Fortunately, this time of year brings with it a variety of outdoor shows both in the U.S. and abroad which have offered some new products worth once again hoping to see in the consumer market. Giving credit to where credit is due, Backpackinglight.com and hrxxlight.com have both done great jobs at posting observations for you and I to appreciate. Below are a couple of things that caught my eye:
Sea-to-Summit is coming out with a tent that is very similar in appearance to SMD's Vamp and/or Haven...which to be fair, is a very similar design to other tents too. With tents, it is tough to reinvent the wheel. The Specialist, coming in both a solo and duo version, is a silnylon tent that will come in at 22 and 29.8oz respectively.
Probably one of my favorite products is the new Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak AC inflatable pad. It should compete quite well with the NeoAir which has both detractors and followers. The Peak AC, like the NeoAir, uses a radiant barrier to increase the r-value and will start at $65 for a 10.75oz version.
I also like the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Oyl Lite sleeping pad which boasts a 3-4 r-value and will no doubt compete with the BPL Torsolite which I found to be laughably small...although the Peak Oyl is only 37"x18" for 9oz.
For those of you who like to carry a more substantial knife than just a Swiss Army mini or a razor blade, check out the Baladeo knife which comes in at just 1.19oz for a knife with 4+ inches of blade. I should mention that I personally wouldn't carry this knife principally because it seems a little too frill-less to me (dangerous) and I also think the locking mechanism isn't as robust as it could be, but it may very well be a good option for some of you. Personally, for a lock blade, I like the Benchmade 530 at just 1.8oz.
Sand Socks Inc. is coming out with "Grip Socks" which is a product for folks that want some basic footwear whether for camp or water. It is literally nothing more than a neoprine sock with some foam at the bottom. A pair of mediums weigh 3.3oz.
Trail Designs has listened to their customers and redesigned their wonderful Ti-Tri system into a cone that fits into a 1.3l, 900ml, and 600ml pot which makes packing a lot easier. Hopefully Titanium Goat will follow suit.
There are a lot of other unique and interesting things on the horizon to include quite a bit of new clothing (ultralight down and rain options) and even new sleeping pads such as the redesigned NeoAir and superminimal pad called the Inertia X-Frame by Klymet which claims a weight of around 9 oz , but I just wanted to identify a few things that I found interesting. Hopefully we'll see some of these innovations by early spring if not sooner.