A pressurized pack reservoir and a dog’s collar with a built-in retractable leash were among the most innovative new products at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011 recognized by the inaugural In-New-Vation Awards presented by 3M.
“All the products were innovative in different ways to different extremes,” said Ken Cox, senior technical service specialist with 3M and an event judge “Some are ‘oh wow’ from a technology standpoint, and others are ‘oh wow’ from a design standpoint. As long as this kind of innovation continues, the outdoor industry is in good shape.”
The competition, launched by SNEWS® and open to new exhibitors at the Outdoor Retailer show, attracted about 50 submissions and produced six award winners:
Geigerrig (www.geigerrig.com) won the hardgoods category for its pressurized Hydration Engine (MSRP $49/3-liter) pack bladder. An attached pump is used to build pressure in the bladder and spray water out, rather than the user having to suck it out. Distributing water to friends or pets on a trek is a snap, and it makes a pretty good water gun, too.
Beyond Clothing (www.beyondclothing.com) won the technical apparel category for its Ridgeback bibs (MSRP $419). The Gore-Tex bibs are lightweight, waterproof/breathable and packable, but it was the in-store order and customization of the product that really impressed judges. The company has provided direct-to-consumer customization for more than a decade, but now it’s bringing the practice to retail. Customers can order in the store with the fit and features they want, and then return two weeks later to pick it up.
ZEMgear (www.zemgear.com) won the footwear category for its take on minimalist footwear. The ZEM Oxygen2 (MSRP $50) features four-way stretch Lycra material surrounded by six high-frequency welded, thermoplastic bands that provide lateral stability and can expand and contract with body warmth. The shoe provides performance protection for barefoot activities.
Pivot (www.pivotvideo.com) shared the accessories category award for its Aurora sunglasses (MSRP $319) that can shoot up to two hours of high-definition video in one charge from the center of the rim. Judges liked how users could easily record video hands free and without distraction, no matter the outdoor activity.
Also sharing the accessories category award, Light & Motion (www.lightandmotion.com) was recognized for its versatile Motion Solite 150 (MSRP $180). The four-season outdoor light can be configured to use on a headstrap, snap on a bike bar, clip onto a pack or stand on a table. It shines 150 lumens and weighs 135 grams.
Supercollar (www.supercollar.com) won the pet category for its idea to imbed a three-foot, retractable leash into a dog collar. The product appeals to people who trust their pooches to run free, but at times need a leash to gain control. With the Supercollar (MSRP $40), there’s no need to carry a leash or clip in -- it’s always available unobtrusively on the collar.
The pet category was added at the last minute after the judges said they noted so many viable submissions in that area.
“Being that this was our first time at the show, we were thrilled to win an award,” Supercollar CEO Jane Angelich told SNEWS. “I had one plan in my budget for a trade show, and that was Outdoor Retailer. Now I’ve budgeted two -- we’ll be back for summer Outdoor Retailer.”
The SNEWS In-New-Vation Awards were presented by 3M on Jan. 22, 2011, at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The judging panel included Cox of 3M, Poppy Gall of Poppy Gall Designs, Mark Erickson of Erickson Outdoors, Josh Guyot of Guyot Designs and Michael Hodgson of SNEWS.
Winners were awarded coverage in SNEWS, and advertising exposure in Backpacker, Climbing and Urban Climber magazines.
To see the winners and their products on SNEWS TV, click here.
Prep your entries now; the awards are expected to make a return at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in August.