4 Utah brands whose innovations stood out at Outdoor Retailer

Out of roughly 700 exhibitors, the Beehive State brought some of the most interesting products, including an all-terrain e-trike and lower-fat powdered peanut butter

(Julie Jag | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Arpenter off-road tricycle was front and center at the Stalker Outdoor booth at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in the Salt Palace Convention Center on Tuesday, June 21, 2023. Cofounder Andrew Mochkovitch, who has based the company in Ogden where he lives, is at right.

From heatable wipes for a warm “shower” deep in the backcountry to inflatable teddy bears for the pool and beach, last week’s Outdoor Retailer summer trade show drew sporting goods and apparel retailers from around the nation, and even the world. Yet some of the most innovative products featured at the show didn’t have far to travel at all.

Of the roughly 700 exhibitors at the first OR show held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in five years, nearly 50 have headquarters in Utah. They brought with them the latest styles and designs in dry bags, sunglasses, electric scooters, water bottles, and everything in between.

Here is a sample of some of the homegrown gear, much of it new to the market, that most stood out.

(Julie Jag | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carson Macdonald, cofounder of VibeRide, shows off the skateboard brake at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in the Salt Palace Convention Center on Tuesday, June 21, 2023.

VibeRide skateboard brake

Headquarters: Salt Lake City

Carson Macdonald noticed everyone who skateboarded to their classes from student housing at the University of Utah, where he was getting a degree in mechanical engineering, had one thing in common: Everyone fell.

“Just a meat crayon on the ground,” was how the Dixie High graduate described the aftermath.

The issue was the steep hills and the limited options for stopping on them: skidding with a foot, swiveling perpendicular to the hill like a snowboarder, grabbing onto something or, if worse came to worst, becoming a meat crayon.

So, he and fellow Utah student Charlie Cannon teamed up to design the VibeRide.

Operated with a tap of the heel or the toe, the VibeRide is a disc brake for skateboards. It is integrated into the trucks, which are made in the same facility that makes them for Arbor and Landyachtz. VibeRide trucks can be added to an existing setup but will also be sold as part of a complete skateboard.

“We want everybody to be able to ride their skateboard in control at all times,” Macdonald said, noting VibeRide has found an audience with kids and older skateboarders as well as those skating down the hills by the U.

Cost: $269 for a complete board; $169 for the retrofit kit, which Macdonald estimates will be available later this summer.

How to buy: VibeRide.com

Polymule all-terrain utility cart

Headquarters: Bluffdale

The Polymule was inspired by a dad who had to cart around his kids, and their stuff, when they’d go camping. It has since grown to become a heavy-duty, two-wheeled cart complete with never-flat tires and a basin made of a proprietary polymer-type resin that pitchman Garrett Gundestrup said held up in minus-40-degree temperatures. An uphill assist mechanism will take some of the load off when rambling up mountains while a wheel brake will take off some of the worry.

Gundestrup, who grew up in Payson and is Polymule’s president of sales and marketing, said it has actually garnered quite a bit of interest from gardeners and ranchers. They particularly like that they don’t have to bend down as far as they would with a cart to access what’s inside. It can also mount on a trailer hitch without having to be lifted.

Cost: About $675

How to buy: Polymule.com. Pre-orders available now. The first shipment is expected in August.

(Julie Jag | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dennis Draleau of Lehi founded Polymule while looking for a solution for making multiple trips to unload gear while camping with his kids. He shows it off at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in the Salt Palace Convention Center on Tuesday, June 21, 2023.


Headquarters: Lindon

This powdered peanut butter is great for explorers, or families, on the go. Made by BetterBody foods, which was established in 2015, it can be mixed with water to make whatever consistency of spread you prefer. Plus, it claims it has 87% less fat than traditional peanut butter while still packing 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons.

It comes in a three-ingredient organic version that, unlike other natural brands, doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after mixed — making it perfect for a road trip or camping outing. Other varieties include original, chocolate, pure peanut, sugar-free and pumpkin spice.

The sales rep said it’s good in smoothies and the chocolate chip protein balls she had to sample are a must-make. That and other recipes can be found on the pbfit.com website.

Cost: $25.33 for 30 ounces of organic powder

How to buy: Amazon.com or Walmart

Stalker Outdoors electric tricycle

Headquarters: Ogden

Electric bicycles have become a go-to vehicle for hunters in Utah. Powerful yet quiet, they allow for deeper traverses into the wilderness without the fatigue, smell of sweat or concern about how to carry back 600 pounds of moose meat.

Now Stalker, founded by Andrew G. Mochkovitch and his father Cyrille Mochkovitch-Altman, is taking the industry down a different path with its off-road tricycle. Mochkovitch, a native Frenchman who moved to Ogden with his wife several years ago, said trike’s main selling points are its ruggedness and its stability, especially under weight. Stalker’s two backcountry models, the Arpenter Mid-Drive and the Tec-Haul II, he said, are the only hunting-ready trikes on the market.

“We are the 4x4 or maybe truck maker in the bike world, basically,” said Mochkovitch, who also sells boats, bait and fly fishing and archery equipment under the Stalker brand.

Also worth mentioning is another Ogden-based backcountry e-bike brand, Bakcou. It doesn’t offer a trike, but it was singled out at the show by GearJunkie expert Cameron Martindell. He noted that instead of nylon gearing in their motors, some Bakcou models have metal gearing. which should hold up better under heavy loads.

Cost: $5,590-$7,990

How to buy: stalker-outdoors.com/