Spot Cool Stuff sallied forth to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2011 Summer Outdoor Retailer Show, an extravaganza of all things hiking, running, camping, bicycling, kayaking, fishing, swimming, trekking, rafting, climbing, surfing and otherwise outdoor activity-ing.
Our mission there: to shuffle past the show’s 25,000 attendees, scour through the 250,000+ items on display and hunt down that which has WOW! factor.
Great gear, amazing apparel, terrific tents, brilliant backpacks—we’ll feature our favorite finds in alliteration-rich “spotlights,” posts shorter and more bullet-pointy than our typical reviews. Check out the links to those after the jump:
As close to backcountry skiing as one can get without snow
The Skyver Ortovox is a scooter. It has no pedals. It has no seat. The idea is to hike uphill with the foldable Ortovox strapped to your back and then ride downhill. If the terrain flattens up (or even goes uphill a little) you can give yourself a push forward with your foot.
Minimalist camping gear
Klymit’s Inertia sleeping pads looks a bit like balloon animals that have gone horribly wrong. But is surprisingly comfortable to sleep on. And amazingly lightweight.
Stylish, functional “toolry”
It isn’t a multi-purpose tool that happens to look good. Wenger’s HypeX Jewelry is designed look like jewelry first and foremost. It just happens that these jewelry pieces can also function as screwdrivers or fire starters or wire strippers or the like.
The running shoe designed to drain water
if you spend enough time stomping around in enough water, every “waterproof” shoe will eventually be breached. In the spirit of If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, Columbia introduces their Powerdrain hybrid water shoe with a drainable footbed,
Ruff Wear takes the “ski” out of “skijoring”
Skijoring, a sport that originated in Norway, involves a dog pulling a human who is on skis.
A new product from Ruff Wear aims to take the “ski” out of skijoring. The appropriately named Omnijore is a dog harness that allows master and pooch to go joring with the former riding atop all manner of moving objects, including bicycles, roller skates or even mountainboards!
Trace the merino wool in your specific shirt back to New Zealand
On the inside of an item of clothing made by Icebreaker—a wonderful manufacturer of activewear using a merino wool fiber layering system—you’ll find the usual tag with machine washing care instructions.
Below that you’ll find another tag that isn’t so usual, one that contains a unique nine digit code.
Shoes are luggage space hogs. When we pack shoes we usually stuff the insides with socks and underwear. But we like this idea better: Shoes that fold up. And zip up.
Tea, coffee and chocolate that heats itself
Can you make hot coffee in the middle of a wilderness with no stove, fire, electricity, solar heating or water? Yes you can. Literally, with a can—a 2GO self-heating can.
Send text messages (and tweets) from anywhere
The SOS messaging functionality is what people will likely use to justify the cost of the inReach. But what will people really use it for? Twitter, Facebook status updates and text messaging friends. Paired via Bluetooth to a smartphone, the inReach lets users do all three.
The day pack that turns into a lawn chair
It might be the ultimate outdoor concert backpack. That’s because Keen Springer Backseat Pack doubles as a lawn chair.
Nearly unbreakable sunglasses
When we asked a Noogs representative what the most distinctive feature was of the company’s sunglasses, he removed a pair from his head, bent the frames outward such that they formed a wide arch and asked “Would you do this with other sunglasses?”
Taken with a Sony Nex-5 on Panorama Sweep mode. Click to see full image in a new window. Warning: big file!