The Outdoor Retailer show blooms twice a year in downtown Salt Lake City. It is an eruption of mostly petroleum-based products designed to get you outside and keep you from dying there: sleeping bags, avalanche pillows, solar-powered pens. You see sellers of outdoor equipment and clothing, and hordes of ragged-haired adventurers roaming the cavernous convention hall. The North Face fortress is surrounded by innumerable booths made into tree houses, trailers, and seamless curvilinear plastic housings displaying new-season wares. There are a thousand brands and 22,000 people in attendance. It is a jungle gym of slacklines and money, the conquering of the useless, and people are buying.
Janet Ross, who comes to every convention seeking funding for her environmental-directed Four Corners School in Monticello, Utah, said that she once wore a pedometer to find out how far she roams the convention center. In three days, she walked 22 miles.
If you look past the unbridled capitalism, this show is actually about being outside. It is about firestrikers and adventurers, even under the hallucinogenic glow of convention-hall lighting…
“Most of my competitors have named their companies after themselves,” said founder and lead designer of Osprey Packs. “I didn’t care to use my name, plus it’s quite difficult to spell.”
When he opened a retail backpack shop inside his Santa Cruz, Calif., rental home 40 years ago, Pfotenhauer said he never imagined Osprey would ever be much more than a cottage boutique. Now headquartered on a hilltop in Cortez, Osprey Packs, a global leader in manufacturing gear-carrying equipment, celebrates its Ruby Anniversary in 2014.
The Best Backpacks for Long-term Travelers
This blog has been quiet the past week because I’ve been checking out new travel gear at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Utah, seeing what’s on the way from all the top brands in the industry. There are more than 1,000 companies there showing off everything from skis to shoes to solar lanterns, but I spent a good amount of time checking out new backpacks.
If you’re in the market for a backpack, or will be soon, I’m going to provide a good cheat sheet that will make it very easy for you to get what you need. I’ve used $90 backpacks and $400 ones, tried them on year-round journeys, 3-week vacations, and biking trips, so I’ve got a more rounded view than most reviewers.
Here’s what you need to know about the best backpacks for travelers, from the general things to remember to the advantages of specific brands.(…)
Osprey – long one of the most popular brands for round-the-world travelers, with the widest selection, Osprey packs have a lifetime warranty, are super-light, and are well-designed. Look for the Aura, Waypoint, or Porter styles, or four different lines with wheels. The Porter is great if you already have a daypack you like as it’s only about $130.