Award-Winning Gear | Highlights From Last Month's Outdoor Tradeshows - Outdoors Magic

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Award-Winning Gear | Highlights From Last Month’s Outdoor Tradeshows

Three prestigious gear awards were held last month. We've curated a list of the highlights across them all

It can be hard to know which gear is the best value or the highest quality when, every year, the market teems with hundreds of new jackets, backpacks, running shoes, and sporting accessories. And that’s why awards like the ISPO, the OTS, and the Scandinavian outdoor gear award exist. They help the cream rise to the top, providing rigorous quality assurance and issuing their stamps of approval on the year’s finest products.

Each of these institutions distinguish their winners by the same few core concepts: quality construction, innovative design, and sustainable production. These criteria also help keep the gear market competitive and progressive, as brands push harder and further towards helping the environment and creating resources for people of all skill levels and abilities.

It isn’t just award institutions helping you seek out and discover the best gear out there – we do that too. For your convenience, we’ve collected a list of highlights from this year’s crop of winners. Some of the products are yet to be released while others are on the market right now (while stocks last), so we’ve included some helpful information and links wherever possible. Just for you.

Outdoor Industries Association | Slide & OTS Awards


BACH Dr. Duffel 30

Photos: Chris Johnson

Winning in the Outdoor Accessories category is BACH’s 30l Dr Duffel which gets its name from being modelled after the practical Doctor’s case. The self-standing mechanism allows the user to take full advantage of the width and length of this storage space. The wide opening means the entire contents of the bag is accessible at any time – no digging around for ration packets at the bottom of a backpack. This is a duffel which rewards good organisation, and which has the potential to be extremely efficient for someone who wants to keep a lot of equipment handy.

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Some gear serves as a luxury, like a premium portable coffee maker or a fancy electric snow bike. On the other hand, certain gear is absolutely essential to safety, security and perhaps even survival. Firmly in the latter category is the upcoming LiTRIC airbag system from Ortovox. Their lightweight avalanche backpack, the AVABAG, was the ISPO product of the year in 2016/17, an impressively compact and accessible airbag system. However, fully mechanical AVABAG Unit was a chore to practice using, it couldn’t be activated more than once on a trip without bringing a carbon canister to refill and the canisters were tricky to fly with. Seeking to remedy this, Ortovox teamed up with Arc’teryx to present their first ever fully electric airbag unit. Set for release soon, this unit uses a new locking system to fully prevent accidental opening of the airbag, along with a new 2-layer material for the airbag itself which removes the need for precise folding – it can simply be pushed back into the airbag pocket.


*ISPO are taking a new approach to their ‘annual’ award. They’ve split the judging into four rounds which will proceed throughout the year so that seasonal gear can be spotlighted at its ideal moment. These are our picks from the first wave of winners.

Blue Ice Harfang Hybrid Crampons

The Harfang crampons by Blue Ice are ultra-light and compact crampons for skiing and mountaineering. The chromoly steel front rail and aluminium secondary rear rails are connected by a unique central textile strap which allows these crampons to be easily and safely mounted to any boot. With a micro adjustment dial on the heal pivot, and the flexibility of the textile linking system, this automatic crampon is suited to a huge range of ski boots and mountaineering shoes with a toe welt.

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Odlo Dual Dry Water Proof Insulator

This insulator features an ultra-lightweight, knitted 3-layer fabric that offers an industry-leading combination of 20,000mm/50,000 mvp. Extremely light and thin, but with high tech construction, Odlo’s latest product is ideal for layering, keeping your body temperature regulated in extreme colds without weighing you down.

On Zero Jacket

Swiss performance running shoes and clothing specialists, On, have released a featherweight running jacket for all weather conditions. It’s aim is to regulate and reduce heat build-up, so it’s designed to make you feel like your running topless, only without the insecurity. The Zero Jacket boasts targeted air circulation to keep you comfortable and allow perspiration to cool your skin faster through evaporation. This minimalist piece is well-suited to fast paced training – especially when paired with On’s Cloudmonster running shoe, the most cutting edge work to come out of the CloudTec® labs to date, which also won an ISPO award. The shoes drop in March, keep your eyes peeled for the Zero.

Patagonia Storm Shift Jacket

Following their Storm10 Jacket which was well received by backpackers in 2021, Patagonia have shifted their focus to higher elevations. The new Storm Shift jacket is designed to keep skiers and snowboarders warm and dry without limiting their freedom of movement. Bonus points for the 100% recycled outer material comprising the first PFC-free GORE-TEX membrane and water-resistant DWR coating. No matter how powdery the slopes are, this piece will remain matte and spotless over hours of high-octane snow sports.

Rab Latok 38 Pack

This backpack is an innovative combination of key elements. Very few packs are light enough and durable enough to accompany the furthest reaching climbers and explorers. The combination of Spectra Ripstop and Cordura nylon result in an extremely tough backpack which is also tight-fitting and lightweight, water repellent for snowy summits, and abrasion resistant for even the most daring rock climbers.

Rab Mythic Ultra Jacket

The Mythic Ultra Jacket is where age-old heating methods meet modern materials. Constructed from Pertex Quantum fabric and using cutting edge TILT (Thermo Ionic Lining Technology), this 900FP down jacket is as warm is it is orange. Impressively light for a down jacket, coated in PFC-free DWR, and using recycled outer material, Rab has managed to balance high performance and sustainability.

Samaya ULTRA35

Here’s one for the mountain sports enthusiasts. Starting with a durable, weatherproof Dyneema construction, Samaya have put their focus on the ever-changing needs of their customers and come up with a modular design for this ultra-light backpack. Whether you’re snowboarding, skiing, or ice climbing, you can customise your attachment loadout and ensure that you’re only carrying essential equipment – no loose straps or unused attachments adding unnecessary weight. Every accessory is removeable.

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WINQS | Zerofly™

Winqs is a relatively new brand, but they’ve been pushing the envelope in raising sustainability standards in sports and outdoor equipment. They are carbon-neutral and produce all their shoes, sportswear, and accessories with bio-based and recycled material. The Zerofly was funded by thousands of backers on Kickstarter, and promises to begin shipping this May. The shoes are sleek and lightweight, ideal for road running, and feature an ergonomic Bloom insole made from algae, as well as a cushioning midsole to support competitive runners striking the hard ground.

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Alfa Stad Lightweight Winter Boot

Overall Winner

Alfa Sko AS, Norwegian footwear specialists, pride themselves on creating unique, top-quality products using Norway’s natural resources and, often, traditional techniques. The Stad winter boot is no exception, the key highlight being an innovative use of super-tough Norwegian will in the upper and lining. This material is common in furniture because of its durability, and gives the boot amazing anti-tearing qualities. One wouldn’t think to use it for footwear, and yet with no chemical treatment whatsoever, the wool is naturally water and odor repellent, is more breathable and easy to care for than leather, and has excellent temperature regulation. Wool is also far more sustainable than any polymer-based waterproof materials. The design is also classic, yet sleek, as though representing the convergence of hundred-year-old materials and contemporary production quality. They drop in September ’22.


Silva Sweden Terra Scout Head Torch

Sustainability Winner

Silva have always been committed to sustainability and and using recycled materials, but creating a head torch which is both sturdy and environmentally friendly was a serious challenge which they’ve impressively overcome. The Terra Scout is made from hemp and recycled plastic with an exceedingly high CO2-footprint reduction of up to 90%. Crucially important for headgear, the Scout is also very compact and lightweight (84g with 3 triple a’s). A rechargeable battery pack purchased separately, which will further reduce the carbon footprint of this product and its owners.


IAMRUNBOX Pannier Rolltop 22L

Hardware Winner

The spacious and multifunctional Pannier Rolltop from Swedish label IAMRUNBOX is a game changer for commuters everywhere. It can seamlessly transition from a backpack to a bike pannier, saving its owner time and money and saving the environment as a bonus. Attach the waist pocket belt and you’ve got an excellent running backpack, whose signature Airflow back panel, erganomic shoulder straps, and anti-bounce technology keep the pack secure and comfortable on your back. It’s also waterproof, features a notebook sleeve for the studios traveler, and a dirt cover to protect the shoulder straps when in bike mode. Made from 58 recycled PET-bottles, extremely durable, and with more than enough space for a laptop and a stack of books, IAMRUNBOX have given their customers no excuse for ever driving to work again.

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