Outdoor Retailer Show

August 11, 2015

Last week I flew down to Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer (OR) trade show.  It’s a big show, around 25-30,000 attendees, and it’s mostly a venue for outdoor product retail stores to connect with their suppliers: i.e. makers of tents, kayaks, SUPs, stoves, backpacks, fishing gear, etc. However a portion of the show is devoted to “sourcing,” where designers like us can connect with factories, fabric mills, and hardware makers.   I was on the hunt for new fabrics and hardware to use in bags/apparel, and also looking for a welding factory to help with some new bag designs in the pipeline.

Here’s a couple shots of the show.  I could’ve easily spent another day there just geeking out on all the cool camping gear and bags.  No time for that on this trip though.




Found some cool urethane fabrics to use in a future iteration of our drybags.


A wall of buckles.


Spent a lot of time flipping through wall hangers and swatch books like this one.


Some highly abrasion resistant yarns


Got to meet James Rittenhouse, the inventor of MOLLE Stix.  Awesome product, thank you sir!!


This is another of James’ inventions.  It’s a single buckle that you can pull and to release as many additional side release buckles as you want simultaneously.


Also visited with another of our hardware vendors to check out some new products, like this heavy duty buckle (700+lbs).


And this sewn-in magnetic closure they’re working on.


I really enjoyed the trip to OR, well worth the time/money.  It was also cool to run into so many other Hood River/White Salmon people either in their booths or walking the halls.  My buddy Rob was nice enough to let me crash on the couch in his hotel room.


New Wedge & Frame

Last week, Lee mounted the rapid prototype of our new wedge/frame and loaded up his Backcountry 35s with logs (38 pounds per side) and took them out for some bumpy high speed riding.






Everything held up great.  Can’t wait until we can get these things into production.

Here’s a new latch we’re looking at for the wedge mount system.  It can accommodate a padlock, and would be anodized black.


Fabric Creation

The apparel project is finally back in motion.  We’re working with a product development company in Portland.  We were so incredibly frustrated with our inability to find a fabric that we liked that we’ve decided to create our own 3-layer fabric from scratch.  Which means literally selecting a yarn, a weave, a finish, a membrane, and an inner fabric.  We’ll be working with a mill to design a new material from the ground up, which should be interesting.  By doing that we can specify the abrasion resistance, the waterproofing level, the breathability, and any other features we want. The initial fabric design brief will look something like this.

Main Body Fabric

  • Waterproof (20,000+)
  • Breathable (highest possible MVTR)
  • Highly abrasion resistant, holds up in a crash
  • Heavyweight, won’t flap in wind
  • Comfort, Stretch
  • Moisture Management & Antimicrobial Inside
  • Reflectivity (ideally invisible)

High Abrasion Areas

  • Superfabric at shoulders, knees, elbows, hips, butt, calf, shin
  • Inside of pant leg: leather or similar material for heat resistance, abrasion, and bike contact.

Armor Liners

  • Mesh, good airflow
  • Anti microbial
  • Moisture management

Inner Rain Liner & Outer Rain Pant

  • Waterproof/Breathable
  • 2 or 3 Layer
  • Lightweight
  • Packs small when not in use
  • Inexpensive to replace if damaged


  • Mesh, good airflow
  • Anti-microbial
  • Moisture management

Summer’s flying by.  I’ve been feeling a strong urge to get out and do some riding.  Planning a local trip of some kind next week.  Not sure exactly what or where, but something involving dirt, tents, and motorcycles.


8 thoughts on “Outdoor Retailer Show

  1. Ryan Groseclose

    I really like the idea of the lock on the latch for the wedge mount. I have a stupid little cable lock wound through mine to keep the petty thieves from thinking they need my bags more than me.

    1. moskomoto Post author

      Yeah man the lock at least keeps the bags themselves from getting stolen. The cable lock is still nice for locking the roll tops shut though, if that’s a concern. I use a retractable cable lock when I’m worried about the bags, like in an urban setting.

  2. Jeff Katzer

    Howdy, I’m shopping for a new pannier set for my WR250R and I came across your reckless bags in a photo on ADV. Then I spent the next few hours watching your product videos and reading some of the blog posts. Looks like a great product line. You guys just made the top of my list. I just finished up with a WABDR ride and my old very tired Ortlieb bags really put a thrashing on my exhaust cover. So they are getting retired. Here is a link to the story and a video jeffkatzer.wordpress.com if you’re interested. I’m thinking the 40L bags just because it will keep me from thinking I need to pack the kitchen sink. Anyway, thanks for all the effort you put into making great moto gear. You’ll be hearing from me when I save up the $$$ for my new pannier system.

  3. Jennifer

    Hi there,

    I was just turned on to your products from a fellow ADVRider at the ADVRider WestFest in Gunnison last weekend. I love them!! I’m saving my pennies for a new pannier system, and will certainly be going with your awesome product line.

    I love that you are putting together riding gear. Would you please consider making a line of women’s gear? There are so few companies that do women’s gear well — most just make a smaller, less rugged version of the men’s. I have had one helluva time finding gear that actually fits a woman’s frame, isn’t pink or purple with flowers/hearts/etc., and still wears as hard as the men’s stuff. It really is a huge gap in the market, and with more and more women adventure riding, you could fill it.

    I’m looking forward to see what you’ll do next!!!

    ~ Jen

    1. moskomoto Post author

      Right on thanks Jen! We’re definitely interested in women’s gear for the future. One thing at a time! We’ve hear this feedback from other women as well so it’s definitely on the radar.


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