The holidays roll around just when we hope the big storms will be rolling too. To ensure you’ll be wading thru waist deep powder instead of crowds at December malls, we’ll start early this year with gift ideas. Below are a few standout items from the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show.
Julbo: Anyone who does anything outdoors appreciates a quality pair of sunglasses. Julbo rates high for their crystal clear lens, especially the photochromic versions such as Zebra and Zebra Light. A new frame at the show was the Aero. Light at 25 grams, they are designed with a gap around the lens which ventilates out fog and condensation.
As skiers, we’re excited about Julbo’s new Aerospace goggles. The lens cantilevers out about 1/4 inch and the airflow prevents fogging. We tested them last winter, wearing them while skinning up mountain on warm days and the vents really do work well. Available in stores this October. MSRP $220 with Zebra lens.
Black Diamond: There are two versions of the Deployment Hoody for women and men with the new Deployment Hybrid coming out this fall. The “body mapping” design of the Hybrid uses various fabrics for different body zones. The back panel is merino wool, a nice feature when you sweat under your backpack. Shoulders and arms are insulated with PrimaLoft. Hood, chest and arms are made with Schoeller stretch-woven nylon. I’ll wear it hiking on cooler days and for skinning uphill when winter hits and temps drop. The original Deployment is available here. The Hybrid will be available September/October 2015.
Mammut: We always like simple styles when it comes to backpacks — top loaders with a generous sack. The clean design of Mammut’s Light Removable Airbag gives it a low weight. Manufacturer’s stated weight with airbag system and cartridge is 2560g (5lb 10oz); without, 1080g (2lb 6oz). 30L capacity features diagonal ski carry, 1 ice axe loop and a top-lid and hip-belt pocket. The airbag is stowed under the top lid.
Best news of all, shoppers will see lower prices on Mammut’s airbag packs. Mammut told me that because of a communication mixup, twice as many airbag packs were made for this season. Due to the error, Mammut negotiated a lower price from their supplier and they are passing the savings on to the consumer. Soon you’ll see prices down about 13-14% on RAS (Removable Airbag System) packs and about 10% on Protection (non-removable airbag system) packs.