Outdoor Retailer Winter Market "Best in Show Awards - Part 2

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

This past week has been one of the busiest ever for Team Paddle Junkie. You should see my inbox, it's ridiculous. The sheer number of connections we made at Outdoor Retailer will enable is to vet tons of amazing new gear from brands big and small in 2012.  Here is a peek at a few more items we are excited to test in the coming year.



Granite Gear's Aji Pack:  If you need to buy just one pack for all your outdoor adventures, this may just be it.  The 50 Liter Aji and Aji Ki (women's version) packs are Uber light and ready to tackle anything from a weekend on the Superior Hiking Trail to a summer with a EuroRail pass.  The Aji sports ingeniously designed full zip access and comes loaded with every feature expected in a pack of this quality.  Borrowing technology developed for their military packs, Granite Gear has delivered a rugged, go-anywhere pack that we can't wait to get our hands on.


Vew-Do's Nub Boards:  Back a few years ago I had an balance board, you may remember them too.  What I remember is nearly killing myself dozens of times before I was able to just stand on the thing.  For those of us that are a bit balance-challenged, Vew-Do Boards has developed the Nug Board.  These boards, available in 3 sizes, have a stationary "Nub" in the middle of the bottom of the board.  You still get the balance training, with greatly increased stability and reduced risk of a broken tailbone.

Arbor's Wasteland Snowboard:  My affinity with natural materials is not a secret.  Arbor has been using real wood top-sheets for their snowboards for years.  The Wasteland is a masterpiece of snowboard technology married to amazing laser cut wood veneers.  From the local handrail to the last chair up the mountain, this board can handle it all.
Helly Hanson's H2Flow Jacket:  Helly takes temperature regulation to a whole new level.  Forget pit zips as the gold standard in ventilating your jacket.  The H2Flow blends a light weight rip-stop shell with a fleece lining, but it doesn't end there.  The shell creates both a shield from the elements and a barrier for escaping heat.  Once you warm up the inside, the holes drilled in the fleece lining act as pockets trapping warm air in very methodically/scientifically placed locations.  Zippers that run vertically along the chest allow you to dial in the amount of airflow necessary to get the temp inside just right.

Outdoor Research Blackpowder Gloves:  Leather is making a comeback in winter glove styling.  A more work glove look seems to be all to popular on the hills.  Well, beyond looking like a work glove, these actually do some work besides keeping your hands warm and dry.  Built into the middle finger is a steel ring that rotates to reveal a bottle opener.  They are sure to make you feel like the Incredible Hulk as you rip the cap off your favorite frosty beverage.   


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