5 new outside merchandise that may make a splash in 2023

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SALT LAKE CITY – There are a handful of outdoor retail trends heading into 2023.

Clothing and accessories, for example, are becoming lighter, warmer and more environmentally friendly due to new advances in the manufacturing process, said Monica Ebert, business development manager at The Woolmark Company, which works with thousands of Australian wool growers to develop and market new wool products.

This includes wool products with a growing number of applications in outdoor sports. Woolmark’s brands recently partnered with Nissan for Formula E drivers and also with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team.

“(We) show that wool is more than just that scratchy sweater that so many people think it is. It can be a very soft, very comfortable base layer and really push the dial for how light it can be,” she said. “We’re constantly innovating with manufacturing partners to make these technologies lighter and lighter.”

Woolmark is just one of the emerging – or growing – outdoor product trends. Here are five of the many new products featured at this week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Salt Lake City that could be making waves this year.

The Rise of Merino Wool

Merino wool, which is made from natural fibers from Merino sheep, isn’t new, but it’s certainly on the rise because it’s lightweight, comfortable, and surprisingly warm considering how thin it is. It’s what many of Woolmark’s newer products use to offer what consumers have come to expect from clothing brands, Elbert explained.

This trend also doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, potentially allowing for new names to enter the market. Artilect Systems Clothing and Tracksmith running shoes are two of the brands that outdoor enthusiasts will be hearing more about this year as these companies expand with new technologies in the market, she adds.

Monica Ebert, business development manager for The Woolmark Company, holds up a merino wool Artilect Systems shirt during the outdoor retailer’s media preview at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake in Salt Lake City Monday. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

“More and more[brands]want natural fibers to meet requirements across a variety of performance categories,” Elbert said. “Brands that have not traditionally used merino wool are beginning to incorporate it into their product collection.”

An e-bike with increasing battery power

Electric bikes are another big ongoing trend that shows no signs of stopping in 2023. The firm Research and Markets estimated last year that the e-bike market would have grown to $49.7 billion in 2022 — and that it will grow another 10% over the next five years.

However, as technology continues to evolve, consumers may trade one bike for another in a year or two, only to find longer battery life or a better product than the one originally purchased. Scott Colosimo, Ohio-based CEO of LAND, argues that there are many “cheap throwaway products” in the e-bike world that are behind this problem.

LAND’s answer is a new e-bike powered by swappable batteries. This allows a bike owner to swap out their battery whenever it needs to be replaced or whenever there is an advance in technology that allows for a longer lifespan. The battery packs also have the ability to charge other electronic devices.

The company’s latest package allows for a range of up to 120 miles, which can be recharged from an outlet or by solar power. It also has a lifespan of about 10 years.

There is also a software component that allows the bike to go from a class II e-bike with a top speed of 44 km/h to an e-motorcycle with a top speed of over 70 km/h, which means that it is more than just an e-bike. These modes can be changed in a smartphone app, so parents can make sure their child isn’t using top-speed mode, adds Colosimo.

This software also allows an owner to track where their bike is at any time on their phone in case it is ever stolen.

Justin Koski, Executive Director of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, looks at a LAND electric motorcycle with Evan Painter, LAND Design Director, during the outdoor retailer’s media preview Monday at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Of course, all of this means that LAND e-bikes are more expensive than other e-bikes on the market. The company’s e-bikes range in price from $7,800 to $11,000; However, Colosimo argues that the bikes can last much longer than any of the batteries.

“Buying a product that you throw away every year or two isn’t a market that we really want to go into,” he told KSL.com. “You can go for it and continue to improve with your skills.”

Improve your avalanche safety game

Avalanches are a threat that mountain recreation seekers face every winter, especially when heavy snow falls on lighter ground snow, which has happened in Utah in recent weeks. For this reason, the Utah Avalanche Center recommends that people have safety gear such as shovels, airbags, and transceivers when traveling in the backcountry mountains.

French company Arva Equipment, which has an American sales base in Orem, is launching two new products that improve avalanche safety technology. First, there’s a new transceiver with an improved range of 80 meters (about 263 feet) and 90 meters in analog mode. This costs about $419.

Carbon fiber canister

An Arva backpack with a carbon fiber case is on display Monday during the outdoor retailer’s media preview at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. The carbon fiber canister is new to the US after being cleared by the federal government. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

There’s also a new airbag backpack with lighter materials and a lighter carbon fiber bin that costs between $700 and $800. Jeremy Jolley, Arva’s US sales manager, said the carbon-fiber canister is common in Europe but new in the US because it only recently cleared its final regulatory transportation hurdle. These canisters can be refilled at a handful of outdoor recreation businesses in Utah.

While both products improve avalanche safety technology, Jolley adds that neither is a substitute for eliminating risky outdoor behavior. He warns consumers to follow safety protocols, e.g. B. to avoid steep terrain when the risk of avalanches is high.

“We don’t want people to feel a false sense of security and maybe go into terrain that they wouldn’t normally go into,” he said. “This is another device that can hopefully increase your chances of survival.”

A new way of communicating outdoors

A new market-ready hands-free “action communicator” is called the Milo and was developed by California-based Loose Cannon Systems.

The product is a walkie-talkie in nature. All users need to do is sync their devices before an outdoor adventure, and they can talk to each other over a “secure mesh cellular network” instead of cellular service or Wi-Fi, according to the company. Current range is “at least” a third of a mile, although the company is testing longer ranges, its website says.

Loose Cannon Systems CEO Peter Celinski explains that outdoor action sports are the company’s primary target market. For example, skiers can communicate with each other even if someone in the group ends up far ahead.

Milo hands-free communication devices

Three hands-free Milo communication devices will be on display during the outdoor retailer’s media preview Monday at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. The devices are new to the market this winter. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

“The idea of ​​Milo is that you can have a natural, hands-free conversation without having to stop, without having to pick up a push-to-talk walkie-talkie button,” he said. “It really keeps things as simple as possible, as natural as possible so that it doesn’t get in the way of what you’re actually doing out there, which is having fun with your friends or family on the slopes.”

Milo only recently launched after the product raised just over $2.5 million from nearly 6,000 people when the company launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2020. It costs $250 per communication device.

National Park design sunglasses

Oregon-based Shwood Eyewear pioneered the wooden sunglass trend when it launched a little over a decade ago, but its latest frames aim to stylize national parks. The new frames in the CAMP collection, available this month, focus on designs inspired by places like Crater Lake, Joshua Tree and Utah’s Arches National Parks.

“They’re really designed for weekend adventures and outdoor getaways,” said s, a spokeswoman for the company.

Shwood Eyewear's National Park CAMP frames

Four of Shwood Eyewear’s national park-themed CAMP frames will be on display during the outdoor retailer’s media preview Monday at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

She explained that the sunglasses are made from bean-based bioplastic with a “natural wood” insert that serves as a nod to Shwood’s origins. Renee Cho of the Columbia Climate School wrote in 2017 that bioplastics may be more environmentally friendly and biodegradable than traditional plastics over the long term, although it’s worth noting that there are several factors that can affect ecological effectiveness.

Every pair of sunglasses now comes with a case designed to fit like a sleeping bag. The sunglasses cost between $69 and $99 depending on the lens. Rhoe adds that 5% of all proceeds are donated to local organizations that support the featured national parks.