Every February, The Great Outdoors team heads over to Munich to spend three days in the gigantic event halls on the city’s outskirts. Inside them, just about all of the world’s outdoor brands gather at the ISPO gear expo to show off their new products and innovations for the following winter.
Any new winter jacket on show in your local retailer will almost certainly have once been unveiled in Munich. It was at ISPO in 2016 that we got our first glimpse of the Paramo Velez, now one of the brand’s most popular items, and it was at ISPO 2016 that we were introduced to PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Active which has featured in some excellent insulated jackets this winter.
This year we covered a lot of ground to take in as much of the new gear as possible (in fact, one of The Great Outdoors team managed to accumulate 35km over the three days according to his step counter). And we can confirm that there’s some interesting gear on the way.
Here are the items that we reckon will go down a storm when they’re released later this year.
Paramo men’s and women’s Torres Activo
This is a lightweight, Nikwax treated jacket with 60g of synthetic fill insulation in the torso, arms and hood. It’s cleverly cut around the shoulders to provide completely unhindered articulation and it’ll compress right down into a small internal chest pocket. There’s a matching pair of trousers set for release as well.
The Swedish brand picked up an award from the Scandinavian Outdoor Group at the show for this sturdy and lightweight stove. There are three variations of it: one with Piezo ignition (£40), one without (£35) and one with pressure regulation (£60) to allow for use in colder temperatures. You won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on one of these – it’s set for release in Spring 2017.
Haglöfs Grym Keprotec GT
This picked up a highly coveted ISPO Gold Award at the show in Munich. It’s a trekking boot make from a unique mix of materials, blending Schoeller Keprotec fabric with Kevlar and Gore-Tex for waterproofing.
The North Face Summit L3 Ventrix Hoodie
This addition to The North Face’s Summit Series uses a quilt synthetic that has laser-cut ventilation holes positioned into high-perspiration areas. When the wearer is static, the holes close and insulate and when the wearer is moving… well, you can guess what happens.
Fjällräven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket
This jacket by Fjällräven is designed with high-level mountaineering in mind. Like the Keb Eco-Shell, which was a 2015 release, it’s 100% free from environmentally hazardous fluorocarbons, but this jacket is much, much tougher than the Keb, with a 3-layer ripstop shell lined in certain sections with a heavy duty Corylon.
This 200g solar panel is designed to easily attach to the top of most backpacks. It’s robust but flexible technology that’s able to charge devices in up to two hours – even on cloudy days they say.
Mountain Equipment Helium 400
Mountain Equipment’s big news this year is that it’s got a load of new and updated sleeping bags for different temperatures set for release. We particularly liked the updated Helium 400 which has been designed with clever thermal mapping of its duck down using different fills in different parts of the bag to ultimately keep weight low without losing warmth. It weighs 855g and has a Comfort Limit of -3°C and it comes with a useful waterproof stuck sack with a roll top.
Montane Icarus with PrimaLoft ThermoPlume
While this might be an aesthetically pleasing jacket, it’s what’s inside that counts the most. It’s one of the first products to feature PrimaLoft’s latest insulation called ThermoPlume – a water resistant synthetic fill that supposedly mimics down closer than ever before. The big bonus is that it’s water resistant and will still insulate when wet. We took a close look at the filling and it even looks a lot like down.
Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket with Polygiene
This lightweight insulated jacket is already out, but the news we picked up at ISPO is that it now features Polygiene, a treatment that stops the growth of odour-causing bacteria on fabrics meaning you can wear it more and wash it less. Polygiene has revealed that it will be working with a number of outdoor brands through 2017, including Rab and Montane.
Berghaus Ramche Micro 850
This new lightweight version of the much beefier Ramche 2.0 jacket by Berghaus (reviewed here by Chris Townsend) is stuffed with goose down that’s treated with Nikwax’s PFC-free durable water repellent. Inside it has a shiny mesh that’s intended to reflect heat back onto the body. You’ll find this retailing in Autumn 2017 at £300.
Outdoor Research Alpenice Hooded Jacket
An interesting product that’s designed to balance weather protection and warmth with the need for a high degree of breathability. The Alpenice features stretchy waterproof fabric on the arms and upper body and an even stretchier, highly breathable (but not waterproof) Pertex Microlight fabric on the inside arms and lower body. Inside it has Polartec’s active insulation called Alpha Direct. A size Large weighs 537g and it’ll retail at £300.
CamelBak Quick Stow Chill Soft Flask
The only soft-sided water bottle that is insulated well enough to prevent the contents freezing in low temperatures. Small, lightweight and collapsible to the size of a palm. Another ISPO Gold winner.