Best New Gear from Winter Outdoor Retailer 2012, Part 2

Post 2 of 2 rounding up the coolest new gear from this season's Outdoor Retailer geartopia convention in Salt Lake City.

Reactive Lighting: Petzl Nao Headlamp
It's not just a new headlamp—it's an entirely new category of headlamp. The Nao is the first headlamp to employ "reactive lighting," which adjusts the brightness of the beam based on where you look. Smart sensors detect ambient and reflected light and brighten, or dim, accordingly. You need a brighter light to peer into dark surrounding woods, for example, but less light to illuminate a map in your hands. Petzl touts the headlamp as its brightest yet, a whopping 355 lumens at maximum.

The technology provides convenience and can also help conserve battery power, but it's not cheap. Watch for the Petzl Nao ($175) in July—and expect to see this technology in more headlamps soon.

Louis Garneau Winter Bike Boots
One of the biggest challenges of winter cycling is keeping your feet warm. This is especially true if you ride with clip-in pedals; the metal connection between shoe and pedal transfers in a lot of cold. Louis Garneau's new Glacier Road Shoes ($179) and Ergo Grip Shoes ($179) offer warm (the Ergo is rated to 0 degrees Fahrenheit), insulated coverage for your winter biking feet, including protection from the cold underfoot. Available up to European size 46.

Terra Nova Quasar Backpacks
Terra Nova is a UK-based ultralight gear manufacturer that will be rolling out a line of ultralight packs in 2012 that use cuben fiber, an ultralight material that has its origins in the sailing industry. The Quasar line will be available in a 45-liter capacity model (17 - 21 ounces) and a larger 55-liter version (19 to 30 ounces, depending on accessories). Watch for it in February ($240 to $300).

For more on Winter Outdoor Retailer 2012, check out the blog coverage at Gear Junkie, Sectionhiker, and The Gearcaster.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.