EVENT: Outdoor Retailer 2012- Thursday

The show always starts off with HUGE crowds on the first day, especially in the main hall where many of the largest and oldest Outdoor Industry Companies call home.

-Exploring Elements 2012 Summer OR Coverage-

The Summer Outdoor Retailer show is a massive show with over 1,400 vendors displaying products that you’d find in your local outdoor store. Gear in such categories as; camping, climbing, paddling, apparel, running, footwear, etc… are all well represented. Many suppliers of all the little things that go into making this gear, think fabric, buttons, buckles, shoe rubber, etc… are also in attendance.

All coverage from the show on ExploringElements.com will be oriented from the perspective of an adventure sports athlete who loves to overland and get outdoors, me! There is no way to show you everything that is at the show, but I’m going to try my hardest to dig up all the really cool stuff that you might be interested in:)

Expect live coverage on Facebook (Exploring Elements), Twitter (@ExplorElements) and Instagram (ExplorElements) with daily updates from the show on ExploringElements.com. Please leave comments below about what you think of the products being featured, the stories from the show being told and what else you might want to see covered.


Immersion Research– Super Model & Arch Rival dry suits and The Royal skirt











IR has stepped up their game again! These guys have been making better and better gear every year. John and Kara Weld head the company and drive this passion for innovation and high quality. The hotness this year are the Super Model ($1,100) and Arch Rival ($750) dry suits. IR now has one of the nicest and most expensive suits on the market and a high quality value suit for a great price. The other really cool product is their new The Royal spray skirt ($190). This skirt is made of the most durable materials, integrates a new multi-bladed sticky rubber rand and is designed to take a beating. If you want the skirt that isn’t going to implode, even off your local 90′, this is the ticket!

Sureaqua– water filtration system


I believe that Sureaqua has probably developed the most reliable and high-capacity safe drinking water solutions on the market. It is an Australian company and is trusted for use in the field by the Australian military. The system uses a no moving parts, think durable, “ultra-filtration” system that is chemical free, has a 10 yr shelf life, and immediately makes available safe drinking water. One of the killer features is that you know when it is time to change the filter, as the system stops working. I’m looking forward to trying the handheld on some multi-day kayak trips and the jug on some overland missions.





Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies

Horizon has come up with consumer portable fuel cell solutions. The basic system consists of the Hydrostick, reversible metal hydride cartridge, which is used as fuel in the MiniPak, handheld usb fuel cell charger. You can either buy more Hydrostik fuel cartridges or the Hydrofill hydrogen refueling system. This unit takes pure water and electricity to refill the Hydrostick hydrogen fuel cartridges. Horizon also offers larger industrial units that offer more power output as well.












Leatherman– OHT

This thing is soooo cool! The OHT, or one hand tool, is a new multitool from the good people at Leatherman that has all the tools on the outside of the unit, while the pliers slide out from the center of the unit. It has all the essentials, and not a lot more. I think it is a huge improvement over the original Leatherman which is still in my tool kit. Leatherman also had a number of new micro tools and ultra light car tool for breaking windows and cutting seat belts that are quite cool.

Snow Lizard Products– SLXtreme iPhone Case

SLXtreme has developed a super ruggedized iPhone case that is waterproof, solar-powered and battery-boosted. They offer it in a wide range of colors and prints for all tastes. They truly belive in their product and don’t mind throwing them across the show floor or into their dunk tank. This product is a recent Kickstarter funded success story.

Corran Addison Designs– WW Inflatable SUP & Tahiti

Corran Addison is known as an innovator in the paddle sports industry and has been a designer at many leading companies in the industry: Savage Kayaks, Riot Kayaks, Draggorossi Kayaks, Imagine Surf, etc… He has stepped up his game again and has some really good ideas incorporated into each board of his new full lineup of SUPs. The WW Inflatable has a lowered standing platform to increase stability and uses semi-rigid stringers down the sides to add a ton of rigidity and performance to the board. His base model Tahiti is super light for a plastic board, about 35 lbs, a great price at $575 and has an innovative integrated vertical paddle holder.

Ocean Rodeo– Soul dry suit

Ocean Rodeo is well-known in the kitesurf world for making all kinds of quality gear. Their newly designed Soul dry suit is specifically aimed at the SUP market, but kept the kite boarder in mind as well. The suit has a ton of great features that include neo flexible sides, a removable hood and a harness hook access zipper. The innovative design element of this suit is the patented “captive zip” self entry dry zip design. The suit’s entry zipper creates a “U” shape over the shoulders making it extremely easy to get into and stays out-of-the-way of harnesses or kayak skirts at the waist. This could just be the most versatile multi sport dry suit on the market.


Coreban– BG Series

Coreban has been around a few years making a full range of high quality SUP products. This year they have teamed up with Bear Grylls to release an “Adventure Touring Collection” of SUP and accessories. The inflatable model has an optional tent accessory and is quite comfortable to use as a sleeping pad:) The plastic touring model comes with such features as a rigid flip-up kayak seat, Scotty fishing mounts, portage wheel, integrated canteen and signature series knife.













Random Cool Stuff-
















Camelbak has been the leader in hydration products for a long time and this year they basically just filled out their line and dialed in some classic products with innovative new technologies. One hole in the lineup they filled was the glass water bottle. They created a very appealing design and super grippy bottle. They have also dabbled in running in the past, but they now have a full dedicated line of products specifically with the runner in mind. I’m very excited about the 2 new hydration vest designs and can’t wait to get them out on the trail! The other exciting innovation to the Camelbak line is the new “NV” articulating and ventilated back system. This along with the a very cool helmet retention system is going to make a lot of cyclists very happy!








Air Hole Face Masks

Air Hole face masks offer a number of different styles of face masks in a WIDE range of graphics. The key to this product is the small rigid hole at your mouth that allows water vapor from your breath to escape the mask. I think the real reason these are going to sell is that they come in hilarious design patterns, although they are quite functional and seem to be of high quality as well.

The Monster Factory– VW Camper Van Tent & TentFinder


How can you not like an almost life-size VW camper van shaped tent! There is tons of headroom in this thing and it sleeps 4. Is there a better music festival tent on the market? Another great gadget for group or festival camping experiences is the TentFinder, a remote activated tent light with a range of 50 meters, which allows you to find your tent in that dark field full of other tents.











SUP Yoga in the morning at OR

Old school overland rig found in the archives at Cascade Designs🙂

Beer 30 at Cascade Designs Thermarest Sleep System launch party. Every day the show ends with a plethora of booth parties with free-flowing low octane Utah beer.

Canoe & Kayak went all out for the CK Awards. Shred Ready helmets encased in ice and made into a Kru Vodka luge.

Full house at the CK Awards! Very good times:)

John Turk & Eric Boomer win Expedition of the year for their circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island at the CK Awards.

Martin Litton receiving the well deserved Life Time Achievement award at the CK Awards. Multiple standing ovations for this pioneer of river conservation.

Stay tuned for live coverage for the rest of the show through: Facebook (Exploring Elements), Twitter (@ExplorElements) and Instagram (ExplorElements) with daily updates from the show on ExploringElements.com.

 (All Photos by Bryon Dorr & David Priddis)

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