Trek & Mountain has just returned from the massive Outdoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, where the outdoor industry shows off its upcoming ranges for spring/summer 2015, and over the next couple of weeks we will be bringing you some of the highlights of the show – of which there were many this year!
First up is a whole new range of mountain products from Salomon, who have used the know-how they have gained in the trail running market to produce an interesting range of lightweight mountaineering products.
The footwear is perhaps the most innovative, and at the top of a range of boots sits the futuristic-looking S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX, which Salomon claim will take you right from the bottom of the mountain to the very top – and back down again, of course. The boot is extremely light and flexes like a walking shoe from front-to-back, but due to its carbon chassis is quite stiff laterally so will be effective when edging on snow and ice and, crucially, takes a semi-rigid crampon which means it can truly take you to the top of the mountain. The Carbon GTX will retail for £250, but there are a number of more affordable models below this to choose from.
The S-Lab range also consists of a jacket, pant and backpack, and all offer something a little bit different. The X Alp Anorak is all about freedom of movement and ventilation, and features two huge zips that run up the sides, so that the bottom of the jacket can be opened up and fixed allowing lots of ventilation when things get too hot. The idea being that when you’re on long, alpine routes (or similar) you don’t want to – or may not be able to – stop to take layers off. The anorak can be teamed up with the X Alp Pant which again offers a number of features to allow enhanced freedom of movement.
Finally, rounding off the range is the dinky little X Alp 20 backpack, which should be just big enough for fast ascents in the Alps or elsewhere, when you will be carrying the bare minimum. The pack has some interesting features including a sternum strap that expands as you breathe, and we particularly liked the dedicated crampon pocket at the bottom which leaves the main pack free for layers/food/water.