This year’s Outdoor Retail Winter Market is another wild and wonderful gear fest. Positive energy, friendly collegial vibe, booths packed with beautiful products.
Our schedule is full with meetings that continually run over the allotted 30 minute time slots. Companies are designing more gear that works for the backcountry so they engage us with passionate conversations about light weight, high tech stuff. While most of what we’ve seen is not hugely innovative, there is definitely a focus on fine tuning features to make highly functioning, quality gear.
I know I just said that most products don’t seem hugely innovative. Perhaps Fischer will prove me wrong with their new PROFOIL climbing skin. Made from PE, PROFOIL’s waterproof material prevents water absorption to eliminate weight gain while ascending which will possibly make it lighter at the end of the day than a conventional skin. Scales with special channels are designed to enhance glide in the uphill stride while providing “permanent grip in all conditions.” MSRP $275, available fall 2015.
Speaking of weight and water, BCA consulted with experts to study the proportional effect of the snow that piles on skis while ski touring. The finding: one pound of snow on the foot/ski translates to four pounds of weight in a backpack. The result: Scepter Pole Grip. The flat topped grip lets you scrape snow off your top sheet to eliminate weight when breaking trail. Utility hook on the front enables easy mode changes on bindings, and straps are easily removed when desired. It’s lighter than a typical dual density grip because it’s cored out in multiple places. Scepter Carbon Alum (carbon shaft, aluminum upper) weighs 235g, MSRP $120. BCA Scepter Aluminum 250g, MSRP $80. Available fall 2015.
G3’s new climbing skin attachments offer 16cm of length adjustability allowing you to use your skins on a variety of ski lengths, maybe every ski in your quiver. The new clip shown below pops on easily, even with gloves. The camming clip will still be available as well.
DPS launches Tour1 specifically designed for the backcountry. It is lighter than Pure3, competing in weight with the lighter backcountry touring skis on the market. Tour1 strives to offer superior torsional stiffness, edge grip and dampening via a proprietary new Tour1 specific aerospace carbon laminate. Available fall 2015.
Weight comparison as stated by DPS:
Available lengths: 168, 178, 184, 190cm
Available lengths: 168, 176, 184, 192cm
Available lengths: 168cm (Tour1 only), 178, 185
Stay tuned, more cool stuff to come.