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030 – Outdoor Retailer Australia Show-June 2017

Show Notes

The 2017 Outdoor Retailer Australia Show was recently held on 18-20 June 2017 at the Moore Park Exhibition Centre in Sydney. This annual show is a chance for Australia’s outdoor wholesalers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia’s outdoor retailers and allied media. Australian Hiker was lucky enough to attend this show for the first time and to take a sneak peak at some old favourites as well as some great new products to hit the market in the upcoming months.

As first time show attendees Gill and I weren’t sure what to expect so we only allowed Sunday to wander around the two large halls. We soon realised that we could have done with much more time, even with just focusing on the hiking related products. In the end, we interviewed six companies we thought would be of interest to our podcast listeners. The companies interviewed for this episode are:

  • Campers Pantry
    • Campers Pantry is an Australian supplier of freeze dried vegetables. This range of veggies is premium and look like vegetables are supposed to look. More importantly they taste great. Campers Pantry is soon to release a range of freeze dried meals. We managed to sample one of these meals, as well as other products to be released in the coming months, and we will definitely be using them on our trips when they released
  • Fjäll Räven 
    • A Swedish brand that is very well known throughout Europe and is only just starting to make their presence known in Australia. Zen Imports are the Australian supplier for this product and also supply products from Leatherman, Ledlenser, Steripen and others
  • Hammock Bliss
    • Hammock Bliss is one of two Australian companies that manufacture hammocks for hiking and camping. Hammock camping is booming in the US and is slowly building a strong following here in Australia. We will be discussing hammock camping in upcoming episodes and have been looking for an Australian supplier
  • Sea to Summit
    • Sea to Summit is an Australian company that produces products under their own name and also acts as a distributor for many well known brands such as Jetboil, Black Diamond, Back Country Cuisine, 360° degrees, Smartwool and Trangia just to name a few. I own a number of Sea to Summit items and have been very happy with them
  • Spelean
    • Spelean is a supplier you may not know from their name. I have a number of pieces in their kit and didn’t really know. They are the distributors of well known brands such as Petzl, Thermarest, MSR, Platypus and Buff as well as many others
  • Zempire Camping
    • Zempire Camping is a New Zealand company that has only recently been selling into Australia but they have become very well known over the past 12 months. They sell a range of tents suitable for car campers as well as hikers. Their hiking tents fill a gap in the market for hikers who want a good quality, reasonably lightweight products without paying the high prices of the ultra-lightweight options

Some of these companies are wholesalers and their websites listed above will provide details of their local retailers close to you. Others also retail their product direct to the market which is clearly identified on their websites.

One other Australian product that caught our attention was the repair tape from a company called ‘Fixmytear’. Sold as either a short roll or in industrial length amounts this is a product I look forward to testing over the next few months to see how it performs.

Find this episode on iTunes at Australian Hiker podcast

Find this episode on Stitcher at Australian Hiker podcast

Listen to this episode on Soundcloud

Episode 031 due for release on 5 July 2017 will look at water filtration on the trail.

Last Words

There were two main takeaways from this show that we had reconfirmed.

The first, and something that was becoming very obvious to me as a hiking tragic who spends much of my time trawling though outdoor stores, is the steady influx of mainly USA based but also European manufacturers, starting to distribute their product range into the Australian market. While I do on occasion purchase from overseas its only because I have wanted a very specific piece of product that wasn’t readily available in Australia. I don’t buy clothing from overseas and have always salivated over a number of pieces hiking clothing I can now buy in Australia. With the changes to the GST (Tax) rules soon to be implemented, product purchased in Australia will become cheaper as well as having the support of a local supply chain should anything go wrong.

The other obvious area of growth, and has been for a while, is the increase in lightweight equipment on the market, with many manufacturers looking at ways to minimise weight while still maintaining the comfort levels.

We hope you enjoy this series of interviews and look forward to next year when we will put aside a couple of days to talk with suppliers and review their products.

Tim and Gill at the show

Dov from Hammock Bliss. One of the very few Australian manufacturers of hiking hammocks

The Hammock Bliss Sky Bed as packed

Dov explaining the features of the Hammock Bliss Skybed Bugfree hammock

AJ from Campers Pantry. Campers Pantry currently produce a great range of freeze dried vegetables and have some excellent new products due to be released onto the market in the coming months

AJ and Tim discussing the upcoming range from Campers Pantry. We had a chance to sample some of this new product and once released it will definitely form a regular part of our hiking meal rotation

Tim interviewing Henry from Sea to Summit. Sea to Summit produces their own brand products and are also the Australian distributor for a number of well known brands

Henry explaining the features of Sea to Summit sleeping mats

Sea to Summit sleeping bags

Part of the Sea to Summit stand

Zempire lightweight hiking tent sans the fly

Tim interviewing Lil the ‘product bloke’ from Zempire. Zempire produces a great range of mid priced lightweight tents filling a niche that was not being catered for

Accessories from Zempire

Fjall Raven. A very well known European brand that is just making its way into Australia. Look out for this brand in stores over the coming year

Fjall Raven stand with Tim talking to Caroline about the range on offer

Fjall Raven pack wall. Love the colours – who said outdoor gear had to be grey or khaki coloured?

Interviewing Greg from Spelean. Spelean is the distributor for many well known brands such as MSR, Thermarest, Buff, Petzl and Platypus

MSR Guardian water purifier and Tilly Hats

Thermarest sleeping mats. The Speedvalve is being introduced to more of this range and means you won’t have to exert yourself to inflate your mat at the end of the day

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