The 2019 ISPO in Munich was the sixth time I attended this trade show, and it’s time to share with you what caught my eye.
I work full-time on Hiking in Finland and visiting trade shows like the ISPO do cost me quite a bit of money and a lot of time. If you feel like you get value out of this article and the videos, please click over to Patreon and become a Patron for as low as a cup of coffee - it’s really means a lot to me and allows me to bring this kind of content to you!
It was a ridiculously busy show for me where I lost my DJI Ronin S Gimbal on the 2nd day (and got it back on the 3rd!), had 45 meetings and even saw a few pieces of exciting new gear. You can watch all my ISPO 2019 Videos on Youtube in that handy Playlist, or watch my Recap/ Wrap-up underneath.
Exciting New Gear
THE Question at the show is usually “Have you seen something interesting?”. Usually I haven’t, but now, after having gone through my notes and having edited 36 Videos from the ISPO 2019 I can say yeah, I have seen actually quite a few interesting things.
- The Sustainability Trend Grows
Before I became a photographer and writer I was an Environmental Management Consultant, so the topic of sustainability is something which is close to my heart. The Sustainability Trend has been growing each year, and after a few “Scandals” (Gore-Tex PFCs, Microfibre-shedding, treatment of animals and people who make our gear) it is great to see such a positive trend across the whole industry. Mountain Equipment takes in your old down jackets and sleeping bags and makes the Earthrise Jacket out of it, Pyua makes a Vegan Jacket, PrimaLoft developed an insulation material which decomposes, Sympatex rides ahead of the wave giving us ideas how to become a circular economy, Houdini already uses only recycled, recyclable, renewable and biodegradable fabrics in their new collection, and many more good things have happened in the last five years. All this is positive as it minimizes our industries’ and our own impact on the planet, ensuring that we keep the nature which we love so much in a good state.
- More environmentally friendly synthetic fabrics
I touched upon this above, but I really liked seeing big companies like PrimaLoft and Polartec addressing problems like microfibre shedding and making insulation decompose. Not everyone of us recycles their old outdoor garments and a fair share likely ends up in a landfill, so knowing that in the future these jackets will decompose is very positive. Likewise it is great to know that we can wash our Polartec Power Air jackets without the fear of contributing to the microfibre plastic pollution in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Add in that with a Sympatex or Nikwax garment you also keep PFcs out ofnature and you already today can dress up in a way that will not pollute the environment as badly as with other options.
- Favourite Gear
My favourite pieces of gear at the ISPO 2019 were the La Sportiva TX Top, the Houdini Power Air Houdi and some items from Spectra Fibre. I love my La Sportiva TX2 and also the Crossover 2.0 GTX, so getting a combination of the two is amazing. As I wear a fleece Houdi all the time (like, right now while writing this article) I also really fancied the Houdini Power Air Houdi. Sadly I was too late in buying one, though hopefully they will get my size back in stock soon. I also stopped by at the booth of Spectra Fibre and it was exciting to see a new brand entering the industry with lightweight fabrics. These should work well for a variety of UL Outdoor gear, from backpacks to tents and bivy bags. Right now NW Alpine is one of the few companies which uses this material, but I’m certain more will follow!
It was obvious that there were less exhibitors and less visitors - the latter can be blamed in part on the weather, as Munich got hit by a proper load of snow this year on the first day of the show, and there were a lot of flights cancelled. But I think it also shows that these kind of trade fairs become less & less a “Must-Be-There” event for many brands. Right now the ISPO is too late in the year for many retailers to see the new gear and make orders, and for us content creators both online and in print it’s quite hectic. I myself likely will not attend the new Summer ISPO show in June, because it’s a fairly expensive trip for me and if I can pick between having 12 hour days in Munich or chilling at the sea, painting Minis and playing board games I’m very much inclined to opt for the latter. I am, however, pondering visiting OR in Denver, though that also is connected to costs. As I said above, if you get value out of this article, click over to Patreon and become a Patron!
View all the photos from the show in my ISPO 2019 Album.
Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee - 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, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!