Outdoor Gear Goes Hi-Tech

gear-lead-copyAn Argon infused vest, odor-eliminating shirts, shoes with adjustable insoles, and UV light water purification are some of the new technologies that manufacturers are using to rethink outdoor gear and apparel.

Dad’s old Army canteen and heavy wool jacket seem like museum relics, when you compare them to the latest technology being used by manufacturers of outdoor gear and apparel. At the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, where manufacturers of outdoor products showcase their newest items, the use of existing and new technologies is moving at a fast pace. This may make us rethink how we see and use traditional camping gear and apparel.

Argon Insulated Vest

Klymit Kinetic Vest
Klymit Kinetic Vest

The use of Argon gas as an insulator is commonly used in welding, home window applications and more, but Nate Alder, CEO of Klymit in Ogden, Utah, developed a synthetic fabric called Nobel Tek, that incorporates chambers that can be filled with a pocket canister of Argon gas. 

The wearer can adjust the level of warmth by adding or venting the amount of Argon witin the fabric. Furthermore, the technology eliminates the need to layer apparel for changing temperatures, and makes this method the only adjustable insulator on the market.  Aside from Argon being superior at insulating warmth over current synthetic and natural insulators on the market, Klymit’s technology can make outdoor apparel extremely lightweight and thin (only 10mm thick fully inflated).

There are many other uses for this technology and Klymit is already selling their insulated vests on their website. You can find out more at www.Klymit.com



 Anti-Microbial Shirt

Silver isn’t anything new, but its use as an anti-microbial active ingredient is currently used to eliminate odors in shoes, building products, water purification and more. The problem is, silver quickly oxidizes and changes color, making it extremely difficult to add it as an anti-microbial on outdoor performance apparel.  After six years of development and perfection, Agion’s newest technology, Agion-Active,  is a patented method of utilizing silver in white fabric with no concern for discoloration. It’s also a natural anti-microbial and can be inserted into the DNA of the fabric rather than as a topical agent, making it last the life of the fabric.  You can find out more information on Agion’s technology at www.Agion-tech.com

Comfort Adjustable Shoe

Wolverine iCS System

Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz found her perfect pair of shoes that took her back home to Kansas. But the wizards at Wolverine came up with something that’s more than just fantasy;  an insert that can be adjusted to your particular comfort level. The company’s iCS system allows full adjustment of the shoe’s insole, allowing you to select the perfect comfort level for all-day hiking, low or high arches, improve stability, maximize shock absorption and more.

The wave-disc in the heel lets you set the amount of firmness or cushion that feels best for your individual use. The iCS system is available in Wolverine’s casual and outdoor line of footwear. You can find out more at www.Wolverine.com


Ultra Violet Light Water Purification

SteriPEN UV water purifier

It’s safe to say that Giardia, Cryptosporidium and other organisms are bad for your health. That’s why for years, hikers, backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts have been chemically treating or filtering back country water. But there’s an increasing use of UV light as a method of killing harmful organisms and bacteria.

UV light kills organisms in a matter of seconds and many of the systems available can treat a liter of water at a time, up to several hundred liters on a full battery. Manufacturers such as SteriPEN and Camelback are using light technology as a lightweight and effective method that’s catching on with many outdoor enthusiasts.

The use of UV light as a method to purify water  has been in use for several decades by many city water municipalities. But advancements in new technologies allows it to become adaptable to small, portable devices that can be taken on camping, hiking and backpacking trips with ease. For more information on UV water purification devices, contact: www.Steripen.com and www.camelback.com


Easy GPS For The Rest Of Us

Lowrance Hand Held GPS Systems

While GPS systems have been around for a while, there are many outdoor enthusiasts who find themselves GPS challenged. Setting way-points, saving tracking files and more can be a task in itself. Fortunately, GPS systems are becoming easier to use. Manufacturers such as Lowrance make a hand held GPS system with touch screen navigation, high-resolution topo maps, and up to 32GB of memory for storing photos, MP3’s and more from one device.  This makes it simple for the GPS challenged to find their way with a built in compass and altimeter, store trails for future use and have entertainment all in one hand held unit. For more information, contact www.Lowrance.com

By Dan Sanchez

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