Gear

Show Stoppers from Outdoor Retailer 2018

Check out all of the latest and greatest gear from Denver's first Outdoor Retailer Snow Show Event.


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Fischer Ranger Free Boot

Fischer is jumping in to the freeride touring game with a lightweight charger that goes uphill and downhill with ease. The 99mm lasted boot has a unique walk/ski mode switch incorporated into the top buckle of the Grilamid shell. Look out for a more in-depth preview of this boot soon.

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Bern Heist MIPS 2

The updated Heist is now unisex, and available in fresh new colors. The safety has also been upgraded including the new MIPS 2 system, which will be exclusive to Bern for one year.

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BCA Float 2.0 32L Pack

The crowd favorite gets a welcome refresh, including smaller, refillable air cartridges, new pocket layout, and stronger belt system. The air bag also has instructions to re-fold printed on, making sure that you are packing the bag correctly. 

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DPS Phantom

The premise of “never waxing your skis again” sounds like a gimmick, but after a dozen days on skis with Phantom, we can attest the stuff still works. It’s especially perfect for backcountry skiers, who know that freshly waxed skis can be a great way to ruin skins. Read our testing notes.

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Atomic Vantage Series

Possibly the new king of the all mountain wide and narrow categories. The Vantage Ti series has the confidence to charge in all conditions and is stable at any speed, while the Vantage C series is lively, poppy, and stable in variable conditions. Not to mention, the translucent window in the middle of each ski will turn heads in the lift line all day long.

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Julep the Puppy

At times during Outdoor Retailer 2018, the Colorado Convention Center became a dog park. Of all the great dogs, this soft-coated Wheaten Terrier was a literal Show Stopper, causing numerous human and dog traffic jams at the Fjällräven booth on Saturday.

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Osprey Rolling Transorter

Featuring the robust build quality of the Trasnporter Duffel, the rolling bag includes a High Road Chassis and oversized wheels to make pulling your bag through variable terrain a breeze. Available in 40L, 90L, and 120L.

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G3 Skins

G3 Debuts a new line of nylon skins, including those specific to gliding, breaking trail, grip, powder, and all-around conditions. 

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Dakine Diablo 3L GORE-TEX® Mitt

A 3-in-1 mitten with a modular system for ensuring easy of use both at the resort and in the backcountry, the Diablo is so effective because it offers a taped, three-layer Gore-Tex exterior with a PrimaLoft Vista fleece-lined removable down-filled mitt for maximum warmth and breathabiity. 

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Dalbello puts GripWalk on Kids, Junior, and Rental Boots

GripWalk is the future of ski boots, and Dalbello took serious initiative to put it on the majority of their kids, junior, and rental boot line ups. Sorry, @jerryoftheday, but you’re not going to get many videos of kids and tourist falling on their rear-ends in icy parking lots in the near future.

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Kastle MX99

The MX99 is a new addition to the MX line, featuring a wider profile, layers of carbon, and tip rocker. Mixing all of these ingredients together make for one of the smoothest-turning, versitile skis Kastle has ever made, and one that doesn’t have a speed limit in any condition.

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Pontiac Firebird

Just like turning, the Firebird is back, baby. Other brands take note: put the pedal to the metal and get a classic sports car to match your skis at every tradeshow.

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Blizzard Firebird WRC

Marcus Caston’s “Return of the Turn” series wants to make turning fun again, and his ski sponsor Blizzard wants you to get in on the fun too. Using two different types of carbon technology to add liveliness. these fairly burly skis are fun-rockets for advanced and expert skiers who want to shred groomers. Just make sure your partners can keep up.

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Parker The Snow Dog

The Instagram sensation has been a big hit for Loveland Ski Are, the Denver Broncos, and even SKI Magazine. We were a bit star-struck when we finally got to meet Parker in real-life.

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Mammut SpinDrift 14 Pack

Taking some inspiration fro the SkiMo community, Mammut has designed the SpinDrift packs with speed and accessibility in mind. Large hip and shoulder pockets grant access to gear without removing the pack, and a built in wind breaker jacket can keep you toasty without removing your pack for quick transitions. 

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SCARPA F1 20th Anniversary Boot

In celebration of the classic F1 boot turning twenty, SCARPA made 2018 pairs of retro-styled Grilamid boots with a Boa closure system. The company also installed RECCO reflectors for added safety. This is a beautiful boot for fans of the Italian company.

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FlyLow Women’s Ronan Jacket

Flylow partners with Polartec to roll out these insulator pieces featuring the latter’s newest warmth technology, Power-Fill. What makes Power-Fill different from its competitors is a proprietary hollow-fiber construction that is softer and more durable. It retains warmth by forming tiny air pockets that trap body heat. What’s more, a special process works to bond the hollow fibers to each other, so there’s no need for other stabilizers, which leads to a longer-lasting and better-fitting product. Power-Fill is made from 80 percent recycled content, to boot. Ronan, $255; Hawke, $250

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Leki Progressive Tune S Boa

Leki took their popular Trigger S System and made it even better by incorporating a Boa system into the glove. This is the first time Boa has ever been put into a glove, which already earned it a Gold award at the ISPO tradeshow (Europe’s version of OR), and it definitely works much better than regular pole straps.

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Rocky Mountain Underground Project North Shore

It’s rare for indie ski brands to earn a SKI Mag Show Stopper, but Rocky Mountain Underground (RMU) figured out a way to seriously increase the surface area of a ski without making it wider. Instead of making skis convex, like DPS’s Spoon and Atomic’s HRZN-Tech, they made the shovel concave, which increase lift and float without being obnoxiously wide. They are still developing this technology, but because a bunch of ski engineers were checking it out at the RMU booth, look out for copy-cats in future seasons.

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Obermeyer Men’s Down Snowshirt

Sometimes you need a little dose of the ’70s—but just a little. Obermeyer hits the right note with this new lifestyle release for Fall ’18. It’s a shirt—and a jacket—filled with 550-fill goose down, complete with retro chest snap pocket and wide baffles. It’s part of the brand’s Heritage Collection featuring jackets, pants, and midlayers that pay homage to different periods throughout Obermeyer’s 70-year history. 

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Pret Refuge X

The Refuge X is the perfect all-mountain helmet. Lightweight with thoughtfully placed reinforcement where you need it most, including overlapping Polycarbonate shells where the upper and lower seams meet. The Refuge X also comes fully loaded with fully adjustable venting, MIPS® technology, and audio ready, detachable Covert Ear Covers.

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Helly Hansen Lifa Loft Hood Insulator Jacket

Four years in the making, Lifa Loft is a new insulation technology from Helly Hansen that the brand is incorporating into 10 different styles for next season. Developed in conjunction with PrimaLoft, Lifa Loft is constructed from 75 percent of Helly’s proprietary Lifa fibers and 25 percent standard PrimaLoft, making it 20 percent lighter than polyester and also providing more warmth with less bulk. Options include hooded and non-hooded Insulator Jackets, a Hybrid Insulator Jacket with side stretch panels, and two vest styles.

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686 Hydrostash

686 has finally figured out a way to keep you hydrated on the mountain without having to stop at the lodge. The built-in H20 blatter fits as a powder skirt, distributing weight evenly around the hips. Perfect for resort skiers who need hydration, which is usually all of us.

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Dynafit Hoji Boot

“Pants down always” might sounds a little suggestive, but it’s actually the cuff of the pants that the phrase is referring to. One easy-to-manage switch flips this boot into ski or walk mode, meaning transitions are quicker than ever. Add in a sexy design and a stiff boot that mimics the construction of a plug alpine boot when in ski mode, and this thing is a winner for backcountry chargers.

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Outdoor Research Hemisphere Jacket and Bib

Gore does it again, this time introducing hybrid-mapped panels that offer nearly four times the stretch of other like-minded technologies. Outdoor Research is the first to bring into the North American outdoor market with the Hemisphere Jacket and Bib, which comes in both a men’s and women’s fit. Expect dramamtically better range of motion and moveability, ideal for your higher-output winter activities in wet climes. In addition to the stretch tech, the Hemisphere also employs Gore C-Knit elsewhere in the jacket. $599 jacket/$599 bib

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Volkl Mantra M5 and Secret

The all-new design in the Mantra M5 is the real deal. I never knew a ski with metal could feel so lively until I skied the M5. It’s still a damp, hard-charger, but the reduction of metal in the upper layer of Titanal and adding carbon to the tip makes it more fun to ski on than ever before.

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SCOTT Vertic 3-in-1 Jacket and Pants

Versatility is key on the slopes, and Scott’s new system offering is on point. The zip-out inner jacket is filled with PrimaLoft Silver Active synthetic insulation and sports Scott’s proprietary DRYOsphere membrane for water resistance and breathability. The innovative 3-in-1 pants have a detachable three-quarter length down liner pant packed with 80g PrimaLoft Silver Active and are designed to hit just above the boot. Jacket $450, pants $350

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Look Pivot 18 Forza Bindings
If something ain’t broke, you don’t need to fix it, but you can make it look awesome. That’s exactly what Look did with their Pivot series by adding a Forza fade colorway, reminiscent of the days of Alberto Tomba. We never knew a binding could look so good!

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Line Chronic
The new Chronic is an superb all-mountain ski that is disguised as a hard-charging park ski. Skiers can have fun on the Chronic anywhere on the mountain, even if they never think about going into the park. It’s sturdy enough for aggressive turns on groomers and charging down advanced terrain, playful and responsive enough for full days in the park. The subtle graphics and unique top sheet are eye-catching as well.

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Head Nexo Kore Boot Series – Shell

Head’s Best in Test Kore ski series uses an incredibly light material called Graphene that reduces chatter, which they have now used in a series of boots. The 100mm-lasted, shock-absorbing alpine line is amongst the lightest alpine boots at Outdoor Retailer, and there is also an alpine touring version, complete with walk-mode and tech-toe inserts.

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Head Nexo Kore Boot Series – Liner

One of the most troublesome spots in ski boots is when a heel cup is too spacious, which is especially common with women. For the Kore Nexo boot, it’s super easy to inject a paraffin wax into two bladders on either side of the ankle, which shapes to the foot and keeps everything where it should be.

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Salomon S/LAB SHIFT MNC

The funny-looking toe piece is the future of freeride ski touring, and the binding is clutch for anyone looking for a true one-ski quiver for the chairlift and the skin track. It tours uphill as well as it skis icy moguls, and the Internationally Recognized safety certifications give peace of mind in all conditions. Read our initial preview of the Shift.

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K2 ToughLuv Ski

The K2 Alliance has done it again, this time adding technology they call “correct flex.” For most skis, the shorter the length, the harder it is to get the correct flex pattern, which puts shorter women at a disadvantage. K2 engineered each ski length for each Luv model to flex properly, meaning women of all heights can have more fun, just like McKenna Peterson does on the ToughLuv.

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Black Crows Corvus (and Julien Regnier’s suspenders)

Based on the success of the narrower, fully rockerd Daemon, Black Crows redesigned their all-mountain wide option to include Titanal underfoot foot that extends out but tapers off towards the tip and tail. This allows the ski to charge when you want, but remains as playful as suspenders on a French man when the snow gets softer.

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Marker Alpinist Binding

Marker’s alpine touring line up has gotten skinnier with age. Ten years ago, the Duke busted on to the scene as a 16-DIN frame binding that was really heavy but skied great. The Kingpin followed, featuring a tech-toe but alpine-style heel. For 2018/2019, the Marker Alpinist will serve as the super lightweight low-tech binding, and the first time Marker has created a pin-heel piece. We’re excited to step in to a pair soon.

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Salomon S/Max Boot

The materials used in the construction of this boot are next-level, allowing for some of the best power transmission from foot to ski we’ve ever experienced. In a big year for boots, this is a no-nonsense high performer that will match well with any of the high performance carvers being released next season.

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ZEAL Hatchet

Expanding on the popular Portal google from this season, Zeal is introducing a cylindrical quick-change frame for 18-19. Digital Optical Tapering makes the cylindrical lens more optically accurate by gradually thinning the lens on the sides to mimic the natural curve of your eye. 

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G3 Seekr Skis and Zed Binding

G3 re-designed the heel piece of their popular Ion binding to reduce weight and make the bindings more durable over time to make the Zed binding a top-notch tech binding. They also redesigned the Seekr line to make a perfect one-ski quiver that’s playful and fun to ski on, both in the backcountry and everywhere else.

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Patagonia Departer Shell

The latest offering in the brand’s collection of outerwear made with 100 percent recycled face fabric, the Departer Shell, a recycled two-layer Gore-Tex piece, takes its inspiration from a classic Patagonia storm coat and sports all of the ski-specific features we like in a shell.

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Tecnica Mach1 130 HV

The HV (high-volume) is the newest addition to Tecnica’s iconic Mach1 line, and what really makes this boot stand out is an asymmetrical design with higher-density materials in both the shell and the liner to make energy transfer even more efficient to your inside edge when turning.

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Army Leather Couloir Glove

Hestra’s Army Leather Patrol gloves became a fast favorite thanks to a supple front fabric that’s windproof, waterproof, and breathable. So, it’s no suprise they’re extending the line with three more versions next season. The Army Leather Couloir is our favorite, by far. With Ergo Grip® technology and pre-curved fingers, you can expect that perfect fit Hestra is known for. This glove is the perfect partner for adventures both in bounds and out.

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Adidas Parley Shell

This jacket has a story behind it. Since 2015 Adidas has been partnering with environmental group Parley for the Oceans to remove plastic waste from the planet’s oceans and seas. Adidas has been turning that waste into materials for its athletic sneakers, swimsuits, and yoga apparel. Next season the brand will release its first shell jacket under the Parley line, made with plastic literally fished out of the sea and spun into a wind-resistant and waterproof face fabric. Built-in chairlift conversation fodder? We think so.

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K2 Recon Boots.

A lightweight alpine boot from K2 that performs well? It’s here. Taking the best elements of the Spyne and BFC series and putting them into a lightweight, easily heat-customizable shell makes this boot a winner for nearly every resort skier imaginable.

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SPY Ace EC with ONE Technology

Spy’s popular Ace goggle just got a whole lot better. Meet the new Ace EC, featuring Electrochromic One Lens™ Technology that, with the press of a button, instantly changes the lens’s tint to one of three settings. The persimmon-based lens color provides definition in flat light while still getting dark enough for bluebird days.

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Full Tilt Ascendant Boot

Finally, Full Tilt made a touring boot that gets skiers uphill comfortably but gets them down with that amazingly stable Full Tilt flex. Definitely a one-boot quiver for cabrio boot lovers who get on chairlifts and skin tracks.

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Rossignol Experience Line

Rossignol wanted to mimic the ski performance of their World Cup race skis without a massive piston, so they put a vertical layer of Titanal in the middle of the ski, sandwiched between elastomer to allow the ski to flex smoothly. Initial tests proved that these skis can lay down railroad tracks when carving, and end a turn as locked-in as possible.

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Nordica ProMachine

A few boot companies are now making narrow, medium, and wide lasted boots that come in nearly every flex rating possible. Nordica’s ProMachine boot fits narrower than their popular Speedmachine and Sportmachine line with a 98mm last, plus a custom cork liner that delivers nearly lossless energy transmission from boot to ski, all in a lightweight package.

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Elan Black Edition Ripstick

Elan has taken their approachable Amphibio and Ripstick lines and added a layer of carbon, or as they said, “another gear.” They’re right: The dampening carbon reduces chatter and stabilizes the ski at high speeds, meaning you can confidently go faster than the Yellow Jackets want you to.

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Marmot Castle Peak/Cirel Jackets

The dynamic duo of Polartec Neoshell and Polartec Alpha come together in the Cirel Jacket (and the men’s version, the Castle Peak) to bring to market a super-versatile jacket that effectively breathes and sheds warmth on the uphill while insulating on the downhill. $550

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Dynastar Proto

Dynastar is working closely with European freeride skier Richard Permin to bring back a big-mountain charger, like the Legend XXL from years ago, but better. They got it dialed, this ski charges like a warhorse but is still playful enough to enjoy in less-than-deep conditions.

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ZEAL Portal with Automatic Lens

Works well on glare, and features the easiest lens swapping available. Additional Optimum Sky Blue Mirror lens available for $269 total. 

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Ortovox Zebru

The newest member of Ortovox’s Naked Sheep collection, the Zebru is designed to be a more versatile-than-ever insulation piece using coarse yet effective Swisswool thanks to a new processing technique that renders the wool stretchier and lighter. This new iteration fills the Zebru, making it a lightweight, fast, and breathable option for ski touring and other active pursuits. $280

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Nordica Spitfire Series

2018/2019 is shaping up to be the season of the carve. Nordica’s Spitfire line is a contender for anyone who seriously likes to go fast on groomed snow. Offering a few different sidecut options for GS-style turns, slalom-style turns, and an option in between. SKI Magazine will be doing a round-up of race inspired carvers next season in print, so keep your eyes pealed for that.

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Atomic Bent Chetler 100

The Bent Chetler turns 10 years old, and now has a more approachable, more versatile 100mm version (the silver ski to the right) to accompany the wildely popular 120mm-waisted powder ski (the white ski on the left). The Bent Chetler 100 features a poplar core that is springy and playful when it wants to be, but can still charge hard as needed. Clocking in at an incredible $499, this ski will likely be a big seller across the country next year.

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FlyLow Cooper Jacket

Steeped with new technologies, including FlyLow’s new “Perm” waterproof/breathable fabric, this jacket is the best option for both backcountry and frontside adventures. 

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Fjällräven Keb Touring Kit