TGO headed to the Outdoor Trade Show this week to see what goodies the gear brands have ready for the coming year. We found a few surprises – and a lot of innovation

Amongst several new Petzl head torches, the one that caught my eye was the new BINDI. Petzl describe it as a ‘pumped-up e+LITE’. At only 35g, it offers 200 lumens – that’s quadruple the output of even the newly improved e+LITE!
It’s rated waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes, charges via USB, and has built-in red lighting. There’s also a lock to prevent it from turning on accidentally. Expected to retail at £50, this looks like a great all-rounder for the summer months. I think it will particularly appeal to ultralight backpackers looking for something with a bit more oomph than an e+LITE.

Petzl BINDI head torch Outdoor Trade Show 2017


We had an interesting conversation with Páramo about their new products. As well as new, lightened-up versions of the Ostro windproofs (spotted by our Gear Editor Chris Townsend at the OutDoor show earlier in the year), I found the new Men’s Kili Shirt and Women’s Santorini Shirt very impressive. These are wicking, fast-drying, UV and insect-protective lightweight shirts for high-energy activities. They offer a range of ventilation options and hidden secure pockets for valuables. I think the Kili Shirt could be a good choice for backpacking. As with every item in Páramo’s upcoming range, these garments are guaranteed PFC-free, renewable and recyclable.

Paramo Kili Shirt Outdoor Trade Show 2017

Páramo Kili Shirt

BioLite are best known for their innovative (if heavy) electricity-generating stove, the BioLite CampStove, but amongst several new items I noticed the BioLite Solarpanel 10+. This solar charger isn’t one of the lightest at 558g, but it claims a meaty 10W/hour output in prime conditions. It has an integrated 3,000mAh rechargeable battery, an adjustable kickstand, and a rugged design that has apparently been tested as a chopping board. Backpackers who consider solar chargers often carry a small power bank as well, so the real-world weight difference between the Solarpanel 10+ and its lighter competitors isn’t as much as you might think.

BioLite Solarpanel 10+ Outdoor Trade Show 2017

BioLite Solarpanel 10+

Nikwax are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The company has always been committed to sustainability, and recently announced that they have become completely carbon neutral – yes, as far back as 1977! While their PFC-free Tech Wash and TX.Direct products remain core items in their range, they’ve recently introduced Sweatproofing and – of particular interest to backpackers – Tent & Gear SolarWash, which Nikwax claim can extend the life of tents by 50 percent by protecting lightweight flysheet fabrics against UV degradation while removing dirt.

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash Outdoor Trade Show 2017

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash

New from AKU, the Tengu Lite GTX is a super-lightweight trekking boot weighing only 510g. I noticed that many footwear manufacturers are working to improve the comfort of ankle cuffs, and the Tengu Lite is no exception – it has a ‘Gore-Tex elastic sock fit’ that looked very comfortable. The boot, which is also available in a shoe version (the ‘Tengu Low GTX’), has a waterproof Gore-Tex lining and an aggressive sole. Although it’s marketed as a trekking boot it looks well suited to summer mountaineering and scrambling for those who prefer waterproof, supportive footwear. A natural fit for long days in the Cuillin, perhaps? RRP is £199.99.

AKU Tengu Lite GTX Outdoor Trade Show 2017

AKU Tengu Lite GTX