There will be a lot so see at the upcoming OR Summer Market the first week of August in Salt Lake City. Ton’s of new gear will debut including tents, sleeping bags, packs, footwear, apparel and much, much more. A few industry trends will also emerge. Here’s a few that we identified at GearGuide after reviewing a bunch of pre-show material.
Value-Driven Product Lines
The debate continues to rage – is the economy turning around or does the recession continue? Regardless of where we stand, one thing is clear – many consumers have changed their buying patterns and are splurging less on top of the line items in every category including outdoor gear. Manufacturers are starting to get this and launch more value-driven lines. Pack leader Gregory is one such company that’s embraced this point of view and is reflecting it in the new packs they’re introducing. See them at booth #8026.
Women’s Specific Gear
The market for women’s specific gear is heating up with a number of manufacturers extending their product lines to address this important segment. Redington provides a recent and favorite example. Long focused on the fly fisherman, Redington has started adding women’s apparel to their line up. The latest offerings include the Bellacoola Quilted Vest and Crystal Waters Skirt. See them at booth #34213.
Outdoor Brands Crossing Over
Just about everybody heard how Columbia hired a fashion designer from New York City. Well, they’re not the only ones that are getting fashion forward in their designs. You’ll see it all over the Salt Palace, I’m sure, including in the Vasque booth (#12001) where they’ll debut the new Rift Multisport Shoe. With colors like Chili Pepper, Russet Orange and Purple Plumeria there should be no question that the outdoor footwear segment has taken a few steps forward.
More with Less
Tent manufacturers continue to provide more interior room while shaving weight. Sierra Designs does it at Outdoor Market with their new Mojo Tent. Thanks to the external pole design and a DAC sunflower hub you need fewer poles, get at two-person tent at 2 lbs, 11oz., and nice interior volume. Check out the Sierra Designs products a booth number #23015.
The Wayback Machine
Expect to see a few manufacturers hit the time machine and introduce products that blast you to the past. Kelty does it with a new limited edition 60th Anniversary Wing Pack and the Frontier Tent. These products and those from other manufacturers blend the best of the old with new fabrics and construction methods to provide both a retro look and real-world utility. Check out the Kelty products a booth number #28017.
Light Me Up
Kelty continues to innovate in the area of outdoor lighting as well. And they’re not the only ones. ICON jumps into the lantern biz with new products at the show. No photos were available at press time, but I’m looking forward to checking out what should be some very cool aluminum-bodied LED products. You can see them at booth #BR306.
Minimal Goes Wide
The barefoot and minimal shoe movement gains even more momentum at the OR Show this year. The latest entry into the market is Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO. They’ll debut the BIOM Lite at the event, a series of men’s and women’s footwear that provide minimal cushioning and low profiles. You can see them at booth #30177W.
There’s sure to be more than just the above on display at OR Summer 2011. Let us know what you discover by leaving a comment below. Enjoy the show!