- We went to the 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show to check out all the latest outdoors gear from brands like Osprey, Marmot, Snow Peak, and others.
- The annual show, held in Denver, Colorado, showcases hard goods like skis and snowboards while also spotlighting soft goods like down jackets and wool base layers.
- Here are our picks for the best products we saw at this year’s show.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The semi-annual Outdoor Retailer show held in Denver, Colorado is a haven for just about every big name brand in the industry to show off the gear they’ve been designing and manufacturing for the past year-plus. While the show’s Summer Market handles everything from camping to surfing, January’s Snow Show is all things winter. Think down jackets and ski and snowboard apparel — if it keeps you warm, pushes you down a mountain, or lets you traverse ice, Outdoor Retailer’s Snow Show has it.
This winter’s show was no different as brands like Osprey, Marmot, and Yeti took to the Denver Convention Center to showcase everything from innovative avalanche packs to heat-retaining base layers. There’s even an area of the show dedicated entirely to hard goods like skis from Faction or Jones snowboards.
Though just about every corner of the convention center featured the latest and greatest in snow-specific gear, a few brands and products particularly stood out. Much of what we found won’t officially hit the market until next winter but already have us looking ahead. Here are our picks of the best products from this year’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show.
Here are the best products from the 2020 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show:
- Best avalanche safety pack: Osprey Soelden/Sopris Pro
- Best footwear traction for ice: Kahtoola EXOspikes
- Best travel blanket: Rumpl Travel Blanket
- Best puffy jacket: Marmot Featherless Hoody
- Best camping chair: Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair
- Best office-to-trail hiking boot: Forsake Davos High
- Best base layer: Seirus Heatwave Base Layer
- Best women’s base layer: Kari Traa
- Best rooftop carrier: Yakima CBX Solar Rooftop Carrier
- Best motorbike: Cake Kalk Osa
- Best campfire setup: Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
- Best portable lunch box: Klean Kanteen Food Box Set
- Best snowshoe for kids: Tubbs Snowball
- Best ski goggle tech: Zeal Optics Observation Deck Technology
- Best ski helmet: Bolle Ryft
The best avalanche safety pack
Osprey Soelden/Sopris Pro, $1,200 — available fall 2020
The Pro version of the Soelden (men’s) and Sopris (women’s) pack has a built-in airbag system from Alpride. What’s unique is that it’s an electronic-based system that doesn’t use canisters, making it safe to carry onboard a flight. It also recharges via USB in just 20 minutes, and there’s enough room for it to carry accessories for ascents.
The best travel blanket
Rumpl Travel Blanket, $99 — available August 2020
Rumpl’s Travel Blanket lives up to its namesake in just about every way. It’s lightweight enough to pack along in the car or in a backpack and packs down roughly to the size of a Nalgene bottle. Despite the light weight and small size, it still provides incredible warmth. The blanket also features a water-repellent coating and is made from post-consumer recycled materials, both in its shell and filling.
The best puffy jacket
Marmot Featherless Hoody, $400 — available fall 2020
Marmot’s WarmCube technology debuted late last year but the brand used Outdoor Retailer to introduce even more of its products that use it, such as sleeping bags and coats. Our favorite was the Featherless Hoody, a puffy-style jacket that uses the WarmCube tech to trap heat thanks to air gaps between the cubes. This also allows the jacket to remain light and, when seen from a distance, hardly resembles a typical puffy.
The best camping chair
Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair — available spring 2020
The Yeti brand is more often synonymous with coolers but at Outdoor Retailer, the brand unveiled something different: its new Trailhead Camp Chair. What makes the chair unique is that it easily collapses using just one hand and is made of a similar fabric to what you’d find in high-end office chairs. We also found it to be incredibly sturdy and to provide good support when seated.
The best office-to-trail hiking boot
Forsake Davos High, $169.95 — available fall 2020
All the performance of a great hiking boot but with city flair, the Davos High is a fully waterproof men’s shoe made with full-grain leather, a memory foam footbed, and a breathable membrane. It might not be the best hardcore hiking boot but for us, it just looks great. For women, Forsake has the equally stylish, waterproof Thatcher ($159.95), also available in fall 2020.
The best base layer
Seirus Heatwave Base Layer — available fall 2020
Seirus is better known for its heat-retention gloves that make use of a silver lining technology called Heatwave, which we’ve used in the past with great results. This year, the company’s taking that tech and branching out to base layers. In addition to using the Heatwave lining, the base layers are also made with Polartec’s anti-bacterial fabric that’s stretchy and breathable.
The best women’s base layer
Kari Traa — available winter 2020/’21
Kari Traa, a new apparel brand started by the freestyle skier and Olympic medalist of the same name, showed off a new line of base layers designed specifically for women. Built to be both extremely durable and highly technical, the collections are also intended to eschew the typical boring aesthetic of almost every other base layer on the market. Kari Traa does this by way of unique colorways and designs across its top and bottom layers. Think pseudo-argyle but much more fashionable.
Kari Taa offers its base layers in either a high-end 100% Merino wool line called the Smekker, a 60% wool and 40% modal natural fiber blended line called Hjerte, or an acrylic, wool, modal blend in the Perle.
The best rooftop carrier
Yakima CBX Solar Rooftop Carrier, $1,299 — available winter 2020/’21
Sleek rooftop carriers are a dime a dozen at a show like Outdoor Retailer but the car rack company, Yakima, upped the ante this year by unveiling a carrier featuring an integrated solar panel. Called the CBX Solar Rooftop Carrier, the box offers enough interior storage space for gear like skis and snowboards while also touting a 36-watt Sunflare panel capable of charging smartphones or cameras via its two USB ports. Don’t worry about only having to drive in the sunshine for it to work, either — Yakima noted that it’s able to amass solar energy in lowlight, too.
The best motorbike
Cake Kalk Osa, $8,500 (full-featured), $6,500 (Lite) — available March 2020
Cake debuted its latest electric motorbike at Outdoor Retailer called the Osa. The bike features rugged tires that allow it to do some light off-road riding, though it’s meant more for cargo hauling thanks to a modular cargo and accessory system. Cake offers the bike in two different range options of either a 63-mile Large Battery or 37-mile Lean Battery. It also features a top speed of roughly 63 miles per hour.
Best campfire setup
Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill, $319.95 — available now
Takibi is the concept of gathering outside around a fire, and Snow Peak’s Takibi series of products revolve around this concept. Many outdoors people swear by Snow Peak’s beautiful and highly functional products (including us) and its Takibi Fire & Grill setup is yet another impressive collection. Once you have the grill (formerly known as the Pack and Carry), you can outfit your setup with tents, furniture, cookware, and even apparel to match.
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The best portable lunch box
Klean Kanteen Food Box Set, $59.95 — available spring 2020
Klean Kanteen is one of the pioneers that helped start the reusable metal water bottle trend, and now it’s moving into food containers. The Food Boxes, available separately or as a kit, feature a lid that tightly seals to prevent leaks and provides added protection from snap-and-lock tabs.
The best snowshoes for kids
Tubbs Snowball, $49 — available fall 2020
Get your kids into snowshoeing early with the Snowball snowshoe from Tubbs. It has a binding system that kids aged 4 to 8 can easily secure themselves. At just $49, they’re incredibly affordable, too.
The best ski goggle tech
Zeal Optics Observation Deck Technology — available winter 2020/’21
Innovation in ski and snowboard goggles is a yearly tradition. Whether it’s a unique lens technology or an updated fit and design of a new frame, goggle manufacturers routinely take to Outdoor Retailer touting what they consider to be next. At the 2020 Snow Show, Zeal Optics unveiled a new technology designed to dramatically improve a rider’s field of view.
Called Observation Deck Technology, Zeal’s new idea rests with the specific design of the goggle’s frame. As its name suggests, it takes cues from slanting observation decks by implementing a 10-degree lens angle that boosts its vertical peripheral view. This allows a skier or snowboarder to more clearly see what’s below them without having to look straight down. Zeal plans to feature the new lens in its upcoming Beacon goggle.
The best ski helmet
Bolle Ryft, $300 — available fall 2020
Here’s why Bolle’s upcoming Ryft is a big deal: It features a ventilation system with large holes to allow more air intake yet still maintains its strength for safety. Grooves in the front allow goggles to slide on and off easily, while the BOA binding system lets users easily adjust the helmet for a snug fit. Racecar-inspired vents on the back give a sleek, Ferrari-like look.
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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