Some 40,000 people cruised into the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, this weekend to check out more than 340,000 square feet filled with next year's gear. I headed down to the trade show to see if I could find any exciting freeskiing products that you'll see in retail stores next fall. Here's what I found.
1. Both Polartec and Gore-Tex are making great strides in delivering true waterproof/breathable outerwear, designed to keep you warm and dry even when you're sweating. Polartec's Neoshell, found in Marmot's Zion Jacket ($375), blocks 99.9 percent of wind and is 100 percent waterproof while still allowing two-way air exchange. Gore-Tex's Active Shell, found exclusively in the Arc'teryx Alpha ($399) and Beta ($450) jackets, has a light, thin membrane with a moisture-wicking backing.
2. Dynafit's new TLT Radical ($599) binding is Dynafit's first true step-in binding, enabled by side towers on the toe piece. The Radical weighs in at just 599 grams, boasts a solid 5 to 12 DIN and will likely be the binding of choice for athletes like Matchstick Productions film star Eric Hjorleifson.
3. Tecnica has gone all-in on the backcountry touring ski boot market with three new models. The Cochise ($735), named after the famous rodeo bull, is a true 130 flex ski boot thanks to a strategic integration of the walk mode, which unlike a lot of alpine touring boots, performs like a true alpine ski boot. Another cool feature is its buckled power strap, which makes it simple to open the strap for a hike and clamp it down for a descent.
4. Black Diamond is stepping into the world of one-ski quiver skis with four new models featuring sandwich sidewall construction. The new Zealot ($849) is 110 millimeters underfoot and is built with two sheets of metal and a semi-rocker tip for all the necessary rise to clean up in the powder.
5. If you're using lifts to access the backcountry and don't want to be burdened by a backpack, you should check out the new Powder Guide Vest from The North Face. The jacket is equipped with shovel and probe pockets on the back and enough pockets on the front for plenty of snacks and skins.