This week the biggest brands in the outdoor industry have gathered in Denver, Colorado to attend the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer gear convention. Over the past few days those companies have taken the wraps off an array of interesting new products, some of which promise to be truly groundbreaking.
We’ve spent hours scouring the show floor in search of the best new products to make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable. Most of these items won’t be hitting store shelves until next spring, but when they do, they’ll bring some truly innovative features along with them.
These are our picks for the very best gear of the 2018 summer Outdoor Retailer show.
We first told you about the BioLite FirePit when it launched on Kickstarter last September, but now it is a real product thats will begin shipping to customers in August. The FirePit features 51 air jets and a battery powered fan that virtually eliminates the smoke that is normally associated with a campfire. This makes it the perfect companion for use in the backyard or at the campsite. It even includes Bluetooth connectivity that gives users the ability to control the fan speed directly from their smartphone. ($200)
LifeSaver Liberty Bottle
Creating safe drinking water while traveling in foreign countries or the backcountry gets a lot easier thanks to the Liberty Bottle from LifeSaver. This bottle ships with a built-in filtration system that can remove 99.999 percent of all viruses, bacteria, and cysts from any water source. In other words, it’s the first portable water purifier that also acts as a bottle, and comes with an inline pump. The Liberty includes a 5-foot hose for pumping water directly from the source, which makes filling larger containers – such as Nalgene bottles or hydration bladders – a breeze. ($100)
Big Agnes Carbon Fly Creek Tent
If you’re an ultralight backpacker looking for the lightest tent possible than you’re going to want to take a look at what Big Agnes has in store for us. At Outdoor Retailer the gear company took the wraps off of the Carbon Fly Creek tent, which uses Dyneema to shave as much weight as possible while still remaining incredibly durable. The tent tips the scales at just 1 pound, 2 ounces, making it one of the lightest camp shelters ever made. It ships in the spring of 2019 at a price of $750.
Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC
If you’re looking for a new way to keep your gadgets charged and functioning while on the go, Goal Zero has you covered. The upgraded Sherpa 100AC delivers 94 watt-hours of power and features dual USB-C ports, two quick-charging standard USB ports, a wireless charging pad, and an AC inverter. A built-in OLED screen provides a wealth of diagnostic information such as number of battery cycles, power consumption, and more. It goes on sale in September. ($300)
Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boot
Iconic outdoor brands Patagonia and Danner have joined forces to create a new wading boot that promises to be a revelation for anglers. Most wading boots are designed for use in the water and don’t necessarily offer the best support and traction while on land. But the Foot Tractor looks to put an end to this by providing good performance when hiking to the stream and while in the water. Aluminum bar soles provide an exceptional grip, even on slick, wet surfaces. The boots are also durable enough to last for years, potentially making them the last wader you’ll ever need to purchase. ($500)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Ultralight Sleeping Pad and Vesper Sleeping Bag
Therm-a-Rest has made the dreams of ultralight backpackers come true with the introduction of its NeoAir Ultralight sleeping pad and Vesper sleeping bag. Combined, the two products weigh just 24 ounces, making them some of the lightest models on the market. The sleeping bag, which packs down to an incredibly small size, is rated for use in temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while the sleeping pad manages to remain surprisingly durable despite its size. (NeoAir Ultralight: $180 | Vesper 32: $330)
Garmin InReach Mini
Lightweight and compact, the Garmin InReach Mini delivers all of the communications features we’ve come to expect from an InReach product, just in a scaled down version. Weighing in at 3.5 ounces, the Mini allows users to send text messages from just about anywhere on the planet. It pairs with a smartphone to offer U.S. maps and NOAA charts and can receive weather alerts or send an SOS message too. Battery life is up to 50 hours in GPS tracking mode, and as much as 20 days in stand-by. The InReach Mini is available now. ($350)
Body Glove EZ Surfboard 8.2
Traveling with or transporting a surfboard has never been easier thanks to Body Glove’s new inflatable model. The EZ Surfboard 8.2 is 8 feet, 2 inches in length, weighs just 10 pounds, and can support up to 250 pounds. It also folds down to an incredibly small size, comes with it’s own storage bag, and can be inflated using the included pump in less than a minute. The board is reportedly more buoyant than a regular model as well, making it especially beginner-friendly. The EZ Surfboard 8.2 is available now. ($699)
Gnarbox 2.0 SSD
The Gnarbox 2.0 improves on pretty much every feature of the original, giving photographers a powerful new tool for editing and backing up photos while in the field. The device uses a much faster solid-state hard drive and processor to improve transfer times, quickly downloading photos and video from smartphones, cameras, or memory cards. Editing 4k video is reportedly as much as ten times faster, making this a must have for adventure filmmakers. ($729)
Boulder Denim 2.0
One of the biggest surprises in outdoor apparel in recent years has been the rise of technical denim. Blue jeans aren’t typically viewed as athletic wear, but Boulder Denim has created a stretch fabric that was made specifically for climbing and other outdoor pursuits. The company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the 2.0 version of its pants into production, with the promise of bringing their stylish, yet incredibly flexible and breathable jeans to market. The latest version is completely PFC free and features a DWR coating for repelling moisture. ($110)