Guest Post: A Guide's Perspective on the Good, the Bad@ss and the Ugly from the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market
|Guest post author JB. (E Sagalyn)|
For five days every winter, the entire outdoor gear world descends upon Salt Lake City, Utah in an annual ritual involving everything from testing out the latest in apparel technology to sustainability seminars. The Outdoor Retailer Show draws all the equipment buyers and retail shop owners from across the country to see the latest and greatest for the upcoming year. And then, we do it all over again in the summer.
This January marked my fourth year participating in the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, and from the first day it seemed akin an old west shootout; a cutthroat fight between companies representing gear of all sorts to garner the attention of the coveted retail buyers. This year was no exception with new release flashy marketing and fast talking designersIn keeping with the Wild West theme, here’s this year’s “The Good, the Bad@ss, and The Ugly,” a list of some of my favorite and not-so-favorite items.
|Checking of the Davai Boot. (J. Brown)|
This technical mountaineering boot is designed to tackle anything from general mountaineering to high altitude mixed ice climbing all while keeping your foot warm down to -15°F. The built-in Superfabric® stretch gaiter provides good protection from the elements while a thin Primaloft® lining keeps your feet warm. A dual density sole makes it rigid enough for great crampon performance while still allowing some cushion against the pounding your feet take. What really sets the Davai apart from the competition the fact that the boot weighs in at 3lbs 8 oz per pair. It's by far the lightest boot in its class. Look for them this fall.
The Bad@ass - Venture Odin Splitboard. It isn’t often you find an avid backcountry skier raving about a snowboard, but I will give a holler when one is deserved. The natural progression of the sport of snowboarding demands that riders be able to do all the things skiers can do. Until now, snowboarders have had trouble keeping up with skiers in the backcountry not due to a lack of interest but because the equipment hasn’t been there. The Odin is one of a series of boards that is helping the progression towards backcountry equality.
The Odin Splitboard is the next in a generation of boards that split to allow easy uphill travel and recombine to allow for a ripping ride down. It has a light rocker and flat camber allowing it to crush in the powder. It has a thin side cut won’t help with carving, but it gets the job done in the powder. A slightly stiffer board allows it to tour well but don’t just ask me. The Odin won Backcountry Magazines Editor’s Choice Award. Not bad coming from a bunch of skiers.
|the RT Tech Crampon is sold separately from the binding. |
So with it being a stronger binding and half the weight what makes it “The Ugly”? The $750.00 price tag! With their inventive front mounted breaking system, you might have to fork over as much as $900. It’s not a binding for the everyday consumer.
If you made it to Winter OR this year, did you see these items? What did you think? Were there other items you'd say were better, or worse?