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Fuel Cells, Titanium Frames, and Waterproof Sleeping Bags

Day three of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was a parade of technological innovations. First, a fuel cell from PowerTrekk turned water into electricity. Next, Vargo Outdoors revived the external frame pack with a healthy dose of titanium! Last, Montane capped off the day with a totally waterproof sleeping bag packed with interesting features.

myFC PowerTrekk fuel cell
myFC PowerTrekk fuel cell


The myFC PowerTrekk is a fuel cell designed for backcountry use. Fill the tank with water, pressurize it and snap in one of the "pucks."

These disposable pucks are packed with a chemical that liberates the hydrogen from your water. The hydrogen seeps into a fuel cell that converts it into a clean 5 watts of 5 Volt DC power. Zap!

The system also has an internal battery that can be recharged externally, or from the fuel cell.

myFC PowerTrekk

Weight: 8.5 oz

Output: 5 Watts @5 Volts DC

Price: $229.99

Available: Shortly

Graeme Esarey demonstrated the myFC PowerTrekk fuel cell for us at Outdoor Retailer:

Vargo Outdoors

Vargo Ti-Arc
Vargo Ti-Arc external frame

Vargo Outdoors is revitalizing the external frame backpack category with the Ti-Arc, boasting innovative design features, including a pack frame constructed from titanium. 

Vargo claims its titanium frame provides great support and adds very little weight. After trying on the Ti-Arc (albeit unloaded), I'd have to agree. At two pounds, the prototype model is lighter than many of my daypacks.

For those who'd like to push even further into the realm of exotic materials, Vargo will offer a model with a cuben-fiber packbag!

Vargo Ti-Arc

Weight: Approximately 2 lb

Capacity: 36 L

Price: $300

Available: Shortly

Chad North demonstrated the Vargo Ti-Arc titanium external-frame backpack:


Montane Minimus sleeping bag with roundels!
Montane Minimus Stuff Sack
Montane Minimus stuff sack/pillow

Montane's summer offering is the Minimus, a ridiculously tricked out sleeping bag packed with 800+ fill goose down, sheathed in waterproof-breathable PERTEX Shield fabric. Even the zipper boasts water-repellent features!

The bottom of the Minimus is studded with silicone "roundels" (American translation: sticky dots) that prevent the bag from sliding on slick shelter floors. The stuff sack is a waterproof, roll-top dry bag that puffs up with air to double as a comfy pillow.

Montane Minimus

Weight: 30.6 oz

Temp Rating: EN Comfort 37-28°F

Price: $499

Available: Spring 2014


Stay tuned for more innovations as Outdoor Retailer continues Saturday. And don't forget to follow Trailspace on Facebook and Twitter for additional pictures and live reports from the show floor.


I was personally very excited about the titanium external frame pack.  I'm going to attempt to talk my friend Ed into one!

Plug Power fuel cells can be used to power the refrigeration units in trucks hauling,fruits and vegetable and other goods that must be kept chilled or frozen during transport from distribution centers to retailers.

I wish new gear was cheaper.  300 bucks for a new pack is definitely out of my price range.  Hopefully they'll be on steepandcheap in 2 years.

I'm with external pack under 2 pounds sounds wonderful! I've been eyeing some of the day-packs with the new tension-fabric the allure of a dry back and a comfortable carry is too much to resist...but so far I think this has come at too high a cost it terms of capacity and ease of packing and unpacking (the internal spaces of those packs just seem problematic).

Vargo might really be on to something here! I really love the arc bag design...a clever way to maintain ease of packing and unpacking while eliminating one of the long dis-liked aspects of old Kelty-type externals....the bulky corners! Hope to read some reviews on this soon.

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