The Outdoor Retailer Australia Trade-show was held again in Sydney over the 19th, 20th & 21st of June.  After enjoying the experience so thoroughly last year, another visit was definitely on the menu.  As expected the event was awesome, with ample amount of both nerding out on gear, but also celebrating the outdoor retail industry here in Australia. Naturally a lot of new & exciting products were on display, so Ive just picked some personal highlights to feature. Much of what you’ll see is still a while away from hitting the stores, whilst some is already available. Enjoy!


Osprey’s award winning & much loved AG harness system that they introduced on the Atmos & Aura AG hiking packs has been further adapted into more of their range. The super comfortable Manta & Mira hiking day-packs are already available in-store. Whilst the new Sojourn will feature an AG style harness, re-defining just how comfortable wheeled luggage can be on your back!

Khul 01

Khul 02

For those who don’t already know Khul, you soon will. This clothing marries the best of casual function with outdoor tech. Pant’s in multiple leg lengths sure. An everyday jacket featuring top end down of synthetic fill thats designed for functional indoor & outdoor use for an active lifestyle, tick. Stay tuned, some of the Khul range will be available soon & it looks great.


The ever impressive & respected Petzl head-lamp range has grown to add the Reactik, with reactive lighting, & a USB rechargeable lithium battery, plus clever control & customization via blue-tooth using a mobile app. Naturally the super bright NAO gets another boost to 700 lumens & also features the same blue-tooth feature-set. Being able to tailor your lighting to the event of activity is certainly pushing things beyond the light-on light-off reality of the past. ETA for these is looking like spring 2016.


Of course Petzl also had some excellent colourful climbing hardware, their super-light Altitude ski mountaineering harness looked amazing.


Some of the 2017 release MSR tents looked phenomenal as expected, My personal pick was the Remote 2, a lightweight but super livable & bomb-proof 2 person mountaineering shelter.



At the RAB stand I was fortunate to be taken through the next year’s range by Brain Thurston the Australian Rep & over from the UK Matt Gowar who is the CEO of RAB. Matt’s knowledge & enthusiasm for his company to continue pushing forward innovation in technical outdoor clothing was impressive. One obvious standout was the Zero G 1000 fill-power (yes that’s not a typo) down jacket, this thing has to be felt to be believed!


RAB are no stranger’s to taking fabric technologies into new & uncharted waters, such as convincing Polartec to develop their Alpha (active synthetic insulation) to not need a backer fabric. The result great, will likely out perform it’s already top-notch predecessor. When asked the question, this is the innovation Matt was most excited about bringing to the market.


SteriPEN are already the market leader in UV water purification, so squeezing this technology even smaller & making it more user friendly as they’ve done with the minuscule USB-chargeable Pure+ is great. The more accessible & easy to use something a vital as a tool for making safe drinking water is, the better! This one looks set to be available from July ’16.

Zen imports


Camp cutlery & crockery is always a fun segment to check out. Wildo is a Swedish company coming out with fun funky, colourful but also super practical designs. The Camp-A-Box should hit stores around August.


Cliff Bar tastings to keep hungry trade-show attendee’s happy.


Sea to Summit had quite a few new products on show, plus updates t existing lines. The popular Trek sleeping bags get a colour refresh & there were some interesting self inflating mattresses on display.


The Sea to Summit Nomad duffel looked solid, with clever modular/interchangeable straps & a bomb-proof construction.


A whole range of hammocks was also on display, with modular pieces to build your ideal hammock kit. The Ultralight Hammock was impressive, clocking in at a mere 150grams! Lightest in the world I’m told.


Moving to the camp kitchen, there were some air-tight X-bowls (X Seal & Go), plus my favourite a collapsible filter coffee solution the X-Brew.

bd storm

The ever popular Black Diamond Storm has had a complete overhaul. The output is now 250 lumens (up from 160) & the casing has a great looking battery closure. As expected the weather resistance is top notch with an IPX67 rating (water & dust proof). Word on the street is that these will be available very very soon.

To summarize, the not-too0distant future of outdoor gear looks fun, with plenty of exciting innovation & refinement coming our way. Many of the above products will become available over the next 12-18 months. Always keep in mind, if you don’t see it in store, there’s always the possibility to do special orders!


About The Author

Lachlan Gardiner

Lachlan works as a freelance photographer, writer and videographer. He loves spending time in the outdoors whenever possible - be it hiking, mountaineering, climbing, or just being on the road - He'll take any excuse to get into the mountains! He also works in our Paddy Pallin store in Fortitude valley, Brisbane. Drop in and say hi!

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