Twice a year, every company that’d want its products in an REI shows up in Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer show. As usual, iRunFar was there to check out the latest and greatest. Here are the favorite GPS, headlamp, and winter running products that we saw. Check back tomorrow for info on our favorite shoes from the show.
From the Know-Why-You’re-So-Ridiculously-Tired Dept.
Suunto Ambit (March 2012 – $500 w/o HR belt, $550 with)
Suunto’s long made high-end technical watches and wrist-top devices for the outdoor adventurer. With the GPS-based Ambit, Suunto raises things to a whole new level.
- The Ambit has a GPS, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, 3D compass, and, optionally, a heart rate monitor.
- FusedSpeed is a feature that blends GPS and accelerometer data to provide more responsive pace and speed info. The barometer also improves the accuracy of the vertical speed.
- Up to 50 HOURS of GPS tracking … when you take a point once a minute. Even with the GPS recording set at every second, the unit has an impressive 15 hour battery life.
- Integration of Suunto’s real-time Training Effect and Recovery time tools.
- A ridiculously resilient screen and band. I’m pretty sure it’s way more durable than your arm. It’s also water resistant to 100 meters. That should be enough for most of us!
Aside from the Ambit’s hallmark functions, the interface easily switches between different sports and their associated screen elements. The watch is fully integrated with Movescount.com, which also provides the Ambit with upgradeable software. The watch also changes from positive to negative screen and back (i.e., black text on white background or the reverse).
We’ll be reviewing the Ambit in full later. For now, check out the Suunto’s Ambit page for more.
From the Light-Up-The-Night Dept.
Petzl Nao (July 2012 – $175)
While it’s awesome to have a headlamp that will automatically minimize the chances that your trail running buddy will donkey kick you for continuously blinding him with 355 lumens, Petzl primarily touts the Reactive Lighting feature for its battery saving capability. There are two pre-programmed constant (i.e., non-reactive) output settings, 315 and 88 lumens, that last 1 hour and 20 minutes and 8 hours, respectively. Of course, if you’ll be out running for longer in the dark, you can reprogram the Nao for longer durations. There are also a high and low setting in Reactive Lighting mode that Petzl claims last 4 hours and 40 minutes and approximately 8 hours respectively.
The Nao fits comfortably with good distribution of weight in the front and back. Speaking of weight, we weighed the Nao at 6.7 ounces (190 grams).
For more information, you can head on over to Petzl’s Nao page.
Black Diamond Polar-Icon (August 2012 – $90)
With the Black Diamond Polar Icon, we can now all have a Roch Horton Special. The modified Icon headlamp takes 4 AA batteries and, with batteries, weighs in at a claimed 8.1 ounces (230 grams). The light will spout 200 lumens from its main LED while two white and two red 35-lumen, low-power LEDs will give you longer-lived lighting options. Black Diamond is touting the headlamp as an extreme cold weather option as you can stow the battery unit against your core thereby maintaining the batteries’ effectiveness in low temps. However, there are advantages for those of us who but rarely run in the dark in sub-zero F temps, namely the option for swapping out external battery packs while taking most of the headlamp’s weight off your head. This should be perfect for the next bandit night run in the Wasatch…
From the Snow-Will-Not-Break-My-Heart Dept.
Yaktrax Run (Fall 2012 – $40)
In medium, a pair of Yaktrax Run protos weigh in at 9.0 ounces as opposed to 5.0 ounces for the current Yaktrax Pro and 12.4 ounces for Kahtoola Micorspikes. Like the Pros, the Run have a velcro strap over the forefoot to ensure a secure fit. Unlike the Pro, the Run’s vecro strip has reflective highlights.
Note: Yaktrax is also working to increase the durability of its Pro model.
Call for Comments
- Are you psyched about trying any of the above products later this year?
- Looking to learn about any other product categories (other than shoes)?
Ps. Yes, the headings are a tribute to /. founder CmdrTaco. Yes, I am that kinda geek… and, yes, I’m okay with it.