The timing of SIA at a week after Outdoor Retailer every year puts me in an interesting spot. Most of the big, exciting new products are covered thoroughly before I get the chance to see any of it. As such, there’s no rush to publish, and I can sit back and reflect on a few of the more interesting (to me) items.
The Dynafit Beast binding has been covered ad nauseum, but it was still pretty slick. I was able to ski a pair (with Dynafit Vulcans on my feet, mounted to 182 Dynafit Grand Teton skis) and everything feels extremely solid. Limited supply and a $1000 price tag for now, but likely a less-expensive version coming before long – because who really needs to crank their bindings up to 16 in the backcountry?
Also new from Dynafit is the TLT6, an improvement on the TLT5. Weight’s the same, the pointless metatarsal flex zone is removed, a stiffer tongue is made available, and the last is improved to help them fit more feet. Unfortunately, they won’t be compatible with the Beast.
K2 has an interesting development in the “Shaxe,” a shovel handle that can be converted to an ice axe. Could be a good way to save weight in the spring, particularly if you’re not sure if you’ll need your axe or not.
Smith is updating their already-popular Vantage with “aerocore” technology, essentially plastic honeycomb that lightens and adds breathability to the helmet. I’ll probably pick one up for next season.
Finally for today’s post, a hydration system. A little unusual for me, as I’m a big proponent of bottles in winter, and have a few different options I use during warmer times depending on the activity. The company is called VestPac, out of Jackson Hole, WY. It’s an “airmesh” low-profile vest/harness system that looks pretty stable at first glance. They also have a waterproof soft phone case that is nigh indestructible (though I’m sure scissors would make quick work of it). I’m pretty intrigued and going to try to get one for review purposes.
More in the coming days…