It took me three days and 46,896 steps to cover this year’s Outdoor Retailer summer show—a heady conflagration of all things gear-related in the colliding worlds of travel, outdoor adventure, and the active lifestyle. And I only hit a handful of the 1,626 exhibitors, not counting all the pre- and post-OR events, discussion panels, round-tables, demos, and…god knows what else. But I survived, and found a few truly cool, innovative, and noteworthy products that should be on your radar come spring 2016, which I’ll profile next week. But first, a few big-picture take-away trends that should help map out where the industry at large is heading.
1. Gregory; 2. Mystery Ranch; 3. Osprey; 4. Outdoor Research; 5. Headsweats; 6. Stormy Kromer; 7. Nau; 8. Topo Designs; 9. Herschel Supply Co.; 10. Helly Hansen; 11. The North Face; 12. Columbia; 13. Therm-a-Rest; 14. Eurika! ; 15. Nemo; 16. Snow Peak; 17. Sea to Summit; 18. Kammok; 19. BioLite; 20. Primus; 21. Stanley; 22. Patagonia; 23. Allied Feather & Down; 24. The Renewal Workshop; 25. MSR; 26. Primus; 27. Omeals.
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).