We're just back from the annual summer gear-fest that is the OutDoor trade show. As Europe sweltered in the heat the world's outdoor industry gathered in Munich to network, drink beer and showcase their shiny new stuff. For us it's a great opportunity to catch up with brands both big and small, and check out some of the products that'll be hitting the shops in the near future. Here is our final roundup from the show:
MSR - Hubba Hubba NX RRP £455
Updated for SS20, it features new and improved 'cyclone' poles, which are claimed to be indestructible(!). The new fabric on the outer also breathes a whole lot better than its predecessor, meaning that there's a whole lot less condensation than before. Winner of the OutDoor Gold Award.
Therm-a-rest - Topo Luxe + New Valves RRP £155
A whopping 10cm depth with next to four season levels of warmth. Due to the way in which it's constructed it also packs down to an impressively small size. The new Winglock valves - which are due to roll out throughout the whole Thermarest range - provide an inflate and deflate mode so you don't lose any extra air (unless you want to). It is also completely replaceable. It also comes with the MicroPump, which aids inflation and weighs in at a minimal 65g.
Goal Zero - Nomad 5 + Sherpa 100PD
The Nomad 5 is Goal Zero's entry level solar panel + charger, which also has the benefit of being nice, light, and simple. The FLIP power bank has enough energy to recharge a phone and takes around 2-3 hours to recharge (in good conditions). It can also charge and discharge at the same time, meaning you can power your phone whilst charging the power bank. The Sherpa 100PD contains 100w power, hence lasts for a whole lot longer, and is the largest battery you can take on an aeroplane. It also has the ability to charge laptops, which is a huge benefit for those on longer trips.
Grangers - Tent + Gear Care Kit RRP £23
The Tent + Gear Care Kit formula has recently been improved to include further UV protection. In addition to cleaning and proofing tents, the kit is suitable for climbing kit too. By using the wash you clean the product properly, which then allows the Repel to act more effectively - even more so when it is applied when wet. Water-based, PFC free and Bluesign accredited.
Hydrapak - Filter Compatible Bottles
The HydraPak flex bottles are all compatible with their filters. They pack down small, but also stand up on their own when half full. The wide opening makes them easier to drink from too. Constructed from TPU they're BPA free and built to last.
Hydrapak - Bottle Bright
An all-natural cleaning tablet that's designed to clean bottles or - in the case of the UK audience - those thermal mugs have gone brown due to the repeated brewing of tea within them. Furthermore, it's taste free, so there's no weird chemical flavour.
Marmot - Superalloy 2p Tent RRP £500
Super lightweight two person tent aimed at the discerning mountain marathon user who values comfort as well as pack weight. Double porch and full height, this tent doesn't scrimp on size, Marmot have just saved with clever fabric instead.
Mountain Hardwear - Lamina Eco AF
The Lamina range has a new edition with the Eco AF. Its stark white colour comes from the lack of dye used and the shell, lining, insulation and zipper are all recycled. Kudos.
Rab - Mythic Ultra 180
The Mythic 180 has won a Gold Award at OutDoor. The TILT lining reflects the UV and infrared rays back out at you, adding 30% more efficiency (around 8 degrees Celsius). It feels the same, breathes the same, and weighs the same. The 180 version has a small zip to save weight, but still allow you to get into the bag. 400g / 0 degrees comfort limit.
Marmot - Paiju 10 and Paiju 5 Sleeping Bag RRP £500 & £630
Tested on Helvellyn in the mizzle by Marmot's very own Malcolm, this bag is aimed squarely at a British market where water resistance is essential. Well thought out features like snag free zippers (get these in your life) and stitch free hood make this bag a winner for the discerning British user.
Cocoon - Ultralight Hammock
The ultralight hammock uses a proprietary fabric and features a Ridge Line horizontal cord across the top of the hammock to set and easily maintain the perfect pitching length of the hammock. It's also useful for hanging your tarp or drying clothes in the daytime It is available in different sizes so you can choose the perfect size to allow you to lie flat. It packs down super small and the stuff sack doubles as a water bottle holder underneath the deployed hammock.
Primus - Essential Trek Stove RRP £23
The Essential Trek is super easy to use and very good value, using Primus Lamina Flow technology. Very robust and, with its gas, fits easily in to a Primus 1l Trek pot. Simple to use - clip it on and cook, no folding etc. The wide base means the pan is super stable.
Primus - Firestick Stove RRP £80
The Firestick is an extremely compact and packable new stove. Packability is the number one concern for stove users. The woollen sleeve which it packs into also doubles up as a oven glove. The design naturally shields the burner from wind and provides a stable base for the pan. It's also a regulated burner which enables the gas pressure to maintain even as the amount of gas decrease and it also makes it better in cold weather. Available in a titanium version for extra weight saving, coming in at 87g! All Primus products are manufactured in Europe.
The North Face - Assault 2 Futurelight 1
A single skin tent using The North Face's FutureLight technology. Designed for high altitude camping. The athletes specially requested a tent made from FutureLight because it's so breathable. The shape and specifications of the tent are what the athletes choose for their expeditions.
Komperdell - FXP System self deploying folding poles RRP £120 - £150
Winner of a Gold Outstanding Outdoor award. Overcomes the disadvantages of the folding pole by introducing a mechanical FXP connection rather than a connecting cord which is constantly under tension. The most impressive feature is the snapping deployment. There are two different fixed lengths poles and 4 sizes of variable length poles. And if the cord inside did snap when you're out in the wild a long way from a shop, the mechanical connection means that you can still use the pole... a big advantage it has over other folding designs. The other big plus is that the solid connection can't come apart under pressure, making it ideal for ski touring. The pole comes in various models, our favourite of which is the Carbon Expedition with a carbon upper and a high grade alu bottom section for max durability where most needed.
Leki - Cross Trail RRP £164.95 - £184.95
The Cross Trail trekking pole has won the Outstanding Outdoor award at OutDoor 2019. The Cross Trail is a new product family. Very slim poles which click in and out in seconds. It has an ergonomic handle with a fixed and secure grip position. Designed with a dynamic and comfortable construction for speedy movement in the mountains
Mpowerd - Luci Base Light RRP £50
A solar chargeable inflatable and collapsible lantern, this lasts 50 hours and goes up to a massive 300 lumens of output. You can also charge it using a usb and use it to charge your phone to 100% battery. It has 31 warm LEDs, 4 modes and is waterproof. It's got a soft matte finish with a glare-free diffuser.