Best New Gear from Summer Outdoor Retailer 2012

Outdoor Retailer, the twice-a-year bonanza of outdoor gear, wrapped up this past weekend in Salt Lake City. This summer's event brought together more than 1,000 outdoor equipment brands and showcased the latest and greatest gear for the upcoming season. Here's what caught my attention from this year's show.

MontBell Tachyon Windshell
How light can you make a wind shell? I recently profiled the featherweight contenders, but it now seems that a new champion is set to appear in 2013: the 1.6-ounce Tachyon Jacket from MontBell. (That's about the same weight as three tablespoons of water!) The jacket is essentially a hoodless version of the 2.3-ounce Tachyon Anorak (pictured here).

eVent DVL
I've written in the past about eVent fabric, arguably the most breathable waterproof fabric on the market today. (Super-magnified image of the stuff to the right.) Now an even more breathable version has been introduced: eVent DVL. The acronym stands for "direct venting lite" and sets a new bar for breathability. Here's the press release from parent company GE. Watch for it in 2013.

Sierra Designs Cloud Layering System
This ultralight three-layer system features a 12-ounce hooded down jacket ($249), a 4-ounce waterproof (and marginally breathable) shell ($125), and a hyper-breathable 6-ounce wind shell ($119). The whole package weighs in at a meager 22 ounces and offers protection and warmth for the full range of three-season conditions. The down jacket uses 800-fill waterproof DriDown and is one of many upcoming 2013 products to incorporate this latest insulation technology (see below). I'm particularly intrigued by the featherweight waterproof component, which is one of the lightest waterproof garments I've come across. Here's the press release.

Grabber Reusable Hand Warmers
Most chemical hand warmers are one-shot deals. Once exposed to the air, they produce heat continuously until the chemical reaction ceases. This is problematic (and wasteful) if you only need it for a short duration. To address this problem, Grabber has introduced a line of reusable hand warmers. Simply place the activated warmer into the included resealable pouch, which stops the warming action and saves it for the times when you actually need it. A package of three runs around $4; it's already available at REI

Waterproof Goose Down in More Products
Waterproof goose down hit the market in 2012 in a limited array of sleeping bags. In 2013, expect to see waterproof down from DownTek to appear in an increasing array of apparel and sleeping bags, including products from L.L. Bean and Eastern Mountain Sports. Here's a neat video from DownTek that shows waterproof goose down in action:

For more new products from this year's show, check out the following resources:
Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid