Outdoor Retailer Winter Show Overview — 2018

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 12, 2018      

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry

LaSportiva Italian design

I can always spy Italian design by the classy look. LaSportiva is a good example. Their jackets fit well and look more stylish than the average puffy, somehow eliminating that stuffed sausage look. Misty Primaloft jacket, 100% recycled polyester with Primaloft Silver Active insulation.

Wood core makes these skis new.

Wood core makes these skis new.

As seasoned readers know, the WildSnow team typically covers the Outdoor Retailer Show in January each year. This year the organization is calling the January show, the “Snow Show,” and they added a “Winter Show” in November which Lou and I attended for a day. The show was mostly apparel and shoes, and being a bit of a clothes horse, I enjoyed it. One retailer, La Sportiva, snuck in some skis and gave us an update on their 2019/2020 line. The preview made me forget about getting a new jacket for the season…well, almost.

Available fall 2019, the carbon nano tube construction of the Vapor Float, Vapor Nano and Vapor Svelte will be reinforced tip to tail with strips of poplar wood core material. This adds several hundred grams per pair, but will make the Vapor ski line stronger (they’ve had durability problems). They should ski better too. Lou says the new build will still keep the 178 Svelte in the “one kilo” weight class, albeit just barely (catalog weight for the 188 cm is 1,300 grams).

Construction specs for Vapor Float, Vapor Nano and Vapor Svelte:

  • Construction: Carbon torsion box
  • Top sheet: Polyamide
  • Core: Kevlar weave composite
  • Laminate layers: Prepreg carbon nanotube, carbon fiber/Poplar wood stringer
  • Base: P-Tex 6000, factory handwaxed
  • Edges: 2.2 mm steel
  • Available sizes:

  • Vapor Float: 166, 178, 189
  • Vapor Nano: 168, 179, 190
  • Vapor Svelte: 168, 178, 188
  • Vapor Float specs for 178:

  • Radius: 26m
  • Tip rocker: 370mm
  • Tail rocker: 250mm
  • Weight: 1650g
  • Nose: 140mm
  • Waist: 117mm
  • Tail: 128mm
  • Camber: 2mm
  • Vapor Nano specs for 179:

  • Radius: 24m
  • Tip rocker: 340mm
  • Tail rocker: 270mm
  • Weight: 1450g
  • Nose: 130mm
  • Waist: 105mm
  • Tail: 120mm
  • Camber: 3mm
  • Vapor Svelte specs for 188:

  • Radius: 19m
  • Tip rocker: 200mm
  • Tail rocker: 240mm
  • Weight: 1300g
  • Nose: 126mm
  • Waist: 96mm
  • Tail: 113mm
  • Camber: 2.5mm
  • Perhaps the perfect hut and winter travel shoe? Ramble by Chacos

    Perhaps a good hut and winter travel shoe? Ramble by Chacos has a grippy sole, weighs 5.9 oz (size 7 Womens), and looks decent enough for walk-around wear — handy when your luggage is chock full of ski gear. We hope to test them soon.

    If you want to channel your inner Sami (and don't care about weight), get these beauties from Topaz of Norway.

    If you want to channel your inner Sami, and don’t care about weight, check out these beauties from Topaz of Norway. I was surprised to see some models made of sealskin until I learned that Topaz buys the skins from indigenous people who rely on the income to sustain their traditional settlements in the far north. So I feel a little better about my shoe fetish. May have to get a pair for our next après ski party. (Note: the boots pictured are made of cowhide. Sealskin boots cannot be imported into the U.S.)

    Lou thinking about the days of spring skiing in a windshirt.

    Lou dreaming of spring skiing the wilds of New Zealand in a snazzy wind shirt. This one by Cotopaxi, MSRP $80, repurposed nylon/polyester taffeta with DWR finish. Cotopaxi products are guaranteed to last 61 years — the average lifespan of a person living in the developing world. Lou is past that age. No idea what that means.

    OR gloves

    Outdoor Research Inception Aerogel Gloves has Aerogel in fingers and palms where compact insulation is needed most. Developed by NASA for spacesuits, low-density Aerogel is many times warmer than a similar thickness of traditional insulation. We’ve been wanting to see more Aerogel used in gloves and boots, good on OR for doing so. The gloves are made with four-way stretch softshell, bonded grid fleece inside on the back of the hand and a longer-cut gauntlet. Unfortunately, they do not have a waterproof-breathable fabric layer, but perhaps that’s okay in the colder temps they’re designed for. MSRP $99.

    In between appointments

    In between appointments it’s fun to walk around and see the creativity that goes beyond the merchandise. Meet me in the igloo, aisle 4.



    Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


    24 Responses to “Outdoor Retailer Winter Show Overview — 2018”

    1. William w Bollinger November 12th, 2018 10:08 am

      Sounds like OR is making a glove using both aerogel and gortex.
      The Bitterblaze.

      On the subject of cost for exhibitors.
      The new added cost of paying for union labor to unload and
      assemble your booth is a big factor.
      How would feel having to pay a hundred dollars an hour for
      some guy to mount your bindings that has never mounted a set of bindings.
      This is one of the big reasons OR ended up in Salt Lake a long time ago.

    2. Scott November 12th, 2018 10:43 am

      Uh oh…glad I picked up a pair of Sveltes before the pure nanotube construction went the way of the Hi5! Pretty sure the unique layup of Vapor series was the main selling point of the series for weight-obsessed idiots like myself — I’ve long been a believer that there is a market for a superlight product even if it sacrifices some durability. I’m not trying to ski into any rocks on my powder boards, anyhow.
      So what’s going on in Val di Fiemme, anyway?
      The new Svelte/Nano will not be all that different from the Ski Trab Maximo/Super Maximo that Sportiva is importing to NA, just without the sweet geometric top sheets.

    3. Lou Dawson 2 November 12th, 2018 10:48 am

      Hmmm, what’s going on in Val di Fiemme? The Nano series is more of a North American conceived and marketed product, from what I hear. Their other sub-100 waist skis are made in partnership with Trab and more Italian style (and in my experience ski quite nicely). Lou

    4. Paul S November 12th, 2018 11:16 am

      Lou, what’s the buzz on the Jetforce utilizing the Alpride E1 system? I’m seeing small details, but no big flashy announcements. This seems like a big deal.

      In more regional “big news”, I also understand that the Mount Washington Avalanche Center will be adding an advisory to cover the presidential ridge, or some area larger than the “micro forecast” they have always done. Anyone of the East-Coast readers/bloggers know more?


    5. Lou Dawson 2 November 12th, 2018 12:39 pm

      Paul, I thought it was a fairly big deal when I started sharing that rumor a long time ago, but they’ve chosen to be low key about it, perhaps in deference to dealers who have the original version pack, a solid but as you know quite heavy option. The BD pack looks really nice, I’d recommend considering it. Lou

    6. Aaron Mattix November 12th, 2018 7:35 pm

      I picked up a Cotopaxi windbreaker last year, and have been very impressed with it as a lightweight packable shell layer. The thin material stows easily, but makes a significant defense against wind chill. Reasonable price point, and conscientious supply chain, a rather rare combo.

    7. Scott November 13th, 2018 8:28 am

      Lou, thanks for the response and the reminder of the Delladios’ bifurcated EU/NA product intentions…I now remember seeing some Wildsnow content about the Vapor Nano being La Spo’s version of the uber-wide American powder ski and not being marketed much in Europe. Would be interested to hear your take on the “Italian-style” Maximo/Super Maximo ski as a classic touring/all around option — the whole Trab line is supposed to be one of the most highly-respected across the pond. (Especially in the case of the narrower Magico and Mistico skis, which are a good deal lighter than the Maximo and the 2019 Svelte — just over 1000g for the 90mm Mistico in 171 length.)

    8. Bruno Schull November 13th, 2018 9:27 am
    9. Lou Dawson 2 November 13th, 2018 10:13 am

      Oh happy days! Thanks Bruno!

    10. skier6 November 13th, 2018 11:57 am

      Can you get us a discount code for the Skialper buyers guide again?


    11. Travis November 13th, 2018 3:35 pm

      SkiAlper 2019! The best buyers guide in the world! Any guidance on purchasing this years copy? My Italian is not the best 🙂

    12. skier6 November 13th, 2018 3:59 pm

      Go to this page (click on Acquista, ie acquire) and register,

      Follow the registration entries. I would suggest using PayPal. Just make sure you are ordering the English version of the 2019 Buyers Guide. Sometimes the Italian version is only one available early on, English version comes out later.

      “Acquista la nuova buyers guide 2019” So click on that button for just the 2019 Buyers Guide. Price is listed at 9.90 Euros
      Platinum 2019, “Acquista la buyers guide 2019 e le precedenti” 19.90 Euros gives you the 2019 Buyers Guide , and previous years versions too.

      good luck

    13. Travis November 13th, 2018 4:15 pm

      Thanks Skier6! I bought it! I’m using Chrome’s Translate page feature to read it now.

    14. Lou Dawson 2 November 14th, 2018 6:54 am

      I contacted for a discount code, in any case the retail price is worth it, and good to support print media. I’ll publish some sort of review blog post, sooner than later. Always fun to see which gear they ranked highest. Respect. Lou

    15. skier6 November 14th, 2018 3:49 pm

      Did you get the buyers guide in English? Previously there was an English digital edition. I had a question about the subscription (to use my old login ) and they sent me back a message,

      “I’m sorry but 2019 version is not available in English”

    16. Travis Nesse November 14th, 2018 3:56 pm

      skier6, I didn’t see an option for an english one. But the Google Chrome browser has a built in feature that translates web pages. Not perfect, but it makes the guide extremely readable all things considered.

    17. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2018 8:31 am

      What that means, Lisa, is that Lou is above average. I’m worried though. In the photo he looks like a mannequin.

    18. skier6 November 15th, 2018 1:34 pm

      Just tried to login to my SkiAlpers Buyers Guide 2018. I can access my account, print invoice from last November, but it appears the online “subscription” has expired after one year.
      Today, no more access. Original invoice was dated Nov 14, 2017.

      Anyone else have this problem? I sent an email to support@nextlevelstudio.it too.
      Maybe you can ask them about this?

    19. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2018 2:40 pm

      Skier6, sorry to hear that. I know they’ve been trying different paywalls over the last few years. I’ll bet they change something. Let us know if they resolve it. Lou

    20. JMski November 16th, 2018 1:01 pm

      I encountered the same issue… my registration info from last year’s purchase was not recognized. I simply registered anew (with the same login and password info as before) and I got in to purchase… the Italian version.

    21. skier6 November 17th, 2018 8:03 am

      Well it would be nice if I could still read the SkiAlper Buyers Guide 2018 (English version) I paid for last year. I would expect for this years Buyers Guide 2019, I would have to pay again.
      Seems I am locked out of the excellent 2018 Guide for now. No where did it say, for 9.90e you only get one year of access to the Buyers Guide.
      Buyer beware.

    22. Lukasz November 18th, 2018 3:50 am

      Paul, if you are looking for all news related to new Alpride E1 Airbag system or new/old Jetforce system – I managed to put eveyrthing in one place: https://plecakilawinowe.pl/ you can use Google Translate from Polish to English – I checked works pretty nice 🙂

      I wrote about:
      Scott Patrol 30 Alpride E1
      Alpride SuperCap30 Alpride E1 – limited edition
      PIEPS JetForce SC 20L Alpride E1
      Black Diamond JETFORCE TOUR 26L Alpride E1

    23. Lukasz November 19th, 2018 8:49 am

      I used WordPress Google Translate plugin, it’s not perfect, but works 🙂
      Here you go:

    24. Jim Milstein April 13th, 2019 2:27 pm

      La Sportiva Vapor ski models are disappearing from inventories, making space for the new, heavier models! I’m glad to have got the old, unpoplarized Sveltes. I really like their low mass and think they ski well. Have not broken them yet. I am trying, but hope to fail.

      If you can find old stock, they will soon, if not now, be selling at steep discount.

    Anti-Spam Quiz:

    While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
    If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

    :D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
    Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

      Your Comments

      Recent Posts

    Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

    WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version