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Outdoor Retailer Summer '09, Day 1


Submitted by vegastradguy on 2009-07-22 | Last Modified on 2009-07-24

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 5 | Comments: 30 | Views: 11888

by John Wilder


Jump to the second article in this series: Outdoor Retailer Summer '09 - Day 2 & 3

Welcome back to Salt Lake City, folks- its sunny and beautiful here and the annual Summer Market is about to get underway. As usual, we have a pretty full plate and lots of folks to see.

Before I get started, though, I wanted to take a moment to give my condolonces to the families and loved ones of our fallen brothers this year - John Bachar, Michah Dash, Wade Johnson, and Johnny Copp, may they all rest in peace- you will all be missed.

Joshua Tree Climbing Products

While we’ve got a busy schedule this show, I’m starting out slow by visiting the folks at Joshua Tree Climbing Products to see whats new before I get sucked into the vortex that is the Climbers Ranch! I talked to Laurel to see whats new and this year they’re introducing The Sun Stick, a natural colored sunscreen stick that contains a natural source of SPF, giving it a SPF33 rating. It’s inspired by their Winter Stick and is available now.

After meeting with Laurel, I took a second to talk with their boothmates, Detroit Rock Climbing Company- if you haven’t heard of them and you climb indoors, you will soon- these guys are breaking into the scene in a big way and are at their first OR show- welcome to it, guys and good luck!


The DRCC’s wicked cool new holds.

You can see more at http://www.thedrcc.com. After talking with Rikki and Lauren, I thanked them for their time, took a deep breath, and headed into the fray…

Big Agnes

I’m kicking off the show this year with my usual visit to Big Agnes to see whats new with this cool little company- and this year, their showpiece is the Tumble Mountain Down bag- it’s a 20-degree bag with 725 fill. It comes with BA’s new half sleeve and insulated legs, allowing for a ¾ pad. It retails at $290 and will be available in the spring in both regular and long.


Down, lightweight, and insulated in the legs- BA’s new shiny!

Also new is the Hager House 3, a three-season tent with a tarp that can be used separately from the tent for summer camping- it has its own pole system and can also use trekking poles to set up. The whole tent packs at 5lbs 12 oz, but I wasn’t able to get the fly weight- sorry. The tent retails at $300 and will be available this spring.

Finally, look for a two-person version of their Fly Creek tent, slimmed down to a measley 2 lbs, 2 oz and a retail of $349.95- also available in the spring. After hanging with the BA crew, I thanked them for their time before heading with John D over to the big dog of the climbing ranch…

Black Diamond

BD has been making strides by refining their product base over the past year, especially with their new harness line. They also just launched their new website as well- http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com if you want to check it out. This summer, BD is unveiling the Couloir, an 8-oz, all-webbing harness that includes webbing gear loops, a haul loop, and wait for it… a stuff sack- a very small stuff sack!


A harness with a stuff sack???

Also new this year is the revamped Hotwire, clocking in a 3.2 oz, its lighter at the same size, features a hot-forged shape with more rope-bearing surface and an improved nose angle for clipping.


Revamped and sexy.

Finally, this year BD is also releasing some new all around harnesses- the Aspect and the Lotus (womens version)- four gear loops and a haul loop make these a standard price point addition to BD’s harness line- they clock in at $80 and should arrive in the spring with the rest of their stuff. Also, look for some fancy new colors for the ATC-Guide!


Look at all the pretty colors.

Thanks as usual to the folks at Black Diamond- be sure to check out all the new stuff they’ve got coming out soon- all of it should be in stores by Spring 2010. Now, after our BD meeting, I hurried off to meet up with those friendly folks from La Sportiva.

La Sportiva

A couple new shoes from Sportiva to introduce to you this year- first up is the Katana Lace! Built on Sportiva’s performance driven P3 Platform, this shoe has a 4mm front edge with a 3mm sole, giving it extreme and lasting edging power. It’s similar to the TC Pro in shape, but a bit more asymmetrical, and features a Lorica/Leather mix upper, which should limit stretching somewhat. It’ll cost $145, which is not too bad for Sportiva- nice job guys!

Also new this year is the Boulder X approach shoe, which features Vibram Idro-grip, which is their stickiest approach shoe rubber yet (and also keeps its friction when wet), and perhaps best of all is the price- this durable looking approach shoe clocks in at $95, which is a nice contrast to the Gandalf and its new brother, the high top Gandalf Guide, both of which cost well over $200 (the Guide arrives in the spring, the Gandalf is available now).

After hanging out at Sportiva, I thanked John D for his time and headed over to check out the boys from Wales…

DMM


The sexy new lineup from DMM.

This bad boy first leaked about two weeks ago- check out the latest cam from DMM- the Dragon. So, I’ll answer two quick questions right now- YES, it is a double axle cam, and YES it is as sexy as it looks. The action is amazing on them- as smooth as or better than that other double axle cam, and the look… the hot forged process allows a three dimensional look to be forged into the lobe giving it a hell of an appeal.


Another shot to drool over.

Some answers for the folks in the thread about this cam- they’re going to be up to 10% lighter than a C4 in the bigger ranges, a little less than that in the smaller. The color coding you see above is exactly what you think it is- DMM picked the color coding to roughly coincide with BD’s, going with the theory that it’ll make it easier for most folks to grab a cam if they know that hand cracks are the yellow cam, regardless of manufacturer- which is something that I really like, especially since the MaxCam and Link Cam have also done this. Finally, I asked about the Duplex cable system used to connect the 5mm stem cable to the 3.2mm thumb loop cable, and Paul said that its more or less a hub connection just above the thumb loop (think like on a tent) that is swaged right there in three spots- very slick. Finally, look for these cams to price between $74 and $79 a piece and be available in February. Oh, and yes, I asked if they are planning on expanding the set to include smaller (and possibly larger cams) and the answer was a resounding YES. Woohoo!


Check out the assembly from above- this assembly is unique to the big cam, the others are more traditional looking.

In other DMM news, there are some updates to the carabiner line. Look for an improved Belay Master, which now has a keylock nose, a more rounded basket, and a keeper form in the spine for the plastic keeper. The Aero is a new pricepoint HMS locker, keylock nose and $12.95, and the Spectre has seen an improvement, they adjusted the bottom basket to better accommodate dogbones, which had a tendency to creep toward the gate on the old Spectre. Finally, check out the Phantom, a 39g locker that retails for $13.95- sexy!

Finally, look for new 8mm dogbones from DMM with a unique feature- they’re wrapped in shrinkwrap, which improves wear on them and makes them stiffer and easier to clip- DMM is actually making slings as well now, because they needed to start sewing the slings on their Torque Nuts and Dragon Cams, so they decided to start offering regular slings! After chatting with Paul for a while and thanking him for his time, I took about an hour for lunch before heading off to my bi-annual marathon booth visit run with Verde PR. I met up with the ladies of Verde at the famous pack maker….

Osprey

Osprey, like a lot of other companies, made a big announcement at this years show- Osprey Hydraulics- a new pack and reservoir system that will now be a part of Osprey’s line. Two lines of packs ranging from 350 up to 2000 cubic inches will be offered at a price range of $80 to $150. In particular, the Raptor packs, while designed with cycling in mind, look like really cool leader packs- and the Raptor 10 (@ 600 cu. in.) and the Raptor 14 (@ 850) looked awesome.

Some interesting features, Osprey worked with Nalgene to create the opening system, but the reservoir itself is theirs. It features a micro-frame sheet to keep the bladder flat against the pack. Also, the side with the opening has a particular shape that ‘locks’ into a receptacle in the pack, keeping it tight in place- and of course, the reservoirs are BPA free. Look for these to arrive on Feb 15th!

Also this spring, look for an updated Aether series, which now includes a sleeping bag compartment as well as stow and go trekking pole attachments at no additional cost to the consumer- the MSRP is staying the same!

Well, that was all Osprey had to show us, so we thanked them for their time and headed over to the boys from Oregon…

Metolius

Metolius has been on a rampage the last few years- the Supercam, the Mastercam, the Micro carabiner, what could they possibly come up with next? The answer? Offset Master Cams. Can you believe this company???? That’s right, Metolius is releasing Offset Master cams from purple/grey to red/black. Ridiculous! Even more ridiculous- they’ll be at retailers within a couple of weeks- that’s right, they’re coming down the pipe RIGHT NOW.


The Offset lineup.

Another option for pin scars.

Also new this year is the Gizmo, a micro-ledge inspired by Doug Phillip’s dog Gizmo, but built for folks who need something to stand on, but not necessarily to sleep on- in particular, photographers! It’s roughly 2’ x 4’ and retails at $390- look for it in the spring.


For your dog, or you? You decide!

In other news, the Full Strength Mini (FSM) is certified and under 23g and rated at 22kn, the Helmet has also received its UIAA certification, so if you haven’t seen them already, keep your eyes peeled. In addition to the FSM, also look for long draws featuring the FSM and the Inferno. Prices range from $18-$21, and the lengths are 12”, 16”, and 20” (which can be easily tripled!). Also, a couple of updates from the line- the All-Around Safe Tech Harnesses will be getting a reinforced tie-in point and an extra belay loop this spring, and the PAS now comes in three different color choices- sweet!

Finally, if you’re wondering about Metolius’ comments on the Mastercam lobe retraction, hang tight- I’ve got a separate appointment for that on Day 3!

Jetboil

This year, Jetboil is doing a couple of small upgrades to its line this spring. The first is an inline change to its burner- they’re covering up the mesh of the burner with a more durable surface and adding a bigger fuel adjustment dial- slick. Also this Spring, look for Jetboil’s new Flash PCS as well as the Classic PCS. The Flash will be 99.95, and the Classic should be somewhat cheaper, although a price was not set as of yet.

Another upgrade to the line comes in the form of a Recycling Tool that will come with their fuel canisters (you can also buy the fuel without the tool). Once you’ve emptied your canister, you can now take this tool, screw it onto the canister, and then lever the tool down onto the canister, puncturing it easily. This ensures recycling centers that the canister is empty and therefore safe to recycle! The screw fits the jetboil canister, so it should also fit most any other caniser that you can screw into a Jetboil system. Good job guys!

Finally, keep an eye out for Jetboil’s fold flat utensil/plate line- Fozzils, which also have a very cool kids discover beach set (buckets and shovels that fold flat) and a serving set (which features a strainer and big bowls for serving) in addition to kids and adults personal sets.

Julbo

So, I’ve been wearing the Julbo Instincts for three years now and I absolutely love them. I managed to destroy the ear socks over the course of about a year, but the lenses and the frames are still going strong. These guys really do make great glasses. This year, Julbo is introducing the Contest, a cousin to last year’s Run and Dirt. These are a rimless sunglass that features three different lens systems, including the popular Zebra as well as a new cousin to the Zebra, the Octobus, a hydrophobic Class 3 to 4 lens. The Contest retails starting at $120 and goes up to $190 for the Octopus lens.


The Contest.

The Monterosa (left) and the Whoops!

This year, Julbo is also introducing a pair of new women’s specific glasses- the Monterosa, a mountaineering sunglass featuring a wide lens and removeable side shields, its available in a Class-4 lens for $90 and a Anti-fog lense for $160. Also this year, the Whoops glass, which is the women’s specific version of the Contest, retails a bit cheaper- $90 to $160, depending on which lens you go for. As an added bonus, all of these glasses hit the stores in October, which means you don’t have to wait to look good- or at least try to look good!

Finally, for all of you folks with kids, Julbo is releasing the Bubble for 3-5 year olds that features hinged arms, and the Tina for teens- they go for $40 and $50, respectively and should also be available in October.

Rab

Rab continues to make strides in its attempt to break into the North American market, and this year is no exception. Known for its strong mountaineering background and its use of innovative fabrics like eVent, the company is releasing two new storm shells in Spring 2010, the Demand and the Positron/Kinetic.


The Demand Full on and Pull-on.

The Demand is a 10oz, $250 shell with eVent fabric that is fully waterproof and windproof yet breathable. It’s available in both a pull over and a full-zip model, and features a long tail to combat harness creep as well as a helmet-compatible hood and other trademark Rab features. Also new this year is a more price-point shell- the Positron (pullover)/Kinetic (full-zip)- a 7oz, $130 (9oz, $145 for the kinetic) shell that is also water and wind proof, but not quite as breathable as its more expensive cousin.


The Positron.

All in all, looks like these two are pretty strong contenders in both the high end and pricepoint markets for shells- look for them in Spring 2010!

Buff

I also stopped by Buff during the runaround with Verde, and while they didn’t have anything terribly new for Spring, you can look for new patterns with their Merino Wool and Insect Shield lines and, as an added bonus, I purchased a couple of new Buffs for myself with the proceeds going to give insect shield netting to needy children in the Amazon basin- very cool, always good to see a small company giving back.

Scarpa

After jetting around with the Verde girls, I cruised over to the snack bar, grabbed a Gatorade, and headed over to my next appointment with Dave at Scarpa. Like Metolius, Scarpa has been on a rampage with new product over the last couple of years- numerous new shoes every single show- they’ve been hard at work totally revamping their show line. This year they’re introducing 7 new shoes for Spring, once again continuing the trend.

The new performance edging shoes, the Vapor line (which is replacing the Spectra line). The Vapor, the Vapor S and the Vapor V, I’ll let you guess which is which. The Vapor has 4mm, the other two have 3.5mm rubber, and all three feature moderately downturned asymmetric lasts. These look like generally good performance shoes- not so specialized as to only be good for one thing, but not so general as to be a beginners shoe. The Vapor S retails at $119, the other two are $140.

These are the Instinct and Thunder Series. The Instincts are on the left and are a replacement for their Vision shoe and are billed as an all-around high performance shoe. The Instinct features 4mm Vibram XSGrip2 and retails at $140, and the Instinct S has 3mm XS Grip2 and retails at $130.

Finally, look for some seriously upgraded mountaineering boots from Scarpa, which highlight one of their new technologies also found in their approach shoes- polyurethane sole inserts in place of EVA rubber, which offer better shock absorption. The improved line includes the Phantom 6000, the Phantom Guide, the Mont Blanc GTX, and the Triolet Pro GTX. After hanging with Dave, I thanked him for his time and headed off for my last appointment of the day with one of my favorite PR folks- Emily, who reps for…

Merrell

After catching up with Emily, we went over Merrell’s new spring lineup which include a new Merino Wool sock line (the wool is wrapped with coolmax to reinforce it)- which feature a 3 year guarantee and men's and women's specific socks. Also new this year are the Navigator, a rather wild looking shoe with a purpose- the crazy lug sole is cut out to shave weight while at the same time keeping a wide forefoot for stability on the trail.

Also new this year is the Col Line, available in both Men’s and Womens shoes in a wide variety from casual hiking to serious hiking boots, they feature a foot stabilizer which includes a burly nylon shank and an ankle frame to keep you stable while you’re on the trail. Good for folks who need a little more stability or who have weak ankles.

Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to the National Parks Foundation, you can check them out at NationalParks.org and find their Get Outside initiative on their Facebook page, where you can tell your best National Park story and win $500 and an annual parks pass!

Before I knew it, the time had flown by and 5pm had arrived and it was time to head back to the hotel for the write it all up. So, I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll leave you with this picture, taken at the climbers ranch- featuring the new Ruffwear Dog Harness and an INCREDIBLY MELLOW DOG.

Jump to the second article in this series: Outdoor Retailer Summer '09 - Day 2 & 3

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30 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 a-e-jones
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 2009-07-22
will the new hotwires still be the same price?
and any pricing on the offset mastercams?
will they keep making the offset TCU's?
 hotrhoddudeguy
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 2009-07-22
that dog looks like it would rather be bouldering
 debaser655321
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 2009-07-22
I've been looking for a way to get my dog up and down The Endless Wall. Will she hate me forever if I put her in that thing and haul her?
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-22
hotwires will stay the same, i think, no promise on that. pricing on offset master cams is the same as the regular mastercams, and yes, they will continue making offset tcus.
 dlapof
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 2009-07-22
Pretty soon we gonna see the first dog ascent of the nose!
 shoo
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 2009-07-22
Thanks for all the work, Vegas! I always look forward to reading the show summary. Pretty much every day you write something, I find something else that I just bought is being updated or replaced with something shiner.

Out of curiosity, what's with the DMM shrink-wrapped dogbones? Sounds interesting. I've been avoiding the 8mm dyneema slings for a while since they don't seem to be very durable. Don't know how I feel about the shrink wrap, especially since I can't see or touch them. Whadya think?
 Evil
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 2009-07-22
hot wires suck
 moof
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 2009-07-22
Either that's a typo and the hotwire is 1.2 oz, or that's the weight for a full draw. Still, I love my hotwires, and can't wait for lighter ones.
 the_climber
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 2009-07-22
Hey John, not sure when you're stopping by the Evolv booth... if you get this before then cold you ask them if they have any plan to replace the Maximus with another hightop/wall boot. Thanks, B
 abe_ascends
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 2009-07-22
Any pics or more details on the BD Aspect and Lotus?
 bkalaska
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 2009-07-22
Is there overlap between the #2 and #4 Dragon Cams, or did you just not see the #3?
 atlnq9
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 2009-07-22
Vegastradguy,

You are doing great work! That answer to my question about offset master cams was awesome. Now I don't have to rig up a DIY offset master cam with new axels...

Oh and I am definitely buying a set of those DMM cams, finally a company really startin to implement more modern metallurgy into cams again. I am already drooling to get these in my hands and study them...
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-22
The hotwire must have been a type- prolly 32g, but dont quote me. its lighter than the previous hotwire, for whatever its worth. Shoo- the shrink wrap makes it stiffer and definitely easier to grab, since it adds bulk, which is nice on the dogbones. Abe- no real details to report, they are entry level outdoor harnesses, one step up from the momentum. Bkalask- DMM didnt have the #3 (blue) Dragon cam with them. Climber- i'll ask, but as far as i know, the maximus hasnt been discontinued...
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-22
Also, for folks wondering/waiting, i got back to my room @ midnight, so there will be no Day 2 blog today- look for a double update on Friday- sorry, but i had a choice- write up a blog, or go climbing! Sorry, but for the first time since i started doing the OR, i chose climbing instead!
 healyje
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 2009-07-22
John, good reporting, but I will say that this phrase "swaged right there in three spots" is anything but "very slick" - personally I consider it a dubious way to shave weight and just creates another quality point of concern. Is swaging rocket science? No, but I don't consider this 'innovative', but rather a tweak driven by competitive motives and one that makes deliberate trade-offs chasing numbers.
 scottydo
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 2009-07-22
Has there been any pricing on those new Metolius Offsets yet?
 healyje
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 2009-07-22
a-e-jones: I could be wrong, but I doubt they will continue making TCU Offsets.
 superbum
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 2009-07-23
lace up Katanas...us shoe nerds in Bishop are psyched.

DMM cams are exciting...

Don't forget to head over to Cilogear if they have a booth!
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-23
healyje- i guess we'll agree to disagree, but i think that the system is fairly good. keep in mind that BD's double cable system is patented, so they cannot use that, so they had to come up with some way to create the thumb loop and keep the weight even and cover it with the black stuff- a regular swage doesnt quite cover that. Scotty- pricing is the same as the regular master cams. superbum- already had my cilogear meeting, look for it tomorrow in the double update.
 bkalaska
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 2009-07-23
thanks for the reply and glad you got some climbing in
 taydude
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 2009-07-23
did Metolius say anything about making bigger master cams?
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-23
taydude- nope. my understanding is that Metolius still believes the U-Stem cam is superior in design, and so anything bigger than what is currently made would fall under that category. I think also, that the SuperCam overlaps the mastercams somewhat.
 hemp22
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 2009-07-25
Hey vegas - you mentioned Metolius helmet has passed UIAA - is that the Safe Tech Helmet that showed up a couple years ago at the show? did they actually have the helmet there?
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-27
hemp- yup- that pretty grey thing that they had a couple years ago. its all certified now, so look for it within a couple months at the outside.
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-27
oh, and healyje- while the offset TCU is a specialty piece and isnt selling like hotcakes, metolius doesnt plan on stopping production anytime soon.
 BillA
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 2009-07-28
Hey - thanks for all the great work. Any word on when those new scarpa boots are going to be released?
 vegastradguy
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 2009-07-29
all scarpa stuff should be in stores in March or April.
 chouca
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 2009-08-03
The Katana was the velcro Muirra, so why did Sportiva bother with laced Katana?
 bbs3232
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 2009-08-04
http://broadbandsports.com/node/28429

video review of the Big Agnes Sleeping bag!
 glahhg
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 2009-08-11
a dog harness? this is stupid

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