the north face point five jacket ‘Best In Show’ from the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show
From ski gear to winter jackets, companies congregate each winter in Utah to launch new products at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. I spent last week evaluating hundreds of products at the massive event in search of the best to be released gear for 2017. Here are five top picks.
Foam snowshoes: Crescent Moon Eva
Crescent Moon redefined the category with the Eva, a rockered snowshoe made of EVA foam. (This is the soft kind of foam used in shoe midsoles.) Because of the rocker, no hinge is required underfoot. The result is a maneuverable snowshoe made for moving fast in moderate snow depths.
Avalanche assessor: Mountain Hub Snow Probe
Insert the Scope probe into snow and it measures the hardness of layers to create a profile. The info is transmitted by Bluetooth to a phone and then used to assess avalanche risk of the slope. The digital info can then be shared to the Mountain Hub website for crowd sourced avalanche forecasting.
Mechanically breathable: TNF Ventrix
The North Face took its breathable insulation and poked holes in it, literally. The Summit L3 Ventrix Hoodie has laser perforations where athletes sweat so the jacket vents as the body moves. That’s the concept behind Hydra Light, a unique power generation system that creates electricity from a reaction between water and a magnesium coil. In a world of solar, the power by saltwater solution turns heads.
Synthetic warmth: Patagonia Hyper Puff
Patagonia employs a new kind of synthetic insulation for its Hyper Puff Hoody. The HyperDAS insulation is layered like an accordion, so it lofts outward. This creates huge dead air space, adding significant insulation from the cold. It also packs small, fitting into a stuff sack the size of a one quart jug.