Even on the heels of the huge Outdoor Retailer show in June, the relatively small Big Gear Show in August surprised us with some fresh and eye-catching gear concepts.
The Big Gear Show was a new event for outdoor industry brands, retailers and media in 2021. In 2022, he returned to Park City, Utah, in August for another round of exclusive gear previews, track and water demonstrations, and panels with various industry leaders.
In less than 30 minutes, I went from trying out Costa polarized sunglasses models, to paddling three different SUPs, to trying out a pack, to talking to climbers. The gear world was my oyster.
Hop on a SUP, sit in that chair, ride that bike. Stick to wind, rain, shade or sun (bad weather episodes were actually a bonus as I could really test). At the Big Gear Show, exhibitors not only have the product on hand, but most want to put it in your hands or on your feet.
When it comes to testing 2023 gear that hasn’t been released yet, one of the best applications of the Big Gear Show was the fact that this gear, and all of us gear nerds, were at the outside. Here are our highlights from the show this year.
Product launches at the Big Gear Show
I must have heard brands at least five times: “We are so happy to be here, because this [insert product/inventory] just arrived a week ago. Or, “We didn’t have samples on hand in the OR, but we have them now!”
For all the brands affected by shipping and manufacturing delays, the second chance to show off gear to sellers, retailers and the media at the Big Gear Show was a big bonus. And that boils down to a positive for us too. We have the most up-to-date push on the gear we plan to research, test, or share with you, the public.
Yakima Major Shady 270 Awning (Spring 2023)
Yakima already makes a SlimShady (various 6.5ft and 8ft awnings), but the MajorShady is a big step up.
The awning offers 80 square feet and 270 degrees of coverage, and it’s still quite compact. Support poles are included, and you can expand shade space even further with Major Shady Walls that zip up for added weather protection or privacy.
Grand Trunk Compass 360 Stool (Available now)
Sometimes it’s nice to have a chair with a back, but sometimes it’s nice to have a quick, collapsible place to perch.
The new Compass 360 stool from Grand Trunk has a 15 inch seat height, a single joint that offers 360 degree swivel action and even a pocket under the seat. Yes, it may just be a camping stool, but we can see many great applications for the 360 degree swivel (bike mechanics, fishing, backcountry cooking, etc.).
White Duck Canvas Outdoor Chairs (2023)
Hunting-focused brand White Duck Outdoors is transitioning from canvas tents to canvas camping furniture in 2023. Highlights of the collection will be these low-seat canvas chairs, made from 100% 18-ounce canvas with a seat height of 13.4 inches. They will retail for $139 – and they look and feel great.
Uncharted Supply Co. Park Pack (Available now)
We had the chance to test the new Uncharted Supply Park pack first hand during an early morning train ride outside of Park City. This lumbar bag is stellar in terms of fit and does a great job of keeping weight distributed and close to your back.
If you’re not using the full 2.8L of storage – perfect for a wallet, first aid kit, phone, jacket diaper and Fido essentials – you can tighten the bottom straps to ensure the bag stays in place.
The lumbar material against the back is of good quality, and the whole bag is waterproof. And who can forget the two water bottle holders on the Molle webbing that you can custom configure? For MTB and trail (and probably more), this pack has a lot of potential. MSRP is $149 with a 5-ounce, 30-piece yard kit included.
Red Paddle Co. 8’10” Compact SUP (February 2023)
Red Paddle Co. wasted no time expanding its line of compact SUPs last year, with the addition of the 2022 12ft Compact. In February 2023, the 8’10” will join the compact 12ft, 11ft and 9’6″.
This SUPPER is as small as it gets, with a surf-style design and lots of upgrades.
The paddleboard will have carbon slats along the side rails for added rigidity, removable handles and screw-in twin fins. MSRP will now be $1,649 for the complete package (five-piece paddle and travel bag included).
More gear that caught our eye
POC Omne Ultra Bike Helmet (2023)
POC’s new focus on the gravel genre is most evident in its Spring 2023 Omne Ultra helmet. The Omne Ultra Mips aims to “make everything individual”. Helmet features include strap and Velcro attachment points for adding patches, ID or medical patch, rain cover, etc. It has the same ventilation design as the Omne Airan EPS liner and a PC shell.
SeaSucker Pallavinci ski carrier (available October 2022)
Miller quickly moved from the market of marine accessories for boats, to the market of accessories for vehicles. Its most recent products include bike rack bars, as well as this Pallavinci ski rack ($399). The vacuum-mounted rack has been redesigned and can carry snowboards (up to four), skis (or up to two) and poles. It is made of HDPE and includes both brackets and retention cords to secure your gear. The new rack will launch on October 1, 2022.
Maximum Refueling Hydration (Available now)
Gnarly Nutrition, Tailwind Nutrition, Skratch Labs, Honey Stinger, Nuun – there are tons of performance nutrition brands on the market that already make hydration blends. And now an outback food brand is joining the party.
Peak Refuel has kind of made the switch from elk stews and breakfast pans to refreshing, nutritious, sugar free drink mixes. All three are caffeinated with the addition of yerba mate. Our favorite by far was the fresh melon, but the Mountain Berry also proved to be a popular choice with onlookers.
Trailrun CamelBak Vest (Spring 2023)
Designed to be a light and fast option, the new Trailrun from CamelBak hits stores in February 2023 ($100). The vest has a 10 liter carrying capacity, attachment points for hiking poles, a body-hugging fit for the women’s version, two flasks included, 70 denier recycled nylon fabric, and more. And it only weighs 8 ounces.
Some of the equipment in the show was new, some we had already heard of or seen… Yet, a lot of this equipment will not be released until 2023. We will keep our eyes peeled.