A sneak peek from last week’s Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.
Gore-Tex Surround technology makes outdoor shoes both waterproof and breathable—easy enough to pull off in a jacket, but tough to execute in a shoe. Until now. An inner booty with the Gore membrane keeps moisture out, while a unique midsole “spacer” channels moisture out through one-way vents in the outsole. / For spring 2015, The North Face weaves different materials together to create hybridized fabric. The upcoming Dot Matrix technical rain shell features durable nylon shoulders and lightweight polyester flanks—all cut from a single piece of material to reduce weighty, failure-prone seams. / At the trade show, brands like La Sportiva introduced apparel treated with Polygiene, a silver and salt formula that acts as a natural antimicrobial agent to reduce odor.
Arc’Teryx enters the footwear realm with a rugged line that features separate liner and shell construction to improve fit and durability—it’s a design inspired by mountaineering boots. / For 2015, Salewa uses the Vibram Rollingait System to give its Speed Ascent approach shoe a rockered sole. The design felt fluid and easy on a Wasatch scramble. / The new Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX incorporates a carbon frame that flexes like a running shoe on open trail but stiffens for edging in variable terrain. A waterproof upper and built-in gaiter extends the season for fast-and-light alpine ascents. / Elsewhere, look for a trend of unprecedented water to trail versatility in Spring 2015 styles from Chaco and Astral.
Technical flannels are a given at outdoor industry events. We expect SmartWool’s expanded merino lifestyle line of rugby shirts and dresses to change that. / Put on an Outdoor Research accessory with ActiveIce next summer, and you’ll feel a cooling sensation when sweat activates xylitol in the fabric. / Black Diamond experiments with insulation in the Hot Forge Hybrid Hoody, which uses a down blend in the core and synthetic PrimaLoft in the sleeves, shoulders, and hood.
Smith Optics brings their AeroCore technology to the Overtake helmet for road cyclists. The Koroyd honeycomb boosts protection without decreasing ventilation or adding weight. / Sleeping outside gets easier next year: Pick from NEMO’s car camping appropriate Wagontop Tent, with a 78-inch standing height and sleeping room for four; a tent from the Big Agnes mtnGLO line, which builds LED lights into roof seams; or the Sierra Designs Tensegrity two-person tent. It weighs in at two pounds, two ounces and offers 17 square feet of space. —Olivia Dwyer