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We think it’s getting more and more difficult each show to pick just a few products we have dubbed “new,” “cool” or just plain quirky or eyebrow-raising. Are we getting softer or is there just a whole hecka lot of product that really does fit the bill?
At Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, our team again fanned out across the floor — didn’t hurt that we were running the OR Daily so we had more team members and saw even more.
We gleaned products from hither and yon that on first take we felt fit the bill to be dubbed “new and cool.” Realize the judgment is loose in that we don’t get a chance to truly test on the floor; instead, we are picking it up, running our hands down it and into pockets or over hoods and buttons, rolling our fingers over tops and sides, and trying out the features in the booth for a few minutes.
Here, in Part 1, we cover the nifty apparel and footwear pieces that grabbed us. Part 2, on Wed., Feb 9, will cover the accessories and gadgets we couldn’t keep our hands off. In that report, we’ll also include the picks from our fledgling SNEWS Youth Advisory & Reporting Team (www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/youthreporting) that they coveted for product coolness.
But that’s not all! There are the Editors’ Picks from the OR Daily. We couldn’t not mention this list of 8-10 items on each of the four days that grabbed our attention enough to get them featured in the o.r.d. (www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/ordaily). If you missed those, find the list with links at the bottom of this story.
Now take a skim through Part 1 with our picks of new and cool softgoods and footwear for winter 2011:
Aussie DogsDuchess was part of the line by Aussie Dogs to hit lower price points. The Duchess wedge was made of lambskin shearling with a suede outer, which helped the boot keep its knee-high shape. Its outsole offers as much traction as the lining does warmth. www.aussie-dogs.com (MSRP $170)
A new lightweight racing shoe, the Avia XZR Bolt had a unique design that offered a booty-like fit on one side for support, yet turned into a traditional tongue on the other for unrestricted fit. www.avia.com (MSRP $100)
One of our editors witnessed a slick pickpocket in action on the Paris Metro system last summer, so the Pick Pocket Proof Pants grabbed her eye. Clothing Arts landed its first piece at retail a few months ago, but owner Adam Rapp says he’s redesigned everything. The pants have two new pocket designs, an expandable rear pocket big enough to hold a travel guidebook, and triple secure hidden internal passport pocket (You’ll almost need a secret password to get in yourself). Plus, there is a new fabric option in the DuPont Advanced Dual Action Teflon for stain release and water repellency. The line is dubbed P-Cubed — leaving room for more “pick pocket proof” items, Rapp said with a wink. www.clothingarts.com (MSRP $100)
Ninja Suit long underwear was designed for the snowboarding crowd, but has very obvious climbing, yoga, running and travel applications with its four-way stretch wicking fabric. No need to disrobe during the day with “number 2” zipper around the hip and a fly for boys, plus a full-length chest zip and thump loops at the wrist cuff. Hooded and non-hooded, men’s and women’s styles. www.myninjasuit.com (MSRP $80-$180)
It may look like just another puffer vest, but the new Ortovox Piz Linard (men’s) and Piz Lischana (women’s) styles provide a twist with lightweight spun Swiss wool as the insulation, taking advantage of wool’s natural warmth properties even when wet. The vest (MSRP $179) with a polyester outer also sports merino wool vent patches down the side. www.ortovox.com
Timberland Radler Trail Camp Moc, part of the company’s attempt to show it’s serious about the outdoors, is a slipper-like shoe that folds in half and zips shut to stay tidily in the bottom of your pack or corner of your suitcase ‘til you need them. But it’s more than a slipper: It has a full outsole with major lugs for traction, a SmartWool insole for comfort and a one-pull lace for fit. www.timberland.com (MSRP $60)
–Therese Iknoian with David Clucas, Wendy Geister and Michael Hodgson
Now about those OR Daily Editors’ Picks. Here they are, listed by day (click on the day to access the online flip-book, pages 14-15):
Kaenon Polarized Soft Kore
Saucony Progrid Outlaw
Arc’teryx Alpha FL
Sterling Rope Fusion Photon
Deuter USA Pace 20
Timberland Radler Trail Camper Moc
Fenix Flashlight TK35 Headlamp
Youth Team Pick: Dakine Girls Heli Pro Annie Boulanger Team Pro
Mountain Boy Sledworks Ultimate Flyer
Rab Stretch Neo
Woolrich Odella Parka
Mammut Element Barryvox
Dynafit Radical FT12
Magellan Explorist 310
Princeton Tec Bot Kid’s Headlamp
Youth Team Pick: Natural Life Free Spirit Canteen
Five Ten M16 Rubber
Columbia Bugaglove Max Electric
Fischer Spider 62
K-Swiss Blade-Max Trail
Nau Vice Blazer
Sol Sport Utility Blanket
Youth Team Pick: Klymit Ularr
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Meg
I/O Bio LS Spirit
Leki USA Micro Stick
Camp 4 Outdoors Bearier 700
Kodiak Boots Saunder
Jones Hovercraft Split
Beyond Coastal Natural Clear
Youth Team Pick: Black Diamond Amp