Outdoor Retailer — the largest outdoor- and action-sport trade show in the world — is where gear junkies go to get a premium fix. It happens twice a year with its winter edition having just wrapped up this weekend in Denver. While winter isn't prime season for paddling manufacturers to flaunt their latest and greatest wares and hype up new prototype boat concepts, the volume and variety of outdoor, camping, and apparel accessories on display at Winter OR still warrants attention. Accordingly, to keep our finger on the pulse of what's hot and new in 2018, we had a couple editors and contributors roaming the byzantine convention center gauntlet of exhibitor booths at OR, evaluating the latest crop of outdoor paddling accessories to keep stoking the paddling stoke into warmer, longer days ahead. Here are a few picks from our time at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer winter show.
Astral Footwear Rassler 2.0
$125 (available August 2018)
The new Rassler 2.0 from Astral Footwear is billed as the next generation for hardcore river users. Reinforcements in the toe and heel, as well as increased durability takes this popular shoe to the next level.
Sealline 115L Pro Pack
The Sealline 115L Pro Pack is the perfect compliment to any multi-day expedition. Its large capacity, paddle straps and comfy weight-bearing system make long portages a real possibility.
Yeti Hopper Flip 12
Able to fit a six-pack of beverages and lunch for two, the Yeti Hopper Flip 12 can be rigged down to hold up to 13 12 oz. cans and keeps ice cold for multiple days.
CrazyCreek Hex 2.0
The CrazyCreek Hex 2.0 original is a lightweight, compact camping chair that rolls up and weighs only 22 oz. Splurge for the extra back support from while sitting in camp basking in the sun. (See our recent review of CAMP CHAIRS WORTH SITTING IN.)
Kavu Fisherman’s Chillba
The Fisherman's Chillba is an extremely packable, water-resistant sun hat made by Kavu. Its black underside minimizes reflection of light off water; a favorite for most water sports. Not only that, it fits in right in your PFD pocket.
Uco Titan Storm-Proof Matches
Uco Titan storm-proof matches are full waterproof fire starters. You just never know when that one lighter you packed may fall in the drink. Then how are you gonna start that stove at sunset? With a 25-second burn time they are a great accompaniment to any first aid or camping setup. @ucogear
Joshua Tree Sun Stick 50
Joshua Tree Sun Stick 50 is a roll-on sunscreen stick. Jttreelife makes organic products with performance you can count on. The small size makes is easy to pack in your pocket for use anytime in the day. Everything that can be natural is. Though they do make some sacrifices to make sure it works.
MSR Windburner Combo System
If expedition paddling is your thing, come prepared to sleep out for days on end and pack the right cooking setup. The Windburner Combo System by MSR is light and efficient and features a 2.5-liter sauce pot and an 8-inch skillet, and works wonders for small groups. The stove's windproof radiant burner boils water fast in all conditions, whether you're cold-weather camping with friends, or cooking a gourmet meal on a windy beach. The stove system nests all components for easy, efficient packing.
Some call it the Alaskan Sneaker. Others call it bombproof. Designed for the fishing industry based in the Bering Sea, these boots from XTRATUF are the real deal. This 2.0 version comes with reinforced toe and shin guards, revamped slip-resistant soles and triple-dipped chemical resistant latex uppers guaranteed not to leak. The slog to the water has never been easier.
Nat Geo River Maps
New river maps from NatGeo Maps! The map series is starting with Colorado rivers. We like the flip-book style, built with durable waterproof pages. River access, mileage, rapids and fishing info is all included.
Drinktanks Insulated Growler
$165 (complete kit)
Based in Bend, Ore., drinktanks has come out with a rad lineup of vacuum-insulated growlers and keg caps – guaranteed to keep your brew fresh for up to a week with their integrated CO2 system.
Chaco Footwear Classic Z Sandal
$130 (available March 2018)
Chaco Footwear and The National Park Foundation have teamed up to produce a new line of colorful sandals representing our country’s favorite national parks. Part of the proceeds go back to support the National Park Foundation.
Adidas Terrex + Parley Sustainable Outerwear
Adidas Terrex has partnered with Parley to produce a line of shoes and outerwear with fabric made completely out of recycled plastics pulled from the ocean and beaches. We think that's pretty cool.
Lifestraw’s Latest Filter
These newly redesigned filters from Lifestraw allow users to protect not only against bacteria and parasites, but also lead and industrial chemicals. The new design can also be implemented into existing third-party water bottle brands, making it a great choice for the everyday traveler and serious adventurer.
CGear Sand Free Beach Blankets
Keep the sand where it belongs! This patented dual-weave fabric was initially designed for minimizing brownouts while landing helicopters in the desert. This mesh design allows sand to run out and not in. Thankfully, CGear Sand Free also came out with a line of beach blankets and tote bags for the everyday beach bum.
Sunday Afternoons Hats
These new offerings are more than your average trucker hat. With a wicking sweatband, great ventilating UPF 50+ fabric with limited edition artwork, these hats are a perfect option for everyday beach and water wear.
Sanuk Yoga Sling Sandals
Namaste – for your feet! Sanuk’s new take on the Yoga Sling sandal covers the toes for a colder season style option. The combination of foot beds made from yoga mats and a variety of wool, suede and canvas uppers makes these a great option for gals looking to take beach vibes wherever they go.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottles
Stay hydrated my friends! Klean Kanteen has launched an entire new color palette for its line of stainless-steel bottles. This new line also features a chip-resistant, durable finish made from environmentally friendly materials designed to stand up to rigors of outdoor fun.
Speaqua Waterproof Speakers
Speaqua Waterproof Speakers have been around for a while, but their bluetooth transmission feature is brand new. Now you can load the speaker with up to 1,000 songs and leave your phone in the car. Battery life is five hours and it can be submerged to six feet for up to an hour. It comes with a suction cup mount as well as a variety of other mounting options, and at a price point of $65 it won’t break the bank. It’s small size, buoyancy, and the fact you don’t need a phone to use it makes it a great paddling accessory.
Croakies Wireless Earbud Protector
Everyone has heard of Croakies and chances are you have a pair laying around. But the wireless earbuds protector is a new edition to their fleet of accessory retainers. Essentially they are Croakies that integrate with earbuds to protect them from falling out. Since those little puppies are so expensive, a little insurance protecting you against losing them is well worth it!
Follow the hashtag #orwm18 for posts from the 2018 Winter Outdoor Retailer and check out accessories that caught our editors’ and contributors’ eyes at the summer iteration of the Outdoor Retailer show.