The ISPO 2015 gear bonanza continues with sweet new hardware and soft goods for backpackers, climbers, skiers and hikers!
At Outdoor Research a whole lotta new gear was to be tried on and tested indoors, like the M’s Diode Hooded Jacket up there. A jacket made with Body Mapping technology it uses DWR-treated down and Primaloft Gold. The latter is on the shoulders, hood, top of the sleeves and hips - areas which usually get more wet - while the core is filled with warm down to keep your torso toasty. All that is under a Pertex® Endurance 2L shell where the Primaloft is and the down is protected by Pertex® Quantum.
The Uberlayer Hooded Jacket (the blue on on the left) on the other hand trusts Polartec Alpha insulation completely to keep you warm, but not too hot. It has a stretch mesh lining which wicks sweat quickly away form your baselayer, where it meets on the Polartec Alpha insulation which further transports it to the outside. There’s plenty of pockets on the Uberlayer, a helmet-compatible hood and the shell is also wind and water resistant. The Men’s Uberlayer is 563 g in Size L, the Women’s is 472 in Size M.
The Furio Jacket uses the new Gore-Tex® C-Knit fabric in the shoulders, hood and hip, Paclite in the rest of the jacket and is fully seam taped. It has a Standard Fit and is 535 g light and is made for your alpine adventures where it will keep you dry, warm and protected in case the weather turns nasty. I do like OR’s TorsoFlo™ technology which are hem-to-bicep side zips that offer ventilation when the going gets steep.
The Luminary Sensor Glove is an alpine climbing and skiing glove that allows you to take Instagram photos without taking the gloves off. The indoor test the glove mastered without difficulties as you can see above. Made from Windstopper the shell gloves are windproof and water-resistant while the warm, removable wool blend liners keep your fingers toasty. The dexterity was good in these and with removable liners you’re able to dry them in your quilt during the night. The pair in L will weigh 236 g.
The Extravert Gloves have a stretch nylon shell outer, a durable goat leather palm with textured fingertips and a warm wool lining. These ski-touring gloves will keep you warm when you’re skinning up and shed the powder on your turns down. The pair in L will be 165 g light.
The Untold Balaclava is made from acrylic and weighs 51 g. It’s a convertible balaclava that can be transformed into a cap when you roll the lower part up. It’s probably a very nice piece for winter use when the conditions change from cold and shady to sunny.
And then there were literally about a dozen new hats and even more gloves - after all that’s what Outdoor Research does very well. I did like the stylish hats and beanies which would be functional on the trail and stylish at the Aprés Bar after your hike. Lots of nice stuff coming from them, so keep an eye out for them.
Vertical-Life / Zlagboard
I’m pretty psyched about the news from Vertical-Life and especially Zlagboard. The latter I tried already at the OutDoor and liked it but was wondering if the price was too high. Well, it seems my ideas were heard and the Zlagboard Team not just dropped the price on the Zlagboard Pro to 250€ but also introduced the Zlagboard Mini which will retail for 150€ and also the Zlagboard Vario which sells for 190€ and which allows you to attach a training board you already have (like a Beastmaker) to it. That’s not all, though, as the Team also has updated the App and there’s now a Gimme Kraft! training plan available and the option to create your own. I really love this and you can stay tuned for a review of the Zlagboard on these digital pages soon.
Vertical Life is the publishing arm of the business and they do have some superb Guidebooks available. Add to that already good line-up are four more guides in 2015: Sportclimbing in Südtirol, Bouldering in Südtirol, Arco Plaisir and Zillertal Multi-Pitch. Besides the dead tree versions they also will be coming as a digital app which you can download to your phone.
Salewa had equally interesting hardware and soft good news. Lets start with the hard goods: The North X ice axe is a 52,5 cm long and 540 g light technical ice axe for technical mountaineering. It has a steel head and blade, a 7075 aluminium shaft and a steel spike which makes it both light and durable. The hand rest can be precision-adjusted to the correct height with one hand without tools. The pick is interchangeable and the lower shaft is insulated and it has a integrated belay loop which has a 5kN breaking strength. It’s an ISPO Award Winner, too.
I tried the new Salewa ice screws and did like them. They are an all-in-one solution: The come equipped with a Quickdraw and cap to protect the sharp points and thread, have an integrated crank and they rack very efficiently on your harness. They will be available in three lengths if I remember correctly and will start at 80€.
The Vert helmet is certified as both a climbing and skiing helmet, which makes it an ideal choice for ski-mountaineers. It has an heat-dissipating insulation and removable ear pads, the total goggle integration ensures a clear view and works together with anti-fog systems in modern ski eyewear.
The Sesvenna Ski-Touring Jacket is part of the Sesvenna Ski Touring Collection which Gore-Tex, Polartec and Windproof fabrics with Schoeller fabrics and Tyrol and merino wool for garments that combine functionality and traditional looks. They’re made with ski mountaineers in mind and are wind- and water-resistant, warm and breathable. The jacket above also won an ISPO Award and looked pretty good, a fresh design.
And then there were several other new things coming from the Italian company. The Speed Ascent shoe won an ISPO Award, the climbing & bouldering line gets some fresh new designs, there’s a line of products which are 100% made in Italy.
Garmin presented the fēnix 3 and fēnix 3 Sapphire which had some major updates on the fēnix I have. The major difference between the two models is that the latter comes with a scratch resistant sapphire lens and a steel wristband (in addition to a normal plastic one) which allows you to wear your outdoor watch to the office. The watch is made for a host of activities, from backpacking to trailrunning to Triathlon. I think it’s a great looking watch, but that ain’t all of course: Under the hood the watch got some major updates: A color display that can be read in the sun (although I had major difficulties getting a good photo under them lamps indoors =), a stainless steel EXO™ antenna with GPS + GLONASS support for fast fix and accuracy, a host of Fitness training features & Outdoor navigation features and Connect IQ™ compatibility for customized apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields. The fēnix 3 should be available in about a month or two, and retails for 500€ to 600€.
The Garmin epix on the other hand is a GPS watch which comes with a European Freetime Map pre-installed. It also has a Chroma colour display, an EXO Antenna for GPS & GLONASS reception, several sports profiles and connects with several accessories. The idea is that here you really have a high-resolution, color, touchscreen GPS/GLONASS mapping watch with worldwide, shaded relief basemap and 8 gb memory for further maps. I do like the classic look and the epix will be 500€ and also available in about two months.
Filled with PrimaLoft® GOLD between a Helium 30 fabric that’s windproof is the Compressor Pant and the Compressor ¾ Pant which I model above. The ¾ Pant version tips the scales at 240 g and the length is chosen so it stays above your skiing boots. It’s easy to put on with a full-length zippers on each side, and it packs into its own seat pocket. The ¾ Compressor will be 160€ will the full length version will set you back a tenner more and you’re able to carry 95 g extra, too.
The Switch Vest is a hybrid garment that combines Polartec® Alpha® in the front and Polartec® Power Dry® 225 Fleece at the sides and back. The idea is that the breathable and warm Alpha® insulation keeps away the headwind while you can lose the sweat and heat via the back when you’re skinning, running or climbing up a mountain. At 240 g and 100€ it’s looks like an interesting piece for the fast & light readership.
The Diamir Jacket & Diamir Pant is Mountain Equipments foray into the Ski-touring market. Both garments are made from burly GoreTex Pro 80D. The Super Alpine Hood has been developed further for ski helmets and has an integrated collar, and the Alpine Fit with articulated sleeves ensures you have the freedom of movement you need when you earn your turns. The jacket also has a removable snow-guard while the pants have removable gaiters & suspenders. A pocket on the thigh stores your avalanche beacon. The combo weighs together 1.335 g and will set you back 1100€.
La Sportiva’s News I’d divided in these Categories: Trailrunning, Mountaineering, High-Altitude News. Lets take a look at them in that order. The Ultra Raptor GTX weighs 410 g per shoe, has a 12 mm drop and a FriXion XF sole with the Trail Bite heel stabilizer which enhances the downhill grip. The shoe isn’t new, but the colour is =)
The Crossover 2.0 GTX isn’t new either, but at 370 g light per shoe it’s worth a mention. This is the third shoe from La Sportiva in this round-up with an integrated gaiter, and considering this shoe is made for winter trailrunning (and hence is ideal to be “misused” as a backpacking shoe) and Winter being the sorry excuse it currently is I’m sure a few will be interested in it. Beneath the water-repellant gaiter you find a trailrunning shoe with 10 mm drop, a Ortholite Mountain Running Ergonomic footbed and underneath is a FriXion AT sole with Impact Brake System and AT Grip zone. La Sportiva offers a Grip Spike kit which allows you to get even more grip on ice. Good stuff.
The Trango Ice Cube GTX is a new boot and carries on the trend of integrated gaiters. Made for up to 4.000 m in terms of its warmth rating the 1.380 g heavy pair of boots comes with a Schoeller fabric gaiter that’s stretchy and water-resistant, a Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort lining, an insulated carbon Honeycomb Tech 3 mm insole and a La Sportiva Cube sole, made by Vibram® with the Impact Brake System lugs on the heel and a climbing zone at the toe. It’s so lightweight because of the seamless construction method on the uppers which use the Thermo Tech Injection™ technology. The boot is obviously fully crampon compatible and can be resoled.
The G2 SM, which stands for Gasherbrum 2 Simone Moro, is a sexy boot. Oh, its functional too. What I liked about it the most was the sense of adventure it communicates - Gasherbrum 2, Karakoram, 8.035 m, and of course the first winter ascent of Cory Richards, Denis Urubko and Simone Moro in 2011. It’s a very technical boot: Integrated Cordura gaiter, internal shell with BOA® quick lacing System, HoneyComb Tech midsole in carbon fibre, Vibram® Matterhorn sole with Impact Brake System lugs and a removable liner boot. It’s a super warm boot made for expeditions to the high ranges, and the pair will weigh 1.940 g.
Otherwise garments got some colour updates, there were a few rather nice new carbon skis and ski boots.
I do like what Grivel does. Take the A&D above: It’s an Ascender that also allows you to descend. Just thread the rope through the slit in the A&D, clip it into a carabiner, open the Ascender part and you can abseil down. This allows you to use one less piece of kit, and the ascender is also easy to unlock when the teeth have dug deep into your rope. It works with ropes from 8,3 mm to 13 mm in diameter when going up and 7,3 mm to 13 mm when going down and weighs 259 g.
Then there’s the new Tech Machine which will be available as an aluminium and carbon version. The former is 660 g for the tool, the carbon version saves you 100 g - they work both just as good, as Stevie Haston ensured me - though the carbon one will be warmer. The interesting new development on these is the G Bone Shaft, which should allow for an ergonomic grip along the whole shaft. This technology will also be used in the Air Tech Evo ice axe (which also gets a Hammer Version next winter) and the North Machine ice tool.
The Mountain Runner Comp backpack is a 450 g light trailrunning pack with 5 l volume. These packs were designed with experience from the Tor de Geants Race, are one-size-fits-all, have multiple pockets to carry your gear and even allow you to carry your ice axes or poles on it.
Oh, and Twin Gate carabiners are now in stores. Get one to try them, I do quite like them.
If I am at the ISPO a visit to Dynafit is always in order - gotta know what this company is up to if you like lightweight kit. The Chugach is a free touring ski which will launch for the 2015/ 2016 season and is for free riders who want to conquer new terrain by mountaineering means. Named after Alaska’s Chugach Mountains which represent untouched wilderness and awesome descents, the ski offers an optimal ratio of surface area to weight, which is 1.950 g. It has a double ellipse rocker construction and enables maximum edging on steep, icy terrain without losing the playful lightness when initiating turns. This is going to be a ski to watch if you like to play in big, wild mountains.
The Khiôn is a free touring boot which combines the rigidity and support of an alpine downhill boot with the comfort and lightness of a modern ski touring boot on the ascent. The boot will be available as a Khiôn MS model, a stiffer Khiôn Carbon version which adds more performance on the descent and also a Women’s version. The boot will give you performance and precision with direct power transmission and maximal support thanks to the new Precision Lock System which enables the various parts of the boot to work together as a torsionally stiff unit.
The Radical 2 Binding takes a step forward in safety and comfort 30 years after the invention of the frameless system. The Radical 2 weighs 599 g and the biggest update is the a pivoting toe piece combined with the Step in Side Towers. This has several advantages: It functions as an additional release mechanism and works to prevent early release from side impacts. It has a a precise release mechanism at the toe and heel piece with a release value between 4 and 10 for the Radical 2 ST version or up to 12 for the Radical FT.
The Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame sleeping bag and it’s sibling Spark are synthetic sleeping bags which employ a central zipper for you to get in and comfortably sit in your bag during your morning coffee. The Spark will be 737 g and the Flame 1106 g with temperature ratings to 0°C and -6°C respectively. The bags are made with MH’s Lamina™ construction which welds the Thermal.Q™ insulation to the shell and lining, eliminating the cold spots caused by traditional stitching. Bodymapping technology was employed throughout the top of the bag to concentrate warmth where you need it most – around your core and feet. The bags will set you back 220 or 240€.