Our Gear Editor Chris Townsend reports from OutDoor, the huge gear trade show in Friedrichschafen…
Day one at the OutDoor Trade Show in Friedrichshafen – the last one before it moves to Munich next year, which I think is a shame – produced a few themes and a few interesting products.
The main themes I’ve picked up so far are for recycled and environmentally friendly gear, knitted footwear, and lightweight waterproofs.
On the recycled front Primaloft has its first 100% recycled fill, made from plastic bottles. Initially this will appear in jackets from Vaude, though I expect others will soon follow.
Knitted footwear sounds strange but it’s not made from old woolly pullies. It’s a new way of using synthetic materials that saves weight and reduces seams, improving durability. The North Face and Keen both have lightweight knitted fabric boots that look good. Keen’s are the latest version of the Targhee. It looks completely different!
In lightweight jackets, Paclite makes a return in an updated form, Paclite +, meant to be more breathable and more durable. It certainly has a drier, duller, less shiny feel. Mountain Equipment and Patagonia both have functional jackets in the new Paclite. Patagonia’s also has a recycled face fabric.
The OutDoor Awards were announced at the show and I had a look at the winners. Of interest to walkers were the Garmin InReach Mini, which really is tiny, the Gregory Jade women’s 53l pack, Nikwax Hydrophobic Down Technology, and an interesting pair of boots from Ecco, the Exolite, made from a leather and dyneema material.
I was delighted to discover that Montbell (header image, above) will be back in the UK this autumn for the first time in a decade with its clothing, especially the excellent ultralight insulated and waterproof jackets.
Finally I met Jotaro Yoshida from Locus Gear, who wasn’t exhibiting but showed me pictures of his interesting and very expensive single-skin tent. He also expressed interest in the TGO Challenge. We might see him next year!
That’s day one over. Back again tomorrow.
All images © Chris Townsend