Just back from the Outdoor Show 2010. The show is in Friedrichshafen, South Germany and showcases all the new products which will be available for Summer 2011.
My overall impression was that there was nothing really ground breaking on the horizon, which considering the global economy is hardly surprising. There are however a few stand out developments for us all to look forward to.
From Petzl we have the Gri Gri 2. 20% smaller, 25% lighter and with a reshaped cam to make it smoother in use, sure to be a winner. Also from Petzl we have the new Meteor helmet which is now certified for climbing, cycling and watersports. Actually the helmet part is unchanged, but the strap and buckle had to be updated to meet the watersports standards. Lastly from the french giant we have the Core Lithium battery. This rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery will fit in any of the Tikka/Zipka2 range. The battery can be mains,usb or car charged. The battery also uses software which allows the user to programme the discharge profile of the light. Tell the battery how long you would like it to last or how bright you would like it to be and the battery makes the lamp behave accordingly. Don’t worry you can use the battery without the software if that all sounds too much.
Black diamond have some great new trekking poles which collapse in a similar way to a tent pole. This makes them pack really short without the bulk of overlapping tubing. They pull together and lock like an avalanche probe does. The carbon ones are awesomely light.
Wild County have got the new Ropeman 3 and the Helium Friends. The Helium friend replaces the technical friend, which is a massive step for WC. The new helium friend has hot forged cams which allow a much more intricate shape than the CNC milled cams on the technical friends. So more material where you need it but much less elsewhere. The shank of the cam is longer and WC have worked hard to get the best ergonomic shape and trigger action when the cam is in use. The same size range covered by 12 technical friends is now covered by 9 helium friends.
More observations in the next few days…