Outdoor Retailer Roundup: G-Form Protection, Piggy Backs Made Easy

From water bottles that filter (unobtrusively) to bomber foam for all your gadgets, see what our Reader Reporter scouted on the satellite floor.

First day out on the Outdoor Retailer Show floor can be summed up in one word: WOW! This is the ultimate playground…and it’s going to be over all too soon. Until then – let’s get busy! I started trekking through the ballroom, an off-shoot of the main floor. Here’s the best of what I saw:

Water Bottles - Vapur Element & OKO water bottle

I stopped to chat with the guys from Vapur for about their new collapsible water bottle, the Element. It comes in two sizes (.7L and 1L) and shows off the new SuperCap which is a very cool and very functional flip-type cap. It’ll be available starting March 1st retailing at $11.99. Cool design, carabiner attached, BPA free, great price, and American-made – hard to beat that. Next item I came across was the OKO bottle. It comes in three sizes (550ml, 650ml, and 1000ml) with a built-in filter (see photo above) that can handle over 100 gallons of water. vapur.us and okoh2o.com

For the Kids – Piggyback Rider

Cute kid, riding on a guy’s back? I had to stop. Piggyback Rider won several awards last year so you may be familiar with them, but they’ve added some upgrades for this year including hydration bladders and zip pouch into the original designs. MSRP ranges from $79.99-$149.99. thepiggybackrider.com

For the Adults - Mountain Equipment Gasherbrum and Hooded Xero Jacket

Mountain Equipment has updated some of their already-superb models such as the Gasherbrum and the Hooded Xero jackets. Both brag about their light weight (Gasherbrum 27.7 oz., Xero 17 oz.) and fill power of 750+. MSRP of the Gaserbrum is $470 and the Xero is at $350. I tried them both on--very comfy! mountain-equipment.co.uk

For your Gadgets (and Knees) – G-Form

Item of the day (and generating a lot of buzz on our Facebook page) is G-Form’s protective equipment for both athletic wear and electronic items. G-Form specializes in a foam that resists high-impact forces. On their website they show videos of dropping an iPad with the protective case on from 100,000+ feet. One of the reps compared two foams for me by dropping a bowling ball onto the foam--highly breakable M&Ms were hiding underneath. No surprise: G-Form’s foam was far superior. Look for the iPhone cases coming out next month (Feb. 2012); all the other gear is available now and ranges in price from $9.95-$99.95. g-form.com

Which item peaks your interest? Drop us a comment below so we can be sure to get a sample for testing.