Ski packs, front packs, hydration packs, avalanche airbag packs, external packs, vintage-inspired packs, rucksacks, daypacks, and expedition packs. Where else could you see every variation of the backpack form but Outdoor Retailer?
The semi-annual trade show happens this week in Salt Lake City and promises oodles of new, improved, and innovative backcountry gear: the most breathable-waterproof fabrics from some of the biggest names; the warmest insulation and baselayers; the greenest, lightest, strongest, coolest shelters, stoves, lights, and more.
In addition to covering the standout gear at the winter show, we'll also check out some unexpected finds.
Like the Ninja Suit, at right. Next time you ski or ride, be a ninja (they're deadly and silent) in a one-piece hooded merino or classic wicking baselayer. No worries: it's got "bathroom access."
How about a 9-ounce carbon trekking pole guaranteed against breakage? Use it as a hiking staff, shelter pole, camera monopod, or... (wait for it) trail defense tool. One model comes with a self-defense needle knife, which also sticks in the ground for stabilizing your monopod.
And if you get cold sleeping on snow, despite doubling up the sleeping pads, consider a heated pad that warms you by circulating hot water from a butane heater. It was conceived by a climber on Annapurna.
Want to be the among first to read about these and other new gear? Subscribe to our blog and news RSS feeds for real-time updates of our daily show coverage, and follow our tweets from the show floor on Twitter.