We hit up the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show earlier this year, an annual multi day trade event for the outdoor and snow industry in Denver. It’s where retailers meet brands and brands reveal their cutting edge technology for the following season and gear heads wet themselves over what’s ahead in the next twelve months.
It can be completely overwhelming and is not for the noise, light or visually sensitive as brands lure you in with music, food, wild displays, elite athletes and free drinks. Some people have a plan and methodically make their way through three halls of snow and outdoor gear, others spin three times and head to where they land.
We did a mix of both, starting with good intentions and being distracted by shiny things along the way. These are our stand outs from 48 hours of gear overload.
Skullcandy have introduced ambient awareness to their new Vert wireless headphones launching later this year. This means that you can listen to music AND hear external sounds while skiing so that you can remain safe.
It gets even better. Yes they are Bluetooth and yes they fit under your helmet but the remote control disk can attach to anything your wearing, carrying, sitting on and more. This means you can adjust your audio settings without having to remove your helmet or fidget to find the earbuds and you can do all of that while wearing your gloves.
Oakley Fall Line XL with PRIZM React
Oakley’s PRIZM React technology basically means that with a touch of a button, without changing lenses, you can reveal three lens tint options for changing light conditions. You’ll find it on the new larger Fall Line XL goggle series next northern season with a streamlined design that is wireless and charged by an electric current to create light, medium and dark lens options. Just recharge the lens via a micro USB at the end of each day ready for the next morning’s riding.
Dahu step in boots
These guys have been around in Europe for a few years but have set up shop this season in the USA with their first North American launch, so they were a hot ticket at the OR show. Designed to offer comfort and performance to those who dread putting on their ski boots for fear of pain and torture, the Dahu Swiss Boot is a rigid shell filled with cutouts and an insulated Cambium liner that also acts as an après boot.
You can step into the boot then into the shell or into both straight up. Features Grilamid polyamide composite shell, interchangeable heel and toe plates, velcro power strap and more.
We’ve been fans of the Gogglesoc brand since we were first gifted a ‘soc’ by Whistler Blackcomb. At first glance we thought them rather poxy, then we used them and well, you won’t find any of the SnowsBest team without one on our goggles.
These soft buff cloth socks work. When you raise your goggles at après, throw them in the car, in your bag. The gogglesoc prevents scratches and damage to your expensive goggles. With an ever expanding product range filled with graphics and art and photography to choose from.
Picture Organic Clothing Harvest Jacket
French company, Picture Organic Clothing, consistently leads by sustainable example with their range of fashionable sustainable tech outerwear with a minimum 50% recycled or bio based materials. They even have a biodegradable fleece. This time they’re using Castor Oil to create a bio based membrane known as Pebax Renew. It’s 20k/20k and available in their Harvest Jacket and Bib line. Why? Because fossil fuel dependence contributes to climate change.
Armada Edgeless Ski
If you love the terrain park and urban streets and dens to throw your skis around on then the Armada BDOG Edgeless has been made for you. Armada have taken the steel edges away and kept the Poplar Ash woodcut with fiberglass layup, a freestyle rocker and straight sidecut. Theoretically this means you can now slide on wood, concrete, aluminum, whatever you so desire, no sparks.
SMITH Koroyd technology
Ok, technically Smith’s Koroyd helmet construction was launched a while back but this was the first time we had seen it up close. Koroyd is basically thousands of co-polymer tubes welded together to create a high energy absorber material that is fully breathable and reduces the energy trauma levels upon impact. That’s a good thing.
Helly Hansen waterproof corduroy
We love POW Gloves Artists Series of mitts and gloves from deep winter to spring. The crew had a few new designs on display at the Outdoor Retailer show featuring work mainly from Simon Riviere, snowboard nerd and illustrator from the UK. The Artist Series collection features the work of Simon Riviere and fellow artists Steph Elise and Christian Hundertmark.
le bent ‘le send’ backcountry sock
We had hoped to meet up with Cody Townsend but USA weather and flights played havoc (his, not ours) so we chatted with le bent co-founders (and yes, our mates) Simon Blondel and Anthony Symonds instead. Together with Townsend they have created the world’s first dedicated ski touring backcountry sock ‘le send‘ and the show went mad with a gazillion folk descending on their stand. They won Freeskier best in show for the socks, and for good reason. The socks are designed with double thickness in the toe box, subtle compression in the calf and weave on upper foot for more comfort and performance in touring boots.