New Scarpa Blog for the Midwest- Check it out!!

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Osprey Hydraulics- let the great press wash over you!

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Check out this great review on Josh Spear's blog for the new Osprey Hydraulic hydration packs!

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Osprey wins SNEWS Retailer survey!!

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Welcome to Part 2 of the 2009 SNEWS® Outdoor Retailer Survey summary, where outdoor specialty retailers get to speak their minds and offer industry observations and commentary on what is great, good, not so good and desperately needs improvement in the industry. As we announced last week in Part 1, the full survey results -- complete with expanded and detailed analysis of each category’s results -- will be presented in sections to our All Access SNEWS subscribers over the next few weeks. This week we're focusing on best-selling outdoor hardgoods, as well as underwear and sock brands, in the camping and backpacking categories. If you missed last week, click here to read Part 1 of our annual survey, the "2009 Annual SNEWS® Specialty Outdoor Retail Survey: The best and worst."

Although SNEWS sends the survey to hundreds of outdoor specialty retailers all over the country, this survey is by no means scientific in its approach. We do believe the results are quite representative of the outdoor specialty retail market as a whole, and those surveyed are consistent from year-to-year, so comparing answers from past surveys presents a useful picture of trends, market conditions and retailer moods -- one of the most useful features of this survey. It is very important to remember as you read the results for top-selling brands below that retailers are not predisposed to selecting a brand. They are each presented with a question and a blank. It is also important to note that just because a brand is not listed in this survey it doesn't mean it is not selling well. It just means that it was not a top seller in the stores which responded – either by perception or reality.

OK, enough blather. On with the results:
What are the top-selling accessory brands this year?
Well, either folks did not understand the question this year, or the concept of an accessory brand has taken on an entirely new meaning. This year, we had over 100 separate accessory brand responses, making it nearly impossible to determine a trend or overall leader. There were a few brands that received at least blocks of voting recognition. Cascade Designs and Sea to Summit garnered the most overall votes, each nabbing 7 percent of the total votes. Peregrine chased in behind with 4 percent, and Coghlan’s tucked in right behind with 2.5 percent. Folks, The North Face, Marmot and Mountain Hardwear are not accessory brands -- or are they? Seems it depends on your perception. Either way, congrats to Cascade, Sea to Summit, Coghlan’s and Peregrine for continuing to own a category that few retailers seemingly understand.

What are the top-selling pack brands this year?
Osprey – 28.5%
The North Face – 18.5%
Mountainsmith – 4%*
CamelBak – 4%*
Kelty – 4%*
Gregory – 3.5%
Arc’Teryx – 2.5%
Deuter – 2%*
Granite Gear – 2%*
Vaude – 2%*
*Tied companies are listed randomly and all are considered statistically equal in terms of ranking. All answers have been rounded up to the nearest 0.5 percent, and since we don’t name every single company name or category with a percent, the percentages may not total 100 percent.

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...stories of perilous, nay, endless traveling in the ever changing midwest territory...