On a whim, I decided to head to Winter Outdoor Retailer with Megs and Juliana earlier this month.  For those of you not in the know, Outdoor Retailer is the worlds largest Outdoor Retail Trade Show.  There is one in the summer and one in the winter each year in Salt Lake City, UT (at least, thru 2016 it is).  Basically, it’s where every vendor in the US decides what to purchase from which retailers.  In short, it’s where REI makes or breaks you.

I applied for a press pass for the event and mistakenly thought it was granted based on some confusing communications from the registration people that said things like “Tell your friends that you’re going to Winter Outdoor Retailer!” and “Now that you’re registered, please take a few minutes to secure your hotel arrangements!” and “We look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City!”  It turns out that my pass was not actually granted.  When I arrived, there was an awesome person working registration who acknowledged that this, was in fact, highly confusing and she gave me a pass anyways.  Most of the time, my life just works out perfectly.

I wrote quite a bit on my adventures within the expo itself for Tahoe South.  Head over there via these links to read my posts on apparel, hard goods, and the experience (posting Friday 2/8).  Instead of rehashing what I wrote over there, I wanted to highlight a few of the other products that I totally fell in love with.

Winter Outdoor Retailer

1.  Shred Ready helmets feature one of the most genius innovations I wish I’d thought of: no pinch magnetic buckles.  Do you have any idea how many times I’ve stood on the top of the mountain screaming in frustration after I’ve taken photos of someone because I can’t seem to get my stupid helmet buckled with frozen fingers?!  GENIUS.

2.  I am such a sucker for things with bikes on it and I think I have found my new favorite t-shirt company: Endurance Conspiracy.  Even more auspicious, it turns out the owner is Tony Deboom whose brother, Tim Deboom, is a Pearl Izumi sponsored athlete AND Tony designed some of our products for the 2012 catalog.  I brought home tees for myself, Briana and Boyfriend but I think I need more.

3.  Pistil Designs.  While I was running around OR with Bill Smaine, we ran into an old friend of his who happens to have started Pistil Designs.  His hats are GORGEOUS.  He was kind enough to give me one of their hats and I haven’t stopped wearing it since.  IN LOVE.

4.  The boys I shred with have always been big fans of Trew gear but they’ve never had a women’s line until now.  Coming winter 2013-14, Trew will feature women’s specific cuts and colors.  I’m enamored with them.  The Stella Jacket offers Trew’s durability but designed, styled and and fit for women.  WANT.

5.  D-Fa Dogs.  You know, as in, “D, for dogs” but said with a Kiwi accent.  This small awesome company out of New Zealand makes wonderful dog apparel.  If my dog wasn’t so adamantly against walking these days, I would have bought a jacket for her.  With names like the “Sub-Woofer” and the “Puff-Doggy,” how can you not fall in love and want to support them?

6.  I loved the sharp design and clean lines of the Hector Press (the featured image).  I mean, I always think coffee is attractive, but this makes it downright sexy.