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Putting the 'great' in outdoor winter gear

Published February 27, 2013 3:51 pm

Reviews • These products stood out at the recent Outdoor Retailer winter show.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Each January, the outdoor recreation industry showcases thousands of new products at its Winter Market show in Utah aimed at attracting the attention of retailers, who then put the best of the best on their shelves for the nation's consumers.

And each year, The Salt Lake Tribune presents mini-reviews of selected gear. Note that many of the products may not make it online or to stores for weeks or months, but until then, read on to get a taste of what's cool and new.

Also, there are many more items from the Winter Market that we couldn't include here. Look for them on the Tribune's Hiking Utah (http://www.sltrib.com/Blogs/hiking) or Fishing Utah (http://www.sltrib.com/Blogs/fishing) blogs.

Black Diamond launches apparel line •

Much of the talk at the show centered on the massive 24-piece launch into the apparel world by Utah's own Black Diamond Equipment. The fall 2013 collection is an all men's line including soft-shell, insulation and fleece pieces that will be available in September. The line is sharp, clean and designed to be used, not just worn as a statement. Local models showed off all two dozen items at a special evening event held at the Utah Museum of Natural History during Outdoor Retailer. Black Diamond has scheduled new lines for six upcoming seasons, including spring 2014 (men's alpine and climbing), fall 2014 (women's outerwear) and fall 2015 (ski wear). BD's launch into apparel seems as clean as its new line. The Dawn Patrol hybrid shell weighs under 17 ounces and features Schoeller StretchWoven nylon with NanoSphere Technology. $349. http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us

Hole in the Wall DownTek jacket from Big Agnes •

The market may seem stuffed with down jackets, but Big Agnes has joined the fray with the Hole in the Wall jacket. Big Agnes is well known for its sleeping bags and pads and increasingly for its tents. Designers incorporated DownTek technology from the sleeping bags into the jacket and designed vertical baffles to distribute heat in a more uniform manner. Hole in the Wall will be available fall 2013 for $219.95. http://www.bigagnes.com/

Astis mittens •

Bag the future of gloves and go back to the past with Astis leather mittens. The hand-sewn gloves are based on original works from Cree Indians and include hand-stitched beadwork and come in long-cuff, short-cuff and glove models ranging from $145 to $225. The gloves do have some technology to go with the past in the form of Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft insulation. The idea for Astis came from a gift of original Cree mittens to one of the owners. Available now. http://www.astismittens.com/

Tec-Cork Hat from Tilley •

A lot of companies are releasing gear with Schoeller fabric technologies in the fall of 2013. Tilley is using Schoeller Corkshell on the Tec-Cork hat. The hat is made from a byproduct in the manufacturing of wine corks. Tilley folks say the Corkshell is breathable, soft, lightweight and offers up to 50 percent more thermal insulation than other soft-shell hats. Available fall 2013 in black or gray for $105. http://www.tilley.com

eCycle Flask from Stanley •

Flasks seem to be a popular item in the outdoor world these days. Stanley brought a new twist to the old form of finding a buzz with the eCycle Flask. The flask is made of recycled plastics and features a flip top lid that opens the entire top of the container so it can be cleaned. No more mixing your last drink with your new drink. Open the flask and throw it in the dishwasher. Available fall 2013 for $20. http://www.stanley-pmi.com/

Spark sleeping bag from Sea to Summit •

Sea to Summit was showing off the 12.3 -ounce minimalist Spark bag they are touting as perfect for summer sleeping and particularly useful for cycle touring and ultra-light hiking. The bag is rated for 46 degrees. The 850+ loft Ultra-Dry Down bag would also be useful in cold weather situations as a liner for other sleeping bags. Available August 2013 for $269. http://www.seatosummit.com

Torrent tent from Easton Mountain Products •

In the outdoor industry when you are on a roll you ride it as long as possible. Easton Mountain Products out of Salt Lake City had great success with the Kilo and Torrent tents. They are following those up with the Torrent three-person ultralight all-season tent. The tent features double-wall construction and weather-taped seams. The Torrent is also hermetically sealed to keep out dust and snow. The design sheds snow and venting makes it possible to use the tent any time of the year. Easton Mountain Products included a vestibule, supported by trekking poles (not included). The tent will be available late summer 2013 for $529. eastonmountainproducts.com/

Bad Axe Jacket from Carhartt •

From Carhartt's Storm Defender collection comes the insulated Bad Axe Jacket. Available fall 2013, the Bad Axe includes waterproof and breathable materials to keep the wearer dry and warm in the worst of weather. The durability of Carhartt clothing is rarely questioned and the Bad Axe meets those qualifications with fully taped waterproof seams and zippers. The jacket, which provides a great alternative to the puffy and shiny coats just about everybody else has, will run $299. http://www.carhartt.com/

Morphus from Eagle Creek •

Ever been on a trip and bought so many souvenirs that you need to buy another piece of luggage to get it all home? Eagle Creek has come out with a travel bag for you. The Morphus is two bags in one. On the outside it looks like one bag with a hard shell bottom, wheel and a handle. But inside that bag rests another removable bag roughly the same size with backpack straps, padded shoulder strap and grab handles. The bags comes in two sizes (Morphus 22 at 2,925 cubic inches for $395 and the 30 with 5,675 cubic inches for $470). Morphus comes with the "No Matter What" warranty and will be available July 1. http://www.eaglecreek.com/

iPhone 5 case from LifeProof •

I'd never willingly put my iPhone under water, but my buddy Reed would and did during our trip to Alaska last fall. Reed used a waterproof LifeProof phone case to get some incredible underwater footage of chum salmon spawning in Montana Creek while I was fighting the big guys on a fly rod. Actually, Reed did much better than I did that day. We used LifeProof a lot on that trip to Alaska and the company now has a waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof case for the Apple iPhone 5. LifeProof cases protect the headphone jack and charging ports, but allow for full use of the phone. The cases are $80. Look for other LifeProof cases for all mobile devices. http://www.lifeproof.com/en/

Earthkeepers Pembroke shoes from Timberland •

It is a little hard to look at a shoe without leather and believe it came from Timberland. I was a bit relieved when the folks from Timberland pointed out the suede leather accents on the Earthkeepers Pembroke is designed as a light hiker or for everyday wear. The mesh provides breathability and comfort while the EVA midsole and footbed provide lightweight shock resistance. The Pembroke includes a Vibram EcoStep outsole for super traction. The mesh Pembroke will be available early fall 2013 for $95. A leather version will run $100. http://www.timberland.com/

Luce jacket from ISIS •

ISIS was showing off three new women's DriDown jackets that will be available fall 2013. The Luce includes 800-fill DriDown and packs into its own pocket for easy storage. But don't mistake this for one of those cheap travel jackets. The Luce is built to keep the wearer warm and stylish. The Luce includes high collar, elastic cuffs and a drawcord. It will run $215. http://www.isisforwomen.com/

Ascender luggage from Kelty •

The expansion of the Kelty brand continues with the introduction of the Ascender series. The Ascender 22 ($349) which, with the expandable chassis grows to hold, protect and move all three bags, expands from 40 liters to 70 liters. The chassis comes with the 22. Other options including the WR Duffel (65 liters) and the Trunk (80 liters) are available separately for $149 and $199, respectively. Each of the bags include backpack straps and are water-resistant. http://www.kelty.com

Cirro jackets from Sierra Designs •

Sierra Designs has taken its much-talked-about DriDown from the summer show and put in a line of apparel featuring the "hydrophobic" down. The fall 2013 line includes the Super Stratus, Cirro Collection and 28⁰ North jacket. The Cirro, a lightweight 600-fill hybrid designed for active winter use, comes in men's and women's styles and will run $199. The collection also includes a skirt ($99) and women's vest ($149). http://www.sierradesigns.com/

BOLT Energy Chews from PROBAR •

Born on the slopes at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, PROBAR remains tied to its Utah roots and is launching some impressive energy-inducing items in the coming months and its first "non-bar" product. BOLT Energy Chews are an organic gummy-style chew. They are caffeinated, vitamin B-rich and infused with apple, acai, blueberry and pomegranate powders. The bags will run $2.49 and are designed for long-distance runners/racers. PROBAR launched four new CORE protein bars and four new meal bars. theprobar.com

Lunker from Ruffwear • Dogs love the environment too. Ruffwear has released Lunker, a floating toy for dogs that love to retrieve in the water. Resembling other "duck dummy-type" dog throws, the Lunker is produced from post-manufacturing waste from the footwear industry. The Lunker ($19.95) is made to last, but if it doesn't send it back to Ruffwear for recycling. http://www.ruffwear.com/

Marshall Mid hiking boot from Keen

Are you a fast hiker? Keen has the boot or shoe for you. The Marshall and Marshall Mid were designed by Keen to provide a high-function trail shoe outside of the traditional leather style from the company. The Marshall is available in men's and women's models and also with waterproof technology. Low-cut Marshalls will run $110; $120 for the waterproof version. The Marshall Mid will run $130 with the Marshall Mid WP going for $140. The collection will be available fall 2013. http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/

brettp@sltrib.com