We just returned from the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, a massive showcase of the outdoor industry’s most innovative, upcoming outdoor gear & apparel. Here are a few of our editors’ top picks from the show.

Outdoor Retailer is a twice-annual mecca for the top brands and emerging innovations in the outdoor industry, from the trail to camp to the beach to ski run, and everything outdoors in between. It’s a show of enormous proportions, where brands display outdoor gear and apparel lines for the upcoming retail seasons. For our crew of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails editors, the show is a chance to meet with our favorite outdoor brands, and to scope out some new trail tech and innovations, too.

(And don’t miss our latest Southern-worthy gear favorites for summer! Check out our Editor’s Choice Awards from the Outdoor Retailer 2017 Summer Market.)

2017 OR Winter Market: our favorite gear & apparel

Hundreds of outdoor brands wowed us with their upcoming gear, apparel, footwear, and adventure travel lineups at this winter’s Outdoor Retailer. Here are a few of our favorite standouts from the show:

  • Seriously tasty trail food: Good To-Go Meals at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017, our Editors Choice

    Seriously delicious trail meals

    Good To-Go Meals


    Why we loved them

    It’s no secret: we’re huge fans of the Good To-Go lineup of gourmet backpacking meals; check out our Good To-Go Thai Curry and Penne Marinara review for the delicious details. (They’re so good, we even eat them when we’re off the trail at home. Not kidding. And that’s something we’ve never said about any other dehydrated trail food!)

    We jumped at the chance to try the latest flavors from Jennifer Scism, Good To-Go’s professional chef who notably beat Mario Batali on Iron Chef. We were thoroughly impressed. Good To-Go introduced us to some new trail breakfast favorites, including a whole-grain Granola (with oats, figs, blueberries, almonds and milk) and Oatmeal (oats, quinoa, chia and hemp hearts). And we were thoroughly wowed by Good To-Go’s new savory entrees, the spicy Korean Bibimbap (mixed rice with sesame, carrots, and spinach) and an ultra-tasty Mexican Quinoa Bowl (butternut squash and black beans in a mole poblano sauce). Stay tuned for our reviews of this tasty trail fare, and thanks to Jennifer and the Good To-Go crew for continuing to wow our appetite.

  • Cotopaxi's Gear For Good and new flagship store in SLC: top picks from the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market from the Atlanta Trails editors

    Flagship store + new Gear for Good



    Why we loved them

    We’ve packed our Cotopaxi Inca 26L and 16L Backpacks on hundreds of adventures throughout the South. And over the years, we’ve been thoroughly impressed by the backpacks’ comfort and thoughtful design (read our Cotopaxi Inca 16 review). We were stoked to visit Cotopaxi’s new flagship store in Salt Lake City, and to see more of the company’s recent product offerings. Cotopaxi seamlessly blends thoughtful design with on-trail style and a mission for good: the sale of every Cotopaxi piece helps further the company’s Gear for Good mission to help end poverty worldwide.

    Cotopaxi wowed us with the company’s latest apparel lineup and the new Luzon Del Dia 18L Daypack. Each pack’s creator has complete creative control over the pack’s colorways and patterns, so each Luzon Del Dia is equally colorful, vibrant and unique. We can’t wait to work this backpack into our ever-growing Cotopaxi collection.

  • ENO Lounger DL: Atlanta Trails editors choice for new gear at the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

    More ultra-comfort gear from ENO

    ENO Lounger DL


    Why we loved it

    We’re long-time fans of our ENO DoubleNest and SingleNest Hammocks (read our ENO hammock review for details), and have packed our ENOs on just about every adventure from overnights on the Appalachian Trail to our favorite hikes near Atlanta. (Need some local inspiration on where to hang? Check out our favorite places to hammock near Atlanta).

    We were stoked to see our friends from ENO at Outdoor Retailer, and for the chance to test out the new ENO Lounger DL, an ultra-comfy and weight-conscious chair perfect for the campsite. The Lounger DL features two adjustable leg heights, making it equally perfect for campsite meals and campfire lounging. And with a cup holder, cargo pockets and a comfy, stuffed headrest, this chair is every bit of comfort we’ve come to love from our ENO hammocks, in a lightweight, portable camp chair.

  • LOWA Aerox GTX Low Surround: top trail-worthy footwear picks by the Atlanta Trails editors from the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Show

    Footwear Innovations from LOWA

    LOWA Aerox GTX Low Surround

    Why we loved it

    We frequently grab our favorite LOWA boot, the LOWA Renegade GTX Mid (read our Lowa Renegade boot review) whenever we hit the trail. While more than a few new LOWA boots caught our eye at Outdoor Retailer, we were particularly impressed by the Aerox GTX trail shoe lineup, available in mens and womens styles in 2017.

    Lowa designed the Aerox GTX with 100% waterproof GORE-TEX Surround technology to offer breathable, cool, dry comfort on the trail. The shoe’s innovative system of air channels in the sole promote breathability, designed to help feet stay dry in warmer conditions. We’re ultra-excited for the chance to test this shoe in our humid Southern seasons later in 2017.

  • Ruffwear Jet Stream cooling dog jacket: our editor's top picks from the Outdoor Retailer 2017 Winter Market

    Warm-Weather Apparel For Dogs

    Ruffwear Jet Stream


    Why we loved it

    We’re huge fans of Ruffwear’s adventure-worthy dog gear. And while we’ve always been fans of Ruffwear’s dog leashes, dog packs, collars and collapsable bowls, we were seriously won over by the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler, a lightweight, reflective, warm-weather coat that works wonders to keep our black lab cool during the South’s warm-weather months.

    In the new Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Ruffwear introduced the Jet Stream, a lightweight cooling vest made with reflective spandex on top, and Swamp Cooler technology on the chest and belly. With a quick soak in water, the Jet Stream is designed to help cool dogs through evaporation and reflection – and reflective trim helps with on-trail visibility.

  • Flowfold Minimalist Outdoor Gear: top Atlanta Trails editors' choice from the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

    Minimalist + Made in the USA



    Why we loved them

    We’re recently-made fans of Flowfold’s minimalist, made-in-the-USA gear made from recycled and repurposed materials – and recently featured some of our Flowfold favorites in our Outdoor Gear Gift Guides.

    We were stoked for the chance to meet the Maine-based Flowfold crew at Outdoor Retailer, and for the the chance to review Flowfold’s full gear lineup in person. We’ve been testing the Flowfold Minimalist Cardholder Wallet, Trailmate Dog Leash and Zip Porter Zipper Tote Bag for the past few months, and so far, we’re thoroughly impressed by Flowfold’s blend of thoughtful design, weight-conscious construction and tough durability.

  • Buff Merino Wool Hoodies: our Atlanta Trails editors' top picks from the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

    A Hoodie for Every Layering System

    Buff Merino Wool Hoodies

    Why we loved it

    When wintertime brings chilly air to the South, we almost always reach for a hoodie to help retain warmth and repel moisture on the trail.

    The popular Buff Hoodie collection works with any base layer, fleece or coat, adding a hood and neck gaiter to just about any garment that lacks its own hood. Buff’s new line of merino wool hoodies offer generous head and neck comfort and warmth, with the quick-dry comfort of merino wool. They’ll be available in multiple weights for a range of weather, and in two sizes: large, to fit over a ski helmet, and slim, for a more streamlined fit.

Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
Thanks for your support! - the Trailful crew

Eric Champlin

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.