Outdoor Retailer: Transitional Gear from Loki, Voile
Tom Mangan posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm
A visit to the booths of Loki and Voile-USA at Wednesday's Outdoor Retailer All Mountain Demo revealed one fascinating niche: transitional gear, which reinvents itself in real time.
Loki jackets have sewn-in face shields and mitts. Some shells and a new N Vest convert into a backpack.
Loki makes jackets whose sleeve cuffs convert into mittens. Voile makes snowboards that turn into alpine-touring skis for the uphills. The concepts may cause complicated Rube Goldbergesque visions, but the reality is far more elegant.
Below, Dirk Anderson of Loki demonstrates his company's Levity Alpinist Shell, with built-in mitts at the ends of the sleeves and a face protector sewn into the hood.
Anderson's main pitch is that the hood and mitts benefit from heat trapped in the jacket, heat lost with external hats and gloves. Anderson co-owns the company, which he started with a single shape-shifting hat. He named the brand after Loki, a mischievous shape-shifter of Norse mythology.
Levity Alpinist Shell:
Shell fabric: eVent
Sizes: S, M, L, XL (sleeves about 3.5 inches longer than a standard sleeve to accommodate mitts)
A Splitboard Primer
Dave Grissom, sales and marketing manager for Voile-USA, walked us through the workings of Voile's Mojo-RX Splitboard.
Voile is one of the pioneering splitboard brands, and its splitboard binding kits are used by many other companies.
Grissom said splitboarding is comparable to alpine-touring: a full rig weighs about 10 pounds, comparable to many AT/randonee combos (not counting the boots, of course).