Monday, August 12, 2013

Outdoor Retailer-New/Cool Gadgets/Gear/Apparel/Footwear S/S 2014

Outdoor Retailer-Jordanelle Reservoir and Salt Palace UTAH

Part 1

Mio Alpha Sport, SUUNTO Ambit 2, Magellan Echo+Summit Watches, BioLite+JetBoil Stoves 

The Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow attracts a wide range of exhibitors-showing off the new, re-worked and stand-by products, gadgets, gear and apparel- seriously-or not, necessary 'gets' for outdoor types. Defined as anyone stepping beyond an enclosed area.

Cool stuff galore---some highlights...

Personal fitness watches --- a booming category---ranged from the Luddite versions- to the complicated.

At Demo Day-the Mio Alpha had kept several users heart rates in check-no heart strap required ---via a rather sleek looking, easy to use- watch, strapped on by an accommodating, non irritating soft silicon strap.

Elves not at work here-rather- a tiny light emitted from the back of the strap that travels through capillaries of a lower arm to serve up an accurate reading in secs. We tried it---and with a few pushes of side buttons, we easily set up our heart rate zones. Go outside them ---and audible alert beep sounds.

this image-grabbed from the web

Bluetooth Smart compatible (link up with an iPhone 5 and a bunch of fitness apps ---(but not PC)... the Mio Alpha delivers basic HR related and time info, easily accessed...and with good enough looks to wear as a timepiece too.

For those needing more advanced functionalities and multi-sport options (including swim- face it, counting laps is mentally numbing)...the new SUUNTO Ambit2 ($400/$450 with HR monitor) and 2.5 ----serves up a slew of the 411- including integrated GPS---plus big benefit-software updates via this PC /MAC connect compatible watch computer-very handy.

MAGELLAN showed two very neat multi-tasking GPS tracking watches...a data dense territory that will appeal to the tech stat obsessed as well as those who just want to control their music heavy smartphones-  slapped on their arms in a protective armband---from their wrists.

ECHO-available in a bunch of on trend colors (msrp $149/$199 with a heart rate monitor)-is a handsome watch that uses Bluetooth Smart to synch up with a wearers' smartphone for touchscreen controls from a wearers' wrist...whether music of using one of those fitness apps.

PLUS: it runs on a replaceable coin cell battery. We can't wait to demo...coming soon.

What Else:
The Switch™Series---for multi-sport billed as a crossover GPS watch---delivering precise GPS satellite data by recording distance, speed/pace, and elevation...with a multi-sport mode (50 meter water resistance), 9 activity profiles, customizable screens and vibrate alerts, multi-sport mounting kit and accessories like heart rate monitor, battery pack extender...
Similar to SUUNTO-Magellan has its own website-Magellan Active-where all that activity data stored on the Switch---can be uploaded and shared--- mash-uped with maps, charts and metrics to "make the data meaningful."

Frankly, when the rep started going into 'it'---we thought TMI for us. However, it was obvi at the last Saturday, National Championships (triathlons-Olympic distance)--- the majority of athletes we met (competed vs)---are as stat obsessed as their coaches (egos-ha ha) demand-kinda akin to the world wide obsessive Fantasy Sport participants---(EPL's version-our particular obsession).

Light my fire-self sustained, energy access options for the outdoors-are rather genius in a way. Portable, packable, fast heat...not just for campers...but handy for the utility challenged---which more and more, is a category that includes city dwellers as well as residents of developing countries.

The BioLite Camp Stove stove and new KettlePot
As if Brooklyn could get even more hip---well the borough of the moment boasts as the home base of the wood twig powered- BioLite stove that can fire up a pan as well as a gadget via unit attached- usb.

New-at this summer's Demo Day-the KettlePot (msrp $50) an efficient and packable/collapsible cooking pot that sits on top of the BioLite stove and pours like a kettle, naturally. Doubles as a carrying case too.

fits securely

top secures on too-with easy pore BPA free heatproof Tritan kettle top 

1.75 capacity-wind shielded too

heat tough vertical cool-touch silicone handles  fold down 

high heat flame-...can cook up OR

charge up---

JET BOIL-is our first stop Demo Day-usually---except this time-they were not at the entrance  :( cause the kind folks of this Johnson Outdoors company always has instant Starbucks coffee for that caffeine jolt we soooo need.

We finally found them though...and their assortment of FluxRing™ technology enabled cooking systems that concentrate heat, is fuel efficient and is easy to set-up-including the Thermo-Regulate™ technology with consistent heat- SOL™ Titanium Premium and SOL™Aluminum ultra lightweight versions.

And pictured in the middle above-the SUMO Titanium-convenience par excellence-with a 1.8 liter titanium FluxRing cooking vessel that weighs in at just 6.5 ounces-entire system 12 ounces.
New this season-the Joule Group Cooking System ($160)...that speedy speedy speedy-brings a liter of water to full boil in 2minutes/40secs which we think is faster than when we nuke a cuppa. 

Benefits-the cold weather performance of liquid fuels stoves---in a handy and easily controlled regulated canister stove-all in one.

PLUS...with a culinary friendly, simmer control-with low -or-high heat steadily delivered (handy for those who actually cook), and with accessories-a wind screen and hanging kit for extreme climates. 
the Joule Group Cooking System-folds down neatly in this 2.5 liter Flux Ring cooking vessel-with high 10,000BTU output, inverted canister design with Liquid feet Regulator, convenient push button regulator, stable locking handle that folds for storage, see through lid with built in strainer

propane canisters available world wide-reliable and stable
Widely available-JETBOIL