Friday, February 6, 2009
HIGH SIERRA: BAGS & CARRYALLS FOR URBANITES AND ATHLETES
USER FRIENDLY NEW DESIGNS, COLORS AND SIZES FOR FALL 2009
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY PALACE, UTAH
Words, Judith Ecochard Images---High Sierra and J. Ecochard
We were very, very impressed with all things High Sierra at the Summer OR Show…a huge,affordable brand taking care of our need to haul our lives from one place to another.
As soon as we walked into the Winter Booth last month, our eyes fell on the bestseller, “Fatboy” ($29.99) that now comes in re-freshed colors like green and white. Details including a padded laptop sleeve, s-shaped shoulder strap with cell phone holder, lots of inner compartments...and rubber tabbed zippers... are just some of the cool gizmos that make this pack number one.
Other hip toned haulers are in the wear your technology category-like the Detour ($59.99)…meaning iPod friendly controls on the outside.
New for Fall 2009 is a lineup of techy packs featuring an internal hydration reservoir sleeve and an insulated tube pocket on the shoulder strap that keeps water from freezing. One example, the Amazon Spire 2500, a single contoured aluminum frame bar comfortably adjusts to the shape of the back…and adjustable webbing on the tops and bottom allows for diagonal ski carry.
Plus, these packs have mesh nettings that can zip out to hold a helmet in addition to large zipped outer compartments.
The Guide 3200 is a technical pack that anyone carrying a load will want. It has a removable rain pouch that covers the entire bag in nasty weather, an internal frame with an Ergo-Fit™ shoulder harness for adjustable load lifts, and is hydration friendly too. A large inner mesh bag holds a shovel blade while dual side pockets hold water bottles.
Fashionistas will love the new, sleek luggage line of Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffels made of durable Dupont Teflon and with corner guards to protect the edges. Plus corner mounted wheels keeps the baggage from bouncing around while the inner mesh pockets, hold down straps, and additional zipper outer compartments keep contents organized. Amazingly, the bag can be wheeled, used as a duffle…or as a backpack thanks to a Flexoshell Feather-Lite compression molded back panel that protects the bag’s contents without adding unnecessary weight. ($239.99).
Our top pick though goes to the genius one big system (Pro Series) that unzips into three separate bags…leaving travelers with check-in options…and the ability to pack/ separate clothing functions too. SO smart given the baggage fees slapped on by airlines...and obviously crafted with athletes in mind. Makes sense since the company is the official supplier of bags and luggage for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team.
What’s also cool is that the three components stand alone…with a split duffel, a 32 inch deluxe wheeled bag, and a removable daypack. Look for this ‘system’ to hit retail shelves in August 2009.
Lastly we saw the well priced new Wheeled Double Adjustable Ski Bag…that holds 2 pairs of skis in separate padded compartments and has hold down straps for poles. There’s a zippered front accessory pocket, an adjustable “Adjust-A-Strap” system, and ergonomic molded tow handle for ease/comfort of movement, plastic molded rub rails to protect the bottom of the bag,.. and inline skate style wheels with corner protectors that’ll survive those automated baggage systems ($99.99). There’s a snowboard version too that’s definitely on our Christmas Wish List.