Imagine the world’s largest vacuum cleaner convention. Suits, ties, slick salespeople and some schmarmy, red-carpeted, faux-pillared and gold-embossed convention center on the outskirts of Vegas that was last renovated in 1977. Take the exact opposite of all that (except the red carpet and the odd, slick salesperson) and you have the annual Summer Outdoor Retailer Convention in Salt Lake City.
Every August, the best, brightest and plaid-est in the industry, come together to worship at the altar of all things shiny and new for the outdoor enthusiast. Unfortunately, unless you were there, getting the full skinny on what’s new for the year requires reading so many blogs and gear guides it’ll make your head spin, greatly inhibiting your ability to actually focus on something truly important, like world peace or why cats always land on their feet.
So, without further ado, we’d like to get you back to being a productive member of society with this handy little wrap-up of what’s new in 2015 from your favorite brand of outdoor comfort.
EvoLite™ and EvoLite™ Plus
The brightest star in our new line-up blurs the lines between self-inflating convenience and comfort and ultralight air mattresses performance. Our new AirFrame™ construction uses alternating channels of our new Atmos™ foam and air to offer the low bulk, high loft (2” for the EvoLite and 2.5” for the EvoLite Plus) and light weight of an air mattress, plus the self-inflation and premium, stabilized comfort of a foam-core mattress. The EvoLite™ Plus adds ThermaCapture™ technology to boost warmth and both mattresses are sure to please anyone trying to get into the latest and greatest backcountry comfort without selling the farm.
NeoAir® XLite® and NeoAir® XLite™ Women’s
The best-selling air mattress in the world just got a little better. We removed the external PU coating that was used to make their non-slip surface, and replaced it with a softer open-weave fabric that still keeps you in place, but feels far better next-to-skin. That, and subtle evolutions to our ThermaCapture™ layers inside boost overall comfort, without boosting weight.
NeoAir® XTherm MAX™
If you need that club-over-the-head kind of warmth for stalking Yeti or climbing Denali, or are just a fan of a slightly larger mattress, the XTherm MAX is for you. It’s a rectangular version of the ultra-warm and ultralight XTherm, offering a broader sleep surface for ultra-cold and ultra-comfort. It’s pretty ultra.
ProLite™ and ProLite™ Plus (and Women’s Versions)
These ultralight backcountry workhorses have been retrofit with our latest foam innovation: Atmos™ Foam, giving them greater compressibility and a smaller environmental footprint. You see, the process of creating Atmos foam is the cleanest foam process possible. Now, we’re not claiming to save the planet here by any stretch, but we like to think that every little bit counts. Check our technology page for the full download. The bottom line on the trail is that the new ProLite mattresses are going to take up less room in your pack, deliver great self-inflation, and be a great choice for anyone looking to minimize their personal footprint with the best possible gear choices.
Sleeping Bags and Blankets
Nikwax® Hydrophobic Down
There’s been a lot of buzz about DWR-treated down these days and we’ve finally found some that we can get behind. Nikwax has long-been a trusted provider of PFC-free waterproofing treatments, and their new Nikwax Hydrophobic Down brings that low environmental-impact technology to the revolution that has taken over down bags of late. Now all of our down sleeping bags feature Nikwax Hydrophobic Down and it makes a real difference in the field; they absorb 40% less water than untreated down, retaining loft longer to keep you warmer longer, and drying faster to maintain performance on extended trips. Nikwax-treated down has also been specially formulated for care and re-treatment with Nikwax Down Wash and Down Proof products–a real plus since all treatments eventually wash out of the down after multiple washings.
Updated Zoned Insulation
Therm-a-Rest sleeping bags take a system approach, pairing your mattress and sleeping bag together to make the most of both. This allows us to reduce the amount of insulation in the bottom of the bag and reduce weight and bulk. This season we’ve added a touch of insulation to the bottom of the Questar and Saros three-season bags. This help reduce drafts for added comfort and also boosts versatility, allowing you make the most of a hostel bed, couch or any other use where you might not have a mattress in-tow.
Slacker Hammocks and Accessories
Hammocks were pretty logical for Therm-a-Rest and we’ve clearly hit a homerun with the Slacker hammocks. A few key reasons: Our diamond ripstop polyester has a very subtle stretch to it, eliminating the pressure points associated with a nylon hammock. Second is our seamless design. One, continuous sheet of fabric allows maximum use of that subtle stretch and eliminates the potential failure points that seams can create.
Be sure to also check out or Slacker Suspenders and Bug Shelter. The knot-free Suspenders with auto-locking adjustment might just be the easiest way to hang a hammock ever, and the Bug Shelter makes hanging out in a crowd (of mosquitoes) easy.
Thanks to a combination of a 13” seat height and the fact that it packs down completely into its own composite tripod base, we like to say the Treo Chair delivers big chair comfort in a small package. You could seriously fit a half dozen of these into a single grocery bag, and they set up in less than a minute. Plus they look really cool, and who doesn’t love that?
New Cot Shelters
Now you can take your cot out on its own with the Cot Bug Shelter and Sun Shield. The fully-enclosed Bug Shelter sits neatly atop any LuxuryLite Cot for bug free peace of mind, and the Sun Shield features our reflective ThemaCapture technology for a cooling shade – perfect for mid-day siestas and sleeping in late, all summer long. The Sun Shield is also taped for light, waterproof protection (it’s not a full cut to stop a driving rain from the sides) and can be used on its own with a center pole for shade anywhere.
Cot Pillow Keeper
To spruce-up your existing cot experience, try the new Pillow Keeper that keeps your pillow off the ground, while also giving you a place to stash a book and a headlamp underneath. It has a brushed surface for amazing comfort and clips easily into place around most any cot.
Thanks for reading and be sure to head on over to our new 2015 site for a look!