My Day at the Outdoor Retailer Show

A friend of ours was attending the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Show in Salt Lake City, a 45 minute drive from our house. He asked if he could stay with us while he was in town, since he had flown in from Boulder, CO, and was spending all day meeting potential clients and collecting cards. I had heard of the OR Show, but I had no idea how big it was and my curiosity fueled my fire.

“I should write a blog about it for Deer Valley,” I thought to myself. “I could show all the new ski and snow gear!” Great idea, right?  Hmmm, maybe not.

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I arrived at the show and asked where the ski and snow toys were (rookie mistake) “No, this is the Summer OR Show…the Winter OR show is in February.” I couldn’t play it off…the cat was out of the bag.

All of registration knew I had no clue what I was doing and away I went with a smile.

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First stop, the most comfortable neck pillows in the world. Well, that is what I felt they should be named in the moment but Cocoon works too. They are furry and compact and if I hadn’t felt the need to regain some sort of pride, I would have walked around the rest of the day with this sucker cuddling my neck region. See that little pouch I am holding? That’s how small they are when deflated!

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I turned around from Cocoon and was looking straight at my husband’s pants. Not the actual pair, but his favorite pant company, Kühl. Erik, in true ski racer form, has a little extra muscle in the trunk and these pants give him the much needed freedom to move. He loves them.

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All this OR’ing made me quite hungry so I stopped by the Cliff Bar booth for some before, during, after and on-the-go fueling.

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GSI OUTDOORS Coffee Maker. This could be my favorite gadget. I love coffee. But I really love coffee when I am camping. I don’t know why it tastes better. Maybe it’s the effort it takes to get a perfect cup that makes me appreciate it more. This gadget is sweet, cute and looks like it could pull off a mean cup of joe! Mama like!

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Remember Croakies®? I don’t have to think back that far, as I was in search of them for our whitewater rafting trip last summer. I found them, and I was flooded with memories from my youth. Who didn’t have croakies attached to their fake Vuarnet’s®? Okay, maybe it was just a Northern California thing. But, these belts caught my eye. The colors they are coming up with for men’s socks and belts is blowing my mind. I love it. And guess who makes these babies? That’s right, Croakies®!

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Nothing in life is complete without Zombies. Honestly, I don’t know what company these ladies are representing or what they are selling but I love me some Zombies.

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Naturally, I was feeling tense after hanging out with Zombies and I felt I needed a 10 minute break to loosen up. No wonder it was so difficult to get in to this place! Lot’s of hidden treasures.

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Innova was there with some really cool water toys. They basically featured a blow-up version of almost every water vessel except for a speedboat. Now you are not limited by the size of your car. You can fit a large tandem kayak in your Mini-Cooper®! This absolutely amazed me.

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I had to show you standup paddleboards; they make me happy and they were everywhere. I love everything about these boards and I am loving their beautiful colors. I plan on trying this fun looking sport at Deer Valley very soon.

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I voted Life is good® as best booth; so homey and cute. And, frankly, I think we can’t spread their positive messages enough. Life is good!

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Okay, wait…my favorite, for obvious and biased reasons, was……Speedo®.

They just happened to win “Gear of the Show” with these awesomely elegant flippers. I put my “flippers” into the awarding-winning flippers and it was quite a scene.

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And speaking of flippers, thank you Feetures!® for upping the sock game! My feet are thrilled with your vibrant and exciting take on the under-footwear.

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I stopped by the ChicoBag® booth and asked the obvious question “Are you guys based in Chico, CA?” Instant family. They are based in Chico, which is very close to where I was born and raised. We had a moment and then I took a moment to understand their message. See all those plastic bags, people? The average person uses that many in a year, that’s 500! YIKES! Let’s change our ways!

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Cutest dog at the show. (wonder how he got through registration? Just saying.)

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This product stopped me in my tracks. Yup, those are iPad’s in a fish tank. Loksak’s® are the coolest zip-lock bags for your smart stuff. Phones, tablets, etc. They have got you covered up to a depth of 100 feet. And it still senses your fingertips through the plastic. Lots of technology goes into making these better than the bags you have in your kitchen.

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Kayak’s were king at this show and they came in every size and color. My kids are obsessed with kayaking, and I understand why. They are small enough to handle and big enough to be great, thus the perfect vessel. This is the Wilderness Systems® booth.

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I am sensing a serious shift in wheel size for everyday outdoor gear. People want to pull and lug their stuff onto and through any terrain. Anything from off-road to deep sand, it looks like Wheeleez® has you covered.

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This was by far, my favorite activity at the show. This fella was on the back wall. And, by this point, I was lost so I had no idea where the back wall was located. But it was awesome. I hit so many levitating balls that I created a gallery. I finally caught myself having too much fun and gave up the bat. The ball hangs out at the end of a strong stream of air. This HitZone® was really fun and it costs $350.

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These cute backpacks are from Hook & Tackle®. Guess what the kids will be taking back to school this year?

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I survived and I loved it. My husband scored some new shoes out of the day and his feet have never been happier with his new Cushe® shoes. I can’t wait to go back for the 2015 show, August 5 – 8!

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