It’s been a bit quiet the past few days on GearLimits.com; reason being we have been recovering from a number of extremely intensive days at the Outdoor 2017 trade show at Friedrichshafen. These shows that are geared towards the Outdoor industry is always a heaven for us gear nerds. So much great gear, so many enthusiastic and inspired people to speak to; ranging from intensive and serious business meetings to laughs over beers at the end of the day.
Our goal is always dual: on the one hand we want to see what is new and cool, and the other hand it gives us an opportunity to talk to brands, to find out what they are doing, to build relationships that allow us to receive the gear we want to review and to see what cool projects we can do together.
We spent “only” two days but we can look back at a very successful visit. Jam packed with meetings, we came back to Holland with new ideas, new possibilities, new projects to work out and a lot of new impressions.
There are some general trends that we noticed, one of them is the search for a number of brands towards ultra-lightweight gear. In the past we saw examples such as the Hyper 100 Jacket by Berghaus which we reviewed, and during this show we were impressed (amongst other things) by the Osprey Levity backpack which, when empty, weighs just bout 800 grams and the set of Lofoten tent, Oscar +10 sleeping bag, and grip 2,5 mat by Nordisk which weighed in at 1180 grams.
Another trend we saw is that the boundaries between technical outdoor and fashionable outdoor are becoming ever vaguer. One the one hand you have brands just being more design savvy, making gear look better, on the other hand, fashion trends being applied to outdoor gear. Most notable to me where the tapered and almost skinny look we saw in the Følen pants by Berghaus and the Abisko Trekking tights by Fjallräven.
What was also interesting is the various choices brands make, some choosing for extreme focus such as Bach Packs, gearing all their attention to making the best backpacks they can make, and a brand such as Thule, that has made the step from car mobility to personal mobility and presented their own, very extensive line of backpacks from urban to outdoor use. Obviously, the size and budgets of these companies are also hugely different, but it is a thing you can keep in mind when making your choice for a brand or a product.
Last but not least, there is an ever increasing interest of brands in working together with independent platforms such as our own to tell the stories behind products and brands and allowing, even wanting those stories to be told through the lenses and opinions of others. An opening up of the company and the products to outside eyes, and really wanting to share an authentic, true story.
So we came back smiling. So much ahead of us. Very cool!