Outdoor Retailer Trade Show Winter 2011 Wrap Up

posted by dpm on 02/01/2011

John Wilder
I'm sure you've all been wandering around climbing sites across the net, salivating over the new gear that is starting to pop up after being displayed at last week's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. I'm also sure some of you are thinking- is that it? Is that all there is? Well, wonder no more- it's not. Here, all in one place, is a fairly complete list (with pictures!) of the latest and greatest from ORWM 2011! So, without too much fanfare, let's get started with the shiny stuff, eh?
Mammut is one of those brands that makes pretty awesome stuff at a pretty sweet price point. In the last year or so, it's released its full-support harness to compete with Arc'terx's line- and at $50 less than the dead bird, it's a pretty good option. This spring, they're releasing the Togir Women's specific version of their harness, which will retail at $79- nice, eh?
Also this spring, they're releasing two other styles of harness, both available in men's and women's styles- the Ophir 3-slide, a price point harness that's fully adjustable, has the indicator webbing, and uses split webbing technology to provide full support. They'll retail at $55, and also come in a kids version for the little wall scalers. The other harness is the Zephyr, also a split webbing harness, this piece focuses on weight- using dyneema leg loops and other tricks to make it light, yet extremely comfortable. $99 for this harness in March.
In the rope department, Mammut has a new skinny line to show off- a beautiful 9.6mm line called the Climax. This beauty carries a 9.3kn impact force and weighs a scant 64g/m, but most appealing is its price tag- the 70m will only run you $189. Look for the rope next month! For those more traditional Mammut customers, the Supersafe got a little makeover this year, meaning the world's most durable rope got a little tougher, if you can believe it. www.mammut.com
Native Eyewear
You know, if you don't look good while sending, or even while approaching the crag, what's the point of even going outside? This is what I tell myself most days, and thankfully, Native Eyewear is there for me and my lady friends with their new shades- the Apres and the Chonga (pictured below) along with the Endura.
The Apres (left) is Native's take on the aviator sunglass- it comes with the Single Snap Back, Native's interchangeable lens system, hybrid venting to reduce fogging, and a bunch of other features. It has a medium to large fit and will retail at $109-$129 this spring.  The Chonga (right) is another wide lens offering from Native, this time going for the 'ski town' crowd- it also comes with Single Snap Back, and other great features that keep it a little more wallet friendly at $89-$109.
Finally, the Endura is Native's flagship offering (my apologies, but evil lighting prevented a good photo- you can find one on their website), a hardtop style sunglass that's sleeker and smaller than usual. It comes with Cushinol- a pad on the inside of the frame to help prevent slipping, but not on the outside to reduce hair snags. It also features venting and an interchangeable lens system. It retails at $119-$139 and is out now along with all of their other great shades.www.nativeyewear.com
La Sportiva
The big story at La Sportiva this show was their new ski line- yeah, La Sportiva is making skis. Of course, we're climbers, so we don't really care that much about them, despite how sexy the big green powder ski they were showing off looked. No, we as climbers are much more interested in La Sportiva's latest climbing shoe offering- the Python. This sexy new unlined slipper is geared for the boulderer in us, or the guys who love the steep stuff on ropes. It has a Velcro strap adjustment on it to ensure a high tension fit, a huge toe rand for toe hooks and the like, and the upper does have a lining to keep stretch in check and deal with sweaty feet. Specs- Leather upper, PD75 last, slip lasted, .8mm midsole, 3.5mm Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber. This bad boy retails at $130 and will be available sometime in March. www.sportiva.com
Black Diamond
As usual in the winter show, there isn't that much to show off, but BD had a little something for us:
Say hello to the new Half Dome Helmet. Black Diamond has redesigned the helmet to include better venting, new headlamp clips (thank God), a dial adjustment (woo!), and it weighs a bit less too! As an added bonus, it comes in sweet new colors too- which as I have mentioned, is very important to me since appearances always add at least one letter grade to a send. The helmet will retail at $59 and show up in shops this fall.
Also keep an eye out for the new Hoodwire- BD's answer to the notchless wiregate. At $9.95, it's a nice option for those who can't shell out the coin for some of the more expensive options on the market. This carabiner is out now or coming soon to a store near you. www.bdel.com
Edelrid is a European company that is trying hard to get into the U.S. market, and most of that strategy includes bringing awesome new gear to the states. Last show they debuted a wicked new type of webbing featuring a dyneema core that allowed even a tied loop to retain a 22kn rating. This show, they are showing off their new wiregate draw- the Mission.

Edelrid has excellent taste in reading materials!

Look for the Mission this spring- the carabiner clocks in at 25g and $8.75/each, and the dyneema draw weighs a scant 59g and costs $18.95.www.edelridna.com
This show, SMC gets the award for most interesting/unique piece of climbing gear. I'm not entirely sure what to think of these things yet, but I'll admit they're a neat idea. Say hello to the Endeez- an aluminum tube that screws onto the end of your rope (and fixes with a set screw) that prevents the end of your rope from slipping through your belay device. A pair will run you $20 and are field removable/replaceable and will be available starting in March.
Also new at Trango are some sweet new holds from E-Grips. Most prominently is the Bubblewrap Beehive, a hold you will see at the ABS Finals this spring, and one you can get your paws on sometime in March. The price is TBD, but I'm sure it'll run around other holds like it.
Finally, look for some cool new training pocket and edge holds from E-Grips this spring. www.trango.com
The thing to bear in mind about the Winter Market is that it is, primarily, a soft goods market- so clothing reigns supreme. While here at Deadpoint we do love shiny things, occasionally we stop at a booth that grabs our eye, and take some photos. Gramicci was the winner on day 1 for their cool new Signature Artist Tees. These awesome looking tees will be available this fall for $34 each and cover a wide range of styles for both men and women.
Also look for several new men's and women's jackets and crew shirts from Gramicci this fall- most of which range in the $75-$95 range and continue the aged, yet clean look from the brand.www.gramicci.com
Krieg Climbing
Not much to say about Krieg, I just loved his wall of chalkbags- he continues to offer the best chalkbags on the market at a reasonable price- he even custom makes bags! Check him out at www.kriegclimbing.com
Asana Climbing
I started off Day 2 of the show with a meeting with Jamey at Asana. Asana is a great company that has done well in the gym/bouldering market and is growing by leaps and bounds. They also had the brightest colors of the show at their booth directly across from Krieg. It was quite the colorful section of the climbers ranch at OR!
[picture: asana1]
Jamey started off the meeting by showing off the new Team pack- this is a pack they designed for their own climbing team, but it was a hit with gyms all over the country for their own climbing teams- they'll customize the pack with your teams name and logo. The pack costs $58 and is available now.
I loved this shirt- Monkeys on power lines! This spring, Asana is coming to play with a new line of shirts ($24 retail), and bouldering and DWS shorts ($40 retail)- there will be a pile of different shirts- six different ones for men, three for the ladies. Also, Asana is debuting the first DWS chalkbag this year- an all vinyl bag that will dry out quickly after your 60' plummet off Es Pontas- $19 this spring. www.asanaclimbing.com
Five Ten
Remember Mission Impossible 2? The one that climbers universally derided for its ridiculous climbing scene? Yeah, so you can stop making fun of Tom Cruise now. This past year, during the filming of the latest Mission Impossible movie, the famed Charles Cole developed a whole new kind of sticky rubber specifically for the stunts in this movie. They call it Mi:6 Rubber and it is truly mind-blowing.
Holy Sh*t! That shoe is sticking to a vertical wall!!!!! No kidding, its that sticky.
Yes, that shoe is sticking to the wall via friction- I put it there myself. This particular rubber is very sticky and works on a different type of friction than regular climbing rubber. Charles explained it to me, and the whole thing just went over my head. Suffice to say, this type of rubber could quite possibly make grades inconsequential for slab climbing. It's still in the testing phase at this point- no shoes officially have it except for the Warhawk sneaker that Cruise wears in Mission Impossible. The one piece of gear that for sure will have it is the Ruiner Kneepad, a $65 sticky rubber kneepad that will be available this fall.
 the Eclipse from last show has a new name- and its very bright!
In other news from Five Ten- a pile of new shoes are out or are coming out very soon. The new Anasazi High Top (designed by Mr. Dean Potter himself!) with its triple velcro closure and $149 price tag will be out in a month or so, the Supermocc is out now, along with the revered Hueco making its return to Five Tens lineup.www.fiveten.com
Omega Pacific
 Groovy, man
Say hello to the newest generation of the Doval- renamed the Lava carabiner, this 33g, $7 psychedelic wonder is lighter, and has a more three dimensional shape to it- a nice update to an already popular carabiner.www.omegapac.com
At the last show, Metolius debuted the Bravo Locker. This show they bring its non-locking cousins to the show- the Bravo straight and bent gates. Sleek, black, non-locking carabiners that clock in at 40g, retail at $7.75, and carry a 24kn, 7kn, 10kn rating on them. They'll drop this fall along with the new Feather nut tool, the lightest nut tool on the market weighing in at a scant 21g (the Titanium ones weigh 42g!)- $17.95 when you can get your paws on it!
Also new this show for Metolius is a revamp/update to their PAS lineup. The PAS got its UIAA certification this year, and now Metolius is continuing the tradition with two new products in a similar vein- the Ultimate Daisy- a full strength daisy retailing at $49.95 and the Anchor Chain, also $49.95 and is a series of PAS loops (with different sizes in two spots) allowing the user to build a full strength anchor in variety of configurations. Both of these bad boys will drop in the fall.
Finally, keep an eye out for the new Recon Pad, a $249 cousin to the big boy, it's a 3 panel pad measuring 42" x 60" x 4" when fully opened. Oh, and I shouldn't forget the pooches! Metolius is releasing a lineup of leashes and collars for your crag dog- because he needs to be brand loyal too! Petsmart is so last year.www.metoliusclimbing.com
Original Buff
If you don't own a buff, you should- if for no other reason than to look like you have a rope coiled around your head! I've been a Buff fan for years- it takes the edge off the sun in the desert. This fall, Buff is dropping the Storm- a gore windstopper buff ($36), the Bandana Buff (a microfleece/fiber mix Buff- $25), and the new Dog Buff ($11)- no reason to leave your pooch out in the cold! www.buffwear.com
The big news at Julbo this show was their new NTS technology for their high end lenses. NTS stands for Non-Temperature Sensitive. Basically, photochromatic lenses normally change quickly at a certain temperature (usually a semi-warm one), and the colder it is, the slower the change. Julbo's NTS technology means the lenses will change at the same rate regardless of the temperature outside. You'll see this new tech on their Zebra, Octopus, Falcon, and Camel lenses this spring. www.julbousa.com
 The new Pipleline- $180 this spring with the Zebra lens, $200 with the falcon lens

The new Shaman- Sharma's latest design

This April, Evolv's latest from Chris Sharma will be released- the Shaman, an all new design from Evolv featuring a new radical downturned asymmetrical last. The shoe is best suited for the steep terrain of overhanging sport or bouldering- unlike alot of downturned shoes, the Shaman features a roomy toebox that allows for the toes to knuckle without pain. MSRP on the shoe is $145.
The new Geshido shoes
As usual, Evolv had more than one offering for us- the other new shoe in the lineup, and one that may have received even more murmurs of approval than the Shaman, was the Geshido SC and the Geshido Lace. This $139 shoe ($135 for the lace) was designed for those boys and gals who crank extra hard on gear- it has a less severe downturn and is more versatile than the Shaman, and should excel on finger cracks in particular. Look for it late this spring in a store near you.
Finally, this summer Evolv will release the new Prime Lace, a $130 version of the updated Optimus Prime- Evolv listened to the customers on this one and they both have a new toe setup, tongue system, and are fully lined. They also fit the same as the rest of Evolv's line- which is a nice update. I used to have to get a full size bigger to stuff my foot into the Primes and can now comfortably fit my usual Evolv size 9 foot into the Prime Lace. Also look for a new Bandit SC (strap) show this spring- $120, the same great shoe, just with a velcro enclosure.www.evolvesports.com
Princeton Tec
This April, Princeton Tec will be releasing their latest headlamp- the Bot. A cute and fun little lamp designed for your kids, this $16 lamp features 15 lumens of light, 9 hours of burn time, and weighs only 62 grams. It also comes in a ton of fun colors and features a screw shut battery case to keep your little ones from opening it at night in the woods. www.princetontec.com
Outdoor Research
Outdoor Research is a brand I'm fairly unfamiliar with, but after this show, I must admit that I'm pretty psyched to learn more after seeing a couple of very cool new toys at their booth this year. The first is the new TouchTec leather they have used to create a pair of new glove offerings. TouchTec is basically leather that allows conductivity to pass through it without metal and let you use your touch screen phones without the aid of your nose in cold environments- how cool is that? It comes on two gloves- the Sensor (pictured below) and the Ambit.- the Sensor is a fleece glove with leather palm and fingers ($70), the Ambit is a more technical piece with waterproof construction and is also insulated ($99). Both will be available this fall.
Also new this fall are a ton of new beanie options- most notable, imho, is the Transcendent Beanie. This is a 650+ fill down beanie with a ripstop shell to keep you toasty warm, and best of all, it comes with its own pocket you can stuff it into, shrinking down to a tiny 4" x 2" that can easily fit in a pocket somewhere. $40 this fall.www.outdoorresearch.com
This Fall, one of the new things in fabrics is true waterproof breathable hardshells- Rab is showcasing Polartec's new Neoshell Hardshell material on its new Stretch Neo Jacket (pictured below), a $365 hardshell that is 100% waterproof and 99% windproof (that last 1% is what allows it to breathe). It's geared toward the fast and light crew weighing a mere 17oz for a Men's large and will be available in both men's and women's models this fall.
Also new this fall is Rab's Fusion Jacket. This piece also utilizes Polartec's Neoshell, but only in the hood, shoulders, arms, and waist area with Rab's proprietary softshell at the chest and other non-essential waterproof areas. This piece is for those folks who love to ice climb and will retail at $265. www.us.rab.uk.com
Mountain Hardwear
The other big story on the show floor in the world of waterproof breathable fabrics is Mountain Hardwear's new Dry.Q. fabric. This fall, Mountain Hardwear will discontinue the use of Gore fabrics in its line to be replaced by its own proprietary system of fabrics known as Dry.Q. There are three tiers of the system, but all can be used in any type of piece- softshell, hardshell, activewear, etc. Basically, Dry. Q. is Mountain Hardwear's replacement for the Gore lineup of laminates. They feel it is better, more versatile (Gore restricts how their laminates can be used in a given piece), and gives them the ability to do what they want how they want.
The showcase system is Dry. Q. Elite- a waterproof, breathable, and fully air-permeable fabric that allows water to escape from the user at all levels of perspiration, not just maximum perspiration like the breathable Gore laminates. The laminate breathes instantly- yet maintains full waterproof-ness at all times, keeping the user warm and dry at all levels of exertion. The DWR on the Elite line is rated for 500 washes- pretty damn impressive! For more beta, check out http://www.mountainhardwear.com/DryQ www.mountainhardwear.com


The Drystein, Dry.Q. Elite with stretch mesh panels. Retail $425 / Avail. August

Oh, GriGri2, how we have waited for thee! By the time you're reading this article, chances are good that the GriGri2 will be available at your nearest retailer and if it isn't, it will be soon! Want a review? Check out the gear section on this site or this month's issue of DPM. It's $95 retail and gorgeous- I want the gold one!
In other Petzl news, the small Ange is coming soon as well- March to be precise, with the large Ange following in September. For those who don't know or remember, the Ange is Petzl's answer to the wiregate- a single post carabiner with a notchless nose good for 100,000 cycles or more. Also this spring, Petzl's new 10.1mm Xion rope will be released (it replaces the Zephyr)- $199 for the 60m, $235 for the 70m, this will be your workhorse rope if you're a Petzl rope fan. www.petzl.com
Sterling Rope
Sterling Rope this spring continues the growth of its Fusion lineup of ropes bringing the Photon (pictured below) to the line-up. The Photon is a 7.8mm half/twin line that will arrive in stores in March. It clocks in at 41g/m, is rated at 5/16 falls (half/twin), 5.6kn/8.7kn (half/twin), and will be available in 40m, 50m, 60m, 70m, and 80m lengths! The 60m line will retail at $173 ($189 dry), the 70m at $202 ($221 dry).  Also out now is Sterling's new ATS belay device- a completely new type of belay device that is a vast improvement on the old Fig-8 style of device. Different configurations give you a belay device, rappel device, hands free device, and an ascender.www.sterlingrope.com


 A Sterling employee shows off the new Photon to Joey Kinder and yours truly

So Ill Holds
So, I'm wandering around the back end of the climber's ranch on the show floor and my eyes get totally distracted by this tiny white booth full of green holts and medical equipment. I look at my schedule to see if I have time and look at that, my next meeting is in this booth! Dan at So Ill is a great guy with a great product- and his booth is gorgeous. What you're seeing in that booth is the new Cipher Volume- clocking in at $500, this beautiful giant fiberglass hueco volume can be yours, and it comes complete with the same custom mounting plate that will let you mount it anywhere in your gym using existing T-nut positions.
Also out from So Ill is their new Grip Wash powder, a concentrated version of their popular Grip Wash. It's available by the case ($49) and can be used with either the dishwasher or bucket system. They also have new Prescription Chalk available in medium and large buckets (and blocks!) and for those chalk aficionados, its extra chunky because apparently extra fine chalk sucks. I wouldn't know, so I'll take their word for it.
Finally, it's worth noting that So Ill added 50 new sets in 2010, resulting in a 30% increase in their product line- with even more to come in 2011! www.soillholds.com
Every time I walk into the CAMP booth I get overwhelmed with a ton of new product. This time around is no exception. This March, CAMP is introducing the new Photon and Photon Wire. The Wire is an $8 straight or bent gate carabiner the clocks in at 29g. The Photon is $10 and is a solid gate keylock. There's also a locker for $12. For those looking for new draws, they are selling in a variety of configurations including: Double Solid ($20/ea), Dyneema ($22), Solid top/Wire rope ($19), Double Wire ($17- and only 63g on this one!). All of the draws will also be available in 5-packs as well if you want to save a few bucks.
The Photon Series Carabiners (lockers not pictures
Also new this fall is their Blitz Harness, a 205g all mountain harness that can be fully adjusted and stepped into with cramp-ons. $55 retail too- nice. CAMP is also updating their Rox+ Pack, a crag pack that I really love. They have moved away from a roll top and moved to a lid with a center zip so you can still access everything in the pack without digging. Nice, boys! www.camp-usa.com
Mad Rock
For my last appointment at the show, I stopped in to see Kenny at Mad Rock. After the years trials, Mad Rock has worked hard to completely revamp their entire line of shoes and have done a great job. Their new shoe line- dubbed '2.0' have some pretty sweet features that separates them from their old product and much of their competitors. First up is their new polycarbonate midsole- only 1mm thick, the midsole will always snap back to its original shape- making sure your shoes don't lose their downturn or other shape that you rely on when you're out crushing. They have also started using variable thickness rubber for both comfort and performance, along with very stretchy climbing rubber on the outsoles of their shoes.
Their headliner shoe- the Demon also comes with a new rand system to help maintain the downturn of the shoe- the stretchy rubber mentioned above is used in places to allow a wider range of foot widths. All in all, Mad Rock is poised to come roaring into 2011 with a whole new game and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next! www.madrockclimbing.com
So, that about wraps it up- another Outdoor Retailer has come and gone, and as usual, there is a ridiculous amount of innovation and new gear. This industry never ceases to amaze me with its ability to innovate and improve on its already amazing gear. Deadpoint will return to the next Outdoor Retailer- the Summer Market this August to bring you the latest and greatest from Outdoor Industry!