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OutDoor Gold Awards for Gear Design Innovation

July 18, 2011

Eleven outdoor products — including an Edelrid kids climbing harness, custom Hanwag hiking shoes, a Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad, a Valandre down jacket, and a Mountain Hardwear shell — were honored recently at the OutDoor Show with Gold Awards for outstanding innovation and design achievement.

A jury of seven experts met for two days to examine the 301 product entries from 23 countries at the annual outdoor trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. In addition to the evaluation criterion of design quality, the judges also took into account such other aspects as degree of innovation, work­manship, choice of materials, environmental compatibility, sustainability, functionality, utility, safety, trendsetting character, and brand value/branding.

Also at the OutDoor Show, Paul Petzl was named Celebrity of the Year. Petzl is the president of the Petzl corporation, which makes climbing and caving gear, as well as lighting. The company was the first to introduce the first entirely on the head headlamp

2011 Gold Award Winners

Camping Equipment

Ergo Hammock Combi by Exped

Exped Ergo Hammock Combi

Manufacturer's Description:
This backpacking hammock is probably the first one you can really sleep in. Everything is included: the hammock, rain protection, a mosquito net and a cleverly devised suspension system. It makes sleeping in a hammock a viable alternative to sleeping in a tent. The hammock’s pocket in the double bottom, with zipper access from both sides, provides for additional warmth and storage space. The mosquito net can be zipped on and off all the way round. Strong Dyneema rope suspension with anti-snarl tubes and a generously sized rain or shade roof for versatile mounting round out the product.

Jury’s Opinion:
“A hammock that includes some very interesting features: it’s lightweight, offers good insulation because you can insert an extra pad, the mosquito net can be zipped up all the way round and, thanks to the large rain roof, you don’t have to worry about getting wet. All in all, it’s a great product innovation.”

Therm-a-Rest Neo Air XTherm Mattress

Therm-a-Rest's Neo Air XTherm has a 5.7 R-value.

Manufacturer's Description:
A mattress, which, thanks to its patented, multi-layer reflective barrier, offers good insulation for any time of year — at a weight of only 430 g (15 ounces) and an R-value of 5.7. The user’s body warmth is reflected back to reduce convection heat loss to a minimum.

The patented triangular core matrix forms internal air chambers that store warm air and create a stable, comfortable underlay. The use of state-of-the-art fabrics and the cone-shaped design provide highest compression, minimum packing dimensions and lightest weight.

Jury’s Opinion:
“This Therm-a-Rest is ultra-effective — not only can it be used year-round, it is also extremely lightweight and beautifully designed at the same time. A product development that is moving in new directions. Absolutely perfect!”

Mountain-Climbing Equipment

Fraggle kids harness by Edelrid

Fraggle by Edelrid

Manufacturer's Description:
Fraggle is a padded complete climbing harness for children weighing up to 40 kg (88 lbs). Thanks to its padding, the harness retains its shape and is easy to put on or take off. Besides being a full-fledged climbing harness, the additional ring on the back also makes the Fraggle an ideal safety harness for steep passes and rough terrain.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The Fraggle makes it much easier to secure children while climbing or on a fixed-rope route and provides for added safety. And besides all that, it looks really good, too!”

Primus OmniLite Ti

Manufacturer's Description:
An extremely lightweight (239 g), very hardwearing, reliable and versatile expedition stove. Thanks to its small jets, it uses a minimum of fuel — and it burns virtually anything: gas, gasoline, petroleum, kerosene and even diesel. As a new feature, the top of the burner can be completely screwed off to allow for easier cleaning or a quick change of the jets.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The world’s smallest multi-fuel stove: it can burn gas as well as all kinds of liquid fuels from gasoline to diesel. What an ingenious invention!”

Valandre Immelman Jacket

Immelman Jacket by Valandre

Manufacturer's Description:
A newly developed chamber system prevents the down from sliding around in this jacket. It was specially designed for use in the high mountains at low temperatures to allow for an extremely wide range of movement.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The right jacket for cold weather in the high mountains. It has been perfectly crafted; there are as few seams as possible and it provides a great fit. A fantastic product for the coldest regions in the world!”


Real Custom Made by Hanwag

Manufacturer's Description:
The first custom-made mountain and trekking shoe: Specially equipped retailers use a 3D laser scanner to measure the customer’s feet. This data then serves as a basis on which to make the lasts and then the custom-made shoes are manufactured in Vierkirchen. People with different-sized or –shaped feet can now get made-to-order trekking shoes with a perfect fit for the first time.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The first customized trekking shoe! The perfect solution for people with feet of different sizes. And it’s incredibly lightweight, too. This shoe has most definitely earned a GOLD award!”

Mithril Kevlar Jacket by Klättermusen

Manufacturer's Description:
A very durable, robust softshell jacket made of “fluorocarbon-free” Kevlar-reinforced material and certified by sustainable standard for the first time. The ideal choice for all demanding activities indoors and out. It is windproof and water-repellent, suitable for climbing as well as for trekking and water sports.

Jury’s Opinion:
“Kevlar has been used in this softshell jacket for the first time, making it last a lifetime! A great contribution to the topic of sustainability!”

Material Innovations

Mountain Hardwear Spinoza Jacket with Dry.Q membrane

Spinoza Jacket by Mountain Hardwear

Manufacturer's Description:
The Spinoza Jacket is lightweight, waterproof and exhibits excellent breathability — it is the perfect companion for rock and mountain climbing in different types of weather. What really makes the Spinoza jacket special is its revolutionary Dry.Q membrane technology for optimum air passage through the fabric shell. The unique “false twist” weaving technique enlarges the fabric surface and supports its ability to transport moisture. In combination with many other breathable features, the Spinoza enables the wearer to take sporting activities to the maximum without allowing moisture to collect on the inside of the jacket.

Jury’s Opinion:
“All the best ideas have been included in one jacket: the innovative material, perfect workmanship, optimum climate comfort. The revolutionary membrane technology combined with the ultimate in waterproof protection make this jacket a GOLD award winner.”

Products of High Ecological and Sustainable Value

Titan 450 sleeping bag by Mountain Equipment

Mountain Equipment Titan 450 sleeping bag

Manufacturer's Description:
Titan 450 is a down-filled sleeping bag for backpack tourists and mountain climbers who want to travel light. It has been manufactured according to the guidelines of the new “Down Codex Projects”.

This codex was developed together with the “International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory” (IDFL) to test down producers and suppliers. It regulates plucking, for example, whereby live plucking is strictly prohibited. Or stipulates that down can only be a by-product of food production after the animals have been killed humanely. This makes Mountain Equipment the only manufacturer who can guarantee the ethically correct origin of its down all along the supply chain.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The first down sleeping bag to be produced according to the clear-cut guidelines of the “Down Codex Project”, placing a strong focus on such aspects as environmental protection, animal protection and ethical responsibility. An outstanding product!”

Vaude Challenge pack

Challenger pack by Vaude

Manufacturer's Description:
The Challenger is a professionally equipped alpine backpack made of sustainable certified materials. The crampon holder is positioned so that it is easily accessible; an ice-tool attachment system is also integrated.

Jury’s Opinion:
“The Challenger gets a GOLD award because it is made of sustainable certified materials. In addition, it satisfies all the criteria that a good standard rucksack should satisfy.”

Vingetorix Jacket

Manufacturer's Description:
Vingetorix is a city jacket that includes functional outdoor properties (good breathability, water-repellent and wind-proof). It combines clean design with top quality and sustainability. Vingetorix is produced under the best-possible ecological aspects: it is made exclusively of organic cotton.

In addition, the entire manufacturing process, from spinning the thread, weaving, dyeing and finishing the fabric (EtaProof) and right on up to producing the jacket, takes place in Switzerland. The Vingetorix manufacturing process reduces CO2 emissions to a minimum.

Jury’s Opinion:
“Mountain-climbing apparel is becoming increasingly popular among city people as well; it’s quickly turning into a fashion trend. This jacket combines the best of both worlds: on the one hand, it looks good in the city because it’s trendy, while on the other hand, it also sports all the important properties of a real outdoor jacket.”