SIA 2015 – Marker, Under Armor, Kulkea and Gordini

by Brian Mullin on February 3, 2015

Kingpin 10

Marker

The new Marker Kingpin
is one of the few PinTech bindings to gain the  DIN ISO certification
from Germany’s TÜV testing organization. It comes in two models, the
Kingpin 10 ($599) and Kingpin 13 ($649), the only difference being the
DIN range. Push the front of the boot into the binding for engagement
and step down in the rear with a reassuring snap and the system is ready
to ski. For touring mode, just release the rear, open the lever in the
front for walk mode and flick the lever under the boot backward to move
the rear binding out of the way. You can tour in three different angles,
0, 7, or 13 degrees. The binding weighs 730 grams with brakes (650g
w/o) and provides great protection, performance, and touring
capabilities. It uses a somewhat conventional toe piece, though instead
of the usual four front springs it uses six (aka the six-pack). The
six-pack should help with holding power while in the ski mode, and
better energy absorption and reduce early release. The rear is more
conventional click-in heelpiece, and it uses rollers instead of pins,
and the heel cup spans a wider area for increased stability and power
transmission.

Under Armour

A fascinating thing to me at the Under Armor
booth was their new oversize all weather shoe. The Fat Tire GTX shoe
has a Michelin Wild Gripper outsole, and its spread out wide and is
finished off with rolled up edges.

The
lug pattern resembles a mountain bike tires tread more than hiking and
walking shoes. The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane means the shoe excels in
sloppy and ugly conditions, from the brunt of winter to summer rain
storms. The Fat Tire GTX uses a BOA closure system for easy in-and-out
access, and the sticky and aggressive tread should help hiking on rocky,
loose and root covered trails. The shoe seems like an excellent outdoor
shoe for bikers, hikers, and hunters. They’ll be available in fall 2015
and retail for $200.

Kulkea 

They had their existing Kulkea
Boot Trekker, Powder Trekker, and Speed ski boot packs on display and
this season they’re adding a kids pack and a ski bag. The well made ski
boot, and gear packs use a beefy backpack system that has a quick
release system. The system makes it easy to take the pack off, so you
aren’t required to do the shoulder shuffle to get it over a jacket.
I
was highly intrigued by the top the line Boot Trekker model. Like all
of their product, it has excellent workmanship and stitching and
materials. The bag’s use their ‘Intuitive Packing System’, which are
organizational locations and compartments and pockets. You can  organize
goggles, face masks, apparel/layers, sunscreen, snacks, water, and dual
side spots for your ski boots. The Boot Trekker uses more robust
materials and reinforced tack spots, and it has additional pockets and
features over its brethren, plus it can fit larger boot sizes. No
changes for the Boot Trekker this season other than some new colors.

Both
the Boot Trekker ($139.95) and Powder Trekker ($109.95) have an
external helmet sling that helps maximize the interior space. The Speed
Pack ($79.95) has lighter materials and simpler features. Besides its functionality for skiing, I think they’d make a great travel and base bag for biking purposes.

The new
kids pack will have a great assortment of colors and will be cheaper and
have a smaller storage capacity. The new ski bag is fully padded to
protect the skis, but they kept the features to a minimum and
concentrated on material and stitching and construction.

Gordini Gloves

Gordini
has a great set of gloves, goggles and face masks for cooler weather
activities. I was interested in the ones that could cover a great
breadth of sports, from skiing to ice climbing to biking, and their
Generator Series fit the bill perfectly. Most of this series is touch
screen capable, uses their InSilk insulation and has plenty of features
to make it useful for aggressive outdoor sports. The Tech Pro gloves
($75) would be excellent for skiing and ice climbing and colder weather
biking.  They include InSilk insulation, Lavawool liners, neoprene
knuckles and cuffs, pre-curved shape, and synthetic suede palm, thumb
and fingers. They have a slew of baseliners and light gloves, made from
merino wool to synthetics.

For
biking the one that caught my attention was the Stash Lite ($35), which
has a ripstop and woven nylon palm shell and a spandex cuff.  It uses
their InSilk insulation and Hydrowick lining and has silicon grip palm
and is touch screen capable.  It even has a small stash location in the
cuff for little items.

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