The Best and Worst Free Gear We Got at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

In Featured, Gear, News, Seasonal by ZoeGatesLeave a Comment

This week, the College Outside team is taking on the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver, CO. Outdoor Retailer is the largest gathering of the outdoor industry, where thousands of vendors show off their freshest gear to retailers, media, and greedy interns like us. A trade show of this scale means lots of freebies, which we took the liberty of reviewing for you on day one of four.

Best Gear

  1. Klean Kanteen Classic 20 oz Bottle. Most brands won’t hand out top-of-the-line products willy-nilly, but if you befriend a rep during happy hour, you might score big. With their double-wall insulation and stylish matte finish, these are an instant favorite.
  2. High Brew Mocha Cold Brew Coffee. Our OR mornings start at 5:30 am, so these cold cans of caffeinated goodness were a welcome freebie before a long day of meetings.  
  3. Nikwax Waterproofing Samples. Even though OR is all about checking out fresh new gear, we are fans of reviving our old trusted articles. Thanks to these Tech Wash and waterproofing sprays, we’re ready to give our favorite gear new life.

Worst Gear

  1.  Granola Bars. All of them. It seemed like a great idea to stock up on snacks at first, but as our Account Manager Jacob puts it, “pace yourself, or you won’t poop for a week.” 

  2. Black Diamond Chalk Enhancer. We wonder how many desperate OR attendees reached into this bowl hoping for a free condom (#networking), only to find out that it was in fact a half-serving of chalk enhancer. Better luck at the Under Armour booth, bro.Photo courtesy of Black Diamond

  3. OWYN Plant-Based Protein Drinks. We’re not one to turn down shots, but these watered down pea and flax-based sample drinks had us reminiscing about freshman year jungle juice. We’ll be more selective tomorrow.

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