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Steve Bergen

5 new products to check out from the Outdoor Retailer expo

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Aug. 9, 2014 at 9:31 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The annual Outdoor Retailer Summer Market expo was held in Salt Lake City from Wednesday to Saturday and several new products were unveiled. In case you weren’t able to attend, here are five types of outdoor gear to check out now or when they launch in 2015.


goTenna launched a product that allows the backcountry adventurer to send and receive texts or share their GPS location without having cell phone service. The 2-ounce, waterproof device wirelessly pairs with a smartphone and can transmit a message to another cell phone without needing a tower, router or satellite.

goTenna. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen
goTenna. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen

The goTenna product has a rechargeable battery that lasts 3 days so anyone venturing for a long backpacking trip can continue to text or send an alert for help in an emergency. The Brooklyn company launched the product in July and will be shipping the device in late 2014, according to their website The product is $149 for two devices and is compatible with Android and Apple mobile devices.

The goTenna product won the the Outside 2014 Gear of the Show award and the Gear Junkie Best in Show Gear award at the expo.


SolePower. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen
SolePower. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen

SolePower creators came up with their product as part of an assignment for a class at Carnegie Mellon University, according to SolePower director of marketing Ashley Stephens. The teacher challenged them to come up with a product that would be useful for college students so they combined two things they knew about students: They walk a lot and their phones are always dying.

The SolePower is a shoe insole that retains the energy created by walking to create an energy hub to power a cell phone. The insole fits inside the consumer’s shoe and a micro-generator inside the insole is spun by each heel strike. A PowerPac on the outside of the shoe stores the generated energy for later use. An hour of walking will generate enough energy to charge a phone to allow two hours of talking, Stephens said. Almost any USB device can be charged by the PowerPac.

The insole meets podiatrist recommendations for comfort and support, according to and the products are all waterproof. A SolePower insole and PowerPac costs $149.

MindShift Rotation180 Panorama. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen
MindShift Rotation180 Panorama. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen

The SolePower will launch in March 2015.

MindShift Rotation180 Panorama

MindShift Gear launched their newest product at the expo. The Rotation180 Panorama backpack allows the user to leave their backpack on while still giving access to things inside it. The bottom half of the backpack detaches like a fanny pack and can easily slide around to the front to allow easy access. When the user is done getting the object in or out of their backpack, they can slide the bottom half back around and it’s easily strapped back in with magnetic buckles.

Originally designed as an athletic camera bag, the backpack also has a safety latch so if the user forgets to completely strap the bottom half back in to the rest of the backpack, it won’t fall and hit the ground. The water-resistant backpack weighs 3 pounds and can hold a two liter reservoir. The Rotation180 Panorama backpack is $199.

The rotating hiker backpack also won the 2014 Outdoor Industry award.

SteriPEN Classic 3

SteriPEN has upgraded their original model of sterilizer to include regular alkaline batteries instead of specialized high-end batteries to make it easier for consumers. The SteriPEN Classic 3 is a small sterilizing kit that creates drinkable water in as little as 45 seconds. The SteriPen utilizes a UV light that attacks and neutralizes the bacteria, making it sterile so organisms won’t grow in your body after being digested.

The SteriPEN Classic 3 has a tapered neck to fit inside most water bottles. For a half liter of water, the user can turn on the light and stir the water for 45 seconds. A liter of water requires 90 seconds of stirring. Four batteries will purify up to 50 liters of water before being replaced. The SteriPEN Classic 3 costs $69.

Garmin Vivofit

Garmin Vivofit. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen
Garmin Vivofit. Photo Credit: Steve Bergen

Garmin launched their Vivofit product in April. The fitness band helps athletes track their workout by calculating the calories burned, the number of steps taken, heart rate and the date and time. Vivofit also tracks the number of hours a user sleeps and how long they are inactive.

Vivofit can follow a user’s progress 24/7 and it can stay on for more than a year without a battery change, according to the website. The band is also water-resistant so a user can even wear it in the shower. The Vivofit costs $129.

What other outdoor products have launched recently that are worth a mention? Let us know on the comment boards.


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Faith Heaton Jolley


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