Yep, its time for the Winter 2013 Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City, UT, and the Gossamer Gear gang is there. As mentioned last summer, Gossamer Gear will be publishing highlights of each OR Show under the Blog/Buzz section in our newsletter. We will focus on gear of interest to lightweight and ultralight backpackers – useful lightweight gear, new technologies and trends, and things of general interest.

Before the show, when things are a bit quieter, we visited the good folks at the Klymit World Headquarters in Ogden, UT to get better acquainted and tour their digs. Gossamer Gear CEO Grant Sible (left) and Chief Happiness Officer Michael Seals (right).

While in Utah for the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week we visited the World Headquarters of our friends at Klymit. They are manufacturing our new Air Beam Pack Frame for us, an accessory Gossamer Gear for their backpacks, and we wanted to see where the magic happens. We received a warm welcome and personal afterhours tour from Matt Maxfield, Gabe Rhoades, and Cory Tholl. Klymit makes a range of sleeping pads; many of them are really lightweight and body mapped for comfort and weight savings. These guys definitely think outside the box.

Inside we were greeted by Klymit’s friendly pit bull mascot and Chief Security Officer. On the wall in the background are some prototype pads Klymit made in the early days of developing their body mapped sleeping pads.

Here’s an example of Klymit innovation, the LiteWater Dinghy, a lightweight and less expensive pack raft (27 ounces, $199), modeled by design guru Matt Maxfield. I reported on it in my Summer 2012 OR coverage and it has been refined a lot since then. Klymit wants to redefine the pack raft in terms of the cost and versatility.