Continuing our tour of the Outdoor Trade Show’s offerings, we take a look at the glittering stands of some of the top brands whose clothing, footwear, gear and gadgets will be appearing in shops to tempt outdoor fans in the coming months.
The Black Diamond ReVolt headtorch can use either its three Black Diamond rechargeable batteries that can be repowered via a USB connection or it will take standard AAA alkaline or lithium batteries.
With alkalines, its maximum output is 110 lumens, or 90 lumens with the rechargeables, offering a 70m main beam.
It has one triple-power LED, two single-power white LEDs and two single-power red LEDs. The red night-vision mode has proximity settings for map reading and a strobe setting. It can be used without cycling through the white setting and risking destroying night vision.
Weight with the nickel metal-hydride batteries is 100g and the headtorch retails at £70.
The new Cosmo has been redesigned by Black Diamond, weighs 90g with its three AAA batteries.
The headtorch will give a maximum 40m beam with its 70 lumen double-power LED. It also has two single-power LEDs. Again, its red LED can be used without cycling through the white LEDs and sells for £30.
Black Diamond’s Ultra Mountain FL walking pole is a new addition to its range. The pole – FL stands for FlickLock – uses the company’s Z-pole technology, with the two lower sections folding with speed-cone deployment for rapid use and height adjustment via the FlickLock on the top section.
The Ultra Mountain FL has an EVA foam grip and breathable wicking strap, with a non-slip EVA foam mini-grip extension.
The poles are suitable for uses from backpacking and hiking to snowshoeing and skiing and come with 60mm trekking baskets and Compactor powder baskets.
A pair weighs 591g and men’s and women’s versions are available, in Forest and Amethyst colours respectively, retailing at £119 a pair. The poles will be available from 15 February.
Zamberlan is the archetypal Italian boot maker. Based in Schio, the company makes a huge range of footwear from the highly specialist Mount Everest, a technological combination of Cordura Kevlar, carbon-fibre, ceramic elastic and other high-spec features that will set you back £690 a pair.
Not surprisingly given its name, the boot is aimed at those tackling the world’s highest peaks.
At the other end of the Zamberlan spectrum are the Shiver speed hiking shoes retailing at £90 a pair.
The company, still run by members of the founding Zamberlan family, makes its high-end boots at its factory in the Little Dolomites, while most of the fabric boots are made in the Far East.
Three models caught the eye. The Trek Magic is a mountain walking boot on the company’s wider Darwin last, combined with a new Vibram Darwin sole for increased comfort.
Zamberlan explained it is difficult to cut weight from the uppers of the boot, so the sole is where it looks to shed extra grams.
The Darwin sole combines different polyurethane sections, with harder wearing material on the heel but softer PU in the mid foot to aid shock absorption.
It has self-cleaning grooves, an undercut heel for better downhill braking and multi-directional lugs for better traction, braking and grip.
The orange sections of the sole are EVA, a foam-rubber material that again gives extra cushioning.
The uppers are in Hydrobloc waxed suede and the boot will take a C1 crampon. A pair of size 42s will weigh in at 1,680g and when the footwear appears in the shops in the New Year, the Trek Magic will retail at £220.
The Baffin Plus GT is also designed round the wider Darwin last and sole again with the tell-tale EVA sections to increase cushioning, with a one-piece leather Hydrobloc upper. Its rugged construction should cope with rougher mountain walking conditions such as those encountered in the Scottish Highlands.
Redesigned, the new model weighs 1,560g a pair and retails at £185 a pair.
The Fitz Roy is a true winter boot from Zamberlan’s Alpine range.
It too has the EVA ‘fishbone’ sections in its Vibram sole and is modelled on the Alpine last. The midsole again features dual-density PU sections and the uppers have ceramic-Cordura anti-abrasion material.
Men’s come in red, with women’s’ in sky blue. The former weigh 1,580g a pair and the latter 1,360g, both will retail at £290 a pair when they appear in the shops next year.
There was more Italian technology on display at Fizan’s stand where the company, founded in 1947 to produce the first aluminium ski poles, unveiled its new Concept System walking poles.
Fizan has up to now used an internal locking system, but the Revo, Aconcagua and Broad Peak utilise an external locking that the company says gives a locking force of more than 100kg – more than all the current conventional external locking systems.
The patented Concept locking system is made from only two pieces – an aluminium outer and nylon inner – and Fizan says it assures perfect tightness in all weather conditions. Tightening the barrel with just fingertips is enough to lock the poles, as was demonstrated by staff on the stand.
The three-section Revo 3 will retail at £85 a pair; the Broad Peak 3 £75; and the Aconcagua, again in three sections, will cost £70.
Still on technology, Japanese company Soto’s demonstration caused a stir – with the venue’s health and safety staff leaping into action at the sight of two blazing stoves – the company’s proof of the low-temperature capabilities of the Micro Regulator model.
The patent-pending valve, developed in place of a conventional needle valve, maintains pressure at the burner under different temperatures from –5C to 20C. Soto also says the output is maintained as the gas is used up in the canister.
The Micro Regulator Stove has a claimed burn time of about 1½ hours with a 250g canister and has an output of 3,260W (11,000 BTU).
The stove itself is only 73g and comes with a built-in Stealth Igniter.
Soto’s Muka Stove burns unleaded petrol or white gas fuel and needs no priming. This is down to the Japanese-made stove’s atomising system that means an instant start up.
The company claims a stable flame within 10 seconds of ignition, and the separately sold fuel bottle is part of the system. The pump screws into the bottle and has a pressure indicator and control dial. Turn the dial to ‘Start’, light the stove and then when ready, rotate the control dial to run.
This gives controllable flame from a boiling level to simmer. To turn off the stove, the dial is turned to air, which also then releases the compressed air in the bottle and also helps clean the stove. Finally the stop position is used once the air is completely released.
Pressing the control dial during cooking also serves as an emergency stop mechanism.
The stove and pump together weigh 327g and the stove has an output of 4,650W (15,800 BTU).
Kozi Kidz was started by husband and wife Tomas and Linda Torstensson, a Swedish-Yorkshire partnership that spawned the idea of real outdoor clothing for children.
Linda explained that in Sweden children have to go to school properly clothed – there’s no indoor play if it’s bad weather – and, combined with the fact childhood obesity is a growing problem, the couple set about designing a range that would protect children up to the age of 10 from the worst of the weather while still being practical for everyday use.
Kozi Kidz picked up an OTS Novel Award last year for its softshell jacket and trousers and was again in the list of innovators with a 2012 Novel Award for its Rain Overalls, an all-in-one suit for even the tiniest of outdoor explorers.
Retailing at £43, the Unlined PU Rain Overall comes in sizes 80 to 110, while the fleece-lined all-in-one costs £49.80.
The Oxford jackets and trousers are made from Oxford polyester and have a PU breathable coating, with jacket costing £47 and trousers £27. For winter, the Whistler is waterproof to 3,000mm and is breathable, with jacket retailing at £79 and the Mora all-in-one snowsuit, with similar spec, at £89.
The Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Cot offers a comfortable night’s sleep at weight of only 1.24kg.
The camping beds allow users to lie four inches above the ground, and Therm-a-Rest says they are the lightest, most packable cots on the market.
The UltraLite uses tent-pole type edging and is manufactured using sail material. The cot packs into a bag 41 x 15cm. The Irish-manufactured bed measures 61 x 183cm in use and lightweight users – weighing less than 79.4kg – can reduce the cot’s weight to only 0.9kg by using only four of the cot’s six bows.
The LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot will retail at £190. Its wider cousin, the LuxuryLite Mesh Cot is heavier at 1.74kg and costs £200.
The E-Case iSeries was another winner of a Novel Award at the Outdoor Trade Show.
Aimed at owners of Apple devices, the cases provide all-weather protection for electronic gizmos from an iPod nano to an iPad.
The cases feature SealLock zips and are made either from polyurethane-coated polyester or from polyurethane-coated nylon.
The Select iSeries also feature integrated four-pole headphone jacks that allow full use of Apple headphones and microphone.
An additional window in the iPod and iPhone cases allows simultaneous use of cameras and headphone jack.