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18/19 Gear Highlights & Trends from OR

30th June 2018 | Heather B. Fried

18/19 Gear Highlights & Trends from OR- ©Heather B. Fried

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

The first ever combined Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show went down in Denver last week, and while the announcement of the new Ikon Pass almost stole the show, we still managed to check out the latest and greatest new gear for next year from a few of our favorite brands. Outside of the generally cool innovations, we pulled out a couple of trends from the show floor to provide you some exclusive softgood highlights from the future.

For 18/19 hardgoods trends, see our separate coverage here. All current products are available via our trusted affiliate partners, Backcountry.com and evo.com.

Sustainably Superb

A strong political undercurrent rooted in environmental stewardship was present at the tradeshow, upon which the show's move from Salt Lake City to Denver was based. With Colorado facing its worst ski season start in 30 years, the snow sports sector of the outdoor industry has taken center stage in the climate change discussion.  

And in the spotlight on that stage? Patagonia. Known for its eco ethos, the brand actually discourages purchases of new gear by building products with quality, longevity and durability in mind. It backs everything with a lifetime guarantee so that returns and repairs are seamless, and its Worn Wear program keeps garments in the adventure rotation and out of landfills longer. 

When it is time for a new ski jacket, Patagonia's latest offering includes options made with 100 percent recycled GORE-TEX® face fabric that can also be sent back to Patagonia and recycled at the end if its lifecycle. The men's Departer Jacket on the right gets double trend points for sustainability in a throwback package with a design based on a classic 90s style.  

>> Shop current Patagonia <<

Patagonia's 100% recycled women's Powder Bowl and Men's Departer Jackets.  - © Heather B. Fried

Patagonia's 100% recycled women's Powder Bowl and Men's Departer Jackets.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

With a conscious constitution woven into the fiber of its being, Picture Organic Clothing dubs itself "an environmental activist, outdoor brand dedicated to boardsports" rather than a ski or snowboard brand. Accordingly, everything Picture puts out there is, at a minimum, made from recovered fabrics, 50% recycled poly or 50% organic cotton. The brand founded the Fair Wear Foundation to improve working conditions where garments are made, plus it patented a system of lamination to render recyclable the membrane—the performance portion of a jacket that typically prevents it from being reusable. Picture's DWR treatment is Perfluorocarbons (PFC)-free and its insulation is made from corn instead of down. 

>> Shop current Picture Organic <<

Mineral and Jack Jacket from Picture Organic Clothing, a brand that's sustainable story is central to its existence.   - © OnTheSnow.com

Mineral and Jack Jacket from Picture Organic Clothing, a brand that's sustainable story is central to its existence.

Copyright: OnTheSnow.com

Smartwool was another sustainable standout at the OR show this year with its Smartloft insulation that's now made from the scraps of its most popular Merino 250 base layer. By switching up its wool-based insulation to include recycled materials, Smartwool was able to save and reuse 23 tons of merino scraps, incorporated into 15 pieces for 18/19.  

>> Shop current Smartwool <<

Smartwool's Smartloft pinnacle pieces: the Men’s Smartloft 60 Shirt Jacket and Women's Smartloft 60 Hoody for 18/19.  - © Smartwool

Smartwool's Smartloft pinnacle pieces: the Men’s Smartloft 60 Shirt Jacket and Women's Smartloft 60 Hoody for 18/19.

Copyright: Smartwool

Goggle Tech

We caught up with two of the three goggle companies (that we know of) that rolled out an on-demand light level change system at the show. Spy Optic's electrochromic goggle is built on the Ace EC frame and adds push-button light adjustments to the band in three visible light transmission (VLT) options that range from 20 to 40 to 60 catering to sunny, mixed and low-light conditions. Said to last 20 days on standby and through 220+ cycles, the change is activated by an electric pulse that fires between lenses. Spy offers this new technology in a price-point, cylindrical lens for 18/19.

>> Shop current Spy Optic <<

Spy Optic's 18/19 Ace EC goggle is fitted with new electrochromic light-changing technology in the band.  - © Heather B. Fried

Spy Optic's 18/19 Ace EC goggle is fitted with new electrochromic light-changing technology in the band.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

Oakley is also taking lighting to the next level, claiming that the electrochromic light level change is more dramatic, instantaneous vs. gradual over time and won't be impacted by temperature as compared to a photochromic lens. The brand's new Prism React technology is available on the Fall Line XL goggle, and similar to Spy, starts cylindrical for next season. Unlike Spy, the VTL is a tighter range (10-15-40), but the technology is built into the goggle rather than resting atop the band and utilizes two buttons so that you don't have to cycle through the entire spectrum to dial in the light that's right. One USB charge is said to last an entire month.   

>> Shop current Oakley <<

Oakley's 18/19 Fall Line XL goggle with electrochromic tech.  - © Heather B. Fried

Oakley's 18/19 Fall Line XL goggle with electrochromic tech.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

Turns out, cylindrical isn't just a price point play. The shape is cool again according to Zeal Optics, who's launching their first cylindrical goggle model featuring the brand's Rail Lock System (RLS): the garage-door inspired lens change process features magnets and a locking mechanism to prevent lens loss in the event of a fall. This throwback look is updated with new lens tech so that the vision disadvantages previously synonymous with the shape are no longer problematic. This is thanks to an optically tapered cylindrical lens that performs more like a spherical when it comes to decreased distortion.  

>> Shop current Zeal <<

The new, cylindrical Zeal Optics Hatchet with RLS tech.  - © Zeal Optics

The new, cylindrical Zeal Optics Hatchet with RLS tech.

Copyright: Zeal Optics

Humble Homage

Whether in honor of an anniversary or just a good ol' throwback to the archives, many brands are returning to their roots for style inspiration. Some of these were mentioned above, but none more notably than Obermeyer with its Fall Heritage collection. This all urban, lifestyle line exhumes patterns from the 70s and even utilizes the logo of the time. Additionally, its Snell Softshell Pant brings back an old-school bib style from back in the day. 

>> Shop current Obermeyer <<

Obermeyer takes it back to the old school for 18/19.  - © Heather B. Fried

Obermeyer takes it back to the old school for 18/19.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

Somebody at Smith stumbled upon the original Bob Smith, the first dual lens goggle on the market, which the brand displayed as a proud nod to the innovations that Smith has been putting into eyewear for the last 53 years. The spherical, rimless style is a testament to minimalist design while still being rather relevant to the goggles we see out there today in terms of shape (though we doubt this breakout model had lens change options). 

>> Shop current Smith <<

The Original Bob Smith goggle.  - © Heather B. Fried

The Original Bob Smith goggle.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

 

Anorak Attack

Anorak and pullover styles are making a comeback for 18/19 with convenient side-zip entries so that your layers are locked down but still easily accessible. Sayonara pesky zippers that never line up or zip easily from the bottom up; hello seamless style! The women's Ceptor Anorak from The North Face is built for the backcountry and inspired by the freestyle scene. With a street vibe and technical specs at a great price point, this anorak is sure to be a winner next winter.

>> Shop current North Face << 

The North Face women's Ceptor Anorak.  - © James Robles

The North Face women's Ceptor Anorak.

Copyright: James Robles

The new men's Recoil Down midlayer and Clark Anorak shell from Dakine are a steezie portrait of how to pull off this look on the men's side.  

>> Shop current Dakine <<

New Dakine men's anorak styles for the 18/19 ski season.  - © Heather B. Fried

New Dakine men's anorak styles for the 18/19 ski season.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

Cool & Unusual 

For 18/19, Eider launches an artist collab with Esther Stocker for some custom black and white prints on the women's side. 

>> Shop current Eider << 

Eider artist collab with Esther Stocker.  - © James Robles

Eider artist collab with Esther Stocker.

Copyright: James Robles

Hestra made some improvements to its Army Leather Patrol, adding a longer profile to the Gauntlet Mitt and an insulated liner update to the Heli Glove. However, the most eye-catching style was the Omni Mitt, which got a new colorway and lost the finger garages for 18/19.  

>> Shop current Hestra << 

Not a new style for Hestra, but a new colorway for the Omni Mitt, which also got rid of its finger garages for 18/19.   - © James Robles

Not a new style for Hestra, but a new colorway for the Omni Mitt, which also got rid of its finger garages for 18/19.

Copyright: James Robles

The big story for Helly Hansen is its new Lifaloft insulation, constructed from 75% Lifa® fibers and 25% PrimaLoft®. Available in the fall, the proprietary insulation captures and retains heat via an increased number of microscopic air pockets and also rejects moisture thanks to that Lifa magic, making for a great mountain midlayer and/or active lifestyle line.  

>> Shop current Helly Hansen << 

Helly Hansen Lifaloft new styles  - © Heather B. Fried

Helly Hansen Lifaloft new styles

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

Need a glove that shields digits from the elements sowell it provides dry-ice handling warmth like no big deal? Enter Outdoor Research and its Bitterblaze Gloves featuring Aerogel technology, an insulation made with space suit materials in the fingertips and palms. If it's good enough for NASA, it should more than enough for the coldest hands on the most frigid of ski days. 

>> Shop current Outdoor Research <<

Outdoor Research glove with Aerogel tech.  - © Heather B. Fried

Outdoor Research glove with Aerogel tech.

Copyright: Heather B. Fried

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