Gear dispatches: Technical but street-savvy is the focus |

Gear dispatches: Technical but street-savvy is the focus

Arn Menconi
Special to the Daily
Sierra Designs boasts a new flap technology, along with a city-ready, backcountry-tested dry down technology.
Special to the Daily |

SALT LAKE CITY — Outdoor Retailer continues to be a show for gear heads who welcome new innovative ideas. This year’s show seems to be heavily focused on products that easily convert from street wear to backcountry trail use.

Sierra Designs, recipient of Editor’s Choice 2014, for example, has implemented their dry down design into all of their down products: jackets, vests, sleeping bags and even this year’s new line of skirts. Dry down enables essential down products to be used both fashionably and practically. First introduced by Sierra Designs two years ago, dry down is an organic down that is treated to allow the functionality of a synthetic down.

“The dry down dries much faster and takes longer to saturate than traditional goose down,” said company marketer Marily Macdonald.

Additionally, front-panel ventilation has been added to all of Sierra’s soft shell and rain jackets to allow better air circulation on the trail while maintaining a stylish appearance for the streets.


When it comes to eye wear, Optic Nerve is introducing new side swipe technology in a line of their sunglasses, allowing users to easily change their lenses to match conditions.

“This year we have added more women’s styles, side swipe technology, new aviators and are now able to engrave any surface with custom logos,” said Optic Nerve president and owner Bill Cotton.

Finally a fun feature to the show was offered by BOA Technology, a new-age footwear tightening system seen in brands such as Topo, Tubbs snowshoes, Vasque and Pearl Izumi. BOA invited tradeshow attendees to drop off their shoes at the booth to have their laces replaced with BOA’s tightening systems. These systems allow for users to “tighten up and go” when on the fly, but also offer an undoubtedly secure system when working the trails in any type of shoe.

“We want people to have BOA in their life, no matter their lifestyle or brand lifestyle,” one BOA rep said.

Literally from the ground up, all retailers seem to be focused on the functionality of their products both on the street and in the backcountry, while maintaining a fashion forward look.

Arn Menconi, executive director of Colorado-based youth nonprofit SOS Outreach, is on the road attending ski and snowboard industry tradeshows and conferences. He’ll be sending dispatches from the events. This dispatch comes from the Outdoor Retailer winter tradeshow in Salt Lake City.

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