News and musings from the coLAB news desk.
Our expert panel consisting of Graham Thompson, Mark Taylor and Andy Kirkpatrick have shortlisted just 9 entries to take part in coLAB 09 at the Outdoors Show. The final 9 now have a chance to work up their ideas before exhibiting them during the 3 days of The Outdoors Show in a purpose built coLAB 09 zone. During the show the visiting public will have the opportunity to talk to the entrants, explore their ideas and vote for their favourite. The Outdoors Show is expected to attract upwards of 40,000 visitors and industry professionals, an incredible opportunity for the finalists. The eventual winner will be announced on the Sunday.
The Squeezebox Stove is a lightweight replacement for the heavy fully integrated cooking systems and is used as both pan support and windshield. Made from a single component it not only saves weight but increases fuel efficiency and reduces burn time.
A torch to make it safer, easier and less disorientating when navigating in a white-out; especially when moving over irregular terrain. An array of 'diffracted' lasers project horizontal lines onto the snow. This gives the user a reference point and reduces spine jarring stumbling! A second vertical laser can be used to indicate the direction of the bearing being followed.
An emergency aid that utilises a previously unused part of an existing product. SOS or other internationally recognised emergency symbols are printed on the reverse of a sleeping mat to produce a great safety feature on an item that someone would already be carrying.
A full report will be posted as soon as the office has returned back to normality. Here are the other 6 finalists..
A crack simulator that can be changed as regularly as every other hold in a climbing gym. The Jamulator takes a different approach: rather than having a permanently fitted crack, there is a fitted channel into which specially shaped sections can be bolted in the same way as holds are normally installed on the rest of the wall.
A climbing shoe bringing together several existing technologies to make a better climbing shoe. This climbing shoe can provide a very tight fitting and rigid shoe that will stand on tiny pebbles and support the foot. Alternatively the dial can be turned releasing the support to give a flexible shoe which is excellent for smearing and improving comfort.
A cooking device that utilises traditional charcoal heating and cutting edge insulating devices. The device heats up liquids using charcoal sticks and keeps them warm using high tech Aero Gel.
The Nest is a sleep system aimed at making life a little easier for those camping with young children and making camping more fun for the children themselves. This mini tent is deployed inside a larger tent dimming ambient light, muffling sound and keeping midges at bay. It comes fully equipped with mattress, quilt and lighting system.
An emergency signalling and life prolonging garment, it incorporates class leading technologies and materials to form a suit capable of protecting the user. Almost every eventuality is covered with this suit from avalanche protection to emergency nutrition.
A range of drybags featuring internal and external pockets for organising and water proofing kit. Dry bags with a clever twist; a single waterproof bag with several components allow both dry and wet items to be stored safely together.
The coLAB stand was next to another of the great Outdoor Show features - the Elements Theatre.
Our expert panel were keen that we should highlight some of the other entries. In particular was our youngest entrant Will Goodson who at just 13 years has demonstrated great enthusiasm, we look forward to seeing more from him in the future!
The Roller Bag Sled provides a solution to the tricky transfer of luggage across snow from bus to ski chalet. A flexible sheet of plastic extends to cover the wheels spreading the weight over a larger surface area.
A rechargeable torch with two lighting functions. The petal design incorporates flexible photo voltaic solar panels and is able to create a focussed or flooded light.
A modular boulder mat system. Individual mats can be easily joined together with velcro to create a larger mat or closely follow the contours of the rock face.
An insulated hammock design with a lightweight tarp cover. Insulative cushions run along the length of the sling. The cushions contain auxetic fibres which expand when stretched allowing the warm air to flow below you.
An adjustable back system using memory foam. The foam can be formed to the contours of your back making load carrying more comfortable and configurable to your activity.
The WSS Bandana is a potential 'lifeline to survival' in the event of outdoors emergency! Printed fast upon the two sides of The WSS Bandana are the survival skills needed to get one out of the wilderness and back home alive, should one become either lost or injured.
A rucksack that transforms into a portable wardrobe. The design will allow you to keep the contents of your rucksack organised and easily accessible.
This idea is to integrate 3 different 3/4th (or 3/5th) zip-off legs to trousers for casual use, hiking, and mt-biking. The upper part of the trousers could be combined with lowers of different fabrics and cuts to form four different combinations.