The MPGear Team headed to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer last week to see the new Spring 2013 products in person. After three days of meetings and walking the show floor, our feet hurt (I didn’t remember to bring my Hokas) but we are really excited for next spring! Tons of great new tents and shoes from our favorite brands like Big Agnes, Nemo, Inov-8, Hoka and other cool new innovations to the industry.
One great product for active families with young children was the WarmZe, in the Mountains Plus office we are always on the look out for innovative kids and family gear to add to our kid’s gear specific site, TinyTrekker.com. Using a version of hand warmer technology the WarmZe keeps bottles of all sizes warm for feedings all day long. No batteries, no microwave, no boiling water. It offers super convenient bottle warming great for the campsite, day hikes, and strolls around town.
EZ Ski Trainer
Also in the kids realm was the EZ Ski trainer. As the official youth water ski trainer of USA WATER SKI, the product is durable and works great. The trainer is a revolutionary inflatable water ski hybrid with an integrated wooden bottom to add support and bindings to keep your feet in place. A child can sit on the seat to start and slowly stand up as their confidence builds. This awesome teaching tool has a spin off for teaching your young ones wake boarding as well!
Pat’s Backcountry Beverages
Another great product I saw was Pat’s Backcountry Beverages. A real cane sugar soda is a great treat after a long hike into your campsite. But, lugging around enough to share is certainly not ultralight. Turn the provided water bottle, something you would carry anyways into soda, by packing a small capsule and two pouches, one “activator” and one flavor, like Cola. So far they have flavors like, root beer, (which I tried and it was delicious,) Pomegranate Cola, Lemon Lime, Pomegranate Black Berry Black Cherry, Cola, and Ginger Ale! It’s a small addition of weight for a little luxury at the campsite, we hear that early next year they will be launching a beer using the same technology! Whoa, we can’t wait!
From our friends over at Big Agnes, the new Fish Hook tent blew us away! We had seen the catalogue drawings of the design, but we were not believers until we saw the latest production sample at the show. Magnetic closures were light and effective, as well as intuitive in design. No more late night fumble to get to the bathroom. Additionally with less moving parts, zippers will not get stuck and break. We really though it was an awesome design and can’t wait try one out next spring. Big Agnes is also introducing traditional mummy sleeping bags, with insulation in the bottom. Up until, now Big Agnes has just used the sleep system where your pad insulated you on the bottom. For the people who love Big Agnes but want a traditional style sleeping bag the new line of men’s and women’s down and synthetic sleeping bags are sure to be a hit.
Nemo is making a splash with new and fresh sleeping bag designs for spring as well. The big winner looks to be the spoon shaped sleeping bags, ranging from 15 to 40 degrees. The design won 2012 Outside Gear of the Show, a big honor for Nemo. Really the design is simple, but no one is doing it! The foot box is wider allowing people who bend their knees in the night for more comfort; this certainly describes how I sleep! There will be four versions of the spoon style sleeping bag, 2 men’s and 2 women’s in a down and a PrimaLoft® version each. A beautiful, functional detail is the tuckable Blanket Fold™. You can snuggle up to the extra fabric when it’s folded out like you would your comforter at home, or pull it up over your face for extra warmth on those bitter cold camping nights.