The UKC team of Alan James, Mick Ryan, Jack Geldard and myself spent four days in the Temple of Shiny Things at The Outdoor Show recently, finding out what new gear will be in store for 2013. For a recap of mountain clothing arriving this Autumn, check out the news report following our trip to the big winter tradeshow, ISPO, in February. Most of the products in this news item will be available next Spring.
Other news items in this series:
Body mapping continues to be a key trend in 2013 mountain clothing, i.e. using different fabrics in the same product. This has obvious benefits in terms of increasing durability, stretch and breathability where it matters, while keeping weight to a minimum. Also look out for 'hydrophobic down' in shops this Autumn. The feathers are coated with a nano material, which makes water bead and roll off. Check out the Ramche Jacket from Berghaus, which features hydrophobic and body mapped down in this news item.
First off, Simone Moro explains why he chooses to work with The North Face, and what it means to him to be a sponsored athlete.
Due to popular demand, and some encouragement from their Ambassadors, Patagonia bring back and improve the M10 for 2013.
Sherpa Adventure Gear, a brand that's been available overseas for a few years, launches in the UK this September. We introduced the brand after ISPO earlier this year (see this news item), and there's also a dedicated news item here. Kenton Cool talks the brand up above (impressed he knows what pop detail is!), and also discusses his favourite piece, a soft shell that he has been testing for the last six months, on Everest and all sorts.
Berghaus won an OutDoor Industry award for their Vapour Storm jacket. The 'world's first waterproof venting jacket' is made from Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric and incorporates front, side and back gills to increase breathability. The jacket will retail at £230 and be available next Spring.
Marmot launch a new fabric in 2013 (in two men's jackets and one women's) called Fusiondri. This new technology has been three years in the pipeline. We were quoted impressive performance figures: a hydrostatic head of 20,000, and a really impressive breathability rating of 50,000 MVTR (moisture vapour transmission rate; the weight of water that can pass through fabric measured in g/m2/24 hrs). RRPs: Speedri Jacket £270 (featured in the video), Micro G Jacket £250.
Mountain Equipment introduce their new Pulsar Jacket (RRP £230), which has been revamped. Now made from Polartec Power Shield Pro with Hi-Loft waffle backing, it's very breathable, stretchy and water resistant. The Eclipse Hooded (RRP £90) looks interesting and has been very popular with their sponsored climbers and staff during testing - a fast drying layer with a built-in ninja face mask and hood. Both items are available from September 2012.
Rab are focussing on their heritage as a down brand in 2013. Above they introduce some new Torque Pants, which they reckon are set to be popular next year. With patches of durable fabric where it matters, and breathable panels too, plus articulation, venting, a waist designed to sit well under a harness, pockets, and ankle zips to fit over higher volume boots they seem well-equipped for winter. Don't worry Brits, they are also available in black...
There were plenty of innovative products to see on the Montane stand as ever. We were pleased to hear their packs are proving popular (more on some additions to the range later). In this video Montane are talking about a new piece for 2013 called the Alpine Stretch (£90) - a super stretchy high wicking soft shell with useful features such as a full mountain hood, pockets all above the harness line and side pockets big enough for OS maps.
A few other interesting things that caught our eye...
Sponsored athletes have become more involved in the design of products and ranges in recent years, with the Mountain Hardwear 'Ueli Steck' collection really seeming to spark a trend. Look out for The North Face Meru range in shops this autumn. Ueli Steck talks about his Mountain Hardwear collection, and Conrad Anker talks about the TNF Meru Range, in this news report. TNF have been working with their athletes to create another new range for 2013. The sub 1.5 kilo Verto Collection was created with input from the Pou Brothers. Anti Matter Jacket: £300, Meteor Pant: £140, Verto Micro Hoody: £190, Infiesto Full Zip: £75.
|I really liked the look of the Montane Minimus Smock, which weighs just 143g. It's made from Pertex's newest fabric, waterproof Pertex Shield +. This fabric hasn't had the marketing hype of Active Shell, Neoshell or Dry Q but works well for its weight. Pertex are of course renowned for their incredibly lightweight, abrasion and weather resistant face fabrics, and essentially they've added waterproofing using breathable laminate and coating technologies. This jacket has micro taped seams, a lycra bound hood (no peak, sits under a climbing helmet) and a pocket big enough for a map (£120).||What's new at Icebreaker? I was interested to hear that the Merino brand are moving into soft shell. Icebreaker's new Gust Vest (£150) and Jacket (£190) are made from 100% polyester bonded with Merino, with Merino panels under the arms and back. Available Spring 2013.|
Last year Patagonia began buying into Gore-tex again. Some, who appreciate Patagonia's greener than green credentials, saw it as a step backwards. For the past few years the brand has only used their own H2No fabric. It seems Patagonia missed the heavy-weight punch of the most well-known waterproof-breathable fabric, so put forward a deal: they would work with Gore to make their production process more environmentally friendly. For 2013 Patagonia are focussing on their own H2No again: the lightest jacket made from H2No has siblings. The Torrentshell Stretch sits at the top of the range and costs £130.