Outdoor Retailer Snow Show – PREVIEW PART 2
This is the second part of our coverage of the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. You can read part 1 HERE.
Outdoor Retailer Snow Show happened in Denver, CO at the end of January and we worked with many of the manufacturers to preview what’s coming up for 2020 in the outdoor retail space.
The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show trade show is basically a who’s who in the outdoor gear manufacturer world displaying their wares for the upcoming season/year. Per OR’s website, Outdoor Retailer is “the largest global B2B trade events serving the outdoor industry.” So yeah, it was pretty robust and exciting if you’re an outdoor sports junkie.
There’s a lot of exciting gear coming our way, particularly for winter sports. The biggest takeaways for me, however, weren’t necessarily about any one particular innovation or category. Three things really struck me:
1. Sustainability at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show
The outdoor sports category is truly leading the charge when it comes to sustainability and conservationism. And it couldn’t be more prevalent at the Outdoor Retailer – Snow Show. It makes sense since we’re on the bleeding edge of environmentalism being that our playground is being directly affected. However, we expect the emphasis to be there from large brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and others. But what was truly inspiring was all the smaller brands embracing the push as well. Across the board, brands are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. This is nothing new, but it’s nice to see such a collective movement, both large and small.
2. Crossover Apparel at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show
Brands are working hard to bridge the gap between their technical and lifestyle categories. We’re starting to see a lot of cross-over as more and more consumers are utilized technical gear in their everyday lives. Many of the larger brands are recognizing this and letting some of their technical prowess trickles down into their lifestyle pieces, particularly in clothing. I saw a lot of highly technical fabrics being used in everyday pieces that one might wear to the office on a weekday and then take out into the mountains on the weekend. The name of the game here is versatility. The goal for some of them is to do away with the ‘gear closet’ and the ‘wardrobe closet’ and have it all blend together in one water-repellent, breathable mash-up of gear and clothing. Pretty cool if you’re already bursting at the seams with your current gear and clothing stash.
3. Women Steal the Show at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show
There’s a big push coming in 2020 for women. The world of outdoor sports will no longer be a men-first endeavor as women are doing more and their voice is certainly being heard by manufacturers. Several brands made it clear that the female category is their growth-leader and they’re poised to deliver on that.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the cool things coming up this year…and beyond.
Mammut is a Swiss mountaineering company founded back in 1862…so yeah, they know their stuff. And for 2020 at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, they’re kinda killing it.
Not quite as well known in the U.S. as they are overseas, they’re making HUGE strides increasing their market share over here, and making waves with what they’re doing in 2020.
Sustainability is a HUGE priority for Mammut and it shows in everything they’re doing. Boasting clean production, animal welfare, a reduced carbon footprint, and ethical production practices, Mammut is truly putting their money where their mouth is.
Mammut’s footwear offerings for 2020 are about revised materials, unique layering systems, thin and light insulation that provides warmth, yet feels more like a regular hiking boot.
The new for 2020 Ducan light hiker looks to be a premium entry in the light hiker category. The dialed lacing system, breathable materials, crossover styling, and big capability seem to all be on tap for the Ducan.
STYLE! Mammut’s colorways and styling are some of the best we’ve seen at the show. But they’re not JUST about style. Unique construction techniques, laser-cut and customizable ventilation zones, oversized pockets, strategically placed stretch panels, and uber ergonomics round out what looks to be some killer entries into the backcountry technical wear category.
Mammut isn’t JUST technical focused, they realize the 2020 consumer wants more crossover pieces. And they’re happy to bring their knowledge of killer technical prowess to the cross over category. Durable enough to wear backpacking or snowboarding, but stylish enough to wear to dinner in town, Mammut is poised to gobble up some market share for sure.
Innovation is also at the heart of what Mammut is doing. Convertible shovel to hoe is sure to make a lot of backcountry skiers happy.
Mammut’s offerings in the technical backcountry pack category looks to be a winner as well. A blend of a traditional pack and a vest, they’re truly doing some interesting things in how we wear and carry gear outside the boundary.
Mammut has a unique suspension on display for some of their 2020 packs as well. The Ducan Spine packs sport multiple pivot points, non-traditional closure systems and more breathable materials that look to add up to packs that should be on your radar this coming year.
Learn more at Mammut.com
Born in the mid-eighties, GSI Outdoors specializes in producing some of the nicest, most functional outdoor cookware and dining products out there. From car camping to backcountry expeditions, GSI Outdoors has you covered. They’re rolling out some groundbreaking stuff for 2020 at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show…
The new for 2020 Pinnacle Pro stove appears to be a groundbreaking piece of cookware kit in that it reduces down to the size of a large laptop. Seriously, I don’t ever recall seeing a camp stove THIS svelte. Speaking to GSI’s lead product designer, I realized just how much engineering and problem solving had to go into making a functional camp stove this thin. Cool stuff.
Along with the Pinnacle stove, GSI is updating some of their cookware with new materials and functions to not only allow users to handle these hot pieces more easily but including some neat heat sink technology to more quickly and evenly heat your backcountry treats. And of course, they nest nicely together.
Out now, their Microlite 350 Flip is such a simple little piece of kit, but SO functional. Reducing the thickness of the aluminum walls and being vigilant with how they’re achieving the vacuum seal, the Microlite 350 Flip holds 12 ounces of coffee and is no bigger than a small Bluetooth speaker. At just 2.9 in x 2.5 in x 7.1 in, it’s seriously wee, but such a great size for that morning cup of coffee. And the flip top is legit. After walking around with the Microlite 350 Flip for a few hours I grew to fall madly in love with the flip-top.
Learn more at GSIOutdoors.com
Being a leader in the anti-chafe category, Body Glide has expanded its offering over the past few years and 2020 looks to keep its spirit of innovation alive and well.
Many of you are likely familiar with their ‘body’ line of deodorant-like, anti-chafe sticks. New for Body Glide is their Skin Glide anti-friction cream. Functioning much the same as the Body roll-on balm, Skin Glide comes in an easier to apply cream form. It goes on greaseless, much like a moisturizer, but upon drying, it leaves the same anti-chafe barrier in place to keep all your bits and pieces happy. For those of you who prefer a less rigorous application process to your bod, this might just be the ticket.
Learn more at BodyGlide.com
BUFF, short for bufanda, which means “scarf” in Spanish, has become synonymous with multi-functional headwear that wicks moisture, provides warmth, and looks good doing it. New fabrics, revised colors/patterns, and more functionality are on tap for 2020 at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.
What appears to be a seriously trick piece of gear for cold weather, Buff is introducing an extremely thin Buff backed with Primaloft, called Thermonet. At first glance no one could fault you for thinking this new piece is anything but the same old Buff we all know and love. Once you get it in your hands, however, you can feel a difference in the texture of the fabric…that’s really the only clue that something is different here. This new line should provide added warmth without all the bulk.
Staying in the Thermonet line of fabrics, Buff is introducing a new hinged balaclava, called the, appropriately enough, the Thermonet Hinged Balaclava. With the ability to be worn as a full-face balaclava, chin and head coverage, or just simple hooded coverage, the Thermonet Hinged Balaclava looks to brings serious versatility and minimalist warmth to the balaclava game. Laser-cut breathing vents, Primaloft warmth, ultra-stretchy fabrics, wind barrier, and made up of 53% recycled Repreve threads, this new line looks to have all bases covered.
Not to be left behind in the merino wool explosion that’s going on, Buff is introducing quite a few merino wool pieces that not only appear to be of seriously high quality and function but look good doing it.
Learn more at BuffUSA.com
Primarily known for its functional outdoor and work boots, Danner is following the trend of producing crossover pieces that bridge fashion and function as well as finding new ways to appeal to the female buyer.
Danner is working hard to create footwear that’s not only functional but looks good doing it. Shoes and boots that can be worn on the trail as well as to the office seem to be a trend that’s not going away in 2020.
Again, function meets style for women in 2020. It’s really interesting to see some of the traditional brands evolving to cater to a much wider audience in 2020.
Learn more at Danner.com
Cotopaxi is a relatively new player in outdoor and travel space, but they’re making quite a splash not only with the products they produce but with the philanthropic nature in which they choose to do business.
Doing good, clearly reflected in their creed ‘Do Good’, is very much at the heart of everything Cotopaxi does. From giving back a portion of their profits to addressing poverty and supporting community development, to their grant programs that help support improving the human condition, to their sustainable manufacturing practices, Cotopaxi is very much about making the world a better place to live your adventure.
Cotopaxi’s Del Dia line of packs and bags is unique in that each Del Día product is made proudly in the Philippines from remnant materials by an employee who has total creative control over the pack’s colorway. No two are the same. A truly brilliant way to add style and function while supporting a sustainability-first mantra by using remnant material. And who doesn’t want a one-of-a-kind piece to call their own?
Learn more at Cotopaxi.com
If you haven’t heard of Gore-Tex then you’ve likely been living under a rock for most of your life. For 2020, Gore-Tex is expanding its Gore-Tex Pro line to now include 3 variations.
The version of Gore-Tex Pro that we all know and love will basically slot in the middle of the line. On one end we’ll see a new Gore-Tex Pro with some stretch as illustrated in the green jacket above. Strategically placed stretch panels will still incorporate the weather barrier we expect from Gore-Tex, but with the addition of some stretch that should increase freedom of movement. On the other end, Gore-Tex will introduce an ultra-durable version of Gore-Tex Pro. New backer material that’s even more durable than the standard should provide durability well above what most of us mere mortals could ever require.
Learn more at Gore-Tex.com
Most of us already associate Yeti with ultra-durable coolers and outdoor drinkware that insulates insanely well, so what’s new for 2020? COLORS! The photos don’t do these new colors justice as they’re simply stunning in person. So if you’re tired of the traditional tan, you can now go all-in on Day-Glo yellow and burn your retinas as you sip that post-ride brew.
Learn more at Yeti.com
Forsake is a relatively new footwear brand that’s gained a lot of momentum as of late…you’re likely to see their shoes and boots in some major retailers around town these days.
Forsake adopts a ‘peak to pavement’ approach to their footwear, meaning they land squarely in the crossover footwear category. Shoes and boots that could hit the trail during the day, but look good around town at night.
New for 2020 is a line of shoes and boots that should slot nicely into their current line-up. Traditional hiker styling that’s been softened a bit to look good at the coffee shop or out to dinner.
Learn more at Forsake.com
Saucony is poised to have a really exciting 2020 as evidenced by their offering at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. With some updates to some fan favorites as well as an entirely new line of road shoes that look to throw their hat into the latest propulsion craze in running footwear.
With an update to the popular Switchback trail shoe, Saucony has added some really smart revisions that should prove to make the Switchback even more of a fan favorite.
With a repositioned Boa dial, this update looks to relieve pressure across the top of the foot, which should come in handy on those longer runs as your feet swell a bit. The new instep area looks to super comfy as a result, with what appears to be a sock-like fit.
The revised Saucony Mad River looks to deliver a ton of shoe for the estimated MSRP of $110.
With a customizable lacing system that allows the individual to dial in the perfect fit, new durability overlays across the toe box, revised materials, a new heel counter for stability and an outsole with guides for drain holes and spike placement, the Mad River packs a wallop while being easy on the wallet. Seriously, the value proposition here is legit.
Most exciting coming out of the Saucony camp for 2020 is the new line of Endorphin road runners. This new series of 3 shoes have a little something for everyone, while also throwing Saucony’s hat into the realm of carbon fiber energy return plates.
Let’s start with the carbon fiber plate. At the top end of the Endorphin line sits the Endorphin Pro. With a moniker like ‘pro’, you know this shoe is meant for serious business. Incorporating a carbon fiber plate in the sole allows the shoe to return energy back into your stride, a la Nike’s Vaporfly. And who doesn’t want a little extra giddy-up on their run?
Saucony tells us that feedback from the athlete testers has also proven that the Endorphin Pro is easy on the legs…many of the testers reported much less soreness the day after a long run, race or speed session. Saucony attributes this to a combination of the carbon plate and the ample amount of their PWRRUN+ in the midsole.
With a decent amount of stack, slightly more drop than the other shoes in the line, seriously lightweight, and the rockered shape of the shoe, the Endorphin Pro should allow for a quick turnover and less energy loss than a more traditional road runner. And it doesn’t look half bad to boot!
The next offering in the Endorphin line is the Endorphin Speed. Much like the Endorphin Pro, the Endorphin Speed offers an energy plate to add some responsiveness back into the ride, but this time the plate is made of a composite material rather than carbon fiber. Not quite as resilient as the carbon version, the composite plate should still put some extra bounce back in your step while still keeping the weight very much in check.
Geared toward your speedwork days or half marathon and under races, the Endorphin Speed looks to fill a need in the Saucony line nicely.
To round out the new trio, the Endorphin Shift comes in as the long run/daily trainer of the group. Lots of stretchy, breathable material, tons of PWRRUN+ foam to help chew up miles, the same rockered profile, a heel counter to assist in keeping your foot on the straight and narrow and a clean, fresh, modern look should definitely put this on many people’s daily trainer shortlist for 2020.
Learn more at Saucony.com
A Swedish company that got its start in ski racing, POC’s initial driving force was focusing on safety and saving lives. That mission lives on today, although their product line has expanded well beyond safety equipment.
New for 2020 is the Cornea Solar Switch lens technology. Basically, there’s a sensor in the lens itself that detects light levels and adjusts tint accordingly. Think of these bad boys as having photochromatic technology on steroids. It should be a very versatile addition to your goggle collection.
They’re also updating some of their apparel for 2020. New colorways, materials, venting options and slight tweaks to fit are all in order.
Safety still being a major directive for POC, they’re introducing NFC (near field communications) technology into several of their helmets across several different sports. This will allow first-responders to simply hold an enabled smartphone near the NFC logo on any enabled POC helmet to get the user’s health information, etc. This should help speed up initial care in the field.
Learn more at POCSports.com
For 2020, Atlas Snowshoes are updating their running line of snowshoes, specifically, the “Run” and the “Race”. Updates include lower weight, revised materials, and binding options as well as some tweaked graphics. The updates, at least to the eyeball test, look to be pretty significant for those looking for a pair of speed-based snowshoes.
Brand new for 2020 is the Helium line of snowshoes. As the name might suggest, these bad boys are all about being lightweight. Atlas is launching with 3 different varieties: Helium-MTN (all-mountain), Helium-BC (backcountry), and the Helium-Trail. Weights/pair range from 3.19 lbs for the Helium-BC up to 3.55 lbs for the Helium-Trail. So yeah, they’re light.
Learn more at AtlasSnowshoe.com
FLOYD’S OF LEADVILLE
Floyd’s of Leadville is a relatively new CBD manufacturer launched by an ex-pro cyclist, Floyd Landis. Landis launched Floyd’s of Leadville in a search for options to manage his pain in regards to a career-ending injury. His line of CBD products is geared toward athletes looking for nutritional support, pain management, and recovery options.
Recently launch, Floyd’s of Leadville’s newest entry is their CBD infused coffee. With 500mg of CBD per bag and being THC-free should find this new brew into many athlete’s pre-workout regimens.
Learn more at FloydsofLeadville.com
A relative newcomer on the keto snack scene, Keto Krisp was launched by a pretty remarkable guy named Adam Bremen. Adam suffers from cerebral palsy but is truly one of the most upbeat people I had the pleasure of meeting at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.
Back in 2017 Adam found himself overweight, feeling sluggish, lacking energy and generally feeling bad about himself. Challenging himself to take control of his health, he found the keto lifestyle and started dropping weight. However, like many who adopt a keto lifestyle, (myself included), he found the pre-fab “keto snacks” to be pretty terrible tasting. And thus, Keto Krisp protein bars were born.
I had the opportunity to try all 3 flavors, (there’s a 4th coming online soon), and I can attest to the fact that they’re tasty AF. My personal favorite is the Almond Butter. Yum-O!
Learn more at KetoKrisp.com