Every summer, a small crew of brands and editors gather in Park City for a casual week of gear testing, product pitching, and socializing event called Outdoor PressCamp. From paddleboarding at Pebble Beach to trail running and hiking on Deer Valley’s trails, Park City is the perfect place for this engaging event.
Outdoor Sports Guide attended for the first time this year and found 11 must-haves to add to your gear arsenal. From high-tech running shoes to jeans you can rock climb in, here are our PressCamp faves.
1. Boulder Denim Climbing Jeans, $148
The brainchild of two longtime friends, Boulder Denim is the product of successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns that raised over $100K to create jeans made for adventuring. The company name refers to the sport, not the Colorado town, and Brad and Taz, the young Canadian owners, are spending the summer driving around the U.S. in an Airstream to let people test out their jeans at climbing gyms.
So what makes these jeans special?
- Hydrophobic– That’s a fancy word for “spill your drink on them and not look like a hot mess.” But seriously, this coating is great for keeping your jeans dry in a rainstorm, and spills and potential stains will bead up instead of soaking in.
- Stretchy– We tested, and these jeans are so stretchy that you really can climb, bike, or do anything in them. But what we liked best is that they retain their shape and don’t stretch out after wearing.
- Real pockets– Lots of jeans nowadays have tiny pockets that can’t fit anything, let alone a smartphone. Boulder Denim built both their men’s and women’s jeans have full-sized pockets for stashing your stuff and one has a hidden zippered pocket for your phone, credit cards, or anything you need safely stashed.
3. Oboz Campster Sandals, $90
Oboz makes some dang comfortable shoes. If you haven’t tried their hiking boots yet, you’re missing out. For Spring 2018, Oboz is branching out with a sandal/shoe fusion that’s perfect for après anything. But we think it really excels as a comfy camp shoe after a long backpack hike in.
Why? The Campster clips to a pack so it takes up no space and can be easily reached when you reach your destination and are sick of your hiking boots. The heel strap flips forward to turn the shoes into comfy slip-ons with the lightweight protection of a rubber toe cap and webbing.
3. FiveTen Access, $130
Using the proprietary Stealth® S1™ rubber outsole that made FiveTen famous in the mountain biking world, the Access offers grip on technical trails and bike pedals. Now available in leather and a new mesh version, the shoe blends street casual style with protective features like a reinforced toe cap, rubberized exoskeleton lacing system, and climbing zone toe for durability and scrambling up steep terrain. From biking to climbing to hiking, this shoe is a great all-arounder.
4. Jimmy Styks Puffer Board, Coming Spring 2018, $699
Utah-based Jimmy Styks is upping their paddleboard game for 2018, releasing a host of new models and updates. We spent an afternoon on Deer Valley’s Pebble Beach Lake testing out the new offerings and came away with a strong favorite that balanced performance with stability and price: The Puffer.
The board is for beginning to intermediate paddlers and is super stable but also glides quickly through the water. Includes a thoughtful accessory package like a click-n-go fin, fancy backpack for carrying to the lake, safety leash, pump, repair kit, and a lightweight carbon fiber paddle.
5. Camelbak Ultralight Nano Vest, Coming Summer 2018
For the runner who hates carrying anything along—this is your running vest. Camelbak is foregoing a hydration pack on back in this iteration and focusing solely on collapsible flasks for hydration for a less water sloshy fit. The ultralight vest forms to fit your body and totes just the essentials: water, trekking poles, smartphone, and a few snacks.
Making its debut in 2018, the Nano fully adjusts in width and height thanks to double sternum straps for a perfect fit. After taking it on multiple trail runs and hikes, I can say it’s the perfect solution for runners who hate bulky, bouncy vests.
6. Ryder Fyre Aero Sunglasses, $240
Once seen as a price point brand, Ryders upped the ante with their new high-end, responsive lens technology called FYRE™. The lenses adapt to changing light conditions for vibrant views on sunny or cloudy days. I took them on a five-hour bike ride and never needed to take them off despite variable light conditions riding in shaded forest and sun throughout the day. As you move into the sun, this advanced lens adjusts to improve color recognition so you see more vibrant tones.
Plus, a permanent, fog-free coating is bonded to the impact-resistant lenses and they never fogged once–even when riding in humidity.
Another bonus: You can see your smartphone without taking the glasses off. I kept forgetting this and taking them off out of habit, but it’s an absolute game changer to be able to use your smartphone during active pursuits without removing your sunnies.
My typical packing style is best summed up as ‘whatever still zips once I stuff all my gear inside’ so I felt uber chic traveling on my last trip with a matching luggage set from Victorinox Swiss Army. This bag is the perfect size for the constant overpacker because it fits what you need for about a week, but nothing inessential so you’re forced to bring just what you need. Inventive additions make it stand out from traditional wheeled bags:
- Included lock and luggage tag- TSA-friendly lock comes with the bag and a durable luggage tag that stays attached and is easy to spot.
- Dirty Laundry Compartment- Stuff the dirty clothes in here during a trip to keep your bag fresh all week long. Also perfect for packing a wet swimsuit home.
- Expandable- A zip expander gives you a little extra space in case you purchase anything along the way.
- Lightweight– Weighs just 6 pounds empty so you can worry less about exceeding the 50-pound packing limit.
8. Altra Shoe IQ, $220
Another Utah brand in attendance, Altra is dominating in the shoe category with strong releases for road and trail runners, Spartan racers, and HIIT training enthusiasts. But the most interesting is the long-awaited Shoe IQ, a smart road running shoe with a thin built-in sensor that tracks foot strike and cadence metrics and pairs it an app and live coaching to improve your stride and speed. An asset for runners who nerd out on the techy side of their run or are looking to improve their form, the technology has been refined and finally released.
9. Jack Wolfskin Texapore Ecosphere Jacket, Coming Summer 2018
Jack Wolfskin is huge in the Euro market (think Patagonia huge), but little known in the USA. That’s all changing as they push to expand globally, introducing innovative new products like a 100% recycled waterproof, breathable jacket.
Many companies have been producing jackets built from recycled outer fabric, but what makes Jack Wolfskin’s jacket line different is that every bit of it is recycled: shell, zipper, fleece liner–even the membrane. Making a waterproof, breathable membrane has long been a challenge so to accomplish this Jack Wolfskin is using pre-consumer recycled materials (translation: the leftover scraps from making other jackets) and using it in these new jackets. The rest of the jacket is built from post-consumer recycled fabrics.
The entire line is also free of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are proven to negatively affect people and the environment.
10. Camp Chef Mini Dutch Oven, $22
Don’t want to haul a full-size dutch oven into the wilderness? These 5″ minis are a perfect alternative for cooking up individual-size desserts. Using a simple combo of fruit, granola topping, and butter, you can make your own tiny apple or fruit cobbler for your next backpacking trip.
11. Tentsile Stealth Tree Tent, $UNKNOWN
This brand new three-person model has three separate entrances, one on each side of the tent. Each
occupant has their own hammock berth and storage space in the central Tower Shelf. Insect proof, rainproof, and UV resistant. Whole roof can also be fully removed to leave an uncovered for tree views.