The 20+ Best Bits from the Outdoor Trade Show

by 13

Beyond Bikes: Products That Have Us Dreaming Of Adventures. We went on an outing to Liverpool to check out the products and brands on show at the Outdoor Trade Show.

Aimed at retailers, it’s a show for outdoor brands to display their wares. Although there were a few bike bits there, it’s more of a camping/running/hiking/climbing scene – which of course has plenty of equipment overlap with mountain biking. Here’s a round up of some items that caught our eye and had us dreaming of adventures, or just wanting an excuse to chop something.

Nordisk Mos Down Slippers

Made with European down from the food industry, you can perhaps feel a little better about the fact that you are warm from top to toe knowing that no duck went to waste (though, we don’t know what happens to the beaks). Lightweight, PFC free, and with enough of a sole to nip out for a midnight wee, these would make a comfortable addition to your gear at the end of a long day.

Kavu Beer Buddy and Women’s Tank Top

  • Price: £40 (beer buddy), £35 (tank top)
  • From: Kavu

I was lured into this stand by my dungaree detectors, and went on to discover that I’d happily wear most of the apparel from Kavu, a Seattle based brand. It’s active apparel in a range of fun designs, but without going full ‘sportswear’. Think surfing, climbing, and chilled vibes. Or chilled beers – you can carry six of them in their beer holster.

Nemo Dragonfly Tent and Moonlight Elite Chair

Another US based brand, Nemo is a family owned company not too dissimilar from Singletrack – the owners are still in the office alongside everyone else, testing out different products and materials. This Dragonfly Tent is pictured sitting on a Moonlight chair – which as you can see from the photos makes it narrower than my bum, or indeed the space between drop bars on a bike. Weighing under 1kg for this 1-person version, it’s made with Nemo’s own ‘Osmo’ fabric, which has improved water resistance without any harmful chemical coatings, and is made from recycled fabrics.

The Moonlight Elite chair is the lightweight version of its heavier sibling, weighing just 1lb 2oz instead of the Moonlight’s 1lb 14oz. The Elite packs down into the neat roll, as shown above in the pale green colour, and has an adjustable recline facility. The fabric base around the legs stops you sinking into soft earth. Ideal for making that multi-day trip a little more comfortable.

Lifestraw 22oz Bottle

Lifestraw makes a whole array of different water filter options, from ‘SipStraw’ drinking straws at £29.95 with built in filter that you might use ‘just in case’ when avoiding holiday tap water, to these bottles which will give you lots of protection when drinking from water sources in wild an far flung places. Available in a variety of sizes, we’re told the 22oz version will fit a standard bottle cage on a bike. Drink by sucking through the straw – to maximise filtration – rather than tipping your head back to sip.

Goodr Glasses

  • Price: £40 (Mach G), £45 (Wrap G)
  • From: Goodr

With wallet-friendly prices and a huge array of colours and styles, I could have spent an age taking selfies here. But I’ll spare you. The turquoise wrap ones are meant for cycling and called ‘Wrap G’, and that particular colour is called ‘Save A Bull, Ride A Rodeo Clown’. There’s another colour called ‘I Do My Own Stunts’. The red ‘Mach G’ are called ‘Captain Blunt’s Red Eye’. You’ll probably either love the names, or hate them. But lots of colours and styles means you should be able to find something to suit you, and a sort of textured finish to the frames feels like it would be fairly non-slip.

Rite In The Rain

Waterproof paper, so you can write your memoirs as you enjoy the hills this UK summer. They also make a range of activity specific notepads, like gardening diaries or farming records – anything where you might need to be writing in the rain or even underwater. The paper is wood based with a soya based waterproof coating, and will work with any normal (non water-soluble!) pen, but they also make pressurised pens and mechanical pencils to go with their paper. If you write on your pad with pencil, you can rub your scrawlings out when you’re done and you’ll have a pad that lasts for years. One of those practical solutions that those who have cause to do admin in the outdoors will likely appreciate.

BioLite 100W USB C Power Bank

There were lots of different battery packs and power banks at the show, but this one packs a punch. You can charge up to five devices at a time, and there’s enough power in there to charge a laptop twice. Great for when you’re going off-grid, but really need to keep on top of work, or connected to the world.

Nite Ize Gear Tie

These tough and bendy ties were shown in a whole array of sizes from mini to mega and looked like just the kind of thing you could use in a heap of different ways around the house, in the van, or out on the trail.

SOL Escape Bivvy XL

This is new larger sized reusable bivvy bag, with a redesigned hood for even more warmth. Whether you’re using it for a planned light-packing trip, or an unscheduled emergency, this bivvy is lightweight and packs down small – despite being big enough for a bigger human.

Garmin In Reach Messenger and In Reach Mini

  • Price: £210 (Messenger), £260 (Mini 2) plus service package to suit needs
  • From: Garmin

These palm-size gadgets connect to satellites, allowing you to be tracked no matter how far into the wilds you go. The Mini 2 has some additional navigational functionality, while both will allow you to send and receive text messages from your loved ones. You can either pair it with your phone using an app to make typing easier, or use the devices as a standalone to conserve phone power. Depending on frequency of tracking pings and how much you use other functions on it, you can expect the Mini 2 battery to last between 14 and 30 days. Certainly way more than your phone! You can get a variety of different service packages to suit your adventuring needs – sign up for a short period for a specific event, or something longer for that round the world attempt.

Nextool Multi Tool

  • Price: £34.95 (Vanguard), £16.95 (Light Wrench)
  • From: Heinnie Haynes

Multitools with adjustable wrenches! Yes please! The larger ‘Vanguard’ has pliers and a couple of bits tucked into the handle, as well as a knife and saw, belt clip and sheath. The ‘Light Wrench’ skips the pliers, but still packs a bunch of handiness into something small enough to carry everywhere. Reasonably priced and very useful.

Lansky C-Sharp Ceramic Knife Sharpener

With four different sharpening angles and two different grits of sharpener, this portable sharpener should keep you cutting tomatoes without so much as wrinkling a skin. Just don’t forget you’ve sharpened your knife and cut your own skin!

Nextool Camp Chef

One last item from this stand – we could have (carefully) fondled sharp things on the Heinne stand for quite some time. This is a knife and scissors – not secateurs – for making sure your ribs are perfectly sliced on the BBQ, perhaps. Mmm… ribs… and slaw… and cornbread….

Evernew Miyama Kogatana Knife

We’ve included Ross’ finger for scale, as this is definitely one of those things that looks bigger on the internet. This teeny tiny titanium knife was originally made as a promotional item to show of the hand finishing skills of the Evernew makers – who also make an array of Ti camp cookware. But then so many people wanted one that they’ve added this titchy knife and kevlar sheath to their line up.

Omni-Tensil

No need to go chopping down your toothbrush etc – this kit comes ready chopped, with the stainless steel handles attaching on to each implement to give you a full sized piece of gear. The handles also turn into bellows, to help get your fire going, and the whole set wraps up in a neat tool roll.

Xero Shoes

  • Price: £65 (slippers), £170 (waterproof boot), £130 (mesh shoe)
  • From: Xero

New to the UK, Xero is a brand making ‘natural fit’ shoes. Everything felt super lightweight, with plenty of room for toes to spread out. The Pagosa slippers were practically floating away, and the fold down back makes a lot of sense for those quick trips out to the garage when you just can’t be bothered to put a full shoe on properly. Also in the ‘barely there’ category are their sandals (apparently popular with fashionistas looking for Mui-Mui lookalikes). Still light weight but with a bit more tread and foot protection, the waterproof Ridgeway boot looks like a great hiking option, while the Ridgeway Mesh Low could make for a nice summer walking shoe. Competitively priced for this style of footwear, they’re an interesting option for those who like to let their toes wriggle.

Mons Royale Diversion Wind Jacket

Merino loveliness as ever from Mons Royale, this time combined with wind protection zones in a zipper hoodie. We can see this being useful on those days when you’d cook on a climb but be cold once the wind got you at the top or on the descent. With under helmet hood for extra cosiness when needed. We don’t have more info on the pants, but Ross is holding up a women’s small, and they didn’t seem overly short in the leg. Promising for taller riders. There was a great selection of sports bras, underwear and clothing in some nice splatter and tie dye designs too. The last gear we had from Mons Royale came in over seven years ago and we’re still wearing it – we’ll do our best to get a refresh in for a closer look.

Terra Nova Tents

The tents on display here were two person tents, and still pretty dinky. For the solo traveller you could go smaller still, with the Laser Lite 1 weighing just under 1kg and packing down to 30x20cm bag – ideal for packing on your bars. Even these 2-person options come in at 34cm and under 2kg. The Halny Elite is a 3-season option, while the Laser Compact AS is 4-season, for the very brave.

Deuter Live-In Back Pack

Ross, looking cheerful at the prospect of being forced to carry and sleep in a pack? This is in fact a prop, and not one of the EL extra long range designed for taller people – but we’re hoping to get one of their longer bike-specific packs in for a closer look.

Jetboil

  • Price: £18.99 (coffee press), £15.99 (utensils), £155 (stash), £188 (sumo)
  • From: Jet Boil / Burton McCall

Copied by many, Jetboil’s compact and efficient stoves come in a variety of sizes, from the teeny ‘Stash’ to the more family sized ‘Sumo’. The ‘fluxring’ technology helps heat things efficiently, and spreads the heat out over the base so you don’t get a hot spot and burn your porridge.There’s also a range of accessories – the extendable cutlery so you can reach down inside the pot to stir seemed useful, and we like the look of the cafetiere kit, so you can turn your JetBoil into a french press.

Thermacell Midge Repellers

These portable midge and mosquito repellers apparently create a zone of protection using a chrysanthemum-based chemical that won’t affect other insects. Sitting outside unaffected by midges sounds like some sort of science fiction paradise, and we’ll be fighting among ourselves to test these out. Tickets to enter our 20m midge free zone may be available at future bike events…

That’s your lot! We’ve met a whole bunch of new people selling a whole array of outdoor products that we think you might find useful on your adventures. Let us know in the comments if there’s any particular brand or product type you’d be interested in learning more about and we’ll see what we can do!

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https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/trail-tales-midges
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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • The 20+ Best Bits from the Outdoor Trade Show
  • 2
    LAT
    Full Member

    Thermacell works very well for keeping midges away

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @LAT in that case I NEED one!

    zerocool
    Full Member

    I didn’t know KAVU was still around, I thought they’d gone bust around the turn of the century.

    Xero shoes are decent though and hopefully having a proper distributor will make them a bit cheaper nowadays (🤞🏻)

    5
    stwhannah
    Full Member

    I saw Troll there too, speaking of brands that are still around. Yes, I said we needed colourful trousers.

    1
    ahsat
    Full Member

    All my field notes books for the last 20 years have been Rite in the rain. They are very satisfying.

    God I’m glad I don’t go to shows like that – I’d have to remortgage the house.

    2
    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @ahsat luckily it was all looking and no buying, and in many cases not even a full set of sizes on display so I couldn’t even try things on and buy later. Phew! But maybe this is the answer to shopping malls of the future – they should be organised by theme/interest instead of mixing the prom dresses and high heel shops in with the waterproofs and sofas?

    alpin
    Free Member

    Got a pair of Xero barefoot shoes last year. Comfy enough, but as they’re waterproof they’re a bit warm and only worn them for a month or so. Not worn shoes other than for riding for months now.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I particularly liked the posh prison shank.

    You can get battery powered midge repellers that use the same pads as the Thermacell, supposedly they work much the same but start working faster and are more generally convenient than the gas powered ones. But veryvarying reports on whether any of these really work with midges?

    LAT
    Full Member

    But veryvarying reports on whether any of these really work with midges?

    Full disclosure, I’ve not used mine on Scottish or Welsh  midgies, but they do work on the Canadian variety.

    ahsat
    Full Member

    But maybe this is the answer to shopping malls of the future – they should be organised by theme/interest instead of mixing the prom dresses and high heel shops in with the waterproofs and sofas?

    Yes. Loving this

    1
    jp-t853
    Full Member

    I remember buying a thermacell about twenty years ago and thinking it would create a midge free zone. First test was on a campsite at Morvich. I was very disappointed and bitten to bits. You should do a video test at Kielder

    Andy_K
    Full Member

    Lifestraw bottle is good as a last resort, but flow rate really isn’t sufficient enough to make drinking a hassle free experience, you really have to suck hard on it (oh er misses!)

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Thermacell Midge Repellers

    Please can we give to @dovebiker on Mull for a proper test?

    Nordisk Mos Down Slippers

    The North Face ones are better, they are available with a proper harder sole so last a good time.

    SOL Escape Bivvy XL

    Anyone heading into wilder places or away from roads should have one IMO.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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