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Yellow Leaf Hammocks. Photo by Morgan Tilton

11 Picks from the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show

A sneak peak of upcoming adventure gear (and more), as seen at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. 

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In a biannual showcase, outdoor industry brands—both startups and big-names—converge in Salt Lake City to display their latest-and-greatest innovations at Outdoor Retailer, a.k.a. O.R., the largest industry tradeshow in the world. This year, a wave of nearly 25,000 attendees—including shop owners and retailers, sales representatives and marketers, nonprofits and media—convened August 5 to 8 to learn about the freshest creations and select what to sell in stores in the upcoming season. Imagine espying everything from casual kicks, backpacking tents, and technical textiles to camp stoves, SUPs, and kayaks. We’ve gathered our picks of the standouts—from lesser-known ventures to veteran companies—to help you stay on top of the industry trends (without partaking in the chaos):

1. Joe Demin and Rachel Connors founded Yellow Leaf Hammocks (pictured above) in August 2011 in San Francisco, with a mission to provide direct job creation to crafters in rural Thailand. The 100-percent handwoven hammocks are lightweight, durable, comfortable, and unbelievably soft. They are offered in four styles—hanging chair, classic double, family size, and cotton rope—and a wave of colorful designs via the company’s e-commerce site. $145–$275; yellowleafhammocks.com

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2. The artisans at Portland-based Shwood Eyewear handcraft the brand’s unique wooden sunglasses from beginning to the end—from carving the frames to etching the lenses. Co-founder and designer Eric Singer’s mission to “experiment with nature” shines through his ingenuity. For example, the brand’s Newspaper collection utilizes a process of condensing newspaper and turning it into a solid, wood-like inlay. This September, Shwood will debut the first design that plays with real glass: Their original Canby frame made with ebony wood, with a glass inlay (in two color options), and grey polarized lenses. $325; shwoodshop.com/us

3. Crowdfunded (in less than 90 minutes), The Everyday Messenger by San Francisco-based Peak Design has accumulated close to $2 million from backers—setting two Kickstarter records in both “photography” and “bags” categories. Adventure photographer Trey Ratcliff helped design the camera-tailored tote, which has interior high-density foam dividers that fold and flex around camera gear and fill-up extra space. The bag’s capacity expands from 13.5 liters to 20.5 liters, and the exterior is a waxed and water-repellant synthetic canvas shell. Frankly, it just looks good. The bags will be available to buy in December or January, or you can still place your order on Kickstarter. $250; peakdesign.com

4. Play disc golf around the clock, with Boulder-based Nite Ize’s Flashflight, the first-ever LED disc golf set: driver, mid-range and putter discs all included. Buy individuals or the full set. $22.99–$59.99; niteize.com

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5. With a southwestern flair (and river-rafter-meets-cowgirl style), the packable and wide-brimmed Twilight Canyon hat from Sunday Afternoons has UPF 50 and a sinchable top, which allows it to be tailored to the wearer or tightened down when the breeze picks up. $45; sundayafternoons.com

6. Made will all-natural sweeteners (maple syrup and honey) and no additives, 18 Rabbits organic granola and granola bars offer an entirely nut-free junior line with 1-ounce bars and fun flavors like chocolate banana. $4.49 / junior granolas; available at Target; 18rabbits.com

7. Lowa adds new lifestyle shoes—including pairs for ladies—with Gore-Tex Surround technology. Seen in the waterproof, breathable San Francisco, the technology allows vaporized moisture to release from the inside of the shoe while also preventing wetness (like street puddles or rain water) from entering. The casual line features full-leather uppers and includes four colors for both men and women. $225; lowaboots.com

8. Torch Paddles, funded on Kickstarter, created the first-ever LED canoe and SUP paddles. Like a headlamp for water athletes, the design increases safety via visibility—any time of the day—and also helps enable nighttime standup paddleboarding. The carbon fiber shaft offsets the weight distribution of the paddle and eight AAA batteries. Next year, Torch Paddles will release a kayak paddle and a rechargeable option. $119–$249; torchpaddles.com

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9. Klymit is continuing its best-selling, minimalist-style sleeping pad, the Inertia O Zone, with loft pocket technology. The 72-inch long pad includes an integrated pillow for comfort, the holes fill in with the sleeping bag, and the pad packs down to the size of a soda can. $89.95; klymit.com

10. Chaco is stepping up to the fashion plate with its new leather sandals. The women’s Sofia offers supportive style with a gladiator-fashioned strap, polyurethane-foam midsole, soft nubuck leather footbed, and a non-abrasive pigskin lining. $100; chacos.com

11. Who says camping can’t be like playing with Legos? With the Sierra Shack, setting up camp gets even more playful. Each waterproof pop-up tent has three doors, which are attachable to one another via zippers. Great for car camping, festivals, and afternoons in the park, the Alite Designs shelter will be released in February 2016. $120; alitedesigns.com

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