February 08, 2023

On the Road with X-Pac® – 2023 Winter Trade Show Recap

We hope your New Year is getting off to a great start! We started ours’ blasting out of the gates with brand customer visits and industry trade shows all through the month of January. We are not complaining, however, as it’s so great to meet in person again – and we will not take this for granted regardless of how hectic travel can be.

In case you were not able to attend the shows, we thought might indulge you with a little recap from our perspective.

Outdoor Retailer Snow Show

The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show returned to its former home in Salt Lake City after a five -year hiatus in Denver. While scaled way back from its ‘heyday’ times prior to the pandemic, we felt the more intimate format still had a positive vibe and allowed us to spend more quality time with brands and suppliers over the two days we were at the show.

We also got to take in some good seminars to include NPD’s semi-annual Outdoor Industry Market Trends. It was encouraging to hear that the outdoor specialty market generated $27.9 billion in U.S. retail sales in the 12 months ending November 2022, an increase of seven percent over the prior year! As people are traveling more these days, one of the top five growing equipment and accessories categories in this market are duffle bags and packs, with backpack sales rising 14 percent!

The NPD spokesperson, Julia Day, ended the seminar by sharing her prediction as to why the outdoor industry will continue to thrive in 2023. She said people will flock to the outdoors to fulfill their crave for nostalgia, improved mental health and relationships – all shared around a campfire telling stories.

A Welcome Interlude

While we were in Salt Lake City, weather officials declared that the Wasatch Range had gotten the most snowfall it has gotten since 1973! There was no way we could not take advantage of what Utah claims is, The Greatest Snow on Earth, and take a well-deserved break to do some skiing, enjoy the mountains, and recharge before the SHOT show in Las Vegas.

SHOT Show Supplier Show Case

It was great to be in Las Vegas again exhibiting at the SHOT Show Supplier Showcase, a dedicated event for suppliers to display their shooting, hunting, and outdoor material supplies, off the main trade show floors just before the SHOT Show.

We found the vibe of show to be very energetic and felt it was busier than last year – with much more activity in our booth. It was great to see partners we presently work with along with meeting new potential customers to reinforce our value proposition and technology in the tactical space.

Brand partners to include Mystery Ranch, Kifaru, and Tac11 were great in allowing us to display their bags in our booth, which helped us demonstrate how our X-Pac® fabrics are put to use in many of the best backpacks on the market.

Our new Tyra PLY® drew great interest among brands looking for stronger soft-goods materials in the plate carrying space. Tyra PLY® offers exceptional tensile and tear strength, profile stability and a significant reduction of weight compared to classic laminates and even membranes. Brands liked that our X-Pac® with Tyra PLY technology can be laser cut for clean edge finishing and MOLLE attachment points.

While Tyra PLY® may have been the buzz in our booth, our legacy X-Pac® styles seemed to resonate with brand customers looking for lighter weight and waterproof versions of their existing fabric choices.

If we missed you on our travels and want to learn more about our X-Pac® fabrics, please contact us here.

Hope to see you on our next adventure soon!