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European OutDoor Trade Fair Bestows Industry Awards

July 31, 2006 first published July 23, 2006

The awards ceremony for the first-ever OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD took place within the framework of the OutDoor 2006 trade fair at Friedrichshafen, Germany. From the pool of prizewinners, the jury additionally bestowed one Gold Award and six Silver Awards.

Some 153 entries from 21 different nations were submitted for the first OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD competition, sponsored by Messe Friedrichshafen in conjunction with the OutDoor 2006 trade fair (July 23–26). Conceived and organized by iF International Forum Design, this competition is dedicated to promoting outstanding design in the outdoor sector. An international jury of experts bestowed a total of 34 awards, including one Gold and six Silver Awards, for outstanding design achievements. This prizewinning products are available for viewing during the tradeshow at an exhibition located on the ground floor level of the Foyer West building through July 26.

The jury for the first OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD consisted of Andreas Bartmann/Globetrotter Ausrüstung, Christoph Böninger/brains4design, Mark Held/EOG European Outdoor Group, Ines Papert/world-class athlete in rock and ice climbing, Chris Townsend/tgo Newsquest Magazines and Frank Wacker/outdoor-Magazin. Their job — to sift through the outstanding products among the total group of 153 submitted — was not easy, according to Andreas Bartmann, for a jury he defined as consisting of “the active routinist, the professional tester, the marketing person [and] the athlete”. The competition categories consisted of Apparel, Shoes, Backpacks/Travel Luggage, Mountaineering Equipment, Camping Equipment, Sleeping Bags, Water Sports and Accessories, while the evaluation criteria comprised the degree of innovativeness, design quality, workmanship, choice of materials, environmental compatibility, functionality, utility, safety, trendsetting character and brand value/branding.

Jury responses to the competition

Chris Townsend: “This competition was a great idea! I am delighted at the general quality of the products submitted and the jury’s meticulousness in judging them. There are a multitude of new ideas afloat in the industry, which is a positive sign. Often what your are looking for in the combination of function and design is a simple product, and we had some outstanding examples of those.”

Ines Papert: “My general impression is that an incredible amount of attention has been paid to small details, especially the issue of weight. This effort will pay off nicely for hikers, climbers and mountaineers. What I would have preferred to have seen more of in this competition involves special products for women, since their proportions and requirements are simply much different than for men. And such products already exist; they just need to be submitted.”

The winners

From the pool of 34 prizewinning products, the jury selected seven for particularly outstanding design quality, i.e. one Gold Award and six Silver Awards. These were presented to the winning designers and manufacturers at an awards ceremony held on July 23 at the OutDoor trade fair in the Foyer West building.

Gold Award

OZ Pullover
Manufacturer: Haglöfs Scandinavia AB / Sweden

This Gore-Tex Paclite pullover, whose innovative cut reduces the number of seams to a minimum, was the recipient of a Gold Award. The jury’s motivation: “The ultimate lightweight rain protection — of truly minimal weight. No other waterproof, breathable jacket is lighter or easier to pack.”

Silver Awards

SynMat 7 sleeping pad
Manufacturer: Exped AG / Switzerland

This sleeping pad exhibits excellent heat insulation properties, allowing for a relaxing, refreshing night’s sleep. The product is very comfortable and can be easily inflated with a bellows foot pump. The ratio of thermal performance to (low) weight is excellent.” The accompanying pack bag for the sleeping pad moreover doubles as an inflating pump.

LIV down sweater
Manufacturer: klättermusen Ab / Sweden

“This is heat protection reduced to an absolute minimum; the ratio of weight to thermal performance here is likewise outstanding. In addition, the sweater is well-cut and takes up extremely little space when packed.” That was what the experts had to say about this insulated sweater, weighing only 290 grams.

Corsa Nanotech ice pick
Manufacturer: C.A.M.P. spa / Italy

“This product has been thought out down to the last detail, and as a result has been reduced to an absolute minimum — there is nothing more that could have been left out. An especially innovative and practical feature involves the tip of the spike, which is made out of metal rather than aluminum. The ice pick as a whole is extremely lightweight, which constitutes a major advantage.”

Tough Skin sleeping pad
Manufacturer: Cascade Designs / Ireland

“This represents the subtle modification of a classic industrial product, in principle comparable with a new version of the Coca Cola bottle. This has been accomplished so simply that this product has the makings of a real classic. What is special about it is that the underside is extremely rugged. The interior consist of two types of foam rubber: The lower part consists of closed cell foam, which is resistant to damage by thorns and sharp stones. The upper layer consists of a light, open cell foam which fills up with air. This is a brand new combination.”

4477 + 4478 Viking Lady backpack
Manufacturer: Bergans of Fritid AS / Norway

This trekking backpack for women elicited the following response from the jury: “One of the best heavy-duty backpacks available. It has fantastic suspension, an extremely high load transmission, an extremely secure bottom and backside and nevertheless allows for great freedom of motion.”

Laser Competition tent
Manufacturer: Terra Nova Equipment Ltd / England

“The first tent presenting fantastic design features that weighs less than a kilogram. It can be used universally in any setting. Terrific!” This was how the jury praised this lightweight tent, weighing just 860 grams (930 g when packed).

Honorable Mentions

3rd Element Jacket
Manufacturer: Paramo Directional / United Kingdom

Capilene 2 Shirt
Manufacturer: Patagonia Europe / France

X-Socks Trekking Energizer
Manufacturer: Trere Innovation Hosiery, Switzerland

X-Bionic UnderGear Energy
Manufacturer: Trere Innovation Hosiery, Switzerland

Einride Jacket
Manufacturer: Klaettermusen / Sweden

Walker Softshell Nordic Walking Shoe
Manufacturer: Salomon / Germany

Vaporate Boa
Manufacturer: Timberland / USA

Karnali Wraptor
Manufacturer: Deckers Europe / USA

TFX Backpack
Manufacturer: Lowe Alpine / United Kingdom

Photo Shuttle
Manufacturer: Ortlieb / Germany

DS Hike 20
Manufacturer: Deuter Sport / Germany

Arc'Teryx Naos 70
Manufacturer: Arc'Teryx / Canada

Modular System3
Manufacturer: Mountainsmith / USA

X-Lite Vapour 45
Manufacturer: Karrimore / United Kingdom

24020 Traverse Pack
Manufacturer: Jack Wolfskin / Germany

Klettersteigset Step Web
Manufacturer: Mammut / Switzerland

Bloqx (artificial climbing wall bouldering blocks)
Manufacturer: Rokx Adventure Traders / Netherlands

Pro Cord
Manufacturer: Mammut / Switzerland

nForce Ascender
Manufacturer: Black Diamond / USA

Jetboil Group Cooking System
Manufacturer: Jetboil / USA

Trangia Cooker UL
Manufacturer: Trangia / Sweden

GPSMap 60CSx
Manufacturer: Garmin / USA

Traveller Lite 1.7905.AVT
Manufacturer: Victorinox / Switzerland

Lucido TX1 Headlamp
Manufacturer: Invia Sportartikel / Germany

CamelBak Bottle
Manufacturer: CamelBak / USA

e+lite Headlamp
Manufacturer: Petzl / France

Katadyn Vario Microfilter
Manufacturer: Katadyn / Switzerland