156-Industry Interviews August 2020 Part 2

Show Notes

Over the past three years Australian Hiker has attended the annual Outdoor Retailer Australia Show. This show is a chance for Australia’s outdoor wholesalers and manufacturers to showcase their new and existing products to Australia’s outdoor retailers and allied media.

Due to the pandemic, the show was cancelled for 2020 but rather than let the opportunity pass us by we managed to catch up with a number of suppliers for an update.

This is the second episode in this series in which we bring you a further three interviews. As a follow up to our discussions with the various suppliers, in the coming year we will be reviewing that will be of interest to you.

Podcast Overview


Outdoor Agencies (time index 0:58)

  • Products
    • Arcade Belts (read our review of these belts here)
      • As a company, Arcade comes from the snow industry
      • Want a comfortable belt, not just one that hold your pants up
      • Standard width and slim width (women’s)
      • Longer length (available in mid 2021)
      • Range of colours
      • Highly adjustable
      • Widely available
    • Osprey packs (time index 13:27)
      • Packs
        • Kids hiking range has been updated
        • Strengthening their sustainability through the use of recycled content
        • An updated Poco child carrier pack is due. This pack is probably one of the most widely used child carrying packs. Due late 2020
  • The outdoor industry at the moment (time index 20:03)
    • A challenging year
    • Some brands like Rumpl have been selling well as a multipurpose home/outdoor product
    • Wherever possible lots of people either walking or cycling on the trails, more so than normal
    • Optimistic about the future
  • Tim and Gill’s comments

Wilderness Wear (time index 32:46)

A well known Australian clothing company that advertises they are 200% Australian – 100% Australian owned and 100% Australian made. They also source most of their materials like the Merino wool from Tasmania

  • What’s new?
    • Consolidation year this year, looking at some upcoming releases
    • Alpaca Merino blend
      • Natural fibre
      • Not dyed
      • Lighter in weight
      • Higher thermal properties than straight merino yarn
      • Tracks Mountaineer sock
      • Glow in the Dark socks
        • Velo Night Glow sock
        • Atmosphere socks
      • Snake Bite Sock!
        • Using high technology materials but still a work in progress
        • Hopefully by the end of 2020
  • The outdoor industry at the moment (time index 42:27)
    • Downturn after bushfires for bricks and mortar stores
    • Online sales increased as people shopped from home
  • Tim and Gill’s comments

Spelean (time index 52:46)

An Australian company that imports a big range of well known brands

  • What’s new?
    • Buff (time index 53:19)
      • Buff Filter Mask (not rated to Australian Standard)
      • Updated colours and patterns
      • Material more UV protective
    •  Therm-a-Rest (time index 56:18)
      • New Wing Lock Valve valve system now available in hiking mats
        • Faster inflation – three times the speed of the previous valves
        • One way inflation so the air doesn’t rush out when inflating
        • Away from the sleeping surface
      • R value ratings have changed with industry standardisation
      • Twin lock valves for the larger mats
  •  MSR (time index 1:00:00)
    • Pocket Rocket Deluxe almost due for release
      • Just need finalisation of the gas testing standards paperwork
    • New water filters
      • Guardian purifier (filters viruses)
        • Gravity feed version – no pumping!
      • Thrulink Microfilter inline filter for hydration pack now now available
  • Platypus Quick Draw
    • Attach to water bottle and drink (filter is outside the bottle)
  • Petzl Headlamps
    • IKO
    • IKO Core (500 lumens – Ultra running headlamps
      • What makes a headlamp suitable for runners?
  • The Outdoor industry at the moment (time index 1:07:31)
    • The year started out OK after the bushfires
    • The pandemic has forced some stores to close, others to reduce hours
    • Support your local stores
    • Online sales have helped many stores
  • Tim and Gill’s comments

Podcast Close

Watch out for episode 157 (out on 12 August 2020) where we discuss pack training

Arcade Belt. Promoted as the ‘world’s most comfortable belt’ and if its not, its pretty close. For our written review on this belt go here

Osprey Poco Child Carrier

Mens Velo Night Glow Socks with a glow in the dark strip

Wilderness Wear Atmosphere socks contain a glow in the dark strip at the back of the socks and come in different lengths

Wilderness Wear Women’s Tracks Mountaineer socks made with a blend of Merino and Alpaca wool. The colouring on this sock is from the wool itself

Buff Filter mask

Buff Filter mask on

Buff Filter mask filters, 30 pack

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping mat has an R-value of 6.9!

Therm-a-Rest Winglock Valve

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe. For More information read our gear test. This stove should be on the Australian market in the coming months so keep an eye out

MSR Thrulink water filter

Petzl Iko Core rechargeable headlamp

Petzl Iko headlamp

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