternate between the rechargeable and AAA’s, just in case you need to. I really like that feature, it’s a nice backup option to have. As far as the green factor goes, over the lifetime of this rechargeable battery you would go through 900 regular batteries, so that’s a lot of crap not going into a landfill. Also, instead of a wall plug, it charges off a USB cable, so you can power it up off your computer, your iPhone, anything that has a USB. And last, but perhaps the coolest, it will be custom programmable for duration and intensity. Imagine you are going out on a dawn patrol, and you know you have 2 hours before the sun comes up. You want maximum brightness for two hours, so you set as such. Or maybe you are doing a 24 endurance race, and need steady light from 7pm to 6am. No problem, set the controls, and you’ll have balanced light output all night long.
Black Diamond Offset Stoppers
BD gets into the offset game with a set of stoppers in the small sizes. Utilizing a unique mix of metals, these looked similar to the DMM offset nuts, and are really the only other option on the market. Since we started using the DMM’s over a year ago, we haven’t gone back to “normal” shaped nuts, and we’re looking forward to seeing how these perform.
Rab Infinity Jacket
Thanks to a new Pertex fabric, this down puffy weighs a scant 18 oz, for a significant amount of warmth. The fabric, which looks like it would tear on the slightest snag, was the result of a collaborative engineering effort to produce a lightweight yet durable shell specifically designed to get the most out of high loft down. It’s a step up from the Microlight, but much more toasty. Looks like a great belay jacket.
Mammut Trogir Harness
Getting into the ultralight harness game, Mammut introduces the Trogir and Trogir Light. These are on par with the Black Diamond Chaos and Ozone, and the Arc’Teryx R320, but with one notable difference: the price. The all around Trogir is a modest $99.95, and the sport oriented Trogir Light is $79.99, some pretty significant savings over the competition. Now you can have all that high tech comfort at a price that wont break the bank.