Welcome to the third and final of our reports from the recent ISPO outdoor trade fair in Munich, where each January the industry gathers to display the latest products that will be appearing in shops over the coming few months.
Let’s kick off with Black Diamond who have a number of updates and new products for spring 2012. The Vector Helmet is a reincarnation of the Tracer – a geometric co-moulded, ultralight helmet with excellent ventilation that comes in men’s and women’s specific models. The helmet is built from a redesigned head shape using ultralight co-moulded EPS foam, and features generous airflow ports, tuck-away ratcheting suspension system, and what BD describe as ‘the most secure headlamp attachment clips on the market’. Also new is the Flight and (women’s) Siren harnesses – high performance sport climbing models which boast very lightweight constructions and Mondo gear loops. They are constructed using new Dual Core XP which combines a breathable Openair waistbelt with full-width, high-tensile nylon leg loops for optimal comfort and breathability.
The big news from Rab this spring is their new range of lightweight waterproofs using Pertex’s Shield+, an extremely light but waterproof/breathable fabric. Consisting of the Volt, Spark, Kinetic, Pulse and Tempo jackets, and the Kinetic pants, this range sits under Rab’s existing eVent and Neoshell ranges in terms of price, but promises no compromises in the quality and performance of the garments. Features include helmet-compatible hoods, YKK Aquaguard water-resistant zips, Velcro cuffs and internal storm flaps. We have in our hands right now one of the first Kinetic jackets available, and we’ll bring you our verdict in the the March issue of Trek & Mountain.
Sprayway have been having a resurgence of late, and their new spring products focus on giving exceptional value for money. For example, their Nyx (and Eos for women) jackets are made using Gore-Tex Performance Shell, yet are priced at just £130. Combined with Sprayway’s All Day Rainpants which include a DWR finish and waterproof taped lining and sell for £70, you’ve got a complete waterproof outfit ideal for walking for just £200. That’s value-for-money in our book!
Keen have done very well in the lifestyle and leisure footwear stakes in recent times, but we shouldn’t forget that they also make some really decent hiking and trekking boots too. The new Glarus is a case in point, offering a full-grain leather upper, Keen’s own waterproof membrane liner, KeenDry, and an outsole with deep lugs especially designed to give high traction. This boot looks ideal for multi-day treks and long-distance hikes, and being a fan of the fit of previous Keen boots we’ve tested, we’re keen to see if the Glarus is as comfortable as its stablemates. Look out for a review in Trek & Mountain very soon!
Helly Hansen were demonstrating their top-of-the-range Odin products, which have been developed with the mountain guides and professional adventurers on the HH team. The range includes the Odin Mountain Jacket Mk2, which uses Helly Tech Professional 3L laminate shell – waterproof, breathable and stretchable, in case you didn’t know. All zips – main zip and chest and hand pockets – use YKK Aquaguard V9 Vislon zippers, and there´s also a zip-out snowskirt and a zipper to attach the jacket to the matching trousers. The design has been optimised for wearing a harness or carrying a pack, and the ‘3D’ welded shoulder reinforcements are intended to minimise wear from abrasion and also help to keep shoulder straps from slipping off the shoulders. HH were also showing some interesting new technologies (pictured below) which essentially use spot insulation to direct the flow of air around the body – keeping the areas that need to be warm warm, and the areas that need more ventilation, cool. It’ll be interesting to see the final products that these new ideas feature on, expected later in the year.
And that’s about it for our round-up of some of the highlights of ISPO Munich 2012. There were plenty of other products on display that we haven’t mentioned of course, but for further updates check out the Geared Up section in Trek & Mountain every month, in which we preview the latest and most interesting mountain gear that’s coming to retailers soon. So it only remains now to say ‘auf wiedersehin’!