At this year’s Outdoor Retailer trade show in Denver, Colorado, the biggest names in the outdoor industry came together for one event to show off their latest and greatest to the world. While most of the products at the show were geared more toward outdoor equipment and snow gear, there were brands unveiling products that most photographers and videographers who work in the outdoors will be extremely excited about.
Atlas Packs: The Outdoor Packs Made by a Photographer for Photographers
Atlas Packs is a company based out of Scottsdale, Arizona and is operated by general manager Allan Henry, a renowned sports photographer. These packs are built with the adventuring photographer in mind. The harness system is the best I’ve ever seen on a photography bag and carried the loadout weight exactly how you’d expect an outdoor technical bag to distribute weight. Along with the great carry of the bag, the camera gear is stored by unzipping the back panel and unveiling the Origami camera divider system. This Origami system allows for fully customization of how your camera gear is stored and organized in your bag. This system is truly unlike what anyone else has on the market and it flat out works. At the moment, Atlas makes two different models: the smaller Athlete bag for mirrorless and small DSLR loadouts and the larger Adventure bag which is made for full professional videography and photography loadouts.
Beyond Clothing: Survival Clothing Made With Photographers in Mind
Another company I found at the trade show was Beyond Clothing. While Beyond was created out of the need for survival clothing systems engineered specifically with the mission in mind, they had a specific garment that really stood out to me on the rack.
The Cappa coat is a fleece-lined soft shell with a hood, but also features interior photography and accessories pockets to help protect and organize all of your camera gear. That means that not only is this coat engineered for the most rugged of environments and weather conditions, but it was also designed with the specific needs for photographers and videographers in mind. This is a huge step forward for the industry because we all personally know the pain of having the typical 2 or 3 big pockets in our jacket where we throw in SD cards, lens caps, or filters and how big of a mess it can be when trying to locate something quickly while shooting. This is just the start for these interior carry systems, as after talking to the Beyond team they have big plans to cater more towards the working professionals in our industry.
Rylo: Cinematic 360-Degree Camera for Everyone
You know those displays at your favorite electronics store that always manages to catch your eye? Well that how I discovered Rylo. I was going between a few different booths and this amazing video of a cliff jumper doing a backflip into the ocean was on a TV that caught my eye. It wasn’t the beautiful scenery or cool backflip that caught my eye though, it was how even though the guy jumping had the camera on a selfie-stick, it didn’t flip with him. Rylo is a powerful 360-degree camera with innovative software to make amazing cinematic videos. It features a stabilization algorithm that works flawlessly to produce shakeless videos from a nearly infinite number of angles. Another great part about the algorithm is the horizontal-leveling technology which keeps the camera level with the horizon in even the most intense activities, including a roller coaster ride. The way the Rylo manages all this is with two 108-degree cameras on the front and back to create the 360-degree scenes seen below. It records up to 4K and can be bought with both an everyday case or a water-resistant case. You also get the software with the camera which is how you get the otherworldly effects.
Honorable Mention: Outdoor Tech
This one deserves to be on this list because of its insane versatility in setting up an off-the-grid workstation. Outdoor Tech makes gear specifically for blending the modern lifestyles that we have with the outdoors. One particular product which really stood out to me is the Kodiak Power Station which comes in both a 100w and 200w model. This power station features 12v auto, two USB ports, and 110v wall outlet outputs and can also be charged via solar, auto, or wall outlets. This would be a perfect product for setting up a mobile editing station out of the back of your SUV or just charging camera batteries in remote locations.
It's great seeing that companies are taking notice in the outdoor industry to the amount of people needing tools and products to use professionally in the outdoors. I can't tell you the last time I went on a well-trafficked trail and not seen a consumer-level camera in the hands of a fellow hiker. This just goes to show that as a whole the industry is taking steps forward to innovate, and that leaves me excited to see what is going to come out in the future.