Industry: OutDoor Review
Columbia continues innovation C
olumbia Sportswear showcased its latest innovations at OutDoor, with UK and Ireland country manager Dan Trapp reiterating the company’s passion for innovation. Trapp has told SGB Outdoor previously of the work Columbia is doing to bring new products to market and introduce innovation to the sector, with three products being highlighted at OutDoor. This included: Omni-Freeze Ice, a sweat activated technology; updates to its Techlite technology, with Fluidframe, Fluidpost and Fit new aspects of the
technology; and Omni- Wick Evap, a system designed to
speed up the moisture vapour transmission by breaking the surface area of a liquid.
Trapp said Columbia is also developing into other product lines, such as sleeping bags, packs,
accessories and socks, which allow it to offer a ‘top- to-toe’ solution and use all its proprietary technologies to benefit the trade.
“It is important to have a top-to-toe offering to maintain credibility in the marketplace,” he said. “We are marketing our spring/summer 2012 products as ‘the end of wet’; it is all about providing customers with the tools to stay dry. This continues our trend for innovation and focusing on the end user to allow them to stay outdoors for longer.
“We want to be a truly credible brand in the outdoor market. We know we have work to do, but we have technologies that are easily demonstrable or visible, which gives consumers a reason to buy.”
Trapp added that retailers benefit from being able to use ‘retail theatre’ to demonstrate innovation to their customers, highlighting this using a test kit Columbia can supply to retail partners showing how Omni-Wick Evap works. “It is a long pipeline and we will continue to bring about innovation, of which there isn’t enough in the outdoor sector.”
Adidas to push outdoor in UK A
didas is looking to grow its presence in the outdoor market in the UK, an area in which it claims to have a strong heritage. Spokesperson Amanda Ellison said outdoor is becoming more and more of a focus for Adidas as it has history through owning various other brands, such as Salomon and Arc’Teryx. She acknowledged that it is difficult for a big brand to move into a challenging and competitive market, such as outdoor, and that some retailers are put off by the three stripes logo. However, she said the UK is ‘starting to come around’ and Adidas is investing more into the market.
“It wants to be the athletics brand of the outdoor market, producing lighter and faster products,” Ellison said.
This includes the Terrex Fast R hiking shoe, which features a Traxion outsole using Continental rubber, a Gore-Tex membrane and a 3D Formotion unit to reduce knee loads and absorb shock. The Terrex Fast R will be released in spring/summer 2012, and Ellison
said: “We’ve taken the technologies developed for running and brought them into outdoor pursuits. Adidas wants people to run up a mountain, not climb it.”
Trekmates unveils flameless cooking T
rekmates debuted its flameless cooking system, which brand director Tim Butcher said highlighted some of the key developments the company is looking to make across its products.
This includes reducing its environmental footprint by minimising excess packaging shipped with its products. The flameless cooking system is supplied in a see-through pouch which is designed to be reused to store the device, as opposed to being thrown away.
The device itself works by using a heat pack that reacts in water to generate steam and heat, which in turn cooks food without the need for fuels and flames.
The heat pack is single use, with refills available with an RRP of £10 for five. The initial unit, which includes three heat pouches, cookbox, metal dish and a spork, costs £30.
Even the Trekmates stand was built with the environment in mind, using oriented strand board that can be reconditioned and re-used when OutDoor closed for future exhibitions and events.
combines Merino with nylon
martwool showcased its new HyFi bi- component fabric at OutDoor, combining the ‘comfort of Merino’ with the ‘durability of nylon’. HyFi uses Merino wool on the inside to allow for moisture management, breathability and odour fighting, while a nylon outer provides greater wind and abrasion resistance, faster drying times and improved stretch, Smartwool said. SmartWool HyFi contains a performance combination of 64 per cent Merino wool and 36 per cent nylon. It is featured across several designs for men and women for the autumn/winter 2011 season’s collection, such as the TML full zip hoody. Other highlights on the stand were garments using the Fit system, which Smartwool had developed after a two-year study to allow its apparel to better suit the wearer, using a V-shape template for men and an hour glass design to suit women.
Equip ‘pleased’ with Lowe response
quip outdoor Technologies said it had received positive feedback over its purchase of Lowe Alpine, which was
announced just prior to the show. Technical
Hitcham said Equip brand supply chain partners had
congratulated it on the purchase, and that there was a ‘buzz around the name Lowe Alpine’. “The Lowe Alpine name is held with high regard within the industry, and people like the fact that someone is now looking after and taking care of that brand,” Hitcham said.
“There’s a buzz around the Lowe Alpine name at the moment and it rounds off the Equip portfolio.”
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