The UKC team recently returned from the annual gear-fest in Munich: ISPO 2018. Here are some video interviews with brand representatives, who talked us through the key features of their latest creations.
Osprey - Rolling Transporter RRP £180-£240
New and improved for 2018, with wheels - ideal for carrying long distances (ie getting from terminal to terminal at Frankfurt Airport). Available in 40, 90, and 120L versions. For those who prefer the simplicity of the original duffel, the existing Transporter is still available.
Osprey - Mutant
The 5th generation of the Mutant pack range is a comprehensive climbing pack and extremely lightweight. It comes in 3 sizes, so there's one to choose for every objective.
Mountain Equipment - Tupilak packs RRP £185-£220
MEs eagerly awaited pack range boasts stripped back design and techy features to create a really exciting mountain pack. Three models in the range, 30, 37 and 45 litres. Minimalist, durable, weather resistant and lightweight ... what more could you want from an alpine and winter pack? If pressed we might say this is our favourite product of the show!
Lowe Alpine - Fuse 20 and Ignite 15 RRP £25-£30
Light, simple day packs for running, hillwalking etc. A good mini multi-pitch pack. Really nice stripped down design and good prices. Would double as a good pack for multi-pitch trad or Scottish winter.
Leki - Spitfire
A new high-performance pole featuring the sticky ProG grip and alpine frame strap with its quick release and easily attached leash system. Constructed from 16mm aluminium of the highest category - HTS 6.5 for those in the know
Fjallraven - Keb Hike 20l & 30l
Designed with winter day trips in mind, but equally at home around town, the Keb Hike is geared towards walkers, climbers, and skiers. A tough and versatile pack series coming in 20 or 30 litres.
Aku - Environmental Product Declaration
The first shoe in the world to receive an environmental product declaration, which means every part of the shoe's manufacturing process and sale is judged by strict environmental rules.
Scarpa - Mago
The Mago has been something of a hidden gem in the Scarpa range, so much so that when it was previously released it wasn't a great commercial success; however, what it did do was generate quite a following within a select sphere of interest. Ahead of its time maybe? Thankfully Scarpa have decided to bring it back and this - we think - is a shoe to look out for, with an incredible blend of sensitivity in the midsole then power through the forefoot/toe. It's a rare occurrence that these two aspects of performance can be combined so effectively.
Scarpa - Maestro Alpine RRP £220
A specialised shoe that's designed for keeping for feet warm on cold, long, alpine rock routes, whilst maintaining precision and reducing foot fatigue.
Red Chilli - Shoe Range RRP £35-£130
Red Chilli have had a quiet few quiet years in the UK market, but are now back with a bigger and better range. Starting with the kids Crocy, moving on through to re-worked classics such as the Spirit, then on towards more modern developments such as the Fusion, Voltage, and Atomic C. 2018 promises to be a big year for the brand.
La Sportiva - Trango Tower and Trango Tower Extreme GTX RRP £300 - £330
The Trango Tower was first introduced last year to replace the Trango S Evo. It comes in at around a B2 rating. The Trango Tower Extreme GTX is one of the lightest B3 boots ever made. The uppers remain largely the same, however, the sole is much stiffer. The sole is not 100% stiff which allows for greater comfort but it is stiff enough to take a fully automatic crampon. The sole remains the same although the mid-sole is much stiffer. The neoprene cuff extends slightly higher.
Mammut - Kento GTX
Featuring a Michelin outsole, elastic sock GTX construction and 3D Memo Foam. It is available in UK half sizes and with a 3 tiered lacing system is a very versatile and adjustable boot, ideal for UK use.
Hanwag - Tatra II
The Tatra is Hanwags best selling boot in the UK, now updated for 2018. This solid 3 season boot features a tough, grippy Vibram sole, new toughened metal eyelets, and a mor flexible cuff. With a choice of goretex lining, or unlined, and availability in a number of different widths and fittings, it's a really solid hillwalking boot for UK conditions.
The Cinquantaquattro warm is available as low and high volume boots. Ideal for walking hiking and snowshoeing in the snow. It has a very clean design to prevent the snow packing. The membrane protects from water and it features a new Arctic Grip compound on the sole from Vibram. It activates when walking on wet ice. It weighs 300g in total.
Boot Banana - Moisture Absorbers
A second product from the makers of the original Boot Banana deodoriser. The Moisture Absorber is designed to dry wet footwear without using a heat source which is known to damage some pre-formed plastic boots. Most shoes and boots are dried in 6 hours. The 'bananas' can then be dried and recharged in a microwave or on a radiator and sealed away in the sealable plastic bag which they are supplied in.
Arc'teryx - Procline ski boots
Billed as a Climbing boot that can ski...the Procline boot has had some upgrades for aw18. Meanwhile, The new Procline ar is a more ski oriented stablemate that's stiffer and skis better than the original. On both models The updated liner is both light and durable, and the toe is lower profile for better for crampon compatibility.
Andrea Boldrini - Puma Lace RRP £75
A new lace-up with flat profile aimed at entry level climbers. The low volume toe box and flexible lacing system enable a snug fit and a great price of around £75.