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Outdoor Retailer Summer Market '06 (Saturday)

Submitted by vegastradguy on 2006-08-15 | Last Modified on 2008-01-23

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OR Summer Market 2006

New OR Banner

Welcome back to’s coverage of the OR Summer Market here in Salt Lake City.

Also, to check out the other days of the show, click below:

Here’s a rather lengthy recap of Friday’s meetings:


First thing Friday, Kelly and I headed over to the Asana booth to talk with Jamey about their new offerings for the fall line.

First up was their bouldering pad line-up for this season. Jamey was pretty excited about all of his pads, but the one he’s most jazzed about is the Hero High-Ball pad, a 4” pad that measures roughly 4’ by 3’ and retails for $170!


Jamey stands next to one of his bouldering pads….

Asana has a bunch of other pads as well, including a budget pad the size of the Hero that retails for $130, a monster pad called the Sir Lancelot that’s 70’ x 40’ x 3”, a women’s specific pad called the Lilly which sits higher on the torso to prevent the pad from banging against the knees of the wearer, and finally a $200 pad that includes a built in chair with aluminum stays and is aptly named ‘The Throne.’

the throne

Kelly relaxes on the Throne…..

In other news from Asana, they are offering a pretty slick rope bag with a included tarp that opens up like a bouldering pad. It’ll carry about 2200 cu inches worth of gear and makes an excellent crag pack.

asana rope bag

Finally, Jamey told me he is currently designing a sequel to Asana’s hit video game- Gunther’s Big Day. While it is still in the early stages, the big news is that Gunther is going to get a partner, and her name is tentatively ‘Greta.’ Don’t get too excited yet, though- Asana doesn’t expect it before Christmas of ’07.

Bluewater Ropes

Next up was a brief stop with Bluewater Ropes and a meeting with their R&D Director, Scott Newell. While they do not have any new ropes on racks to show us, they did briefly go over their current line up and were pretty excited about their 10.3 Slimline Elite, which they tell me is an excellent beginners rope. They did tell me, though, that they are currently exploring a beefier version of their 8.6mm Excellence double lines- they’d be a bit thicker and a little heavier, but would last quite a bit longer.

Mountain Hardware

This is actually part one of two of Mountain Hardware. They have such a huge line up and meeting time was scarce, so we have actually scheduled two meetings with them. The first was to just take a look at the toys, and tomorrow we’ll go over them in more detail, so, without further ado….

mountain hardware pack

The new harness system is here! Check it out!

mountain hardware tent

Their new single person expedition tent called the ‘Bunker’

mountain hardwear sleeping bag

Stuffs like a down bag, but in reality…it’s a synthetic!

I don’t have too much info on the stuff above, but the new harness system looks sweet, albeit a bit complex. The tent looks beefy, but a bit small for those who are taller than average. Finally, the sleeping bags- their new Ultra Lamina sleeping bags stuff down to sizes never thought possible with synthetic fills- and the proof is in the picture above. The weight isn’t too bad either, although it is heavier than down. Look for a lot more info about these product tomorrow….

La Sportiva

Next up was La Sportiva where I sat down with Jonathan Lantz who could not stop gushing about Las Sportiva’s new performance sport and bouldering shoe, the Solution.

la sportiva solution

La Sportiva's pride and joy...

Jonathan went over the features of this new shoe. Most prominently, it features a new technology that allows the shoe to never lose its downturn. Its called a Permanent Power Platform (P3) which features a system in the sole which forces the shoe to maintain its shape for the life of the shoe. Other features include an incredibly soft interior, a cool adjustable Velcro closure, and for those who find performance shoes to be a bit narrow, that wont be a problem with this one- even with the asymmetrical last, I’m pretty sure I could wear this shoe (and I have that stupid foot that refuses to wear asymmetrical shoes!).

Next up for La Sportiva is a change of rubber on a good chunk of their shoes including the Mythos and the Solution. The new rubber is called Vibram XS Grip and according to La Sportiva is stickier than anything currently on the market. Now, I’m not a big sticky rubber connoisseur, so I’ll leave this one to the pros- but look for the new rubber on La Sportivas next season.

Also new this season from La Sportiva is their new Urban Approach Shoe line- basically they are street shoes outfitted with approach shoe soles. This is actually a pretty neat idea, especially for folks who would like to have an approach shoe but look good at the same time! There are two shoes in this line-up. The first is the Mandala, a skater, vegan shoe with a hemp upper and a dotted sole. The other shoe is called the Martini and has a leather upper and a less ‘skater look.’


Next up was Metolius, and they did not disappoint me in the least. They have a bunch of new stuff, and pretty much all of it is huge news, so hang on!

First up is that Metolius has finally finished the medium Supercam and it has gone into production. Look for it in stores in the next couple of months!

Second is their new curve nuts. In Metolius’s effort to further expand into the ultralight market, they have reconfigured the cables on their stoppers to shave 25% of the weight off of them! They accomplish this by using something similar to the DAT on the top of the stoppers- rather than stringing them through the stopper and swaging them below, they have eliminated the swage and strung the cable directly from the top of the stopper.

curve nuts

The new cable configuration makes these stoppers light as a feather!

I held the biggest stopper and it is significantly lighter. It also maintains its full 10kn strength, so don’t even think that Metolius compromised at all to save weight in that department.

Finally, and perhaps the biggest news of all…Metolius has been tinkering with their TCU’s and have developed something that will make aid (and trad) climbers drool…check ‘em out:

hybrid tcus

What’s that you say? Two different sized lobes?

That’s right…Metolius is making hybrid TCU’s! They have six sizes total, but only had five sizes to show me (like that wasn’t enough!). They are sweet- two smaller lobes, one bigger. They are in the ultralight configuration and will retail at the same price as their regular sized brothers.

The bad news- unless you can get one of the 100 sets snagged by Mountain Gear this fall, you won’t see any of these bad boys until Spring of ’07.

A couple of other notes from Metolius- one is that they have a new ‘portable power grip’ a simpler version of the rock ring coming out in early 2007. They will also be releasing the pre-fab prusiks around the same time. Those will come in a set of two- one long, one short.


After recovering from the glory of the Metolius hybrids, I stumbled over to the Arborwear booth, where Paul (the owner) showed me whats new with Arborwear this year. You might remember their Tech Pant being absolutely raved about by a certain reviewer a while back, and because of that Arborwear has given a couple of new pants to check out this fall. They’re a bit lighter, but still tough as nails and we’re looking forward to putting them through the gauntlet that is our testing grounds!

Other cool things that Arborwear is doing is researching a women’s line of pants to complement their current men’s line, as well as looking into pants that have a little bit of stretch to them to aid in the freedom of movement that climbers demand.


Just when I thought the day had shown me all that was awesome, Kelly and I headed for our meeting at Mammut. In typical Mammut style, they’ve gone and broken the mold in several areas.

First up is their new super light weight carabiner- the Moses. Clocking in at 27g, its as light as anything out there, but it sports a 25mm gate opening- making it a lot more appealing for those climbers who shun little carabiners. Look for this in stores by March of next year.

Another awesome new carabiner is the Bionic- an I-Beam keylock similar to DMM’s stuff, but with a radical new shape that forces the load to move to the center of the spine rather than along it. It’s 34g, has a 24kn closed, 10kn open, and 7kn crossload strength. This should be available around the same time as the Moses.

The big news from Mammut this year though is their new accessory cord. Normal accessory cord is structured like rope- a sheath and a core. Mammut, though, has approached the cord from outside the box and completely changed the way they make it. Their new cord is woven like webbing, but into a three dimensional shape. The sheath is woven directly into the core- giving it zero sheath slippage. The best part though? The abrasion resistance is ridiculous- they ran some tests and a test that absolutely destroyed a piece of regular perlon merely fuzzed the new cord a little bit. It’s pretty cool stuff, so look for it next spring- it will be available by the foot in sizes ranging from 2mm to 8mm.

Mammut has also revamped their shoe line and is looking to come out with better peforming and more comfy shoes this coming spring.

mammut shoes

One of Mammut's new shoes!

They also have a new belay device that looks a lot like Wild Country’s SRC, but is called the Sweet Belay Device and is designed specifically for their crazy thin ropes. It has an 80% assist in locking, and is only for one rope use, making it a sport crag belay device.

In addition to all of that, Mammut has also joined Wild Country and Petzl in the new frame construction harness trend. They have also developed a new buckle system that is designed for folks who climb ice so they can put their harness on over their bulky clothing easily. The system involves a ‘button’ type metal clasp which is then cinched tight like a regular harness.


Next up, off to Cloudveil, my absolutely favorite outdoor clothing company. I love their stuff, but quite a bit of it is very expensive because they use a lot of high end fabrics like Schoeller to make their jackets and pants. This year, though, they wanted to make stuff more reasonable for the summer crowd, so they are introducing a line of lightweight, reasonably priced jackets and pants.

The first is the Mountain Cache, a 5.8oz water resistant shell that runs about $40. It also has a lined version called the Cache Creek that runs about $95 and weighs 13oz.

Next up is the Inertia Peak, Cloudveil’s offering to those looking for a good soft shell at a decent price. They accomplished this by making it a three season jacket- its lighter, made from a different material called Primeflex, but still maintains Cloudveil’s standard of quality. The best part is the price- the jacket runs about $145, and the matching pants cost about $90.

Finally we come to the Zorro LT Jacket, a lightweight and waterproof jacket that weighs only 12oz. It comes with a full sized hood that rolls away into the collar, and, according to Penn, is also very stylish for the fashion conscious alpinist!


Kelly and I had some down time, so we headed over to Montail to see if they had time to show us some of their new stuff. When we got there, we learned about Montrail’s new plans for their climbing shoe line up. First and foremost, they are putting their high end rubber called HT on all of their shoes by January- which means all shoes should see a step up in performance.

They also have two new shoes out- The Smythers and the Orbit. The Smythers, like the Magnet and the Wasabi (which finally has its better Velcro!), has the thermomold insole, allowing you to literally bake the shoe to a custom fit. The shoe is a lace-up and looks to be an all arounder and Montrail is really excited about it.


orbit shoe

The upper looks like snake skin…I feel like I’m at a fashion show!

Nemo Equipment

The last stop of the day was at Nemo, home of the inflatable tent. These guys are really passionate about what they are doing and it shows in the workmanship of their tents. They have two new tents out- the Morpho EX and the Moki.

The Morpho EX is Nemo’s first offering in the realm of two walled tents. The tent comes as a standard mesh tent with a rainfly. Total pack weight of a little under 6lbs. Nemo didn’t stop there, though- they also designed it to be separated so that you can use the airbeams and the fly as a tarp system and the weight drops to under 3lbs!

The Moki is Nemo’s other new tent, but this one is their basecamp expedition tent. It is a pole-tent and meant for expeditions in every sense of the word. It has some awesome new features that Nemo is really excited about. The first is what Nemo calls the ‘Cheez’- a metallicized piece of fabric that insulates the entire interior of the tent helping to trap the heat so you can actually live outside of your sleeping bags on stormy days. Another is the ability to link two Moki’s together to form an even bigger basecamp tent for your expedition.

Well, that’s all we have for today- check back sometime late tomorrow for a recap of Saturday’s meetings which include Black Diamond, DMM, Sterling, and others!!! Also check back on Monday morning for the full article of all three days including more pictures from Friday's meetings!


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