Memorable Gear and Moments from OR Winter Market 2011 (Part 1)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Salt Lake City was once again host to the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.  OR is a twice-annual outdoor gear super-palooza.  The most recent winter iteration was a first for the Paddle Junkie crew and, man, we had NO idea what we were walking into.  The Salt Palace Convention Center was packed with roughly 17,000 people, over 900 exhibitors and countless media outlets for the 5 day event.  There were booths everywhere, in the hallways, lobbies, everywhere.  Seeing everything and getting to speak with everyone has to be utterly impossible, but we gave it quite a run. Here is a list of the most memorable gear and moments from OR Winter Market 2011... 
1.  Sidewalk Surfing with a Shotgun...  Sanuk announced a new series featuring Mossy Oak Camo with Blaze Orange highlights.  It is no secret that we are fans of Sanuk to start with, but this is just too perfect.  Now in addition to being comfy my feet can disappear into the foliage while wandering the back-country.  Mossy Oak Sanuks will start becoming available in April...

2.  Sierra Designs gloves...slated for release Fall 2011, is a new force to be reckoned with.  The Transporter and Enforcer gloves will cover all your outdoor winter hand protection needs.  Transporters for spring/fall outings where insulation isn't needed, but waterproof and durable are, and Enforcers for battling the back-country powder on frigid winter days.  The best part is they are reasonably priced, MSRPs of $109 (Enforcer) and $79 (Transporter).

3. Our best hour of the show...  At about 3:30 in the afternoon we had a meeting at the Keen wonderland, with their seemingly endless line of footwear and bags, the vintage Desma vulcanization machine they have put back into use and the Frisbee dogs doing their thing.  I was in sensory overload, but in the best way possible. By the time we wrapped up with Keen it was 4:00 and that meant "Happy Hour" at booths all over the show, we grabbed a beer and headed over to Oprey Packs to see their new wears.  To set the mood for the last part of the day Mountain Khakis had The Infamous Stringdusters playing live from their booth just a few yards away.  Trade show perfection... be continued....

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