Mountain Hardwear has developed a gear collection built around a design philosophy they call "en-lite-ment", working with speed mountaineer Ueli Steck to maximize experience while minimizing burdens. The result was a system that weighs just 12 pounds, 8 ounces—including sleeping bag, tent, pack, and outerwear. This line inspired ultralight pieces for the mere mortals, including the Ghost Whisperer Anorak, pictured below. It's wind and water resistant, and the men's version weighs only 52 grams.
Salewa is treading on new ground with its Pro Gaiter and Pro Guide mountaineering boots. The company is bringing ski boot technology to mountaineering boots for the first time. In the photo below, a tool is used to set the boot to "walk" or "climb". In walk mode, the metal shank is relaxed, making the sole soft and giving it flex. Turn it to climb, and the metal shank is dialed to create a rigid sole.
For those of us that aren't climbing Mount Everest and spend more time relaxing in the woods, Cascade Designs has created the Jembe Chair. It works with a Thermarest to create a stool that is sturdy, soft, and easy to transport. The closed bag model also doubles as a manual pump for your pad—just slip a reinforced hole over the valve, trap air in the bag, close and compress.
For Spring 2012, The North Face will bring out a line of commuter apparel that has threads made from 3M Scotchlite material. It runs through jackets, shirts, and even the underside of pocket flaps on shorts to increase visibility on a bike.
Hoka One One continues to do things differently with the new Stinson B Evolution shoe. See the dots on the midsole? They're not for decoration—they are part of the adaptive tuning system. By inserting plastic pins, you can make the shoe stiffer or softer, according to your needs. —Olivia Dwyer