The UKC team of Alan James, Mick Ryan, Sarah Stirling and myself spent four days at The Outdoor Show recently, finding out what new gear will be in store for 2013.
Other news items in this series:
For me, one of the most exciting parts of the huge Outdoor tradeshow is of course the free beer. But I wasn't allowed to write about that, so here we have a selection of almost equally exciting new hardware due to arrive in 2013 that stood out to us on our roving reporter travels.
First up is some reworked Spirit carabiners from Petzl, which look like fantastic sport climbing draws. Featuring easy to grab tapes, clean nose biners, and a large surface area for the rope. They look simple, well designed and pretty damn good.
Something that is very interesting for those of us who like Trad climbing is the new BD Camalot x4s. These are mini camming units, and BD have worked hard to design a double axle that is small enough for micro cams. Check out the video, these look set to be very popular. They will be £64.99 each.
For those who are fans of the classic CAMP tri-cams (they sometimes fit where nothing else will!) then there have been a couple of modifications, and I liked the look of the stiffened webbing, meaning a bit more reach for overhead placements.
Edelrid have been producing some quite innovative pieces of gear lately, and the new and very small belay device below is one of them. Although at first it seems quite complex, it is an autolocking device that is super lightweight. For those techy climbers who like their advanced rope-work, this thing could be a dream.
Keeping it simple is the Gate-keeper carabiner from Metolius. I liked the look of this - a good belay biner with a really quick and easy to use second gate section for the harness loop. Nothing fancy, but it looks good, safe and quick. Ideal.
DMM have a new range of sport draws, and are particularly proud of their Alphas. The Alpha is now coming with a sling protector/keeper, and the carabiner shape has proven extremely popular. So popular in fact that DMM are bringing out an 'Alpha Lite' which is a smaller wiregate version, which looks set to become the lightweight crab of choice for those big sea cliff racks - available around October this year. Also from DMM is an anti-vibration gate screwgate biner.