The UKC/UKH team of Alan James, Mark Glaister and Sarah Stirling were at ISPO Munich earlier this week, checking out the latest innovations in outdoor gear at this massive winter tradeshow. The show has grown again this year: 2,344 exhibitors from 51 countries across 17 halls. There was a strong British presence, with brands such as Montane, DMM and Rab showcasing some great products once again.
The emphasis was, of course, on winter gear, with the most noteworthy new hardware product launch being five new/updated axes from DMM. There has already been plenty of interest in the new tools in the UKC Forums (see here) and we'll have a video and news item up tomorrow.
There will be more ISPO articles to follow this week and next, complete with videos and photos. To kick off here follows the highlights from the ISPO Awards 2012. Innovation was the key prerequisite for entries.
Hardware category: NAO head lamp by Petzl
You may have already seen Mick Ryan's Petzl Nao scoop from the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. Petzl's Nao adapts its brightness and beam automatically according to the prevailing conditions and the wearer's needs. As a result, the power from the rechargeable batteries is used as efficiently as possible.
The jury's verdict: “The automatically adjustable brightness on the NAO is new on the market. The fact that the batteries can be recharged using a USB is especially innovative.”
Hardware category: Cable Vario adjustable via ferrata set by Edelrid
The first via ferrata set in the world which offers a braking resistance that can be adjusted to suit the climber's weight, thereby considerably increasing safety. Shock absorbers in the set reduce the momentum of a fall and consequently the forces exerted on the body.
The jury's verdict: “The Cable Vario is the solution for lightweight climbers. Its new construction contributes greatly to their safety.”
Apparel category: Alpha SV jacket by Arc'teryx for alpine activities
Remarkable for its top quality functionality, light weight, attention to detail, extreme durability and excellent freedom of movement: the Alpha SV jacket, which uses the new N80p-X Gore-Tex® face fabric.
The jury's verdict: “The Alpha SV wins thanks to its good breathability and weather-resistance. In addition, the jacket material is very hard-wearing.”
Accessories category: Mammut 9.8 Transformer climbing rope
The 9.8 Transformer climbing rope by Mammut is made entirely from so-called transfer yarns. This means that only high-quality surplus yarns are used in the manufacture, which were normally thrown away unused solely due to their mixture of colours.
The jury's verdict: “The complete yarn is used in the production of the sheath. The result is a marked reduction in waste, and ropes with a new look.”
Apparel category: Hooded Effusion running jacket by Mountain Hardwear and Montrail
The lightweight Hooded Effusion jacket by Mountain Hardwear and Montrail offers a high degree of breathability and freedom of movement. Important factors in the jury's decision to award first prize to this three-layered jacket.
The jury's verdict: “The Hooded Effusion jacket's fabric combines comfort with great functionality and puristic design. This combination deserves the ISPO AWARD.”
Apparel category: Vassi jacket by Haglöfs for freeriders
The new Vassi jacket was developed in cooperation with professional athletes. The durable and lightweight jacket is designed specifically for freeriders. It provides them with protection in every kind of weather and, at the same time, the freedom of movement they need.
The jury's verdict: “What persuaded us to give the award to the Vassi jacket is the overall impression. It combines many innovative details, such as a particularly effective ventilation system.”
Accessories category: Taos 28 PRO tailor-made freeride backpack by Salewa
The Taos 28 PRO backpack for freeriders was developed in close cooperation with top athletes. The carrying system in particular is described as outstanding: the Ride Fit technology by Salewa is tailor-made and moves in perfect sympathy with the freerider's movements and his posture at different speeds.
The jury's verdict: “This backpack by Salewa combines three crucial elements: form, function and intelligent design. And it is precisely these features that deserve the ISPO AWARD.”
Apparel category: the PUYA jacket combines sustainability and functionality
The use of recycled materials in this jacket apparently cuts the energy used by up to 84% and the CO2 emissions by 72%. These figures are an intrinsic part of the versatile and bluesign®-certified PUYA jacket produced by the company of the same name. At the same time it's a pretty handy outdoor and leisure jacket.
The jury's verdict: “PUYA has extended its already elaborated system for environmental development in an impressive manner. Among the innovations is a fluoride-free manufacturing process for sustainable water resistance.”