U.S. outdoor brands Therm-a-Rest and Mountain Hardwear joined nine European brands as winners of the 2011 Industry Gold Award at the annual OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Meanwhile, Paul Petzl of France-based Petzl won the 2011 OutDoor Celebrity of the Year Award.
The top product awards were presented July 14, the show’s first day, and were chosen from 301 product entries from 23 countries.
Seattle-based Therm-a-Rest won in the camping equipment category for its new Neo Air XTherm, a camping mattress offering an R-value of 5.7 at less than a pound.
“This Therm-a-Rest is ultra-effective – not only can it be used year-round, it is also extremely lightweight and beautifully designed at the same time,” the jury said in a statement.
Richmond, Calif.-based Mountain Hardwear won in the material innovations category for its new Spinoza jacket, made with the company’s a lightweight, waterproof Dry.Q membrane, which, the jury noted, “exhibited excellent breathability.”
The other award winners included:
- Germany-based Hanwag’s Real Custom Made Trekking Shoe – a 3-D laser scanner at specially equipped retailers is used to measure the customer’s feet, and the data serves as a basis to make the lasts and shoes.
- Sweden-based Klättermusen’s Mithril Kevlar Jacket -- a durable windproof and water-repellent softshell jacket made of “fluorocarbon-free Kevlar-reinforced material.
- Germany-based Edelrid’s Fraggle – a padded complete fixed-rope children’s harness, which retains its shape and is easy to put on or take off.
- Sweden-based Primus’ OmniLite Ti – a lightweight expedition stove, which can burn on gas, gasoline, petroleum, kerosene and even diesel.
- France-based Valandre’s Immelman – a down jacket with a chamber system that prevents down from sliding around with as few seams as possible.
- Switzerland-based Exped’s Ergo Hammock Combi – a backpacking hammock to sleep in with rain protection, a mosquito net, sleeping pad insert, and an anti-snarl tube suspension system.
- Great Britain-based Mountain Equipment’s Titan 450 – a sleeping bag made with down collected under the strict humane and sustainable guidelines set by the Down Codex Project, including no live plucking and coming only as a byproduct of food.
- Germany-based Vaude’s Challenger – an alpine backpack made with certified sustainable materials and includes key all-around features.
- Switzerland-based Vingetorix’s jackets – stylish city jacket combining good breathability, water repellency and windproofness made of top quality and sustainable organic cotton.
The jury of seven judges met for two days in Hannover, Germany, to examine the products.
“Innovation can be reflected in the use of new materials, in specific reductions or in the successful improvement of an important detail,” summarized the judges in a statement.
“The trend towards ultra-lightweight products continues,” said judge Mark Held, managing director of the European Outdoor Group. “The use of material has been optimized, the design reduced and anything unnecessary is being eliminated more and more frequently. This also leads to ultra-functional design. There were exciting new products in all the categories.”
All the award-winning products can bew viewed at: www.ifdesign.de
Also on the first day of the four-day 2011 OutDoor show, Paul Petzl (photo, left), whose French company Petzl makes climbing gear and headlamps, won the show’s Celebrity of the Year Award.
Petzl first used his equipment for sport climbing, cave exploring and mountaineering, and later in the working world for work-at-height jobs. With his father, Petzl developed a new type of rope clamp and headlamp in 1973, and founded the company Petzl in 1975. It was one of the first climbing companies to set up its own test laboratory in 1986.
Today, Paul Petzl heads an internationally successful EUR 80 million (USD $113.5 million) business for mountaineering and sports-climbing equipment and work-safety gear with 450 employees and a distribution network spanning 51 countries.
-- Compiled by David Clucas