I just realized that the 2017 Edition of the OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen was my 5th time at the OutDoor =)
Disclaimer: I’m a co-founder of the Outdoor Blogger Network and have close relationships with many of the companies mentioned in this article. However, I haven’t been paid to write this article, and also does my involvement with some of these companies not influence the article as I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.
After a week at Lake Constance and an almost 38 h long trip home (Thanks Frankfurt Airport!) it’s time to pen down some thoughts from the 2017 OutDoor Show in Friedrichhafen. This was, as I just realized, my fifth OutDoor Show - I haven’t missed it since I first went in 2013. As I blog professionally since several years the show is a mandatory visit to meet partners new & old (I’m a Helsport Ambassador, sponsored by La Sportiva and talking with a handful of companies for specific projects). While at the beginning of my OutDoor visits the new gear was of course quite exciting (and still is) it is more and more about the people I meet at the fair which makes the fair so valuable & exciting for me.
Take for example Glen Van Peski, the founder of Gossamer Gear, and Chris Townsend, the renown Backpacking Writer. I met Glen and his wife by pure co-incidence (funnily enough at the Osprey booth while we were all checking out the Levity backpack) and we later in the afternoon managed to meet-up again for a beer and chat more. I also ran a couple of times into Chris and we had a nice evening chatting with fellow bloggers. Add in that I also met again my long-time friend Jotaro from Locus Gear, many, many blogger, photographer and journalism colleagues and you will quickly realize that the show is for me about the people I meet here. The same goes for my contacts as the various companies I visit - many are much more than just “work contacts” but friends with whom we talk about family & life (which means sometimes only around 10 minutes remain to check out the new gear!).
Speaking of gear, it felt industry-wise lightweight is getting more & more to the front - a good things for us ultralight everything enthusiasts. Lighter garments, lighter shoes, lighter backpacks, lighter tents & shelters, lighter stoves & food, lighter climbing gear, lighter packrafting equipment, lighter bikepacking kit - across the board you’re able to find much more lighter gear for your outdoor activities. Functionality didn’t suffer, though - this lighter kit should be able to perform just as well as heavier counterparts.
My favourite booth this year was the Houdini Garden above - it was just wonderful and happily the temperatures this year (up to 32°C!) meant it was nice to sit outside in the shade. Add in that the smoothies & cocktails they served from the herbs which they have grown in the composted Houdini garments soil were super tasty.
I’ll try to delve into depth in more articles about the gear I saw at the show, but in this post I want to highlight some kit which I remember from the top of my head. First is probably the new series of Vaude sleeping mats. These are so well engineered that I believe they will be super-successful when they hit the market as so many details on them are just Wow!
These new Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach shoes are beautifully designed and so light, I hope to get a pair for my feet before 2018!
Paramo’s new design is superb - gone the more conservative and boxy cuts & colours, welcome to youthful & fresh designs which promise to also perform well outdoors.
Rab launched a 7D sleeping bag line, and the Mythic 400 sleeping bag here will tip the scales at 660 g and has a comfort rating of -1°C. Feels great on the skin and could shed quite some weight in the sleeping bag department.
The new Kupilka 37 Kuksa has 370 ml of volume and is thus quite a bit bigger than the regular good old Kupilka 21 - an increase in size which is very welcome as this could make it the one cup for all your trips! I got one and will put it through its paces the next months to see if it is a worthy addition to the gear closet.
The Osprey Levity backpack looks like a well designed lightweight backpack with a ventilated back.
Another trend is that sustainability, recycling and closing the loop is no longer just on the mind of a few outliers - across the board you could see an uptake of this topic on the show. From shoes which are Made in Europe to garments which can be recycled, composted and repaired, many companies I visited talked about sustainability and doing good for the outdoors. As I have a background in this area I’m delighted to see that more and more outdoor brands start to act to keep our outdoor playgrounds in a good condition.
So much for now - as I said, I’ll try to dive into detail into some areas of gear and news later on. In the meanwhile have a look at the OutDoor 2017 Photo Album and check out my Facebook Live Videos which I shot & shared during the show. If you enjoy this #OutDoorFN 2017 Re-Cap & other articles why not support me with a coffee or two? I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!