The entire digitization of an event with the significance of ISPO Munich seemed to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue this year. Everything from sensing the tactility of fabric with our third eye via ZOOM through to rooming the endless showrooms using not our legs but the impatient tips of our fingers definitely marked for a first this year. It had further effects down the line and made us all realise that COVID has shortened our attention span, cut ends on our small talk and flattened our buttocks.
In the spirit of sports, however, it is worth running this annual (even though just a verbal) sprint through the loudest impressions from this year’s fair.
Names that stood out among 2021 ISPO award winners are definitely Adidas with their Terrex line, Mammut, Dolomite, and Helly Hansen, as well as the running-focused innovators On.
Among this year’s winners (an extensive list of which you can find on the ISPO Munich website) there were a few products that I found highly impressive.
- Thule Tepui Foothill: Foldable Roof Tent.
This is a roof tent, the design of which takes the user on an entirely new space and perspective journey. It allows a 360 vision prospect and extra storage space on top of the vehicle. Needless to say, it thrills with an impeccable design and function.
- Samaya® ASSAUT2 ULTRA: Lightweight Tent for High Alpine Adventures.
While we are still on the subject of tents, there is another ISPO winner striking with both function and style. The so popular recently Dyneema® fabric, as well as the carbon inner structure and seamless construction, make this product lightweight and perfect for the environment of an alpine adventure.
- Mammut Close the Loop T-Shirt: Functional Recycled Baselayer.
This product is my personal inspiration, as it is proof that merchandise can be designed entirely in a circular, non-wasteful way. The T-Shirt is made out of used qualitative climbing ropes alone and what is more, the material can be infinitely reused to make new products. Apart from the sustainable innovation, the fit and gentle hand feel of the fabric are astonishingly impressive. I proudly wear mine on a daily basis.
- HELLY HANSEN Odin Infinity Insulated Jacket: Sustainably Warm Performance Winter Jacket.
This jacket combines all the musts in terms of performance features: it’s lightweight, waterproof, robust, warm, and bonus, has no chemical additives. Sad as it is that this has to be separately acknowledged these days, the jacket’s sustainability status is a step in the right direction. A stylish one at that.
- On Cyclon: Fully Recyclable Performance Running Shoe in Subscription Model.
Ever subscribed for a magazine? How about a shoe subscription? Running specialists On suggest you do so, effective immediately. The main reason, apart from a new pair of running fantasy in your mailbox every six months, of course, is the hot recipe for the shoe sole composition: sustainably sourced polyamide, most of which is made from bio-based castor bean oils. After the end of their service, the pair is meant to be entirely recycled and replaced by a shiny new one.
- Mammut Climbax: Sports Tracker for Climbers
The Climbax Climbing tracker is a perfect example of one of those inventions that a climber didn’t even know they needed until they got it. The Hardware team at Mammut has outdone themselves creating a piece of equipment that captures each of the wearer’s hand movements and compares them to the ones of their network of fellow-climbers. The accompanying app is extremely user-friendly and a perfect tool, which socially engages its user during times of isolation.
- Kamedi heat_it: Smart Helper against Insect Bites.
Another impressive app, the invention of which feels overdue to all victims of mosquito attacks, is Kamedi heat_it. It allows each individual to set up a personalized heat-treatment of those vicious mosquito bites. Most importantly, the device is tiny, easy to use and non-chemical-based. You’ve got to love it.
- FINISTERRE BIOSMOCK: Innovative eco layer.
This time the nostalgic wind of Cornwall blows in the direction of innovation. Three fantastic years spent in the Finisterre homeland make their products very special to me as they bring memories of careless days spent surfing and barbequing. However, this is not nearly the sole reason I am listing the Biosmock here. Apart from being water repellent and windproof, it bears the Cornish heritage in its biodegradability on land and sea, as well as in its sustainably sourced wool filling.
- Mammut Ducan Boa High GTX: Hiking Boot with Individual Fit.
When one speaks of shoes, the magical combination of words is ‘anatomical fit’. This is exactly what this shoe entails…and more. The feature set extends to waterproofness, extreme comfort, quick fixation, joint protection and light weight. Those, combined with the insane technical look bring only one word to mind when it comes to trekking: want!
Winners aside, there are a number of other products and features displayed at this year’s ISPO, which are worth mentioning.
- Helly Hansen’s baby rose/signal orange colour combo.
Even the most pragmatic sports goods customer would agree that the bright combination of light pink and aggressive orange is mesmerizing. Though it might not be the most practical to wear on the slopes, the mix is definitely an eye-catcher.
- Adidas Terrex.
This line seems like the endgame for colour blocking: neutral basis with daring tones combine into something that looks so natural to the eye, it is almost familiar. Maybe I dreamt of it at some point.
- The Marmot sleeping bags insulation chambers.
A clever and sophisticated way to execute insulation arrangement, Marmot have a seriously good thing going on for their sleeping bag filling.
- Jack Wolfskin natural palette.
Flashy outdoors colours are so 1980s. In line with the wave of minimalism and purity, Jack Wolfskin seem to have created a consistent and sophisticated urban-inspired collection.
If you were a participant at this year’s fair, I am certain you also have a lot of impressions to share. Feel free to do so in the comments, otherwise, please enjoy the gallery insert for further visuals from ISPO 2021.