Sometimes being the Front Range Chief Correspondent for Fat-Bike.com has its perks and the day Gomez asked if I wanted to go to the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver last week was one of those days. I mean, who doesn’t want to walk about and look at a bunch of gear?! Outdoor Retailer (or OR) is North America’s largest outdoor industry trade show. It’s attended by major brands, retailers, reps, designers, media, etc., and this year it was in Denver. Basically, it’s a lot of brands showcasing their products for the upcoming retail season. Needless to say, there were more stainless steel insulated water bottles and camp chairs than you would ever care to see (even bottles that remind you to drink). Oh, and knives, lots of knives . . .and bear spray/mace. Anyway, while this is not a bike-centric show like Interbike and there weren’t really any major bike-related brands in attendance, there were some bits of interest to the cycling crowd.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first –
OR is where Küat launched their new rack, the Piston Pro X. Yes, it’s really expensive (MSRP $1389 for the 2 bike rack). Yes, it uses Kashima on the struts. Yes, it’s complete overkill for a bike rack. But Holy Damn! It is one swanky bike rack. I’ve seen a lot of bike racks and this was by far the nicest one I’ve ever seen. Lots of bells and whistles. Küat had it on display with an equally swanky Oddity Cycles 29+ (Burnsey’s personal bike). I played around with it a little and it’s pretty impressive (but it should be for that kind of bank). https://www.kuat.com/product/piston-pro-x/
The bike brands at the show were two companies showcasing electric fat bikes. Both companies are currently targeting the hunting and Overlanding crowd. QuietKat was the more polished of the two brands. The bikes were pretty nice (although as expected, HEAVY-Duty). https://quietkat.com/
If you’re riding that heavy electric fat bike, you should probably shed some weight in other places. Esbit had on display interesting super lightweight stoves set up that uses solid fuel cubes. This titanium burner and associated fuel cube caught my eye. The stove weighs 11g. The solid fuel cube 14g. They said that the cube could bring 500ml of water to boil in 7-8mins. https://esbit.de/en/
Another piece of lightweight gear was two feather-weight inflatable sleeping pads from Klymit. The Static V comes in at 18.7oz. The larger, insulated Static V comes in at 24oz. Despite their lightweight, they were pretty comfy. https://klymit.com/
And if you want to start packrafting, Kokopelli had two pack rafts on display. With the Hornet Light packing up super small. https://kokopelli.com/pages/backpacking
Of course, you’ve got to haul around all of this new gear around so there were a few pretty sweet adventure mobiles on display as well . . .I wonder if they’d send me one to do a long-term review?!