Online poll aims to pick out the 50 most innovative products of the last half century but how much 'innovation' is real?
Posted: 5 August 2010
There's an interesting feature running over at the Rohantime web site, where members are being asked to nominate the outdoor gear that they think is 'the most innovative of the last half century'.
It's interesting stuff, not least because while I can pick out innovation in trends – the development of waterproof, breathable fabrics for example or curved ice picks for climbing or closed-cell foam sleeping mats – I find it harder to single out individual products, which is what Rohantime is asking for.
There are penty of neat, clever and workable bits of kit out there, but innovative? Things that find radical new solutions to real problems rather than showy solutions to problems that don't actually exist, are, I think, actually pretty rare. The Karrimat is one, I think. The original Brasher boot, quite possibly another. Paramo's directional fabrics and Buffalo's pile/Pertex combination clothing maybe? Camelbak hydration systems?
But mostly outdoors gear evolves, I think and the big, innovative jumps forward are few and far between. Ot maybe I've just got so used to them all, that what was once innovative now just seems commonplace?
Interesting stuff if you're a bit of a gearhead – check out rohantime.com/nominate-your-gear/.