Our team at the Camping Page did a lot of pavement pounding at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Our goal was to search out the best and most innovative new gear for the camping enthusiast. We had a peak at thousands of new products, talked with hundreds of brand representatives, and even shot some video of our top pics. We’ve already mentioned one of our favorite picks — the Pod Rocker from GCI Outdoor. Here’s an overview of some more great new products form the 2018 summer market.
Thermacell Radius: The World’s First Rechargeable Zone Mosquito Repellent
Do you love outdoor adventures, but despise mosquito bites? Want to protect yourself from the blood suckers without DEET, messy sprays, or out-of-control campfires? Thermacell is the leader in the design and development of Zone Mosquito Protection. What does this mean? Thermacell repellent devices work using a heat source and repellent mats to create a 15’X15’ mosquito-free zone. Most of the Thermacell products use butane as a fuel source to heat the repellent mats, but in 2018 the company introduced Radius — the world’s first zone mosquito repellent to use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Radius is a small device that targets mosquitoes with a tiny amount of airborne repellent. The repellent is heat activated, protecting your space from mosquitoes at the touch of a button. Radius gives you 6+ hours of operation per charge and works at any elevation. The replaceable repellent cartridges last for 40 hours of operation. The Thermacell Radius currently retails for $49.99.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite Sleeping Pad: Lightest on the Market
It’s no surprise that Therm-a-Rest made waves at this year’s market. The company has been creating cutting-edge ultralight gear for decades, and is at the forefront of comfort innovation. This year’s highlight was the NeoAir UberLite, which will hit markets in spring of 2019.
Touted as the lightest portable mattress on the market, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite weighs in at just 8.8 ounces and packs down to the size of a can of beer. And just because this pad weighs next to nothing, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. With a loft of 2.5 inches, this featherweight pad is kind of like sleeping on air. The UberLite has an R-value of 2, and is perfect for summer camping, and possibly three season in some circumstances.
So, what’s the secret to the UberLite’s success? The new UberLite uses a 15 Denier High Tenacity Nylon Shell Fabric, which has cut nearly 25% in weight from their previously lightest mattress. The baffles, which help retain heat, are made with an ultralight film. The UberLite will retail for $180, starting in early 2019. Find it in retail stores across the country, or on the Therm-a-Rest website.
Big Agnes Bikepacking Tent
One of the most awesome adventures in the camping realm has become more and more popular in recent years —- bikepacking. Yes, people have been touring and camping via bicycle for decades, but bikepacking is generally more focused on a style of travel that steers toward off-road endeavors, including single-track and wilderness riding. This type of adventure requires a pretty light set-up, and the bikepacking community is fortunate to have a champion in Big Agnes.
Big Agnes has a full range of lightweight gear for bikepacking, from pads, chairs, and sleeping bags, to ultralight tents. We were stoked to discover the Big Agnes Copper 2 Bikepacking Tent at the OR Summer Market. This lightweight tent is designed specifically for bikepackers, with shorter pole segments and a compression sack to ensure it fits snuggly under your handlebars. The whole setup weighs in at 2 pounds, 14 ounces, and will be available for $380 on the Big Agnes website starting in spring 2019.
ALPS Mountaineering Downpour Duffel
ALPS Mountaineering has long been known for its durable, high-performance gear, which is all backed by a lifetime guarantee. This year at the Summer Market, ALPS introduced a whole new line of rugged dry bags in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors.
Our favorite from the new lineup was the Downpour Duffel, a rugged, go-anywhere dry bag, made from 420 denier ripstop nylon and coated with TPU for extra protection. The Downpour Duffel is outfitted with removable shoulder straps, as well as three smaller handles on the outside edges. For paddling adventures, you can easily lash it to your boat, or throw it on your back during portages. This bag promises to be your go-to adventure companion and will be hitting stores in the spring 2019. Keep on eye on ALPS Mountaineering for updates.
Mock ONE Hammock
The hammock craze shows no sign of slowing down in the camping community, but we have seen few innovations until recently. The Mock ONE by Republic of Durable Goods is advertised as the world’s only compact free standing hammock, and while it’s certainly not ultralight, it definitely has its place in the car camping and backyard adventuring world.
Weighing in at 16 pounds, the Mock ONE eliminates the need for trees or straps, and can be set up on all types of terrain, from the patio to the beach. It includes loads of innovative features, including and 50 UPF sunshade, a mesh basket underneath, oversized drink pockets, and a functional carrying bag. Optional accessories include mosquito nets, tarps, and quilts to make hanging out cozy. The Mock ONE folds up to the size of a regular folding camp chair, and holds up to 250 pounds. The Mock ONE is currently live on Kickstarter and will be available starting in December 2018.