5th Annual Blister Awards, SIA

• The ‘Most Innovative’ Award •

Voormi Apparel

Voormi, a young Colorado-based company, has been tinkering with ways of constructing waterproof / breathable fabrics, and they’ve come up with something that has our attention.

These days, the majority of the different waterproof / breathable fabrics we talk so much about on Blister all have one thing in common: they feature a laminated construction. And having to sandwich a waterproof / breathable membrane between a backer material and a face fabric obviously presents some restrictions, as it determines how a piece of outerwear will feel and function.

Voormi aims to break away from the standard operation of laminating waterproof / breathable garments’ fabrics with something they’re calling Core Construction. In short, wool and synthetic fabrics are woven over and through a functional membrane, resulting in a waterproof / breathable fabric that is composed of a single, interwoven, composite layer of materials, not several of laminated ones. Voormi can change the feel and performance of the fabric by weaving in different types and different amounts of fibers around different membranes. For example, nylon thread can be added to the wool fibers woven through the membrane to add durability and water repellency to the outside of the fabric.

What this could mean is that, if Voormi’s tech works as they say it does, we could expect to get the waterproofing performance of a thin, crinkly hard shell from a fabric that feels, wears, and breathes more like a wool baselayer, or a supple, casual wool coat. But that’s just one example, and we’re looking forward to checking this technology out to learn more about how it might be used to make waterproof pieces, but also base layers like the one shown below.


SIA Tradeshow 2015, Blister Gear Review
A Voormi Baselayer, with interwoven wool and synthetic fibers.


The North Face Modulator System

The North Face has developed a stand-alone airbag system that attaches to any backpack, turning it into an avalanche airbag pack—even a Tanner Goods rucksack.

SIA Tradeshow 2015, Blister Gear Review
The new “heritage” ABS Pack

The Modulator has an integrated harness system with shoulder straps and leg loops that ensures the bag doesn’t come away from you or your pack. The system is canister-based, unlike Black Diamond’s fan-based JetForce packs, but TNF say they’ve made it as light and streamlined as possible.

The Modulator seems like a practical, easy-to-use solution / addition to the world of airbag avalanche protection equipment, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it functions in the field.

• The ‘How the Hell Have We Not Skied This?’ Award •

Line Blend

The Line Blend has seemingly been around forever, though it never seems to be in the spot light like the Line Opus or SFB. And yet, each year it comes back, and maintains its popularity among skiers who spend most of their time in the park, as well as those who explore more of the mountain.

We’ve enjoyed softer skis with tip and tail rocker like the K2 Shreditor 102, so it’s high time to finally get the Blend in the conversation.

SIA Tradeshow 2015, Blister Gear Review
15/16 Line Blend

Next: Best and Worst Graphics & the coveted “WTF is That?” award

16 comments on “5th Annual Blister Awards, SIA”

  1. first thing that came to my mind when I saw the gunsmoke was “looks like a lego ski”, second thing was “nah, a lego ski would be nicer”

  2. There’s no doubt that the new Gunsmoke, Peacemaker, and Regulator are ugly. On the plus side, they’re no worse and possibly less brutally hideous than the current ones, so at least there’s that? Either way, it’s too bad because they’re all great skis, but graphics matter. When it came time for me to put my money where my mouth is, it was between a Peacemaker and a SFB. They’re roughly equivalent skis made to do pretty much the same things, the main difference being that one wasn’t ugly. So I bought the SFB.

    Blizzard needs to get their twin tip graphics together, there’s no excuse given what they’ve done in their freeski lineup. Do graphics matter? Judging by how I’ve seen piles of these skis glued to the wall this season despite shop staff and reviews raving about them, I’d say they do.

  3. I actually don’t mind the new graphics, they are certainly better than last years. Cowboys and indians on my top sheets, no thank you! Regardless the peacemaker is one of my favorite skis ever and I would gladly rock the strung out bull all day long.

  4. Bindings should not be allowed on the Capita snowboards. They are too beautiful to be sullied in any way.

    Blizzard graphics = South Park Cows.

  5. Thanks for the article guys. I noticed that the Tecnica Mach 1 boot has a low volume model now. Do you guys know the actual volume in the heel/ankle? As in, like the R9.8 98mm volume, or the cochise 98 mm volume?


  6. Can’t help it, kinda digging the Blizzard “Southpark” style cow graphics. With those on your feets you have to ski stronger to stand up to the ridicule! Maybe PSIA should adopt this into their instruction program, all of my students would instantly want to get good enough to ski off piste so that the deeper snow would cover the top sheets. Brilliant!

  7. While I absolutely agree with Scott Andrus` perception of Will’s decision I would still love to read the Kartell review. Maybe somebody else could review the ski.
    Any idea when we can expect the review?

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