Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Suunto at the OutDoor show

Suunto, locally distributed by Ultimo, showcased their latest  fitness monitor, Quest, which enables you to create your own training programme, download it into the watch and share, plan and analyze the results at

The watch monitors your heart-rate, speed, distance, running cadence, intensity, recovery and laps in real time. The Suunto Quest can be used with an optional foot POD, bike POD or GPS POD.

The Suunto stand at the OutDoor Friedrichshafen trade show

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SteriPEN's latest water purification system

SteriPEN showcased the latest Freedom water purifier — their smallest, lightest and first rechargeable UV water purifier — which will be available in South Africa through Ram Mountaineering at the end of 2011.

The SteriPEN Freedom can be recharged using a computer, AC outlet or compatible solar charger via a micro USB port and can also be used as a convenient LED flashlight. It is 13cm long, weighs a mere 74gm and destroys over 99% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa in just 48 seconds for 500ml of water at a time. 

It can purify up to 20L of water on one battery charge, which takes approximately two hours to recharge. Just be aware that you have to use rechargable batteries as normal batteries do not hold enough power.
The Freedom is aimed at the business traveller.

The SteriPEN stand at OutDoor Friedrichshafen

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Silva 2012

Silva, locally distributed by LiteOptec, presented a brand new bicycling headlamp portfolio at the OutDoor show consisting of an entry-level and commuter/high-performance headlamp.

SIMI is Silva’s entry-level “to see, but also to be seen” product that will be launched in January 2012. It offers a battery time of 100 hours, has IPX6 certified waterproof capabilities and comes in different colours. The Velo headlamp is their headlamp targeted towards the professional commuter cyclist, it has IPX7 certified waterproof capabilities and an output of up to 110 lumens.

The Silva Tyto, a visibility lighting tool that can be attached on various surfaces, won an OutDoor Industry award at this year’s Friedrichshafen show. Running on two CR2032 batteries, the Silva Tyto will provide 24 100 hours of light, depending on the light mode.

The Silva Sprint headlamp offers the latest in Silva’s Intelligent Light concept, which incorporates a wide flood light combined with a strong focused light. The Sprint is also waterproof and can be attached to helmets or the bike frame.

The Silva attracted many visitors at the OutDoor trade show

Marcus Haas of Fiskaars international at the Silva stand

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Latest from Sea to Summit

Sea to Summit, locally distributed by Adventure Inc, launched several new products at the OutDoor Friedrichshafen show.
The compact, lightweight and waterproof Ultra-Sil Dry daypack is a new addition to complement their other Ultra-Sil bags and packs.

“It is a great solution for keeping your gear light on the outside and dry on the inside,” says Malcolm Loos of Adventure Inc.

“Just like all of our Ultra-Sil bags and day packs, it comes with its own stuff sack for easy pack-ability. Made of high-strength and lightweight Cordura fabric, it has been siliconised for water resistance and easier packaging.”

A new nylon waterproof tarp poncho is ideal for temperate climates, emergency use, group use or ultra-light fast packing, explains Loos. It can also be used as a pack cover, tent awning or ground sheet. The waterproof fabric is lightweight and has been double-stitched and tape-sealed. The peaked hood has been ergonomically shaped and the poncho is wide enough to accommodate a large backpack.  Reinforced attachment points make it easy to convert it into a two-person shelter.

“A folding bucket offers the ideal lightweight solution for carrying and storing water in the outdoors,” says Loos. It is made from non-absorbent, food grade (PVC-free) fabric, coated so that it does not absorb water. Free-standing on a level surface, an additional handle on the base makes pouring easy.

The Delta Spork (spoon, fork and knife combined) has been designed with ease of use and practicality in mind.
“The integrated spreader knife has a strong cutting edge, thanks to our bombproof nylon 66, while the spork profile has been shaped to be comfortable in the mouth,” says Loos.

The profile has also been designed to match inside curves of the Delta plate and bowl. And once you’re back in civilization, it’s safe to pop in the dishwasher.

Retailers showed interest in Sea to Summit’s products

Malcolm Loos of Adventure Inc at the Sea to Summit stand

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New from Petzl

Petzl, distributed in South Africa by Eiger Equipment, has improved the power consumption on their headlamps and they claim their LEDs will now be anything from 30-50% brighter as they have upgraded their LEDs for 2012.

Petzl introduced the Reverso 4, which is an upgrade on their Reverso 3 belay device for the climbing market — the 2012 model is 30% lighter than the Reverso 3.

The Micro Traxion hauling pulley is a locking system that can haul another climber or bag from one side of the pulley and locks off on the other side. It weighs merely 85gm. The Micro Traxion pulley is a smaller version of the Mini Traxion pulley previously introduced by Petzl.

Petzl also showcased their latest ice climbing axe, the Sum’Tec, which is an axe that sits between the range of technical climbing axes and basic trekking axes. The Sum’Tec’s axe-heads can be interchanged, which is a new innovation for Petzl.

John Fontyn of Eiger Equipment

The Petzl stand at OutDoor Friedrichshafen

The Petzl stand at OutDoor Friedrichshafen

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Award-winning products from Pacsafe

Pacsafe won their second consecutive OutDoor Industry Award for their latest Ultimatesafe 32L backpack at this year’s OutDoor Friedrichshafen show. In 2010 they won an award for the RFIDsafe passport protector. 

Pacsafe has 4 main security features in their products which consists of a slash-guard metal wiring which is sown into the straps, front and side panels of their travel bags, a locking function for the zips, a detachable lockable strap and their RFID shielding technology which is now common throughout their product range. The RFID technology is a shielding fabric which prevents people stealing chip information that could be on credit cards, passports or other identity cards. 

The Ultimatesafe 32L Pacsafe backpack 

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Merrell 2012

“Our barefoot running range (no heel-toe difference) has been our number 1 seller these past few years and in most countries they sell so fast we struggle to keep up with stock,” says Tim Selby, marketing director for Merrell international. 

Merrell, locally distributed by Medicus shoes, has expanded their Trail Glove range to include a road running Road Glove and Dash Glove (for women) shoe that has more support and cushioning than its trail running counterpart. 

They introduced their Bare Access range which is designed for longer runs or as a good transitional shoe between traditional and barefoot shoes, they now have an aqua barefoot shoe range as well as a barefoot lifestyle range of women’s sandals and men’s shoes. 

Their latest Mix Master is a trail running/multi-sport shoe with a Merrell sticky rubber-bottom sole with ovals for traction, minimal drop and breathable upper. They have also launched a Merrell barefoot kiddies collection, to help children “start to run the right way”.   

Visitors to the Merrell stand were invited to experience 'barefoot' in Merrell's shoes

The Merrell stand was a hive of activity at the OutDoor trade show

Tim Selby, marketing director for Merrell International

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LED Lenser at the OutDoor trade show

LED Lenser, locally distributed by Awesome Tools, showcased their flagship headlamp, the H14, at the OutDoor show which can be detached from the headband and used as a belt-worn LED lamp, a stand-alone camping lamp and a bike mounted lamp. The lamp is continuously focusable and can swivel in many directions and its Smart Light Technology offers several light programs with different functions. The H14 won the 2010 iF product design award and the 2010 Reddot design award.

LED Lenser’s Smart Light Technology consists of computer-optimized micro-controllers that can access many different light programmes (such as dimming, blinking, SOS signals, strobe lights & defence strobes) and can optimize energy consumption. 

The patented Advanced Focus System (AFS) consists of a reflector-lens, a combination of reflector and lens, which allows a smooth transition from a circular, low beam to a sharply focused long distance beam.

The LED Lenser stand at the 2011 OutDoor Friedrichshafen trade show

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New developments from Karrimor

“The heart of the Karrimor brand has always been in backpacks and backpacking,” says Gary Bardsley, head of Karrimor. Karrimor’s pinnacle backpack piece for 2012 is the Jaguar ST 79 95. The X-Lite category is the range of lightweight backpacks made from the lightest materials suitable for backpacking, climbing-specific, day-walking and running. Karrimor has an Air-Space back system which allows four-way airflow between the back of the pack and the back of the wearer.

Karrimor is introducing 2 new ladies specific 30L and 20L day-packs with S shaped shoulder harnesses and women’s specific hip belts for the 2012 season. “Karrimor has had a lot of development in the ladies market focusing on women’s specific designs,” says Bardsley. “A lot of the success we’ve been experiencing in the ladies market can be attributed to our sponsorship with England’s Bonita Norris.”

Karrimor’s latest sponsored athlete, Bonita Norris, became the youngest British woman to summit Everest in 2010, the youngest woman to reach the false summit of Mt Manaslu in the Himalayas in 2009 at the age of 21 and has just completed her latest challenge by reaching the North Pole on a recent expedition.

Karrimor is launching into cycling in 2012 with their new Re-feul range with ballistic fabrics, bladders and hydration systems. They also have new developments in their urban and travel ranges.

 “One of the key areas for Karrimor Footwear is multi-sport,” says Simon Wilkinson, head of Karrimor footwear international. Karrimor has developed a new outsole in conjunction with Vibram for their walking/mid-cut hiking footwear. Karrimor reports that they have had a lot of success with their footwear with women’s specific lasts, outsoles and designs.

“One of the key updates of our summer sandals range is our double lasted designs, partnering with Vibram and Wolverine leather,” says Wilkinson. “Water-shoes and closed-toe sandals has been an area of great success for us. Our top-end classic women’s sandals has proved a best-seller with their functional yet slightly younger style designs. We are also bringing in more lifestyle colours into our functional sandals. Our Micro-collection of sandals has all the technical attributes one would expect from the Karrimor brand, however we are trying to develop products that are more casual in its styling but would also be able to be used as an all-day walking/hiking/traveling shoe.”

Gary Bardsley, head of Karrimor

Simon Wilkinson, Karrimor footwear

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Award-winning products from Jetboil

Jetboil’s Sumo Titanium cooking system won an OutDoor Industry Award at this year’s OutDoor Friedrichshafen show and was marked for its degree of innovation, design quality, workmanship, functionality and trendsetting character. The Sumo cooking system will also be available in a more affordable aluminium material as well.

The Sumo range features patented Jetboil Thermo-Regulate and FluxRing technology that maintains consistent cooking heat to around -6 degrees Celsius. As the boiling time is reduced and heating efficiency doubled, fuel consumption is lowered as well.

Jetboil’s Sol Titanium cooking system received the Editor’s Choice award for summer 2011 from Outdoor magazine and the Outdoor award at ispo.

The true 4-season 0.8L canister cooking system weighs 8.5 ounces, works with a push-button igniter and comes with a drink-through lid with pour sprout and strainer. Jetboil is locally distributed by Ram Mountaineering.

The Jetboil stand at the OutDoor Friedrichshafen show

Blake Tucker (left) and Ryan van Niekerk (right) from Ram Mountaineering, SA distributors
of Jetboil, with Jetboil International's James Bartho (second left) and CEO Perry Dowst

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New ranges from Inov-8

Zimbabwean born founder of Inov-8, Wayne Edy, explains that the Inov-8 brand is all about natural running. “We encourage runners to go barefoot through our transitional shoes,” says Edy. “We are the only company to have reduced our footwear to 3mm with no difference between the heel and forefoot.”

Inov-8, locally distributed by Rebel Elite Fitness, started 8 years ago and was at the forefront of the barefoot/minimalist running trend. All their shoes are neutral and encourage runners to use their natural stride to achieve optimal running efficiency  and reduce injury.

Inov-8 has a comprehensive range of running and outdoor soles for different terrain; each offering a different function, whether it is a sole with spikes or a skin sole.

Inov-8 has been working closely with SA triathlete Claude Eksteen to produce a shoe with no heel to forefoot differential, a broad forefoot anatomical last and a speed-lacing system as well as heel and tongue pull-tabs to quickly pop the shoes onto your feet during a triathlon. 

They have also launched a shoe specifically designed for the CrossFit personal fitness training concept with a 3.5mm outsole that has a low profile and facilitates the sensitivity of the foot.

The Inov8 stand at OutDoor Friedrichshafen

Inov8 founder Wayne Edy at the Inov8 stand at OutDoor Friedrichshafen

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New developments from Hi-Tec

“Hi-Tec is going through an exciting time at the moment,” says newly appointed CEO Edward van Wezel. “We have employed the best industry talent to spearhead innovative products and we’ve moved our head office to Amsterdam to attract that talent.”
Advertisement: Buy Hi-Tec shoes online

Hi-Tec will be launching the Sierra light hiking outdoor boot in 2012, an evolution of the 1976 Sierra model, which at the time changed the athletically inspired outdoor hiking footwear market, says Simon Bryant, global range manager for Hi-Tec. 

The Sierra collection, which will be a lifestyle and hiking range, consists of a Vibram outsole and an ortholite footbed, which is moisture wicking, stops smell and helps create comfort.

Whereas the Sierra collection is currently only a men’s footwear collection, Harmony will be an women’s-only range designed by women consisting of sandals, mid boots and low cut footwear. Hi-Tec and Vibram partnered to create a sole exclusively for Hi-Tec that consists of a rugged vulcanised rubber area surrounding an inner outsole area with activity-specific traction.

The Vibram/Hi-Tec outsole that can interchange its inner with different traction designs 

Hi-Tec will be expanding their Infinity collection to lower price-ranged trail shoes — a shoe with the same outsole as the Sierra and another bottom-end shoe with a skimmed Vibram outsole that is a little chunkier and heavier and has an EVA wedge (not the Phylon that the top-end Infinity shoes have).

“Infinity running is a strategic group of shoes for us from a branding as well as performance point of view and will remain our pinnacle footwear range which will help sell the rest of the lower end Hi-Tec ranges,” adds van Wezel. 

Frank van Wezel (left), chairman of Hi-Tec, with CEO of K-Way,
Andre Labuschaigne, and Edward van Wezel, CEO of Hi-Tec (right)

The Hi-Tec stand at 2011 OutDoor Friedrichshafen

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