Despite the puritanical dinking laws dictated by the large Mormon population in Salt Lake City, drinking is still very much a part of Outdoor Retailer, a bi-annual event that profiles the latest/greatest products to come in the outdoor travel and adventure space. And that is perhaps best reflected by the profusion of drink-related and drink-inspired products found on the floor, and in most attendee’s hands come the end of a long day of “gearspeak.” Here a few of the best.
All respect to Yeti, but Stanley’s been in the drink vessel game for decades. And this fall they’ll unveil the culmination of all that expertise with their Master Series, a line of super-insulated mugs, cups, and bottles that turn everything up to 11. The matte-black vessels have stainless steel walls that are a full millimeter thick, with two additional insulating barriers, making it possible to keep liquids hot for more than 40 hours. I had coffee hand-delivered to me in SLC—coffee that was brewed and poured in Seattle and then driven to Utah, with pictures taken along the journey. And it was still steaming hot (and a far cry better than the shite hotel coffee I drank the day before). For standard usage, the Master Series may feel like overkill—they even had to make the new Quick Zip device, which drops into the Master Series to lower the coffee to a drinkable temp—and then sustains that temperature. But if you’re a coffee/tea freak that likes to overnight in the backcountry, now you can have a hot cup of brew waiting for you when you return to your car two days later.
Yeti already owns the market for $300+ coolers—sorry, “ice chests.” And with good reason; Their products keep things cold for days longer than most of their competition. Now you can leverage that same tech to keep your individual beers cold. It boasts a “load-and-lock” gasket that secures your bottle or can inside the double-wall vacuum stainless steel cozy, with a No Sweat design that keeps condensation from forming and vessel from slipping out of your hands. It fits most 12-ounce cans and bottles, but not all bottles, since the gasket requires that the bottle’s curve start at the top of the metal in order for it to screw onto the Colster. Worked for Lagunits. Didn’t for a bottle of Green Flash apricot IPA.
It’s all in the name. This plush hooded zipper jacket has a “beverage-friendly pocket” on the left front, ideal to slip in a beer bottle or can. And it also keeps you warm, wicks sweat, and uses Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Shield water repellency to keep you able-bodied regardless of the elements.
This music festival-ready backpack has an insulated lower compartment that can store up to 12 cans of beer, along with a zippered side dispenser to offer easy access, akin to tearing off the side of a 12-pack. You also get two insulated cozies on the front, and one on the shoulder strap for hands-free consumption. You also get storage space for non-perishable items in the upper part of the pack, adjustable external straps on the lower section that let you attach a blanket, and a fleece-lined sunglass top pocket.
Vacuum-sealed growlers are all the rage right now, but white wine drinks shouldn’t feel left out in the heat. The Vine uses “TriMax Triple Insulating Technology” to maintain the ideal temp for up to 36 hours. Made of 18/8 stainless steel that won’t corrupt the taste of the vino, it stores up to 750 ML, and comes with a filling funnel and cleaning brush.
Cali-based Sanuk partnered with Stone Brewing earlier this year to unveil a special edition of their Beer Cozy sandals, which employs a footbed that has pillows made from yoga mats tricked out to have the texture of a beer cozy—along with Stone graphics and an awesome outsole of interlocking beer bottles. Well, they’ve expanded the intersection of beer and footwear with their Beer Runner, a classic sneaker with a rubber herringbone lug outsole, retro runner details, and a sly textile upper.