Big Gear Show 23: Hikers Favorites
This years Big Gear Show shared space with the (e)Revolution E-bike show and there was a lot of focus on E-bikes. That didn’t mean there wasn’t something for everyone. As a hiker, I was excited to see some cool products for all of the trail seekers out there. Here is a look at the Big Gear Show 23: Hikers Favorites.
Suunto made it to the Big Gear Show to show off the newest entry in the perfect hiker watch division, The Suunto Vertical. The Vertical is a really slick looking watch that mixes lightweight titanium with a solar charge capability.
The first thing that I noticed was just how big and bright the watch face was. (While the pictures are simulated images, the rep had a Vertical on and it looked exactly the same.) Hikers will also love that the Suunto Vertical features offline full mapping on the watch, not just breadcrumbs and you don’t have to rely on the app to see where you are. It also has a dual band GPS to help track your hike as accurately as possible.
The Vertical also covers all of the ABC’s that you need to stay safe. It comes with a altimeter, barometer, and compass. Also, storm alerts and weather forecasts keep you from being stuck in a surprise storm. There are also 95 different sport modes to keep you honest on your different workouts.
This looks like a really cool watch but one of the best features is that the Vertical is made with 100% renewable energy and is 100% carbon compensated. Suunto really does a lot to focus on sustainability and you can read more about that here. A really cool watch with a good design and production was a great way for me to start off the Big Gear Show!
Outdoor Vitals is a company really making a charge in the Ultralight space. they produce clothing, jackets, packs, tents and sleeping bags with the goal of making your load lighter and your trips more enjoyable. They showed up with a wide assortment of products for the Big Gear Show.
Outdoor Vitals showed off the Shadowlight pack which weighs in at under 2 pounds while still having a light weight aluminum frame. The Shadowlight uses a specialized ripstop fabric to lower the weight but maintain a high level of strength and durability. I loved that the Shadowlight has a center zip which gives a ton of access to all of your gear without going from the top down. Available in a 45 liter or 60 liter option.
They also showed their newest pack, the CS40 which weighs in at only 27 ounces on a 40 liter pack!
OV also offers several options of sleeping bags including the Summit. The Summit is available in 4 temperature options ranging from -15 degrees (2 lb 15 oz) to 30 degrees (1 lb 7 oz). What I liked about the Summit as a wide shouldered hiker is that the shoulder width of nearly 30 inches on the regular bag. Also, a wider toe box allows for freedom of movement in your feet which I really like as well.
Finally, Outdoor Vitals has some tents available including the Fortis one person trekking pole tent. The total weight of the Fortis, including stakes, cords, and the sack, is only 1 pound and 9.4 ounces. The Fortis is a single door with six storm points and two end panel guylines. It aslo comes with two quick release guylines to help you quickly react to any weather that might come your way.
Lots of technology from Outdoor Vitals to prepare you for the next ultralight adventure. Outdoor Vitals sells mostly direct to consumer so make sure to check out their website.
Deuter is a German formed company that is currently celebrating their 125th year in business. They started as a canvas and linen company that made large tents before starting with backpacks in 1910.
They did have plenty of backpacks on display in 2023. The main feature pack was the AC Lite that came in a couple of sizes. The AC lite is a light weight (960 grams or just over 2 pounds) and sporty styled backpack. The pack has what they call the Aircomfort back system. The Aircomfort is a mesh panel that separates you and the pack and allows for airflow to keep you cool and also increases the comfort of the pack.
One great feature of the Deuter line is that they have 21 packs that are developed for women hikers. The SL line indicates that the pack has a little shorter back. According to Deuter, “On average, women have shorter backs than men.” This allows for a better fit for women hikers. The SL lines also have a specifically designed carry system designed to fit a woman’s anatomy better. It is great to see a company realizing that different hikers have different body size and styles and working to make everyone as comfortable as possible.
Another pack that I was excited to see was the camera pack from Deuter. The pack comes with a removeable camera bag that has adjustable compartments. The whole pack fits inside a backpack for ease of travel but can also be removed. A nice piece of functional gear.
I mentioned the 125 years in business and Deuter is celebrating that milestone with a specially designed pack. The design is a tribute alpinism and Deuter’s emphasis to provide the packs to support the climbers, hikers, and backpackers everywhere.
More From the Big Gear Show 2023
Check out my entire week of review from the 2023 Big Gear Show with the links below.
More from the Fatman
For a list of other products that I have reviewed you can check my Product Review page here. If you have any products you would like me to review or any comments you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!