This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face
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SNEWS® Live: One of the more interesting characters in the outdoor industry is a relative unknown, but you may have handled the end result of his work. Why? Because Layne Oliver is a product field tester. Though you may have never met him, he's had his hand in the testing and development of several new products from headlamps to tents to climbing gear over more than decade.
Known to manufacturers as "Lightning Layne," Oliver is a professional field tester who casts a skeptical eye on the latest outdoor equipment. He keeps gear designers from investing in innovation for innovation's sake, encouraging them to make only those changes that significantly improve a product's performance.
An avid outdoorsman, a National Guard reservist and an electrician by trade, Lightning Layne reminds each of us what's most important when meeting consumer demand for high-tech equipment. SNEWS® Live spoke to him at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah.