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Trends at This Year's Winter OR Show

Twice a year, thousands of brands from all over the world descend on Salt Lake City, Utah, to take part in the country’s biggest gear and apparel trade show - The Outdoor Retailer.

The 2017 winter edition is expected to host a whopping 22,000 attendees and kicked off on Monday with an All Mountain Demo held at altitude in the snow-covered Solitude Mountain Resort. An exciting day of gear testing provided buyers with an opportunity to experience recent innovations and help make purchasing decisions.

With corporate philanthropy and sustainability being the leading trends at the 2016 Winter Outdoor Retailer, attendees can expect a similar tone this time around. We will continue to see minimal, clean designs introduced last year and - as always - the gear will get lighter.

Inclusivity
Whilst mature markets see fewer and fewer people taking to the slopes, the general interest in outdoor recreation is steadily on the rise. Camping and biking rate highly among popular activities, and both indoor and rock climbing are growing exponentially. More people are interested in venturing out even in tough conditions, so kit such as snowshoes (like these revolutionary Crescent EVAs) has swiftly moved from the realm of the extreme into the mainstream.

Outdoor apparel is now worn both in the backcountry and on the high street, so even the technical clothing for the upcoming season is designed with the Millennial city-dweller in mind.  

And for a quick city-escape, in 2017 we will all sleep in lightweight, minimal (and hip) hammocks, although some of them may be lined with the world’s first inflatable hammock pad from Klymit.

Responsibility
Reducing carbon footprint in supply chain, corporate philanthropy and sustainability have been the talk of the town for a few years. Companies such as Patagonia are working hard to align their business models with their values, and the next big thing in outdoor apparel will be cruelty-free fabrics.

Duck down is becoming harder to come by as Chinese consumers choose beef over poultry. On top of that, Western consumers are raising concerns about animal welfare. It’s been revealed that not only birds, but also Merino sheep are often mistreated. We can expect manufacturers to slowly turn toward state-of-the-art synthetic materials for base layers and insulation.

In other news, Petzl will introduce an updated version of the popular Sirocco, a  helmet dubbed by the climbing community as the ugliest hat in history. Without the orange dome, nothing will be the same again.

As with every year, Climashield made the trek to Salt Lake, meeting with top retailers to present the latest in performance insulation and staying on the cutting edge of industry trends.

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