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Cooking without Fire, Lightest Ski Helmet: OR Day 1

Cooking without fire, the lightest snow sport helmet, an AT boot that automatically switches from walk to ski mode, a new packraft, plus insulation and footwear. Check out some highlights from Day 1 of Outdoor Retailer.

Baro Cook without Fire

Cook without fire with Korean company Baro Cook. Place a Baro one-time-use 20g heating pad in a Baro Cook plastic container, which come in various sizes and shapes. Add 40 ml of water. Once things start steaming, nest in the stainless steel bowl and add your food inside it. Things will heat up to 98°C (around 200°F).

Of course, one wonders what is in those little heat packets. I was told they are non-chemical, non-toxic, and "from nature," containing 18 natural ingredients.


Berghaus Comes to U.S.

In 1974, Berghaus was the first company to introduce a rucksack with an internal frame, in 1977 it was the first European brand to use Gore-tex commercially, and more recently it pioneered the use of hydrophic down with its proprietary HydroDown. Now the technical outdoor, British brand is bringing its Extrem, Mountain, and Trail apparel and pack lines to the United States.

Above the Ramche Hyper Down Jacket ($299) and the Ulvetanna Hybrid Down Jacket ($329) with 850 loft both feature body mapping specific for men and women. Look for Berghaus stateside later this year.


Icebreaker Even Warmer with MerinoLoft

Icebreaker is offering its warmest layers ever, with recycled Merino. Its new MerinoLoft jackets, including the Helix Hood (men's above; women's Halo Hood not shown, $289), are made from premium merino teased apart to create a lightweight insulation that traps warmth. They include 10 percent recycled merino loft and a recycled polyester water-resistant shell.

For its 2014 Art in Nature collection, Icebreaker is teaming up with British snow artist Simon Beck (you know, the guy who makes amazing snow art just by walking in his snowshoes). The collection includes monochromatic shirt designs inspired by snowflakes, cubes, and spirals from Beck's artwork, like the grey zip-neck above.


K2: The Shaxe and The Route

Combine a Rescue Shovel Plus and an ice axe and you get the Shaxe, the brainchild of Mike Hattrup, skier and Global Director of K2’s Adventure category. The rescue shovel comes with an interchangeable ice axe head and Rescue Kit hardware for sled construction. "The goal is to create multipurpose tools so you carry less into the backcountry," said K2's Mike Powell.

Weight: 810 g

MSRP: $139.95

Available Now

K2 claims its Route helmet is the lightest snow sport helmet on the market. The Route is certified for both biking and ski, features 48 air holes with space to mount lighting, and offers an optional rain slick to cover holes.

Weight: 320 g

MSRP: $150

Available fall 2014


Scarpa: F1 Evo Boot

Scarpa's F1 Evo is the first alpine touring ski boot to automatically switch between ski and walk modes. The Tronic hands-free mechanism switches the boot from ski to walk—engaging and disengaging the modes—based on whether the heel is locked into the binding. The F1 Evo features a Boa closure on the bottom half and a quick-release buckle and strap combo on the upper half.

Weight: 2 lb 7 oz per boot

Available winter 2014 in men's and women's

MSRP: $699


Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor

Mountain Hardwear called the Super Compressor Hooded Jacket its piece de resistance. A stand-alone for cold belays and expeditions, it features 100 grams of Mountain Hardwear's proprietary Thermal.Q Elite insulation, two pack- and harness-compatible PU zip handwarmer pockets, a helmet-compatible hood, and 20D nylon ripstop fabric.

Weight: 1 lb

MSRP: $295

Available fall 2014


American Built by Keen

Keen's Duran Mid WP is an "American Built" waterproof hiker. It features dual compound rubber outsole and an integrated PU heel cushion for traction, durability, and comfort.

The Durand WP is built only five miles from Keen's headquarters in Portland, Ore. Opened in 2010, the Portland Factory is a 15,000 square foot facility that assembles shoes using a direct-inject process, which adheres the outsole of the shoe directly to the upper to increase durability. 

MSRP: $180 Mid; $160 Low

Available in men's and women's

Available fall 2014


Vasque Eriksson GTX

Vasque got some European design inspiration for its new Eriksson GTX backpacking boot (above left, next to the Sundowner). The Eriksson features a waterproof, full-grain leather upper, a Gore-tex lining, and a composite, three-part midsole.

Weight: 3 lb 3 oz (men's). 2 lb 13 oz (women's)

MSRP: $219.99

Available fall 2014


Packrafting with Klymit

Above, Matt Maxfield, R&D Manager at Klymit, attempts to hand-paddle the OR aisles in the LiteWater Dinghy (LWD). Designed for the paddling adventurer's backpacking trip to a high mountain lake, canyoneering, crossing rivers, or getting to that secret fishing hole, the packraft packs small (4.5 x 9 inches), but is ready for big adventures. An inflatable seat cushion keeps you dry and out of the water.

Weight: 35 oz / 992 g

Inflated Size: 43 x 71 in / 107 x 180 cm

Capacity: 350 lbs / 159 kg


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OOOh, ask if they need someone to review the Shaxe or the F1 Evo Boots, I know just the guy!  ;)

I'm guessing the Baro Cook without fire is using similar technology to the heaters used in military MRE's. Also similar to the "hot hands" packets. It's probably magnesium dust mixed with a few other items. Do you have to carry a fuel supply? Is there solid fuel waste after using?

If you don't know the answers, just send it to me for testing! :D

We'll keep you in mind, Jeff!

Goose, I had the same guess (though I hate to guess on these things). Baro Cook says it can go and be used anywhere, including on airplanes (though I am not personally recommending that). Just add water for the reaction.

I believe there is some solid waste after using, but do not know how much. They say it's all natural and can be thrown away, but whether you can do that in an LNT-fashion is unknown.

More info:

Handwarmers are made of salt, iron filings and that's about it, pretty natural stuff. You could scatter the powder and pack the pouch out or burn it if you like.

Right you are, Jeff. The heat is cause by creating rust (though I don't know all the science behind it.). Iron decays more slowly. So you get a lower temperature, perfect for handwarmers. Magnesium decays more rapidly, creating the higher temperature needed for an MRE.

Can someone please publicly call BS on K2s "world's lightest ski helmet" claim or at least do basic research? It's not the lightest, it's not even the second or third lightest and pretty much every lighter helmet isn't some new fancy helmet but a helmet that's been on the market for years. The lightest certified ski helmet (as far as I am aware) is the CAMP speed which at 7 something ounces is 34% lighter than the K2. Or how about the CAMP pulse which is a more traditional style ski helmet which is still about an ounce lighter? Not to mention any of the skimo race helmets from Dynafit and Trab, etc.

Thanks for bringing that up, Ryan. I believe it comes down to the distinctions between helmet certifications: ski versus climb.

The Camp Speed is indeed lighter at 210 grams / 7.4 oz. Camp says it's "the lightest UIAA-certified helmet on the market." However, its UIAA 106 / EN 12492 certifications are climbing certifications. So, though the Speed is used for ski mountaineering, its certification falls under climbing. 

The Camp Pulse weighs 285 grams (Small) and is climbing and ski certified (EN 12492 / EN 1077) when used with Camp's Winter Kit, which adds 38 grams for 323 grams, just a hair more than the Route.

Another example is the Trab Race Helmet, which is lighter at 240 grams, but is CE EN 12492 certified for mountaineering.

K2 says its Route is ski-helmet and bike-helmet certified at 320 grams: "With industry compliant safety certifications, for both ski and bike." Its ski helmet certification is likely under ASTM F2040 and/or CE EN1077 standards (sorry for not having the specific one right now).

Thanks for asking about this. It can be confusing navigating the various standards of helmet certification, especially with helmets that bridge the gap between skiing and climbing/mountaineering.

And you make a good point that newer does not necessarily mean better, just newer.

To sum up:

STM F2040 and EN 1077:2007 are the standards covering ski helmets. 

EN 12492 and UIAA 106 are climbing helmet certifications.

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