Every January the outdoor industry converges on a few trade shows to swap bad jokes, banter and get a flavour of the best outdoor gadgets and tech coming our way over the coming season cycle. It’s an exciting mix of incremental updates from the big brands, and sudden influxes of genius from all comers. We’ve hunted out the most interesting mix of new clothing, hardware and frankly unclassifiable ingenuity coming your way in 2017 – read on for the hottest climbing tech this year (we think!)
Scarpa Ribelle boots
First up the Scarpa Ribelle boots have to get a mention, creating what Scarpa claim is an entirely new product category on their very own. They certainly look pretty ‘out there’ (They make lightweight boots like the AKU Serai reviewed here look almost ordinary), and are apparently ideal for anything from alpine ascents and trekking, although the crampon requirements of the former might tax them a little. Still, they weigh in at a massive 560g each, so are essentially lighter than approach shoes, and should be massively popular, especially in the European Alps.
Available later in 2017, www.scarpa.net
Fimbulvetr Tankr snowshoes
From trainer-boots to show-shoes, the new Fimbulvetr offerings are not only enormously durable, recyclable and rather green, but also invoke the company’s hinge system to make short work of deep snow travel. Incorporating built-in stainless steel crampons and weighing a featherweight 3.17kg per pair, these are a robust and stylish choice for those ski-free, anti-post-holing approach moments you’ll be wanting to have next winter.
They’re available for pre-order from Amazon here…
ArcTeryx Procline Womens Ski Boot
Last year ArcTeryx made a bit splash with their Procline boots, lightweight ski boots with a lateral flex in the ankle to allow proper climbing, which can then be locked off for descent like a more normal touring boot. The concept has now been extended to the womens range, leading to this rather sleek, ice white version. Weighing a silly-light 1120g, and featuring a thinner collar to fit female calf morphology and softer foam, these are sure to be a hit with keen mountaineers, although the price is still steep.
Available winter 2017 – the men’s version is available now, from £498 on Amazon.
Dragon are back with a new lens technology for 2017 – dubbed the Lumalens, it’s a colour optimised lens technology offering ultra high-definition optics across the entire spectrum of light conditions, according to the company. By filtering out light attributed to haze and glare while letting in light that intensifies clarity and contrast, it’ll give you all-day comfort for your eyes and consistently crisp, clear optics, and will be available on Dragon’s most popular ranges for winter 2017.
Black Diamond Helio gloves
Maybe not an entirely new idea, but well=executed, Black Diamond have taken the old liner gloves/bit mitts winter layering strategy and made it more robust. The inner glove is windproof and leather palmed, so ideal for walk-ins and possibly even energetic pitches, while the more insulated outer will stand you in good stead as you get higher, on belays, etc. Just don’t clip them to your harness open ends up unless you like spindrift. Here’s one of the UKC team getting the lowdown from BD themselves at ISPO 2017.
Available Winter 2017 from Black Diamond
Wild Country Revo
The Wild Country Revo is an interesting new belay device, mainly aimed at the sport end of the market for obvious reasons, and designed to take on the incumbent GriGri. However, the 245g Revo adds the handy attribute that it cannot be attached to the rope incorrectly, as it autoblocks in both directions when loaded. Essentially the idea is that it’s idiot-proof (or ‘panic proof’ in WC’s lingo) which will no doubt be tested vigorously in group use when it hits the market – due Spring 2017.
Available Spring 2017 from Wildcountry.com