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Hoka Hikers, Recycled Down, and Solar Purifying

The hundreds of outdoor brands at the Outdoor Retailer trade show can make big claims going in ("it's a game changer!"), but it takes some time on the show floor to suss out what new outdoor gear, apparel, and footwear is worth a second look. And then it takes some field testing to see how that gear performs where it belongs, outside.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Here are a few highlights of new-for-2015 products that caught our own Seth Levy's eye in the first day of Outdoor Retailer.


Hoka's first hiker, the Tor Ultra High WP

Hoka Introduces Hikers

Running shoe company Hoka is well known for its unique ultra-cushy running shoes with mega rocker (actually called the Meta-Rocker). 

For 2015, the brand is extending its line of innovative trail shoes into hiking boots with its MTN Trek line. The Tor Ultra High WP featuring an eVent membrane is the flagship shoe. The crossover boot retains Hoka's signature thick, supportive soles and distinctive style, but with a supportive upper.

Public Relations rep Maria Hidalgo explained that contrary to popular belief, your foot does not rest on top of Hoka's thick, cushy midsole. Instead, your foot is seated down within the midsole.

You don't need to be Karl Meltzer to wear the Speedgoat.

In addition to enhancing stability and cushioning, this configuration provides the "rocking, rolling" gait that characterizes the "Hoka Experience." 

From Hoka's MTN Run category, comes the new Speedgoat. Inspired by and with input form legendary ultra-runner Karl Meltzer, the trail runner was designed with the challenging conditions of the Speedgoat 50k ultra-marathon in mind. 



Recycled Down Debut

Ternua, a Spanish technical apparel brand, says it is the only brand in the outdoor industry using recycled down, which they expect to be a huge trend in the down industry in years to come. Its proprietary Neokdun is made from a 100 percent, recycled down filling.

Ternua makes its North American debut with its Fall/Winter 2015 collection. 






Purify Water with the Sun

Puralytics  makes big claims for its SolarBag. The reusable 3-liter bag promises to destroy pathogens and chemical contaminants and remove heavy metals in water through a combination of solar energy and nanotechnology.

The BPA-free bag weighs just 4 ounces empty and is currently undergoing the process for EPA certification.



More OR Photos & Videos!

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With reporting and photos thanks to Seth Levy.


That solar bag looks interesting. Why can it only work "up to 3 times per day?" I'm guessing it takes several hours for 3L to purify, limiting the amount of daylight you have available?

I had a long talk with the head of the company that makes the solar bag and then with several of the top water-treatment people at the OR Show. It should be noted that although the bag passes the criteria for the EPA rating, it has not yet completed the certification process, according to the company head. The technology appears feasible, though one of the UV manufacturers noted that the solar UV has been filtered by its passage through the atmosphere (reason for the treatment requiring several hours in direct sunlight), which may or may not be adequate for the catalytic action with the nanoparticles to fully act on the metals and organic runoff. The bag company does provide an indicator fluid to show when the action is complete.

The head of the company also told me that the first use of the bag requires a longer time to fully activate. So you should run a first run before heading into the field.

I would wait on the full EPA certification process to be completed before using the bag.

Thanks for the further info and insight, Bill. I agree that I would personally wait to use a water purifier until it met the EPA certification.

By the way, I saw a nice picture of you (Bill) pulling Polar Explorer Eric Larsen's sled at OR on Eric's Facebook page:


I'm guessing the "up to three times" is reflective of the long contact time required.

Those Hoka boots look sweet!

Those bold colors may look cool on that boot...I garanteeI would turn an ankle in that heavy thing..Nope I'll stay with altra's for running and backpacking..

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