I’ve just returned from the first ever Outdoor by ISPO tradeshow in Munich where myself and the OutdoorsMagic team lived off a diet of stale pretzels and weissbier for three days while covering miles upon miles on foot without even stepping outside. Fortunately there was also some nice new gear to see.
An almost like-for-like replacement of the long-running OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen, this is the new tradeshow for brands to unveil their product releases for the next Spring/Summer season – so basically a whole year before they actually hit the shelves. It’s the best opportunity we get to see the lay of the land ahead; what trends and areas brands are focussing on, what developments in sustainability have been made, and any steps that have been taken in innovation. I’m not going to lie, there’s sometimes a few gimmicks at these shows, but there’s also a lot of very good stuff, and this year had a good vibe to it and some impressive unveilings. So, without much further adieu, here’s what caught my eye over the three days.
The North Face Tente
I was invited to take part in the show’s awards judging this year so I’ve actually managed to get out to test some of the new unveilings already. I won’t bore you with the judging process, but in short, part of it involved me walking up and down the same slope in the Alps, up-down-up-down, for an entire day, and the rest of it involved heated debates between judges from all over Europe. The North Face’s new Tente jacket was one of the products we decided to give one of the prestigious Outstanding Outdoor Awards to, the clincher being its clever FutureLight waterproof membrane. We’ve covered this already in our review of the Summit L5 jacket, but in essence, what’s so impressive about it is the breathability it offers.
Through a process of nano-spinning and, perhaps more importantly, a very innovative method of fabric lamination, the material The North Face have created has a phenomenal moisture vapour transmission rate without skimping on wet weather protection. From my experience with it you can definitely notice the performance.