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Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 | Recap

Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is the culmination of all the major outdoor brands showcasing what they have in their development pipeline. And I’m like a kid in a candy store at this show. If you’re into outdoor gear, this is the place to be. It’s an REI hopped up on steroids. Each year, the Loadout Room schedules meetings with as many manufacturers as we can fit into the three day convention. To bring you, the readers, the most cutting edge and up to date product reviews of the new gear for the following year.

Outdoor Retailer

Environmental Responsibility

This year, we saw several recurring themes circulating at the show. One was environmental responsibility. Many companies realize the importance of this and showcased what they are doing specifically at OR. From Costa sunglasses making their Untangled Collection of sunglasses from recycled fishnets. To Adidas Terrex using Parley ocean plastic to create the threads used in several of their products including shoes and jackets. Even Ruffwear, a dog focused company, is joining the fight to save Mother Nature. By using the un-recyclable closed cell foam “punch-outs” from backpack manufacturers to fill and insulate their line of dog beds. And PrimaLoft is well on their way to reaching a goal of 50% recycled content in 90% of their products by 2020.

Outdoor Retailer

Overland Travel and Camping at Outdoor Retailer

Another segment that is rapidly growing in popularity is the Overland camping movement. Whether it’s a modified van for day camping or a purpose-built truck to get to those less permissive locations, the Overland market is hot. Several manufacturers at OR are either fully vested in this segment or have products that support it. Tepui Tents, a premier rooftop tent company, saw the need to add a well built set of lawn chairs and table to their line. In addition to a dedicated kitchen set-up.

Dometic offers a full line of plug-in compact refrigerators and freezers specific to Overland campers. While Yeti finally added wheels to their robust Tundra cooler. Goal Zero showcased several “off the grid” solar/battery set-ups that are great companions when Overlanding. With the growing popularity of Overland camping, the Loadout Room will be dedicating more time covering products within this segment in the coming months to help you pick and choose what items you’ll want to add to your Loadout.

Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

We saw several innovative ways to cook food and brew coffee. Including a true all-in-one dutch oven from CampMaid. And a refined version of the MSR Pocket Rocket stove. Kelty has a new line with a creative name that says it all. G.Y.S.T. (Get your shit together) which is obviously an organizational item. New types of insulation for sleeping bags and outerwear. Updated backpack designs from Kelty, Gregory and Deuter. Cutting-edge manufacturing and materials, etc. New colors and coolers from big hitters Hydro Flask and Yeti. And a streamlined lightweight hiking boot from Vasque.

Outdoor Retailer

Although Outdoor Retailer just wrapped up its Summer Market, here is a sneak peek at the list of companies we will be reviewing products from. All of these products are designed to get you off the couch and outdoors. To explore and be stewards of the amazing landscape that makes up this beautiful country.


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About the Author


About Erik Meisner

served in Attack Company, 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifle team leader with deployments to the Middle East, Central America and Asia. He's a licensed pilot, SCUBA diver and enjoys Alpine skiing, shooting, Overland camping, boating, sea kayaking, traveling and golf. Growing up in a military family, Erik had the pleasure to live and ski all over North America and Europe. Now residing in beautiful Northern Michigan with his wife and 2 sons they continue to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.