Outdoor Retailer, for lack of a better word, is a whirlwind. As the largest trade show for outdoor brands in the country, it is three floors of wall-to-wall outdoor brands all trying to catch the eyes of the thousands of people passing through the Denver Convention Center. From the big boys to the little guys, anybody who is anybody in the outdoor market is there peddling their gear.
Last week, I spent three days walking the showroom floor, meeting with more outdoor companies than I can count and learning all there is to learn about where things are going in the outdoor industry. The overwhelming theme continues to be sustainability combined with the growing trend of the urban outdoorsman. With so many brands pumping out gear designed for a seamless transition from the streets to the mountain and beyond, it can be tough to make sense of things.
However, having been through the grind, I give you 10 awesome products worth checking out.
Dometic CFX 75 Dual Zone ($1100): Ice limits the space you have to store food and beverages in your regular cooler. However, Dometic eliminates this annoyance with their line of solar- (or battery-) powered refrigerating coolers. The CFX 75 DZ is rugged, easy to carry and has two separate climate zones to cool and freeze at the same time. You can even control the temps from a Wifi app on your phone. With features like these, there is no doubt that this cooler will make you the king of the next tailgate.
Thule Force XT ($590): Loading up the overhead bin can be like playing a game of Tetris—a constant battle of maneuvering gear into positions that fit together and actually allow it to close and lock. However, the design of the Force XT makes this game a little easier. Thanks to a wider and less dome-like construction, taller items can be fanned out to the sides, meaning you can actually seal the thing without losing your mind.
Osprey Ozone Duplex 65 ($220): This comfortable, durable and lightweight pack makes traveling through the airport a breeze. However, the game changer is the two-in-one design. With a full-size day pack that clips to the outside of your cargo bag, you can pack your essentials for easy access under your seat while everything else that you need when you arrive at your destination can be packed in the larger cargo bag and stowed overhead.
Jetboil Summit Skillet (TBA): Starting in January 2019, you’ll be able to take the amenities of cooking at home out into the backcountry. Jetboil’s most innovative cooking skillet yet includes a ceramic, non-stick surface that distributes the heat evenly and makes for easy cooking and cleanup. The real highlight is the lightweight foldable design that includes a spatula that clips into the handle, all of which fits perfectly into your backpack.
RYLO 360 Camera ($499): RYLO is redefining what a 360 camera can and should be. With an unrivaled cinematic stabilization feature that also levels out the horizon, there’s no need to worry about holding the camera steady. So, attach it anywhere for a unique and vivid 4K look at the world around you. Then, when finished filming, the bundled sync cable allows for quick and easy sharing and viewing without worrying about the dumb wifi connection. Ultimately, you’ll make all your friends jealous with the sickest, most efficient footage possible.
Camp Chef Woodwind SG ($999): The Woodwind allows you to do it all: grill, smoke, sear, bake, BBQ and simultaneously hang with your friends. Its increased cooking capacity and pellet hopper size means more meat and a longer cooking time, conveniently controlled by its computerized system. There’s also a sear box and pizza oven attachment for multiple cooking options, and the new slide and grill technology allows for a seamless transition between direct and indirect heat, giving you restaurant-quality food in your own backyard.
Hydro Flask Cooler Cup ($25): Meet the perfect vessel for keeping your beverages cold however you prefer to drink them, coming next year. If drinking from the can or the bottle is your thing, just slip it into the container and pop on the neoprene sleeve for secure sipping. Prefer to pour your drink out? Take the sleeve and attach it to the bottom and you have yourself a non-slip 12-ounce cup. Either way your cocktail will be cold for as long as it takes you to drink it.
KAVU Shapiro ($75): An exceptionally large backpack duffel this affordable is almost unheard of in today’s market. Designed as a unique rope bag for climbing it lets you roll your rope up tightly in the built-in tarp and have it ready to go for your climb. Side straps clip together, compressing the bag into a smaller more comfortable backpack—or you can pop the clips open to load all your gear into what can become quite a large duffel for bigger adventures.
Off Grid Tools Survival Axe ($40): At only 11 inches long and 1.5 pounds, this versatile, badass axe is light and compact enough to fit into any bag. Chop, pry, hammer, saw or perform the most critival survival function of all: opening a beer. Packing a total of 31 features, the OGT Survival Axe is the only tool you’ll need for your next off-the-grid trip.
Kokopelli Rogue-lite Packraft ($750): This 4.8-pound raft rolls up into the size of a paper towel roll when not in use. Those features make the Rogue-lite perfect for bike-packing or backpacking to the lake or river. Using your fill bag to blow it up, you’ll quickly find there is more than enough room for you and all your gear. Meanwhile, the Kevlar floor offers up the durability and protection you need to ride the rapids.