Outdoor Retailer, the ultimate gear trade show for everything we as humans like to do outside, came to a close last week. This was the second show in Denver, its new home as of last year, and one of the fastest growing cities in the US with coveted hoods like LoHi and RiNo. The pairing of OR and Denver is a match made in bearded, beer loving, bike loving heaven.
The summer show was filled with all the gear you are going to want next year for festival season campouts, your urban commute, and beyond. Here are some of my favorite brands/gear from the show this year. Keep your eyes open for full reviews on many of these items in the coming months.
Tech Gear / Cameras
Gnarbox - I'd seen this on Kickstarter and was excited to see the actual product and a new 2.0 version in the works that is going to completely change the mobile video creation game. This little box acts as a storage back up and power center for you to make edits on your mobile device out in the field. Think of it as a little computer you take with you that can take a bit more punishment than your MacBook Pro. (Full review coming soon.)
First Ascent Instant Coffee - Instant coffee that doesn't suck. I'll admit that I'm not one to go for anything remotely resembling Sanka, but First Ascent Coffee might have changed my mind. It tastes amazing and comes in small packets that easily pack away taking almost zero cargo space. Now you can have it all, a great cup of coffee cold or hot, instantly. More at www.FirstAscentCoffee.com
Rylo Camera - This little camera is amazing! I've been kind of meh on the 360 thing since it first hit for various reasons, too hard to edit, didn't look great, gimmicky, etc. The Rylo camera has changed my mind on this format with its easy to use software, clever editing tools, reasonable price point ($499), and compact size. You can create incredible shots on this that would just not be possible on your standard action cam.
Insta360 One Camera - Another great little camera that has again changed my mind about 360. Similar to the Rylo but coming in at a lower price point, for $329.00 you can actually get a bundle with a tripod, selfie stick (which with this camera you will definitely want) and a bullet time handle. The software is also very user-friendly and brings noobs a lot of stellar editing features.
Arbor Skateboards x Vibram - The Arbor Collective is one of my favorite brands for their clean design aesthetic in everything they do (skate, snow, clothing) and they just stepped up the skateboard game in a big way. A new collaboration with Vibram soles just might change the way people ride skateboards soon. On top of their beautiful decks is a rubber Vibram surface instead of grip tape giving the rider more cushion on the ride and the ability to cruise in bare feet. They also have a great clothing line that's starting to take shape as well with a much larger offering coming next year. We will be doing some deeper dives with these guys later this year.
TOPO Design - Across the board, TOPO is one of the hottest brands out there right now with their classic mountaineering styles and streetwear sensibility. Is this the Supreme of the alpine urban scene? Maybe. Bright colors, sensible design, and high-quality everything makes this one of my brands of choice right now. Every time I go to the store I buy something, and you probably will too. Alpine Urban - you heard it here first folks, at least I think you did?
Skinners - This was one of the weirdest things I saw at the show and stopped me and the founder of Vanish.Today in our tracks while we were walking the show. We both looked at one another with a look of confused delight, it's an outdoor slipper sock that you actually want. Some crazy Czech fused high-end socks and a rugged rubber sole, creating the perfect hybrid shoe/sock for campers, frequent travelers, hot sand walkers, water sports enthusiasts, extreme yoga nuts, and beyond.
Purist Water Bottle - I know, this seems like a strange thing to get excited about but just stay with me here. These mad scientists figured out a way to fill this bottle with an ultra-thin glass lining so your water doesn't get that funky taste it does when it's sitting in a standard plastic bottle. Glass is not practical to lug around so most of us have just settled for the convenience of plastic but now you don't have to. You can have your water and want to drink it too. Please Note: I did not test the bottle so this is purely staked on the claims of the brand - but it sure looks convincing and if tastes as good as a glass water bottle then it's worth every penny. Launching winter 2018. www.puristcollective.com
WNDRD - Another innovative bag company that has taken on the challenge of being the perfect bag for the modern traveler. They have a range of backpacks and travel duffels that will be sure to impress you with their design, innovative features, and quality build. Stay tuned for a larger feature on this brand.
Matador - I've had my eye on this brand for a while but wasn't aware of the entire offering. Boulder, CO based Matador (Hey neighbors!) makes the perfect accessories for the space conscious "travel light" traveler with a great selection of compacting bags, towels and toiletries (yes toiletries). I don't even have their stuff and I'm already a huge fan. If you want to streamline your travels this brand will help you get more stuff in less space easily. Great for festivals, camping, and other nomadic exploits.
Kokopelli Packcraft - A full blown Kayak raft vessel that can fold up and fit in your backpack, yes really, it's impressive. Have you ever been by a body of water and wished you had a dope little boat to paddle around in? Well, here you go, and it's built to take hard core rapids and other extreme water ways if you want to step up your game and show off a bit.
Eagles Nest Outfitters - Find a couple trees, a nice view, and set up your eagles nest for a nap like no other - you also might become a nice bear/cougar snack in a brightly colored wrapper, but it's worth the risk. This brand, known as ENO for short, makes just about everything the music festival camping nomad needs, but the hammocks are a must have if you are spending time outside. If you can't find trees, don't sweat it, you can set up your snoozy loft on their hammock stand right in the middle of Burning Man, or any other treeless festival.