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Klymit Air Beam inflates your pack's frame sheet

Klymit's Air Beam backpack frame sheet is made of lightweight fabric and inflates with pressurized air. It claims to be stiffer, more comfortable, and offer optimal load transfer over regular frame sheets.

L.L. Bean and Point 65 build longest kayak ever

In June, 100 L.L. Bean employees paddled a 407-foot 7-inch long modular Point 65N kayak, as part of the company's ongoing 100th anniversary celebration.

Justin Lichter Publishes "Trail-Tested" Hiking Tips

Justin "Trauma" Lichter has learned countless thru-hiking tips, techniques, and gear know-how in more than 35,000 miles traveled across North America, New Zealand, Iceland, Africa, and the Himalaya. He shares those insights in "Trail Tested."

How to Paddle a Canoe: Strokes and Techniques

Learn how to use that canoe paddle properly. From the J stroke to the sweep, draw, and pry, here are the basic paddling strokes and techniques you need to know for any canoe trip.

Nemo Offers Limited Edition Sleeping Bags

No need to wait till 2013 for the launch of NEMO's inaugural sleeping bag line. This summer, NEMO is sewing about 600 limited edition sleeping bags, including their new Spoon Shape for sidesleepers, an ultralight quilt, and several down-repellent models.

Ibex to move all production to North America

As part of Ibex's "big commitment to American-made products," the outdoor apparel company will move its remaining Asian clothing production to the United States and Canada by 2014.

Salewa Snow Trainer puts cotton-Kevlar in sole

Cotton kills, right? So, what's Salewa doing putting cotton in a snowshoe mountaineering boot? Relax. The small amount of cotton in the Snow Trainer Insulated GTX is in the bottom of its Vibram Icefriction outsole.

Touring Swiftwick's Tennessee Factory

Swiftwick, maker of compression socks for running, hiking, skiing, biking and other outdoor sports, offers up the following video to showcase its domestic production. Does seeing where, how, and by whom products are made make a difference to your buying decisions?

Honey Stinger brings chocolate to Stinger Waffles

What made me pull a 180 in the crowded, gear overloaded halls of Outdoor Retailer in January? A chocolate Honey Stinger Waffle wrapper. The new flavor comes out this week.

Avalanche airbags explode into spotlight

The number of avalanche airbags available to backcountry skiers and riders has exploded in North America in the past few years. And you've likely noticed that the safety devices are also getting more media attention this winter, not just in the outdoor world.

Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp for light, fast, local runs

The Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp is all about light, fast and local. The 75-lumen light might be your pick for your next two-hour trail run or quick skin up a local peak.

A Photo Tour of Winter Outdoor Retailer

The Outdoor Retailer trade show ended last month, but here's a final post on the show itself highlighting outdoor gear, outdoorsy people, and random sights. Stay tuned for backcountry gear news and information all year round on Trailspace.

Crescent Moon calls its Black Kilo snowshoe a "complete carbon fiber solution”

When Crescent Moon launches its carbon fiber Black Kilo snowshoe next winter, not only will it be the lightest on the market at 2.2 pounds per pair, it could herald a new direction in snowshoe design, says Jake Thamm, company president and co-founder.

Black Diamond goes Pro with FlickLock redesign

For 17 years, Black Diamond's FlickLock mechanism set the standard for adjustable pole locks. The new stainless steel FlickLock Pro improves upon the classic with twice the holding force and a lower profile design.

Bizarre OR (or don't take it all too seriously)

Walking granola gars? Prosthetic beards? Sign of the horns? Sometimes Winter OR gets a little bizarre or reminds us to stop taking it all too seriously.

Hi-Tec dyes its down with Color-Tec

Yet another company aims to improve upon the natural state of down. This time it's Hi-Tec as the first company to offer dyed down in its insulated clothing, which it will show off inside a new transparent shell.

Vibram's FiveFingers Lontra made for winter running

Cold-weather running can pose a challenge in minimalist footwear. The insulated, water-resistant FiveFingers Lontra is Vibram's answer to "running in wet, yucky conditions."

Black Diamond Icon-Polar lights up cold-weather climbing

Black Diamond took its professional-level Icon — a waterproof headlamp with impressive 200-lumen output — and for winter use moved the battery pack from behind the head and into a separate compartment for the Icon-Polar.

Brooks-Range offers water-resistant DownTek

Down is getting some techy attention for fall 2012. To deal with its major drawback — susceptibility to moisture — Brooks-Range is offering water-resistant DownTek insulation. Plus, an expanding Cirro synthetics series.

Sierra Designs launches water-resistant DriDown

Backcountry enthusiasts know down and water don't go well together. Wet down loses its lofty insulating power and takes too long to dry, right? Not anymore, say Sierra Designs and Brooks-Range. Both outdoor companies are launching water-resistant down insulation.

Hi-Tec Pará Boot combines rain boot with hiker

Alien stormtrooper boot? Galosh? The Hi-Tec Pará Boot has both of these disparate species in its gene pool.

Marquette Backcountry Ski offers easy winter access

Part ski, part snowshoe, the Marquette Backcountry Ski is intentionally more basic—and less expensive—than other backcountry skis on the market.

Outdoor Retailer's Softer Side: New Apparel Lines, Triple Crown Buffs, Footwear

We take a first look at some softgoods that caught our eye at Outdoor Retailer, including new apparel from La Sportiva, The North Face, and Outdoor Research, Trailblazer long trail Buffs, and footwear from Vasque, Timberland, and Columbia.

Petzl Nao headlamp automatically dims or brightens

Once in a while, a headlamp comes around that changes the game for others. Enter Petzl's Nao auto-adjusting headlamp, which dims or brightens according to the level of ambient light.

Gregory overhauls Alpinisto climbing pack

Gregory takes the Alpinisto, one of its classic mountaineering packs first launched in the early 1980s, and completely redesigns it for fall/winter 2012.

MSR SureLock poles offer light weight in aluminum

When retailers saw MSR's new SureLock UL two-section poles, they immediately asked, "can't you do that in a three-section?" MSR did. It's the SureLock UL-3 for fall 2012.

Teva sport sandal inventor debuts split-toe Sazzi

Back in the early '80s, Grand Canyon river guide Mark Thatcher invented the modern sport sandals by Teva. He's back with a new take on ancient sandals, Sazzi Footwear, split-toe versions based on the woven sandals of the Anasazi.

Day One: Alpine Gear, Water Purification, an Adult Carrier, and Artisanal Jerky

Highlights from Day One of Outdoor Retailer, including alpine climbing and ski touring gear from Mammut, new water purification from MSR, a PiggyBackPack carrier for kids and adults (!), and seriously artisanal Krave Jerky.

Standout Shelters from Brooks-Range and Snow Peak

Lighter, stronger, and in brighter colors — the winter tents at Outdoor Retailer make one take notice. Here are two standout shelters from Brooks-Range and Snow Peak.

Demo Day: Snow and Ice Packs, Tools, Traction, and More

The latest snow and ice gear we saw at All Mountain Demo day included snowsport and mountaineering packs, classic snow tools revisited, traction for winter runs, decadent energy bars, U.S.-made ski socks, and a backcountry pooch.

Demo Day: Wild Animals, Fire, Gear!

Demo Day at OR didn't disappoint, with leaping pillars of fire, life-sized polar bears, talking salmon, and new outdoor gear from Kahuna Creations and Nargear.

A Peek Back, Inside Jeff Lowe's Pack

New, shiny, whizbang gear tends to get the most attention. But often it's the rusty, frayed, and oxidized gear and apparel that deserves a second look. We checked out climber Jeff Lowe's 20-year-old gear at last summer's Outdoor Retailer.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2012

Trailspace is in Salt Lake City January 18-22 for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. See all of our coverage of the outdoor gear industry gathering here.

Outdoor Retailer Gear Preview: Warm and Dry Apparel

In our final Outdoor Retailer gear preview we highlight insulation and outerwear. Expect even more puffy jackets, plus down and wool insulation and mid and outer layers in the backcountry, and around town.

OR Gear Preview: Packs, Hydrophobic Down, Trekking Poles, Little Cups

Longing for gear coverage from next week's Outdoor Retailer? Here are some new product previews, including winter ski and alpine packs, hydrophobic down bags, trekking poles, and unique dishware made from biomaterial.

Outdoor Retailer Gear Preview: On Snow

Here's our first OR product preview to whet your appetite. Since it's a winter show, we'll start with some backcountry snow gear. Stay tuned for full show coverage starting January 18.

Cookware: Titanium, Aluminum, or...Paper?

Would you buy a foldable, disposable cooking pot made out of...paper? The 100-percent paper, origami-inspired Hexa Pot is designed for boiling water indoors or out.

Andrew Skurka's "Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide"

Many would jump at the chance to hike alongside professional adventurer and super-long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka. Now Skurka shares his backcountry know-how in "The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail."

Arc'teryx makes all-weather capes for homeless

Arc’teryx is known for its high-end outdoor apparel, but staying warm and dry shouldn't be a luxury. The company turns its end-of-roll and discontinued Gore-Tex fabrics into outdoor necessities: all-weather capes for the homeless and disadvantaged.

What Would Santa Wear?

It's the first day of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere (hooray!), and one's thoughts turn to wishes for snow, winter recreation, and important outdoor...

Ibex Offers 100% Made in America Wool

From Montana sheep farm to hoodies and half-zips, Ibex's fall 2012 Shak Lite garments will be 100-percent American-made, sourced, and processed.

Made in America: What's it Worth to You?

Made in America. For many, that designation is an important criteria when choosing goods, including outdoor gear and apparel.

You're the Designer: Outdoor Companies Turn to Customers for New Product Ideas

Want to design your own gear, but can't afford a custom product? These companies use crowd-sourcing to bring unique ideas into the design process at a lower cost than “full custom” design.

Winter Traction: An Introduction to Snowshoes and Crampons

The biggest difference between three-season and winter hiking is the walking surface. Snow and ice require traction aids such as snowshoes, microspikes, or crampons. Here's an overview of the options.

Custom Gear Revival

Chaco and Princeton Tec have new custom products, but custom gear has a long history. Trailspace reviews new custom gear and companies that have been making unique gear and equipment for years.

Treat Your Feet to a Pair of Custom Hiking Boots

How often do you buy a new pair of hiking boots? What if you could buy a pair of boots that would last 25 or 30 years? That's one of several reasons some people choose to have their boots custom-made.

Hyperlite Debuts Cuben Fiber Climbing Packs

Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) has just introduced two new backpacks for ice climbing and mountaineering called the Ice Pack and the Porter. They are made using an ultralight non-woven fabric called Cuben Fiber.

See and Be Seen with Reflective Technology

Reflective technology can improve visibility, convenience and safety as days get shorter.

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