January is a big month for outdoor gear, when a lot of manufacturers show-off their new wares at the annual Consumer Electronics Show and the Winter Outdoor Retailer expo. Even with the economy in the dumps, manufacturers are moving ahead with innovative products that are lighter, greener, and more functional than previous generations.
Family recreation is going to be big this year and the Kelty® Transit Carrier (TC) 2.1 eliminates that baby of an excuse: when the kids get older. Suitable for children up to 40 pounds, the TC 2.1 also serves as a fine daypack when you don’t need the carrier. www.Kelty.com
A premium 3-season down sleeping bag for under $300? The REI® Halo +25 bag weighs less than 2 pounds and is insulated with 750-fill goose down, wrapped in a water-resistant, partially recycled, polyester shell. This economical bag doesn’t skimp on features, with an external chest pocket for nick-knacks, differentiated drawcords (1 round, 1 flat) for the hood and neck, a stuff sack and a large cotton storage bag. www.rei.com
The LED lantern trend continues this year with several new offerings, including this tiny offering from Coleman™. The 5-ounce Cree XLamp® XR-E (whew!) puts-out 100 Lumens on high and lasts for 5 hours on three CR-123 coin cells. The XLamp also supports low and strobe modes. Only 4-inches tall and 2.5-inches wide, the globe collapses into the rubberized base for portability and protection. www.coleman.com
The KICK Axe™ from Gerber® is an innovative folding hatchet that weighs just a shade over one pound, yet its metal construction and positive-locking mechanism promises years of reliable service. www.gerbergear.com
How about a great new jacket that’s good for you and the environment? The Nau™ Shelter Jacket uses recycled polyester fabric for its three-layer shell. The Shelter Jacket is completely windproof, waterproof, breathable, and features a hood large enough to accommodate a helmet and large zippered underarm gussets for additional ventilation. Nau donates 5% of its profits to humanitarian charities. www.nau.com