Believe it or not, we’re still compiling information and putting updates together on new products from companies at the Outdoor Retailer show. There were a great number of new product entries, so it takes a little time to get all the ones down that we thought you would like to read about. Next up on the list are some products from some well-known names in the outdoors industry–Vasque, Guyot Designs and Pro Bar. Starting from the beginning, let’s take a look at a new offering from Vasque. The first one is a trail running shoe called the Transistor FS with their Foot Sync technology. The Foot Sync system is comprised of three components–their Immerse 360, Flux Foam, and Wave Form. A basic description of the Immserse 360 is that it’s the first layer in which the foot resides. It’s somewhat like an envelope that surrounds the foot and helps protect the bottom of the foot from the constant contact with the ground.
On the bottom of that Immerse 360 is Vasque’s FluxFoam strobel that constantly adjusts its shape to conform to the bottom of the wearer’s foot for increased comfort and protection. The last component of the Foot Sync system is their Waveform Midsole which mirrors the foot’s overall shape to ensure added stability and protection. From there, they add their RockNRolla TPU plate system which is lightweight, protects the foot heel to toe, and provides tortional rigidity while keeping fordward flex resistance very low. Bringing the Foot Sync system into play with their RockNRolla plate system and their “Synapse” slip-resistant outsole results in a great package overall. You get a system that is not only strong, it provides you with a stable platform that will protect you feet while out running on the back trails. The Transistor FS comes in four different colors and even with all of that technology, it is a very lightweight package. The men’s version weight (average) 11.4 ounces and the women’s model averages 9.5 ounces. Talk about walking on air!
Another company whose products we’ve enjoyed in the past is Guyot Designs. We did a review last year on their Squishy Bowls that you can just wad up, throw in a pocket or pack for use out on the trail. Well, they’ve taken their concept a step further for all those folks out there that are pet owners. There are a lot of hikers an backpackers that take their pets with them on the excursions that aren’t difficult terrain or technical work. In fact, I remember a time when a member of our party had to turn around on a hike when we came upon a cable ladder that we didn’t know about on a trail we were hiking. There wasn’t any way to safely get his dog over that obstacle. So, those folks are out there! Guyot Designs has come up with 9 different Squishy Bowls for pets–three sizes and three colors each. These are great for watering your pooch along the route or for just containing their chow in one place at camp. Once, done, you can scrunch it up in a very compact size to stuff in your sack. One tip might be to get one color of Squishy Bowls for your pet and another color for you and your family members, unless you’re OK eating/drinking after your pet.
Another new relatively new item introduced by Guyot Designs is their Tap Guard for bottles with standard Nalgene-type openings. The Tap Guard is a filtering mechanism that fits down into the mouth of your bottle. It has a small opening (like a coffee cup) where the water comes out after passing through the activated carbon filter that hangs down inside the bottle. Activated carbon has long been a common way to filter water for drinking water out in the wild, though it’s not a way to treat for viruses, etc. A lot of people use iodine to treat their water to ensure all organisms are neutralized. Guyot Designs bills the Tap Guard as a great way to make regular tap water taste better because it removes chlorine and other chemicals from your household water. It will also be very helpful in removing the foul taste of iodine from your water if you treat it with the iodine pills or solutions available on the market. So, this item will be just as useful in the outdoors as it is in the house. Each packet of activated carbon is good for about 100 liters in the Tap Guard. That’s a cheap and easy way to add an additional layer of safety in your filtration technique and also helps make the water taste just a wee bit better!
Next up is a nice little diversion over to the food side of things with new products from Pro Bar. Pro Bar is a company that focuses on providing great-tasting, nutritious energy bars that are made from all natural ingredients. Considered a “Vegan” product, the Pro Bar lines of products range from full meal substitutes to just a sweet snack to keep you going til you get back to camp. The new product they are coming out with in 2010 is their new line of Fruition bars which will include Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach, and Cran-Rasberry. Those items are not on the market yet, but I have absolutely no doubt they will taste great.
While at the show, they gave me a couple of samples including their Superfood Slam bar. This is the bar intended to help as a meal replacement. It has 350 calories with 150 of those coming from fat. This is a great balance of calories for folks that are engaged in active pursuits in the outdoors, and they are also great to have on hand for emergency situations as well. I am not a Vegan, so I’ll admit that I was a little dubious before I tried the bars out, but they actually do taste great! To my mind, if the Superfood Slam bar tasted that good, I can’t wait to try out the fruit bars they’ll be brining out very soon. If you’re interested in the ingredients, just take a look at the Superfood Slam link for an example. It is impressive that they have ingredients that you can pronounce and actually recognize. If you’re looking for an energy bar that tastes great and is good for you, you really need to check this company out!