Aside from a growing “urban outdoor” lifestyle trend, innovation was singled out as a key driver of growth in a market that is not expanding as fast as before, at the press conference that kicked off the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen last week. Stefan Glowacz, the chief executive of Red Chili, complained that there are not enough new products in the market and that many of those being sold are look-alike items, but there are exceptions.

The fair featured an interesting “Explore Innovation” section in its important Rothaus Hall, full of new brands and products. On the other side of the exhibition, in the East Entrance, the 37 winning products of this year's OutDoor Awards were presented in a new modular, redesigned area. Listed in this issue, they were picked by an international jury from 343 entries.

Eight of these products were given a Gold OutDoor Award: Beanscorp's Caffiano Classic thermos cup, Berghaus' Hyper 100 Jacket, Birnadal's Birnabag, Edelrid's Balance Crash Pad, Exped's Transfer Wheelie Bag, Langbrett's Guppy Friend, Stoll's Balaclava, Therm-a-Rest's Trail King SV.

Also at the OutDoor show, Outdoor Sports Valley, the French national outdoor sports industry trade association, presented the winners of the French Outdoor Awards 2016 together with Sporaltec, the sports research lab cluster for the French Alps.

OutDoor Awards and Gold Awards winners

Company

Category

Product

Beanscorp

Accessories

Cafflano Klassic

Birnadal

Accessories

Birnabag By Birnadal

Goal Zero

Accessories

Goal Zero Nomad 7 plus

Mountain Safety Research

Accessories

Trailshot

Petzl

Accessories

Nao +

     

Berghaus

Apparel

Hyper 100 Jacket

H. Stoll

Apparel

Balaclava

Haglöfs

Apparel

Aran (Valley) Jacket Women

Mammut

Apparel

Rainspeed Ultralight HS Jacket

Millet

Apparel

Trilogy Advanced JKT

Millet

Apparel

Drynamic Mesh 3D Tank

OMM

Apparel

AVA Jacket( (W)

Salewa

Apparel

Agner Engineered Pant

     

Exped

Backpack

Transfer Wheelie Bag

Arc'teryx

Backpack

Bora Backpack

Gregory Montain Products

Backpack

Paragon 58

Kailas

Backpack

"Edge" Climbing Backpack

Osprey Packs

Backpack

Duro 15

Raidlight

Backpack

Responsiv 20L Vest

     

Montbell

Camping

Alpine Thermo Bottle 0.5L

Nemo Equipment

Camping

Escape Pod 1P Bivy

Sea to Summit

Camping

Ultralight Hammcock

Wechsel

Camping

Approach 2 ZG

     

Elderid

Climbing

Balance Crash Pad

Elderid

Climbing

Loopo Lite

Kong

Climbing

Zaza Connect

Wild Country

Climbing

Revo

     

Lowa

Footwear

Lowa Approach Pro GTX

Scott Sports

Footwear

Scott Supertrac RC

Vargo

Footwear

Titanium Pocket Cleats

     

Spanflex

Material innovations

Ventiprene

     

Therm-a-Rest

Sleeping Bags

Trail King SV

     

Onak

Start-up sponsoring

Onakcanoe

     

Langbrett

Sustainable innovations

Guppy Friend

Adidas

Sustainable innovations

Terrex Parley Logo tee

Flocus

Sustainable innovations

FL-FL-KP80

La Sportiva

Sustainable innovations

Mythos Eco

CLiC-iT, a start-up for mechanical safety devices based in Reims, is the overall winner with its CLiC-iT Mountain safety system for activities at high altitudes. The second prize was given to Techni Sangles, a French weaving company, for its Technical Strap, which is made with highly resistant materials and designed for harness applications such as waist belts. The Zulupack brand of waterproof bags won the third prize with its Addict 43L backpack.

Meanwhile, Polartec has selected 14 winners of the 18th series of its annual Polartec Apex Design Wards among 100 brands of apparel and accessories that have submitted their most innovative products made with Polartec fabrics. Seven winner are from North America and the other seven from Europe and Asia. The European winners are: Black Crows with its Corpus Polartec Jacket, Eric Bompard, Joseph Abboud with its Memory Men's Coat, Rapha with its Insulated Brevet Gilet, Red Fox with its Alphas sleeping bag & backpack, Salewa with its Pedroc PTC Alpha Jacket.