Winter Outdoor Retailer Highlights 2022

Sustainable gear was a huge theme at the Winter Outdoor Retailer show – here are some highlights.

Gear Up
By Courtney Johnson
Gear Up Ambassador

After a virtual show in 2021, the Outdoor Retailer show was back at the Colorado Convention Center this year with COVID-19 precautions in place. This was a much smaller show than in the past; the absence of some of the largest retailers made way for some of the newcomers in the industry to have a chance for some time in the spotlight.

Sustainability was the continuous buzzword throughout the show, with bigger companies like Rab talking net zero, while other eco-conscious companies made a debut at the show, including Solid State Clothing and namuk.

Gear Hugger created a lot of buzz with the Outdoor Retailer debut of its Eco Multipurpose Lubricant. With over 1,000 uses, from keeping your bike chain working smoothly to the gears on your lawn mower, this product is a nontoxic game changer as an alternative to traditional petroleum-based lubricants when it comes to keeping hard goods working their best. Rust and corrosion are no match for this product, as well. We put it to a quick test with squeaking door jambs in our house and are happy with the results. Safe for gardens, pets and children, Gear Hugger retails for $12.89 per 11-ounce can.

Namuk is turning heads with the U.S. debut of its sustainable children’s line inspired by woods, lakes and the high mountains of the company’s base in Switzerland. With fun colors and patterns, kids will stick out on the slopes and trails while wearing durable clothes made to be passed down to siblings or friends. The fun designs come from leftover Primaloft BIO fabric from previous years’ designs — another way the company is focused on reducing environmental impact. Snow and raingear use a unique zipper system that allows pieces to connect to each other despite the year of manufacturing. Using biodegradable Primaloft fleece in its jackets, the company ensures that the plastic that typically ends up in water after washing breaks down before it has any effect. Designing for children ages 2 to 12, the company also manufactures accessories, from socks and beanies to rolltop backpacks and gloves, all with the same attention to durability and sustainability. We love the fun extras, like reflective thread for visibility at night, the trash (rock collection) pockets, pacifier attachment and more.

Jetty is using harvested oyster shells to create clothing
Jetty clothing

Jetty is making waves with its collection of clothes created from harvested oyster shells. A Certified B company based in the East Coast, the company showcased a line of clothes made from recycled polyester (RPET) and pulverized oyster shells (OYSTEX), including shell jackets and neck gaiters that the company can’t keep in stock. The company expects to grow its OYSTEX line as well as its collection of laid-back vibe clothing. Beyond creating soft goods, the company is helping to restore once-thriving oyster populations by helping filter 10 million gallons of water a day, cleaning up damaged coastline and more through its Jetty Rock Foundation.

We all know how much single-use plastic is a major problem around the world. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. GOT BAG is helping turn a problem into a solution with the world’s first backpacks and accessories made 100% from recycled ocean plastic. Waterproof, PVC free and available in a range of colors, products include daypacks, laptop sleeves, roll tops and even card holders. Its Weekender Bag recovers 9.9 pounds of plastic from the ocean, with most of the materials sustainably sourced from fishermen in Indonesia.

Solid State Clothing

With a slowdown due to the spread of COVID-19, Solid State Clothing was finally able to make a debut at Outdoor Retailer with its line of T-shirts ($55 to $70) made locally within 600 miles of its headquarters in Burlington, N.C. Consumers can follow the creation of their shirt via QR code with an opportunity to connect with the very people who created the shirt, from the farmer who grew the cotton to the yarn spinner and fabric sewer. The natural dye T-shirt features dye from local plants, including black walnuts, pomegranates and madder root. The company’s North Carolina T-shirt was developed from its 10,000 pounds of cotton project, where the company committed to buying 10,000 pounds of cotton for T-shirt manufacturing from a third-generation local farmer in 2020.


As global warming continues, companies including Ignik and LavaBox are creating solutions to allow campers to enjoy campfires without the environmental impact. With fire bans becoming an almost standard summer occurrence, especially in the West, portable and compact propane campfires made out of ammo cans (or similar designs) are gaining popularity. Check out the Ignik FireCan ($199) and the Lavabox Tabletop Vol-CAN-No ($195) for smokeless and ember-less campfire fun that puts out thousands less in emissions than a traditional wood campfire.

Speaking of camping, Americans discard millions of propane canisters a year. A zero-waste alternative to these canisters rusting in landfills is the Little Kamper propane tank that is reusable and exchangeable at camping retailers.

Mount Inspiration created a trade-in program so kids and adults can upcycle their outgrown Mount Inspiration clothing

Based in Ashville, N.C., Mount Inspiration carries a large line of nature-based T-shirts, hoodies and even onesies made from organic cotton, recycled bottles or eco tri-blend that are screen printed with soybean ink and shipped with fully biodegradable packaging. The company even created a trade-in program. Both kids and adults can upcycle their outgrown or unused Mount Inspiration clothing for a free size up or discount. The company will also upcycle other brands of clothes for a discount.

Astral Ceiba PFD

The most environmentally friendly PFD on the market, the Astral Ceiba is made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. The front is made from kapok, a naturally buoyant fiber, and the back is made of recycled polyethylene foam. Available in black, blue and orange, the PFD retails for $155 in sizes S/M, M/L and L/XL.

PACT Outdoors is solving the “let’s not talk about it” problem of needing to go to the bathroom in the backcountry with its PACT Kit. It features an ergonomic shovel for digging a hole for waste. The washable trash bag can be reused over and over.

The dehydrated wipes are biodegradable and can be dropped into the hole to degrade naturally without putting harsh chemicals into the soil. The 60 Pact Mycelium Tabs break down waste safely and quickly. Colorado-made organic sanitizer disinfects your hands. This all-in-one bathroom kit, perfect for hiking, camping and more, retails for $50.

With the first ski poles made from 100% recycled aluminum, mountainFlow premiered these poles for the first time at the show. Said to be two times stronger than most poles on the market, each recycled pole set that is manufactured releases 90% less carbon emissions than the manufacturing of a traditional pair. There are three versions of recycled poles available, retailing between $60 and $120. The company also began a recycling program with resorts and ski shops to turn old poles into new poles. The company is also the creator of eco-wax, a biodegradable ski wax and bike lube.

Additional Products/Companies To Check Out:

Trail Tribe: These harsh-chemical-free products, including mineral sunscreen and face defense, use nonnano zinc oxide.

RAB: Promising to be net zero by 2023 (meaning no carbon emissions), the company is focused on a poly bag recycling program, using recycled fibers to create its Microlight Collection and using GRS-certified recycled down.

Opolis: With a plant-based plastic sunglasses line ($175), Opolis debuted its soon-to-launch Recycled Ocean Plastic line, with sunglasses made from ocean- and land-based plastic.

Smartwool: With its Second Cut Project, Smartwool is turning old socks into stuffing for dog beds.

Klean Kanteen: The company introduced its new Klean Kanteen Camping Mug, using 90% recycled stainless steel.

Outside’s Gear Up Give Back Program: This program is designed to break down the economic barriers of outdoor recreation while also promoting the upcycling of gear.

OOSC Clothing: Based in the U.K., this company makes retro-style ski clothes that are created from 50% or more recycled plastic from water bottles and shipped in biodegradable packaging.

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