- Climbing and bouldering still on the ascent
- Newcomers as important target group
- Equipment and clothing getting lighter and lighter
Below are in detail the main trends for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, which will be presented at the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair from June 30 to July 3, 2019 in Munich.
According to the German Alpine Club (Deutscher Alpenverein), there are approximately 500,000 sport climbers and boulderers in Germany and the number is continually rising. As such, climbing and bouldering centers in towns and cities are really booming. On average, 18 centers a year opened across Germany between 2000 and 2010 but since 2010 the average figure has risen to 24 a year. Bouldering centers in particular provide a real alternative to fitness training and are an easy way for people to pick up climbing in general. The sector is also expecting to see considerable growth as a result of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as climbing will be included as a sport for the first time ever.
Italian shoe and clothing manufacturer La Sportiva has truly been gripped by the Olympic climbing fever. The global market leader in climbing shoe production will be launching a new climbing shoe in 2020 called “Theory,” which will have absolutely no edges on the sides, thus ensuring optimum contact surface and therefore friction surface.
As the sport climbing boom has set in and been taking over not just indoor climbing centers but more and more outdoor sport climbing parks too, requirements in terms of helmets have significantly changed—attention has shifted to fall protection. Nils Beste, Marketing & Communications Manager at Petzl, says: “Generally speaking, climbing helmets primarily aim to protect users from falling rocks, which is not something that concerns sport climbers all that much. As such, all of our helmets now have EPS foam, running all the way down to the bottom edge, which softens the blow from a side impact.” The French mountaineering equipment manufacturer has also updated and certified all of its helmets in accordance with its own “top and side protection” standards.
The U.S. American mountain sports equipment manufacturer Black Diamond is focusing on weight reductions: the airNET climbing harness weighs just 235 grams and is therefore the most lightweight and breathable waist harness (made from the patented airNET netting) in the Black Diamond collection. Allgäu-based climbing and mountain sports equipment manufacturer Edelrid is all about ecological and sustainable production and with its Skimmer ECO Dry 7.1 mm boasts the thinnest half rope on the market, which for the first time ever features a PFC-free Eco Dry finish.
More and more brands are offering consumers so-called set-ups, whereby all products are perfectly coordinated with each other in terms of style and functionality. This is particularly ideal for newcomers as they can get all the equipment they need with just a single purchase. As such, Swedish functional clothing specialist Fjällräven has created a modular system in the form of its “Bergtagen” collection. Initially designed together with the Swedish Mountain Guide Association for the Swedish winter, the products will be more widely rolled out across the Spring/Summer 2020 collection: Fjällräven has reduced the weight of its jackets, trousers and shirts and incorporated ventilation into them specially for warm temperatures. All the clothing items can be combined with each other and can be used in conjunction with a climbing harness. Bavarian mountaineering brand Ortovox will launch its Westalpen set-up specially designed for challenging tours in Alpine terrain in 2020. It will consist of three lightweight and functional layers: triple-layer light jacket and trousers, softshell jacket and trousers and a Swisswool hybrid jacket.
From cross-country running through your local park or forest to challenging mountain jogs covering several kilometers and scaling impressive heights—with trail running you can do whatever you prefer. What you have to ensure with all runs though is that you have the right shoes. Italian sporting goods manufacturer Tecnica will launch its new product line Origin next season, the first ever trail running shoe range on the market to boast a shoe adjustment process (similar to the one used for ski boots where the material is heated) which can be carried out in just a few minutes directly in store. Trail running clothing needs to be as lightweight yet functional as possible in order to protect runners but not restrict them. Swiss sporting goods manufacturer Scott has developed the RC Run Windshield, which is a combination of a running jacket and jersey with windbreaker material, specifically with this in mind. The small “jacket,” which can be rolled up and has no zipper, fits neatly into any trouser pocket. Italian functional clothing manufacturer UYN also focuses on lightweight quality and in 2020 will launch the Man Energyon shirt, its lightest ever base layer shirt. The functional shirt is especially breathable and weighs a mere 80 grams.
According to a study by the German Federal Institute of Sport Science, hiking is one of the nation’s top 10 most popular sports: 24 percent of Germans regularly go hiking—in addition to local day trips on their doorsteps, trekking trips further afield are becoming increasingly popular. The Evorado (Mid & Low) from German hiking and mountaineering shoe specialist Hanwag is a lightweight and versatile trekking shoe available as a mid-cut shoe and a low shoe. The great thing here is that welded seams reduce the weight and should also reduce pressure points, all without reducing the solidity and resilience of the shoe.
Trekkers and travelers are very particular when it comes to the weight of their luggage. As a result, Deuter has managed to reduce the weight of its Aircontact Pro 55 +15 SL rucksack by 400 grams with an efficient use of materials and a more spacious layout. Jack Wolfskin has developed a mosquito-proof technology for trekking travelers whereby the material does not have to be chemically treated but is so densely woven that mosquitoes cannot penetrate. The benefit is that the protection doesn’t wash off and is considerably healthier on account of the fact that no chemicals are used.
As from 2020, Italian family business Ferrino will be offering a smart service for people who enjoy camping trips with its online tent configurator. This will enable tents to be configured and customized to meet customers’ specific needs. In addition to the number of sleeping places, customers will also be able to select the type of vacation they have planned as well as their preferred vacation destinations and seasons. Ventilation options, rods, variations in terms of the inside of the tent and flooring as well as the color and logo on the fly (outer layer) can also be configured.
American multi-tool and outdoor equipment specialist Gerber is launching a new tool with a special focus on weight/usefulness and functionality, the ComplEAT: it can be used to prepare and eat meals and clean the cooking utensils. Swedish firm Primus will release its new Fire Stick for the 2020 trekking summer. The compact screwable cooker stands out on account of the fact that it is as light as a feather and fits into any rucksack thanks to its cylindrical shape.
Studies show that ecological and social aspects are becoming increasingly important for consumers. The majority of manufacturers are aware of this trend and of their own responsibility and are launching lots of new sustainable products. More details on this can be found in our OutDoor by ISPO Sustainability Trend Report.