Outdoor Retailer Summer 23: Accessories
The Outdoor Retailer show made it back to Salt Lake City this June and there were a lot of brands there showing off the latest and greatest products. One of the big categories is always outdoor accessories with a variety of options to improve your time in the outdoors. Here is a look at some of my favorites at the Outdoor Retailer Summer 23: Accessories.
Optic Nerve – Sunglasses
Hiking in the mountains, or anywhere for that matter, can be brutal without the proper sunglasses. The bright sun and reflections off the lakes and streams make sun protection and must and Optic Nerve has all of the protection you may need. Optic Nerve is a Colorado based company that has been honing its sunglass technology since the late seventies and testing them under the high skies and bright sun in the Colorado Mountains. Optic Nerve also takes advantage of all of those sunny days in Colorado and uses ten-thousand solar panels to power their offices and warehouse and greatly reduce any needs for fossil fuels.
Optic Nerve had many lines of glasses on display at the show. I can’t talk about all of them but I can talk about several features. They have about 75 different polarized lens glasses ranging from hiking and biking to lifestyle styles. There was also a line of glasses that have frames built completely from wood. They are really cool. As well as lenses that adjust based on light.
Optic Nerve also offers snow goggles, sport shields, wrap-arounds and even aviators. What really separates them from some of the competitors is the price point. They put a ton of tech into their glasses but still keep a big chunk of their glasses to under $100. I saw maybe one or two that sold for around $149 but they were few and far between. Nice to have a good pair of shades at a price that allows you to feel comfortable wearing them.
I know so many people who can’t think of a better day than hiking out to a lake or a meadow and then sitting down with a good book under a perfect summer day. Mountaineers Books is the Seattle based publishing wing of the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are a 15,000 member strong 501(c)3 organization focused on efforts to create meaningful outdoor experiences to ensure healthy, active communities and a future for conservation.
Mountaineers Books was started when the group realized that there were a lot of books on Mountaineering but not one unified message. They came together to produce the Mountaineering guide book. From there, Mountaineer Books began publishing other books with outdoor lifestyle focus.
Mountaineers Books publishes books on topics like Biking, Climbing, and Conservation. They have map books and books of nature and photography books. Basically if it has something to do with the outdoors, Mountaineers Books has probably published a book about it. Check out their website and find your next perfect book to read on that beautiful summer day of adventure.
Coal – Headwear
I always need to have something on my head when I hit the trail. The sun and elements can get extreme and is nice to have a little extra protection up top. Coal literally has it covered. Coal is a headwear company that features, caps, beanies, full brim and more in their collections. Coal was started about 20 years with the goal of combining fit, fashion and functionality and allowing people to show their personal style with a great head cover.
Coal has several styles out at the show including a mix of floppy bucket hats, ball caps and beanies. The first thing that I noticed about the Coal cap line was that they didn’t just have a single fit. Coal offers caps in ultra low, low profile, mid-crown, roomy and kids fits. So a way to keep your individual style with each different fit.
The other thing that I noticed was just how decorative and detailed the hats were. Especially in the bucket lines but across all of their lines. While they have some traditional style hats with logos, they also have camo, tie-dyed, polka dot, zebra print, and creative designs that had bright and lively colors that alternated per panel. They had a ton of different options and it was obvious that style was a big factor in their designs. I of course, took pictures of their most basic cap because I am a fuddy duddy but check out the Coal website to get a feel of their different styles and designs.
G-Shock – Watches
Everyone needs a watch while hiking and hitting the trails. I like to use mine to show how long I was in my happy place. But, if you are like me your watch will take a beating from rubbing against rocks and trees and walking through rivers or jumping in a lake! G-Shock has a rugged watch that stand up to the beating of the outdoors.
G-Shock has been around since 1983 and is produced by Casio so they have the history behind them. But G-Shock is about the future and not the history. The watches are amazingly shock proof. They can take a beating with no ill effects. They have also added technology such as solar power, heart rate monitors, a compass altitude and barometer sensors. Some of the G-Shock watches are also stable down to 200 meters in depth for swimming and diving.
The G-Shock are about as solid and unbreakable as you can make a watch. They are also sturdy. It was about twice the size of my current watch, but when I put on a sample, the watch sat flush and didn’t feel big or awkward on my wrist. It was comfortable and had all of the bells and whistles and won’t break no matter how many rocks I smash it into.
Bridgford – Meat Snacks
Last but certainly not least, especially from a guy named Fatman, is the Bridgford snacks. Bridgford has been around for nearly 100 years, getting its start in 1932 as retail meat market. Since then it has expanded into the wholesale said and even pioneered selling frozen bread dough. The company now has 5 production facilities and sells in all 50 states. Despite growing so large and having shares available on the NASDAQ exchange, the Bridgford family still has a strong controlling stake in the business and it is still a family business.
More importantly they make amazing snacks. Jerky and beef sticks are what caught my eye because they are some of staples to trail snacks. Bridgford has partnered with Sweet Baby Ray’s to make some excellent tasting meat snacks. The Jerky has around 12 grams of protein per 1.25 ounce serving. While two links of the Smokehouse Sausage Sticks (25g) have 7 grams of protein. Both perfect trail sized snacks to give you the energy to finish the hike or hit that peak.
Bridgford also sells pepperoni, salami, and summer sausage along with currently six options of jerky and ten options of meat snacks. Including beef and cheese packs, chorizo and bite size snacks. It was the Sweet Baby Rays jerky that I sampled and it was delicious. I love the sauce and now I love the jerky too! You can find Bridgford Jerky directly on the website or an many retailers around the country and in Canada.
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 email@example.com. Or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!