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Press tour OutDoor 2014: Cutting-edge technology, pioneering footwear and innovative functional fabrics

09.07.2014
OutDoor 2014 kicks off with 925 exhibitors from 39 countries

Friedrichshafen - The outdoor industry thrives on innovation. This is clearly evident at the 21st OutDoor, which starts on Thursday, July 10, 2014 for four days. 365 submissions for the OutDoor Industry Award 2014, numerous new international and European products, countless smart ideas on the stands - a tour of the halls at Lake Constance shows that there are still plenty of maverick companies out there doing things differently. And it’s precisely this spirit that drives the outdoor industry.

Montane: Lightweight endurance mountain gear

Compared to the competition, this British outdoor company is a new kid on the block. And just coming of age. This is also reflected in their company motto, "Further. Faster”. Montane has become synonymous with mountain sports, pushing the limits and endurance in demanding conditions. As organiser of the Montane Lakeland 100 ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District' and Montane Lakeland 50 races, the company is closely linked to long-distance trail running and orienteering. The collected experience has been distilled and channelled into its innovative VIA Trail Series. Featherlight apparel designed for tough athletes, prepared to run 40 hours through rugged terrain in some of the remotest places in the English Lake District - and call it fun. And naturally, the rain and wind swept British weather also has a bearing on matters. Montane apparel is waterproof, insulating and comfortable - and, of course, all super packable to fit into a small running backpack…

PrimaLoft: The future of functional insulation is hybrid

Twenty years ago, people said about PrimaLoft "You can’t sell that as insulation, it’s too flat.” Proper insulation was supposed to be big and puffy. PrimaLoft went against the trend and took a new approach. Today, it ranks as one of the most important component suppliers in the outdoor business, alongside brands such as Gore-Tex, Polartec or Vibram. The advantages of PrimaLoft: its microfibres are very thin, extremely fine and soft, water resistant and extremely warm. It’s ideal for second and third layers and is now even used in base layers. The American manufacturer is by no means resting on its laurels, as innovative ideas determine the market. One example of this is PrimaLoft Performance Down Blend, after all, the future of functional insulation is hybrid. This new technology combines the advantages of high-quality down with the benefits of PrimaLoft - and what’s more it’s available in a lightweight version for summer use. Feeling the cold really is history.

Macpac: Kiwis, Aztecs and outstanding packs

Where is the ultimate trekking destination? Many say that it has to be New Zealand. Nowhere else will you find alpine mountains and sunny beaches so close together. And then there are the amazing trails, rivers and vast open expanses. It’s also said that the weather in New Zealand changes faster than anywhere else. There is always the possibility of rain. Macpac, the backpack manufacturers from Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand grew up with this weather. They were only too well aware that rucksack material had to be dense, yet with a natural feel, able to withstand UV radiation and in particular robust enough to withstand sharp-edged elephant grass. Their solution: a hybrid cotton fabric, made waterproof by treating it with wax. They called it Aztec. It was a 12 oz woven canvas fabric made of 50% cotton and 50% polyester whose cotton fibres swell when wet to seal any gaps. Macpac and Aztec have moved with the times. Four years back, it introduced the EcoAztec fabric, which is made with certified organic cotton. The trend toward ever lighter products called for a lightweight fabric version. Macpac’s solution is the new AztecPlus - a fabric that is 50% lighter than the original, but only 33% less robust. How is this possible? It has more fibres per square centimetre.

Light My Fire: Bright sparks

In the beginning there was fire... and the question of how to get a fire going quickly and safely outdoors, even in pouring rain. Swede Michael Odqvist came across an age-old secret: MayaSticks. These wooden sticks are made from the extremely resinous stumps of pine trees. The idea was not unknown in our part of the world - where kindling (often resinous pine chips) is also used. When the bark of a tree is damaged, the tree produces resin to close the wound. This resinous wood makes an excellent firelighter. Odqvist’s problem: the fire sticks weren't selling. Then in 1996, he found the perfect matching product - a firestarter, developed in Sweden of course. The FireSteel worked perfectly in combination with the fire sticks. At Light My Fire everything fell into place. Generations of outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers and survival experts have been using the fire sticks and steel firestarters ever since.

Mora of Sweden: Sharp brand profile for the future

If you live in Mora, you know all about knives. This is the way it has always been. Knives have been crafted in Östnor, Sweden for over a century. Once local craftsmen, who honed and passed down their skills from generation to generation, made them in every home. Today those skills are all under one roof - the Morakniv factory. Apart from that, nothing else has changed: genuine hand-crafted expertise, Swedish materials, Swedish design - Made in Sweden. Every outdoor enthusiast has a knife, it’s an essential item that combines a wide range of functions. And it can also used for to start a fire. Mora of Sweden - tradition and cutting-edge technology.

Arc’teryx: Technical performance footwear with an adaptive fit

Legends take a while to get established. Arc’teryx is an exception to the rule. The first time the Canadian brand from Vancouver exhibited at the outdoor trade shows, it literally became a legend overnight. Its innovative technologies, such as the waterproof zip, new methods of processing, such as textile lamination and consistently high standards remain virtually unparalleled. Arc’teryx’s motto is appropriately "Pursue Perfection”. In 2014, Arc’teryx introduced a footwear collection for the first time. And when they do something, they do it properly - and it generally represents a quantum leap as far as functionality is concerned. Primus inter pares is the Alpha2 FL, an approach shoe designed for demanding activities. However, the Alpha2 FL is more than just a conventional shoe. It has a separate stretch liner and laminated one piece upper to enable optimal comfort and durability. It’s adaptive fit refers to the separate inner and outer shoes that provide best fit-adaptability, breathability and weather protection. The removable and exchangeable liner has a Gore-Tex stretch laminate membrane and a reinforced sole. It’s available in low and mid versions and can also be worn separately as a hut shoe.

OutDoor 2014 is open to industry visitors only from Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 July (Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Further information at: www.outdoor-show.de.

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