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Once again, the OutDoor Industry Awards have attracted a strong field. This is confirmed by the 330 products entered, underlining the innovative nature of the outdoor industry. The judges were particularity impressed by 38 products - they received one of the coveted OutDoor Industry Awards, presented at the end of the first day of the show. Nine of these winning products have been further singled out for their exceptional design. These are the Gold Award winners. In addition, three particularly innovative young companies are honoured with a Start-Up Award.
The OutDoor Industry Awards are one of the most keenly-awaited highlights of the OutDoor show. Which products really stand out from the crowd? The expert panel of judges gives OutDoor Industry Awards only to those products that it feels really excel in terms of quality, design and sustainability. Moreover, the judges expect to see the nine Gold Award winners set new standards in their respective sectors.
The OutDoor Industry Awards have a resonance that goes far beyond trade visitors coming to Lake Constance. For retailers, end users and the media, the awards serve as a valuable, independent source of information when there are so many new outdoor products on offer. This is where innovative ideas set themselves apart from the competition.
Selecting the crème de la crème from such a large number of entries, requires experienced organisation and an expert panel of judges. During an intensive two-day process, experts from the worlds of retail and industry associations, trade journalists, designers and outdoor athletes worked hard to select the 38 award-winning products.
"Even with such a competent panel of judges, it’s still a very demanding task to test and evaluate so many excellent products to determine the best of the best,” explains Dirk Heidrich, OutDoor project manager, Messe Friedrichshafen. "Initially, there were different opinions and a lot of discussion. However, the intensive judging process ensures that, in the end, a consensus is reached on which products should be given an award. This applies in particular to the winners of the Start-Up Awards, which show just how innovative, young and dynamic the outdoor industry is.”
Micro Puff Hoody by Patagonia
"We are really excited about this hooded synthetic insulation jacket. It’s extremely lightweight and has body-mapped, quilted baffles in a unique and distinctive tiled design. It’s also very comfortable on.”
Baltoro 65 Litre Backpack by Gregory Packs Europe
"The best backpacks are so well designed that you hardly notice that you are carrying them after a while. This certainly applies to the Baltoro 65. The carry system with its independent and adjustable shoulder straps, load panels and hip belt is very comfortable and offers great load management.”
Rider 3.0 by Skylotec
"We feel that the Rider 3.0 represents an important step forward in via ferrata safety. The free-running ascender brakes automatically in the event of a fall. This significantly reduces the fall distance which helps prevent injuries. It also allows the user to rest anywhere.”
Chair Zero by Helinox
"Helinox lightweight camping chairs started a whole new trend. The Chair Zero weighs just 460 grams. This is amazingly light for such a comfortable chair. It also packs down amazingly small into any backpack.”
BeFree Water Filtration System 1.0 L by Katadyn
"This filter concept is simple and effective. Its lightweight, packable design makes it an essential item for every hiking trip.”
Primetech Stove Set 1,3 l by Primus
"We were convinced by this lightweight, performance stove. In particular, the integrated heat exchanger is very effective and fuel-efficient, and also makes the cooking pot much lighter than conventional designs.”
Downmat TT 9 by Exped
"We really like this sleeping mat for long trips and expeditions. It’s very comfortable, very durable, very robust and offers excellent insulation. We particularly like the fact that it is totally repairable - and the inflation system with adjustable zones is great.”
Earthcolors technology by Archroma
"Colour-dyeing normally involves a lot of chemicals. Earthcolors’ high-performance dyes are synthesized from natural leftover products, such as almond shells. We believe this is an important innovation and a major step towards greater sustainability.”
Ride on pant by Ternua
"The Ride on pant is a fine example of sustainable functional clothing. The recycled, bluesign®-approved stretch fabric made from Basque fishermen’s nets is also very comfortable to wear. And we like the stylish details too.”
Fision Size Advisor by Fision
"Great idea: a real innovation that will go down well with end consumers. The Fision Size Advisor will make it easier to select the right size when shopping online.”
Tex-lock by Texlock
"It is pretty amazing to see how well this bike lock works. Especially given the fact, that it is made solely of textile materials. It’s also lighter than conventional metal locks and offers a good level of safety.”
VJ1 by Vaterland
"The concept behind this jacket is very worthy of a reward. Vaterland has successfully set up a production system where refugees living in Europe use their skills to make high-quality clothing.”
Mark Held is general secretary of the European Outdoor Group (EOG), an association founded in 2003 by the 19 largest outdoor companies in the world. He also represents the outdoor industry in the FESI (Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry). Mark has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 20 years - among other things, as head of product development at Berghaus and the Lowe Alpine Group.
For over 10 years, Katrin Bojarski has worked in the international sporting goods industry as product manager for Vaude, Shinih and Polartec, among others. During this time, she gained substantial expertise in all important product groups of outdoor hardware and apparel. Her extensive experience enables Katrin to oversee the complete value chain of the textile industry - from fibre to final product - while innovation, sustainability and functionality always remain the most important factors in product development for her. With her own engineering consultancy, the German works as freelancer for a number of international projects in the sports and outdoor industry.
Chris Townsend is an outdoor writer and photographer, specializing in long-distance walks in wild places. He is the author of the award-winning The Backpacker’s Handbook and many other books and has been reviewing gear for The Great Outdoors magazine for many years. Currently he is also working with Outdoor Gear Coach.
Terje Malum has been around outdoor products and fishing tackle for 25 years. After working in sales and as store manager for a tackle store in the early days of his career, the Norwegian joined XXL Sport & Villmark in 2001. An avid fisherman, he has held several positions within the company and has been involved with its outdoor collection since 2004, leading a team that serves XXL’s stores and e-commerce offerings in four countries. As head of purchasing outdoor, he is responsible for a wide range of product categories: tents, sleeping bags and mats, backpacks, boots and fishing tackle amongst others. In his spare time, Terje enjoys chasing fish, preferably with a fly rod, in Norwegian mountain lakes and streams or wherever good fishing and nature experiences are to be found.
Mireia Miró has been a member of the Spanish ski-mountaineering national team since 2006. The former world champion, avid trail runner and base jumper combines her passion for outdoor sports with her studies and work. Apart from her Master’s studies in Sports Marketing, the Catalan is also a certified massage therapist and regularly spends time working at a mountain hut. For the last three years, she has been team manager of the Atomic Ski Mountaineering Team.
Frank Wacker has been actively involved in outdoor sports since he was a boy - and knows from experience what a difference good-quality products can make. He worked in outdoor retail and supported the outdoor industry in product development. Frank still gets excited about interesting new designs. He’s been a member of outdoor magazine’s editorial team for over 20 years and has been testing products as equipment editor since 2003.