10 Highlights from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market
Last month, we were back in Denver for the annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Besides the fantastic scenery from our road trip thru Utah’s canyon country and Colorado’s central Rockies, we got to preview some upcoming gear from some of our favorite outdoor brands. Here’s some of our top picks from this year’s show, including an update to one of our favorite tents, new PCT maps, an awesome new compact stove, and some tasty trail treats.
1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HVUL2 Tent
The Copper Spur was the first ultralight tent we ever bought, and through numerous upgrades it has remained a favorite ever since. Next year, the Copper Spur is getting another upgrade in the form of a convertible fly/vestibule that becomes a patio awning for an extra open-door option. It will also feature an integrated gear loft for extra internal storage, and a few more improvements. Coming in 2020.
2. Hyperlite Junction Backpack
If you’ve been thinking about converting from conventional to ultralight gear, but haven’t been able to pull the trigger on a minimalist approach, here’s your first step. The new Junction Backpack is a hybrid pack that combines an ultralight, Dyneema structure with common features such as a padded hip belt, side bottle pockets, and a mesh outer pocket. Available now in 2400 (40L) and 3400 (55L) sizes.
3. NatGeo Oregon PCT Maps
These brand-new booklets provide the most complete and up-to-date PCT data gathered by the Halfmile mapping team, and were proofed and verified by PCT: Oregon. All 455 miles in Oregon are presented in two books: South: Willamette Pass to Siskiyou Summit, and North: Cascade Locks to Willamette Pass. Includes point-to-point mileages, elevation profiles, camp locations, and more. Available now!
4. Primus Firestick Stove
This may be the hottest (pun intended) compact stove we’ve ever seen—and by the number of Best in Show awards the Firestick ran away with this summer, that sentiment was shared by many more. In use, its designed to operate in windy conditions; stowed away, it folds into a compact cylinder that can be stashed anywhere. It will be available in both stainless steel and titanium options. Coming in 2020.
5. Outdoor Research Trail Apparel
A leader in technical outdoor wear, OR has a number of new items coming in 2020. One of our faves were these super-soft fleece Trail Mix sweaters. They’ll be available in pullover and zip-front styles in cool color patterns. Also coming next year will be an update to their Helium ultralight rain gear, the Helium III, as well as an assortment of trail baselayers, shells, and pants.
6. Bitchstix Balms
Are you ready to quit your bitching on trail? Bitchstix are formulated to relieve most of the situations you’re most likely to encounter and complain about on trail. Muscle Rub relieves soreness in knees, feet and shoulders; Anti-Chafe helps prevent excess rubbing and scraping; Moisturizer helps prevent dry skin and relieve sunburns; and SPF Balms prevent sunburns. Available now in 0.5-ounce stix.
7. MSR Thru-Link Filter
This lightweight, compact water filter utilizes a 2-stage filtration system to remove bacteria, protozoa, chemicals, and foul odors and tastes, and easily connects to most universal hydration system hoses. No need to stop and pump to refill your bladder. With the Thru-Link attached, just scoop up water and drink away. It can also be used as a gravity filter. Available in early 2020.
8. SAXX Vibe Shorts
You may have heard us rave about how much we love our SAXX shorts on the trail—so comfy and supportive! In addition to some new performance shorts coming soon, SAXX is also releasing an updated line of lifestyle shorts. Offering the same comfort and support, these new shorts will come in a variety of fun colors and patterns—including our favorite, Taco Tuesday!
9. Trail Truffles!
We’re always on the lookout for new and tasty trail foods and treats. This year, we assembled a lengthy grocery list of all the new grinds we’re going to put to our taste testers. One of our faves this time was Trail Truffles. They’re coated with a non-melting, dark chocolate shell, and packed with natural, energy-rich proteins, carbs and fats. Plus, they’re GMO-, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free. Available now!
10. 2019 Grounds Keepers
Since 2017, Granite Gear Grounds Keepers have removed more than 6,600 pounds of trash from hiking trails across the U.S. and beyond. We were proud to be a member of the 2018 team, and are happy to see the effort continuing with a brand-new team for 2019. But you don’t have to be a team member to help keep trails clean. On your next hike, you can pitch in by picking up any trail trash you find, and help contribute to even more clean trails everywhere.
When you click and shop thru our partner brands, you support the operating expenses of PCT: Oregon. Thank you for your patronage!