Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor Road Trail Run
After all the shoes and big companies (see our Outdoor Retailer summary page here) there are always amazing products from smaller companies hiding in plain sight at Outdoor Retailer. Below a selection of some of the best we saw.
This Swiss company makes some of the most technical and certainly most colorful compression products out there. Compressport will cover and compress you from head to toe in soft, comfortable sleeves, socks, and apparel. Their On/Off top was ideal for my 2015 Boston Marathon in cold wet conditions but is equally comfortable in heat. I also use their calf sleeves and socks,-comfortable and effective. I wrote about Compressport in my "Supreme Performance Base Layers" article here. Compressport is very popular in Europe and with triathletes.
The Compressport socks are not only super colorful but highly functional combining a very light mesh, almost like ladies stockings for maximum breathability and minimum moisture absorption, with knitted in 3D dots and other more resistant material in all the right places. We have several pairs and have been very impressed with their performance.
While difficult to see in my picture below the compression short below is covered by the liner-less Compressport Over Short for some..US preferences, "modesty". Such a functional, liner less short is a great idea.
We are not kidding when we say Compressport can cover you head to toe. I am looking forward to trying out the "full" outfit above.
Julbo is a small French company long involved in making outstanding mountain focused sunglasses and ski goggles. In addition to famous extreme skier Glen Plake and Swiss speed mountaineer Uli Steck, many outstanding mountain runners including Rob Krar and Stevie Kremer are Julbo athletes.
Julio was one of the first companies to introduce photochromic lenses, lenses which change darkness according to light conditions, say when going from bright sunny open condition into darker trees on the trails. I am a big fan of photochromic lenses but until now due to the chemical properties of the lenses their performance in cold weather has been poor. They change rapidly to the darkest tint and will only change back to light if warmed, literally inside in a warm room.
Well, Julbo has found a way to alleviate this issue with their Zebra Light lenses promising far faster all temperature changes in lens tint. The 1 to 3 classification indicates that the lenses at 1 will be suitable in very low light conditions with the 3 appropriate protection for all but the brightest conditions, say water or high altitude glaciers where a 5 rating would be more appropriate. The 1 to 3 range is ideal for road and trail running, Dawn to Dusk. I look forward to testing the Aero model below.
|Julbo Aero Sunglasses with Zebra Light Lenses $180|
The Zebra Light Lenses are available in the frame styles below.
|Power Practical Luminoodle Light Rope and Lithium 4400 Battery Pack Latern|
Sometimes when you are looking for something you find something else. Sometimes you find a product that truly has multiple practical uses. I was looking for a battery pack for my phone and iPad, a larger capacity one than what I had. I found Power Practical.
In addition to a range of battery packs and a very clever cooking system that actually also charges batteries... with fire, the Luminoodle Light Rope and Lantern caught my eye. A 5' long waterproof 180 lumen cord of LED lights with a loop at the end, magnets and special yellow bungie cords. It will plug into any USB connection for power. Here is what you can do with it:
- Stuff in the bag turned on it and it becomes a lantern.
- String it across the inside of your tent.
- Or drape it around your shoulders for a high visibility night running and walking solution. I combined it with their Lithium 4400 (mAh) battery pack which also has a 4 LED lantern built in.
|Practical Power Luminoodle and Lithium 4400 battery lantern|
Atomic Backland UL 65
Curious about what ski Kilian Jornet the world's best mountain runner and ski mountaineering racer used to ski up and down Mt Denali, a total of over 30 miles and 15,500 vertical feet in an unbelievable 11 hours 48 minutes? Here they are ,a flavor of the Atomic Backland UL 65, 680 grams 1.5 lbs each.
ProShot CaseYour phone is safe and you can take pictures literally anywhere, even scuba diving with this incredible iPhone case from ProShot. Works with the chest harness and all GoPro accessories. It has insulating properties for extreme heat and cold. Multiple add on lenses are available.
The hook for running... ProShot repurposes your volume buttons adding hefty steel ones through the case tied into their app to let you press and snap pictures or make videos at will. Comes with 2 lids: one for scuba down to 100 feet and a second touch screen enabled lid that is waterproof down to 10 feet. Includes a wide angle lens. A flat lens is also currently included. The chest harness is $29.99. ProShot Case $99. www.proshotcase.com
|Press the big button to take pictures|
|The wide angle lens is really wide angle.|
See Road Trail Run's Compete Coverage of Outdoor Retailer Run Previews and Introductions here
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