Outdoor Retailer Demo Day Wrap Up Summer 2011
Today, I was at the Outdoor Retailer Demo Day today where close to a hundred manufactures let industry professionals test out their products for their current and future product lines. During the summer demo days, much of the activities are based around water, so lots of kayaks, stand up paddle boards (SUP) and other products relating to water with a few other outdoor activities.
To start off, there was a 5k that was sponsored by Trail Runner and Helly Hansen. I was able to test out one of the new Helly Hansen Tech Tees which was a tee-shirt style ¼ zip. Running in a ¼ zip tee is usually a good option for summer running as it’s pretty easy to vent.
After the race, I checked out a company called COCO Hydro which is dried coconut extract that you can put in water. Instead of shipping the coconut water from Bali, they dry it up and take only the nutrients and flavors out. The taste of it tasted just like the coconut water you get at the store, but it comes out to be about 40 cents for 8 ounces. These come in single portions and package portions for more than one serving. This could come in super handy for backpacking. Super tasty!
Since I’m not a big fly fisher, I decided to break the barrier and try out my hand in fly fishing. Redington was there to showcase their new products and help teach people how to fly fish. I gave it a try and it wasn’t as hard as it looked.
Interested in getting into fly fishing, be sure to check out this video
Next, we stopped at the Eton booth where they had some crank/solar radios. These are nice for the outdoors and better yet, they also can charge your cell phone. The photo here is of a product that has both weather and AM/FM radio.
Stand up paddleboarding is the new hot water sport in case you have been living in a cave the past year. This year at the Demo Days, I noticed there were a lot more manufactures than previous years. So if you are in the market for a stand-up paddleboard, you will start to see a lot more options and styles.
As Camelbak looks to grow and cater to the new sport of SUP, they have come out with a few hydration packs that relate to SUP. These packs are SUP specific and have features such as a cord that holds your paddle when you’re not using it. As you burn a lot of calories and sweat a lot, staying hydrated is important. So with the growth of the sport/activity, this could be big!
Another piece of equipment that helps you better enjoy SUP is footwear. A few of the products we tested included some shoes from Chaco and Sperry. The Chaco water shoes are more of a high top form with a non-marking sole, while the new Sperry shoes are similar to other water shoes. Both I think give you a better grip on the SUP’s and give you a better sense of stability.
Since there were hundreds of products I saw at the Outdoor Retailer demo days, be sure to check back for future updates on the upcoming outdoor products and reviews.