Winter Outdoor Retailer 2018 Climbing Report

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been over a month since the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show. This is always my busiest time of year, and finding time to sit down and go through my notes was easier said then done. But better late than never, and in that spirit, here are some highlights of the new gear I was able to check out on my quick stop by the trade show’s new home in Denver.

Climbing Shoes

Coming out Fall 2018

The new Scarpa Mago

The Scarpa Mago ($190) has been resurrected as modern high-end edging machine. With a TPU insert underfoot, you’ll have plenty of support for standing on micro edges, but the sole is a reasonable 3.5 mm of XS Grip2, supported by a full length outsole. They appeared to be narrower than other shoes in the Scarpa collection, so that should be nice for those of us whose feet aren’t wide.

Furia S

The Furia has been redesigned into the Furia S ($195), and is now even more sensitive (which seems crazy!), has an improved closure strap and a redesigned heel. Plus they sure look sassy!

Oasi LV

From Tenaya, the Oasi LV is the low volume version of the Oasi, good for anyone with narrow feet.

Coming out Spring 2018

Women’s Skwama


Women’s Futura.

Sportiva is giving climbers several reasons to be stoked this spring. For the ladies, there are now versions of the Futura and Skwama made specifically for women.

New Solution

The Solution gets a minor redesign, including improvement to the strap which was the bane of some dedicated Solution users. The Miura gets an aesthetic update, but no structural changes.

Anasazi Pro

From Five Ten, the Anasazi Pro is out this spring as well, along with the Quantum VCS, a velcro version of the Quantum. The Anasazi Pro is a modern take on the classic from Five Ten, designed in conjunction with Shauna Coxsey, which includes Mi6 rubber toe patch with an updated closure system comes together in a more aggressive package than its predecessor. They also had a cool approach/crag slipper called the Sleuth.

There was aslo a lot of excitement here for what will be coming in the future from Five Ten as they now have access to Adidas’ manufacturing processes, which should mean we’ll see some unique designs and materials in the near future.


CAMP has the Be Safe stash pack where you can keep all your avalanche essentials and then switch it between whatever bag you are using. I think this is a great idea, as I’ll often use different packs depending on where I’m going on a given day.

The new Beta Stick looks sweet!

Trango has a new Beta Stick, including a redesigned telescoping pole that’s more durable, which I wanted to take home with me. They also have a new Ice Multitool that works with every ice tool on the market in the US, and makes a nice addition to your kit for in the field repairs, pick swap outs, etc.

New Mutant pack

Over at Osprey, the Mutant looks like a nice redesign of their popular climbing pack. Key features include improve tool attachments, glove friendly buckles and of course the excellent fit Osprey is known for. It will be available in 22L ($100), 38L ($170), and 52L ($200) sizes.

With a trip to Europe on the horizon, the Rolling Transporter is what got my attention. Burly looking and ready to travel, these look great! 800D TPU-coated nylon provides incredible abrasion and water resistance while durable #10 YKK zippers with overlapping flaps offer superb weather protection. Available in 40L ($240), 90L ($270) or 120L ($290) liters.

Ultralight ice screw in ice, how artistic!

Black Diamond had several cool things going on. The Ultralight Ice Screws were literally featherweight, you have to hold one to believe it. Similar in design to Petzl’s lightweight screws, they feature an aluminum shaft with a steel teeth, but are supposedly 15% lighter than the French versions. It was stressed to me that these are specialized tools for alpinists, but of course people are going to buy them and use them for cragging. It’ll be interesting to see how long they last. The Reactor was a nice looking tool for pure ice, with a nicely balanced swing and an adjustable grip. It felt similar to the Cassin X-Dream.

New Reactor, also on ice. Hope they don’t come shipped like this!

For the rock stars, they have a new chalk additive called Pure Gold, which is an Upsalite compound that they claim absorbs ten times more moisture than regular chalk. Apparently you add a little bit of it to your existing chalk and it makes it that much better, or you can buy it premixed in their new Black Gold line. They are also offering two new rope diameters, 9.4, and 8.9 (which felt pretty burly for an 8.9).


There were a couple of fun things at Patagonia. The Micro Puff Storm ($499) is an 18oz ultralight belay parka that pairs their Micro Puff Hoody with a waterproof shell. Features include mesh backed vented pockets, a gasket hood closure and a low profile powder skirt that seals in the heat in the bottom hem. Looks like the kind of jacket you’ll leave in your pack all winter.

Capilene Air

Their baselayers have been rebranded as Capilene across the board, regardless of whether they are merino or synthetic, and the Capilene Air ($149) is a new layer that is 3D knitted with seamless construction using 51% Merino Wool and 49% recycled Polyester, combining natural and synthetic fabrics for the best of both materials. The R1 Techface jacket is coming out this spring, and is like Patagonia’s version of the Outdoor Research Ferrosi jacket. Can’t wait to check one of these out.

The cool story at Adidas, besides bringing Five Ten fully under their banner, was a new dyeing process called dope dyeing that saves a significant amount water over traditional dyeing processes. Many people aren’t aware of how cutting edge Adidas is when it comes to sustainability and environmental stewardship, but they walk softly and carry a big stick as far as this is concerned.

Adidas Parley Jacket

They were also showing off the Agravic Shield Hoodie ($159), which uses Polartec Alpha in the front to provide a light but warm insulating piece. The Parley Jacket is the next step in their partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which takes plastic out of the oceans and turns them into clothing, and this three layer piece is the next evolution of that partnership.

Microlight Summit

The Rab Borealis comes out this spring and replaces the popular Boreas pull on. Available in a jacket or pull on, it improves the already great design. The Microlight Summit is a burlier version of their popular Microlight jacket which uses their Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave fabric, which allowed them to build the jacket with no stitching which creates more warmth and better wind and weather resistance.

Refuge Hooded Jacket

The Outdoor Research Refuge Hooded Jacket ($199) uses a new insulation they are calling Vertical X, which they claim has more loft, more stretch and better moisture management than other insulating synthetics. They say it is comparable to 700 fill down, and without a backing material, it allows better moisture transport. A lightweight ripstop outer holds it all together.

The Alpine Down Hooded Jacket utilizes 182 grams of 800 fill down. With baffled construction and a shell that utilizes two different kinds of Pertex Quantum fabric, this is the warmest jacket in the OR line, and it’s priced at a reasonable $350 for what it is. It’s sized to easily goes over other layers and the hood accommodates a helmet without problem. Looks cozy.

The Bitterblaze gloves ($135) won my award for being the most high tech garment at the show. Utilizing Primaloft Gold Aerogel, which was originally developed by NASA, they’ve created a lightweight yet incredibly warm glove. The Aerogel is 98 percent air, and somehow blocks cold from entering and heat from leaving. To drive the point home, they had a piece of dry ice you could pick up at their booth, and you could barely feel the -109 F temperature through the gloves.

A big thanks to everyone who took the time to show me the goods!

For more OR coverage, be sure to check out the Alpine Start’s excellent write ups.

One Response to Winter Outdoor Retailer 2018 Climbing Report

  1. Glad to see the anasazi VCS get some upgrades. It’s one of my favorite all around shoes, but the toe hooking is horrible. The top is too soft and slippery, I’ve absolutely destroyed my toes a few times just flagging really hard to maintain counter pressure. It’s one of the worst non-beginner shoes for toe hooking I’ve used.

    Jestep March 6, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

Connect with Us

Real Time Web Analytics