What outdoor gear is in the pipeline for 2017? Following on from the article on the future of climbing gear, Sarah Stirling reveals sneak previews of the exciting innovations in mountain footwear, rucksacks, sleeping bags and jackets to look forward to next year.
OutDoor in Germany is the main European gear schmooze of the summer, where outdoor manufacturers show off next year's products, hoping to impress judges, journalists and trade visitors. There's an air of excitement and plenty of sausages and beers to fuel the long treks around the 12 huge halls, which host over 900 brands from around 40 countries.
For the seventh year running, Summit magazine assistant editor Sarah Stirling went along to the show; joined once again by the excellent Chamonix-based photographer Tom Humpage. The mission: to quiz British manufacturers, along with the other brands that support Summit magazine, and pick out the gear that will be hottest in 2017.
Read on for the full report and check out the Gear channel on BMC TV to easily watch all the video clips.
Read Part One: The future of climbing gear.
1. The best sleeping bags ever designed?
"I happen to have the moniker Doctor Down in the company, because I have a PHD in down."
Dr Matt Filler, the only person with a PHD in down insuation, now works full-time for Mountain Equipment. Over the past year or two, he's been doing all kinds of lab and field tests and revolutionising their range, which is set to fly to the very top of the game next year.
Mountain Equipment's new sleeping bags are 30% lighter and as warm or warmer than their current sleeping bags. They've hunted high and low for the best possible fabrics and done more tests than any other brand to figure out, for example, how to get the smallest amount of down to do as much as possible. Prices will range from £180 to £800 and you shoud definitely check them out.
Watch the video for more details from Dr Fuller. I even persuaded him to don his personalised lab coat for the occasion.
Mountain Equipment sleeping bags. Photos: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Doctor Down on BMC TV
2. Arc'teryx's first trail running shoe
With clever, patented designs for steep, techy climbs.
It's no surprise that Arc'teryx's first trail shoe, the Norvan, is a clever beast. There are two versions: with or without Gore-tex, and most importantly it comes in a wide range of colours as you'll see in the video.
The shoes are designed specifically for those wanting to push it in steeper landscapes, and have a clever 360-degree (patent-pending) support system made of internal and external components.
Check out the special clip, which allows you to quickly tighten them across the ball of your foot, giving a supportive, precise fit for scrambling.
Prices: £130-150. Weights: 280-320g per shoe.
Arc'teryx Norvan. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Arc'teryx Norvan on BMC TV
3. The lightest fully-featured rucksack on the market?
Lowe Alpine's first foray into fast and light climbing and mountaineering rucksacks.
The Ascent Superlight is the key product in Lowe's brand new Ascent range of climbing and mountaineering rucksacks. It weighs in at 0.4kg and will cost £100.
The fabric is 100D ripstop fabric with a new TPU coating specially developed for it, which offers 13 times normal high abrasion resistance. The straps are cleverly designed to allow freedom of movement and stay out of the way of a harness.
For more details and a 3D tour, check out the video. Joe was doing so well 'til that little fumble.
Lowe Alpine Ascent rucksack. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Lowe Alpine Ascent on BMC TV
4. The world's first sub-100g three-layer waterproof jacket
Another award for Berghaus: the world's lightest waterproof-breathable jacket.
The Senior Innovation Designer responsible for Berghaus's top-end MoutainHaus range talked us through the new Hyper 100 Jacket, which, weighing in at 97g, was an exercise in attention to detail and minimalism, and won Berhgaus yet another prestigious Gold OutDoor award this year.
The fabric is super-light but also super-breathable and waterproof – 50,000 MVTR and a 20,000 Hydrostatic Head for the geeks. It has a full-zip, a small pocket for essentials and... that's it.
Berghaus wins another award. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
5. Kilian's favourite shoes
And a general intro to the lightweight X Alp mountaineering shoe range, new for Salomon last year.
The Salomon X Alp Carbon II is the lightest general mountaineering shoe Salomon have, and is designed for fast and light travel over technical terrain like glaciers and rock.
The advanced chassis has a lot of flex and stiffness for edging and rolling. It's Kilian's shoe of choice for pushing the future of fast and light.
Check out the video to see it and a few other key shoes in the range.
Salomon's mountaineering shoe range. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Salomon mountaineering shoes on BMC TV
In other news
Keep your eye on the Gear channel on BMC TV. We'll be adding videos of more 2017 products including the ones listed below over the coming weeks.
WATCH: Montane Featherlite packs
Montane Featherlite packs. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Arc'teryx's award-winning new Roto-glide hipbelt system
Arc'teryx Bora and the full rucksack range. Photos: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
WATCH: Patagonia's coolest new layer
WATCH: The popular Scarpa Charmoz gets a makeover
Scarpa Charmoz. Photo: Tom Humpage / numero97.com
BMC Travel insurance comes with £10 million emergency medical cover: Knock yourself out.
After Alpine & Ski insurance? We've got a great deal to keep you covered: 25% off all annual multi-trip policies in Europe, which works out at £141 for 12-months cover.
Years of experience
We've been insuring adventurers like you for over 30 years. That's why all of our policies come with:
24-hour emergency assistance helpline
£10 million emergency medical cover
£100,000 search, rescue and recovery cover
£10,000 personal accident cover
£5,000 cancellation cover
£2,500 baggage cover
No age loading until you're 70
WATCH: BMC Insurance: built for the mountains
*Policy details: £141.80 for annual European Alpine and Ski cover up to age 69. For policies purchased between 14 May and 31 July 2018.