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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Outdoor Retailer Roundup: SteriPen Freedom Bundle and Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting

Petzl unveils a very smart headlamp and SteriPen offers a one-drink bundle.

by: Donovan Brooks, Backpacker Reader Reporter

Baladeo knife with friend
Baladeo knife with friend

To say Day 1 on the floor of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market was a bit overwhelming would be like saying Everest is a pretty big hill. There was simply so much to see, and that’s not even figuring in the amount of time I spent on a hunt for one of the most elusive bears in Utah, the Bear Grylls. But, amidst the madness and celebrity induced awe, I did find some high quality, innovative gear. Here we go:

Knives - Baladeo "G" Series
Baladeo knives “G” series are a skeletal version of a French Laguiole blade, and they are named based on weight (34G, 22G, 15G). There are no bells, whistles, or self-important features to these knives. They are, quite simply, great blades that weigh next to nothing, at an affordable price. The metal is a food-grade 420 stainless steel, and the weight, in grams, is the number that proceeds the “G” in the name. You can get the knife in silver, with a straight blade in SS, or a combo blade with a titanium finish in black. MSRP is $30 for the 15G up to $60 for the 34G. Available now. baladeo.com

Filtration - SteriPEN Freedom Solar Bundle
SteriPEN continues to revolutionize the water purification world with their new Freedom model. Though the Freedom is already available to the public, it will be Fall 2012 before they release their new SteriPEN Freedom Solar Bundle hits the shelves. This package will include a .5L water bottle, a solar panel with a lithium polymer battery, and, of course, a SteriPEN Freedom. The Freedom weighs in at 2.6 oz. and will treat 30L in .5L increments on a single charge. MSRP for this bundle will be $149.95. steripen.com

For Fido - Mountainsmith K-9 Bed

Mountainsmith had some of their excellent K-9 gear out. Their K-9 bed, weighs only 2 lbs. and compresses to 8” x 15”. This bed is a tank, easy to clean, and next to impossible to destroy. The bed works seamlessly with the K-9 Cube, which is hands down the best way to keep all you pup’s stuff organized. The Cube includes a food bowl, water bowl, food storage container, and frisbee, all stored in a cube that works with their Modular Hauler Systems. The Cube weighs 2 lbs. 11 oz. Both the Cube and the Bed retail for $59.95 apiece. One odd note, the frisbee that comes with the Cube can’t be bought as a stand alone item, which means when your dog eventually exhausts the frisbee’s lifespan, you won’t be able to replace it. mountainsmith.com

Headlamp - Petzl NAO Reactive Lighting
Petzl has come out with a headlamp which will very likely alter the course of headlamp technology. Their new NAO Reactive Lighting headlamp alters the brightness based on the activity and available light. The NAO (pronounced “now”) has two high power LEDs and a light sensor set up in a triangle pattern. The sensor measures and analyzes ambient and reflected light and then sends the info to a chip that alters the brightness of the lamps. What this really means is that when you look from map to trail, the light will get brighter, when you go from trail back to map, you won’t get blinded, and you won’t have to adjust the light in between. To sweeten the deal, the USB-chargeable batteries comes with accompanying software so you can alter the light intensity on you computer to suit your needs. Weight: 187 g, MSRP: $175, available July 2012. petzl.com

For Survival - Adventure Medical Kits Sol Escape Bivvy
Adventure Medical Kits has released a breathable/water resistant bivvy called the Sol Escape. The Escape reflects up to 95% of body heat and keeps out all but the most torrential of downpours. The Escape works not only for emergency situations, but also a lightweight shelter for adventure races or 24-hour rescue packs. Weight: 8.5 oz., MSRP: $50, available now. adventuremedicalkits.com



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READERS COMMENTS

Nicole Thompson
Jan 20, 2012

I forgot to add..Congratulations D. Brooks!!!

Nicole Thompson
Jan 20, 2012

Pretty Neat!!!

andym801
Jan 20, 2012

No pictures? Backpacker's site has a long way to go to catch up to better sites like GearJunkie.

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