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Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Part 1

Outdoor Retailer Summer Show

The Outdoor Retailer Summer convention just wrapped up and also wrapped up a run in Denver, Colorado as the show will be heading back to Utah next year. “OR” brings some of the best outdoor companies together to showcase their goods for their retail partners in one of the biggest expo’s of its kind.

I was able to snag a media invite to the convention this year and wanted to pass on a few of the things that I saw. First up are some of the new or innovative products that were at the show. These conventions are always amazing to see what is coming out and what could end up shaping the future of the industry.


One of the biggest hits of the Outdoor Retailer show was Wool Aid. Wool Aid is a bandage that is made out of merino wool instead of plastic. This has a few advantages. First, the wool allows an optimum amount of breathability to the wound which promotes quicker healing. Second, the Wool Aid bandages biodegrade in as little as four months compared to plastic bandages that can take years.

A shirtless mannequin with a 2 inch by 3 inch bandage on back a couple of 2 inch thin bandages crossed on the shoulder and smaller bandage on the thumb as displayed at Outdoor Retailer.
Wool Aid bandages of different sizes displayed at Outdoor Retailer

If you have spent anytime outdoors you know the odds of getting a little cut or scrape is pretty high. So if you are going to choose a bandage to keep in your first-aid kit, it would be nice to have one that will actually is better for the outdoors! I tried a few of these and they stick well and are really comfortable. I liked that the bandage had soft edges. So if it was on a finger for instances you didn’t have that stiff plastic rubbing on the other fingers.

The creator of Wool Aid is a charismatic New Zealander who along with his CEO were both at the show and were passionate not only about the product but also about the idea of bringing a product to market that will be safer for the environment. Check out these eco minded bandage at

Junk Headbands

In the last couple of year the outdoors has become the choice of recreation for millions of new people. With millions of people come millions of personalities. What better way to show off that personality than with a headband that shows your personal style. Junk is one of the fastest growing companies around right now and they can make pretty much any design into a headband.

One of the first things I learned about hiking was that it gets pretty hot spending long hours under the sun without the air-conditioning. The second thing I learned was that sweat mixed with sunscreen running into your eyes is as fun as running a barefoot marathon on Legos. Headbands are so 80’s though, right? Not the ones from Junk. They incorporate sports, media, and pop culture logos into stylish, thin and comfortable headbands.

Captain America and Rosie the Riveter headbands made from Junk Brands.
Designed headbands from Junk Headbands

The lightweight, machine washable and sweat wicking bands come with logos like your favorite Marvel movie characters, you favorite pro and college sports teams or you can just send them a logo and let them make a custom style. Plus, Junk headbands are made in the US. For more information on Junk Headbands check out


&Lore is one of the freshest of fresh faces to the Outdoor Retailer scene. Designer Max isn’t new to the arena though having worked with some of the industry leaders in the past. Lore is defined as tradition and knowledge passed down and that is where Max comes in. Talking with him was a breath of fresh air. Every stitch of yarn had a story, every piece of fabric used was designed from passion. Max spent a few minutes explaining a really cool sliding button system that he designed to give the shirt more strength and flexibility (I think?!?) and it was like he was describing the Sistine Chapel he was so excited. The passion was evident in every word.

Two mannequins from &Lore wearing the new clothes at Outdoor Retailer. Both in hats, one in a button up, one in a vest and both with outdoor pants.
Parts of the new line from &Lore at Outdoor Retailer.

I was originally drawn in because of the clothing. There was something about it that even the mannequins looked comfortable frozen in place. The designs matched earth tones with splashes of color to present a sense of both durability and creativity.

Behind the look of the clothes is the functionality and that is where Max comes in. Everything from the sliding buttons to a three quarter closed chest pocket so your phone is secure is meticulously designed. This may be a new brand but they aren’t starting from scratch, they are taking things to the next level. They are so new that they don’t have a website for me to link to yet! That just means you can show off to your friends like an insider and talk about the brand they can’t even find! Talk about exclusive! (I was told the website is coming soon!)

The &Lore booth with several people gathered around at Outdoor Retailer. The booth has several mannequins dressed in the new line of clothes.
The &Lore booth at Outdoor Retailer

Bison Designs

Bison Designs has been coming to Outdoor Retailer for just about as long as the Outdoor Retailer has been around. They make outdoor staples like belts, paracord, carabiners, climbing chalk and other accessories for climbers. What jumped out to me is their new, very innovative belts made from recycled climbing ropes.

Belts made up of bright colors like pink and purple made from recycled climbing ropes at the booth at Outdoor retailer.
The Belts made from recycled climbing ropes from Bison Designs

The climbers out there have seen the big stacks of retired ropes at the climbing gym. Big and bulky and taking up space. Well Bison has developed a way to take these belts, core them and turn them into amazing looking belts. The belts are stylish and it is great to find another use for the discarded ropes and reduce the waste. Each belt is also unique depending on the rope material that is available giving the wearer a great belt and better story to tell about them! For more information check out


Some times the most innovative products come from the simplest ideas. That is the idea behind Spru-Seal, an organic and all-natural balm. Spru-Seal is made from just four ingredients including sustainably foraged spruce sap. The sap is then used to naturally heal chapped lips and dry skin as well as other skin ailments.

The Spru-Seal booth covered in spruce cones and products at Outdoor Retailer.
The Spru-Seal booth at Outdoor Retailer.

Spru-Seal is a simple product that helps protect your skin and it gives you a little flavor of Colorado every time you use it! It was fun to watch people walk up to the booth and just take giant inhales of the samples and cones that were there. I really like Spru-Seal and it does a really good job on dry and chapped skin. I have even thrown it on bug bites to help with the itch although I don’t think it is promoted for this use. If you are looking for a little Colorado Spruce care check out

A couple of boxes of Spru-seal ready to go on the booth at Outdoor Retailer.
Tubes of Spru-Seal ready to go!

Wrapping Up Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Part 1

There are so many great and innovative new brands at the show every year and I obviously can’t touch on all of them. I definitely want to mention more than I could fit on here so I will have more coverage from Outdoor Retailer coming soon. If you are interested in my reports from the Outdoor Winter show or any other product reviews I have done you can see them here. Feel free to email me at if you have any suggestions for events to cover or products to test. As always, lets keep the conversation going by following me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

1 thought on “Outdoor Retailer Summer Show Part 1”

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