coLAB Award 2009 Winners

The result of the public vote is in and the winner is...

Posted: 1 April 2009
by Jon

One of the highlights of this year's OS Outdoors Show was the final of Alpkit's coLab Award for outdoor product innovation and once the public votes were tallied up, the winner was none other than Kevin Beeden, aka OM regular 'Captain Paranoia' for his Squeezebox stove.

Each of the nine finalists had a small booth to show off their invention and canvas for votes. When we dropped by on Friday, not everyone was there, but we chatted to several of the finalists including Kevin and were very impressed with the standard of entries.

Captain Paranoia coLAB award winner 2009

The winning Squeezebox is a an ultra-lightweight integrated cooking system that combines windshield and pan support in one neat, concertina-stye folding foil unit weighing just 37 grammes or so and powered by a Trangia-type meths burner. See this OM article for an overview of its development.

We reckon it's a well deserved award for a practical, carefully developed idea that has real potential in the ultra-lightweight market.

White-out torch

We were also impressed with runner up John Martin's lazer White-out torch which projects a grid of horizontal lines onto the snow in poor visibility - above. The idea is that the lines provide the user with a reference point, give perspective, reduce stumbling and crucially, could tell you whether you're about to walk off the edge of a cornice... A second vertical laser can be used to indicate the direction of the bearing being followed. Interesting stuff.

In third place was the SOS Sleep Mat from Simon Masters, a sleeping mat with SOS or other internationally recognised emergency symbols printed on  it, meaning your sleeping mat also doubles as an emergency aid.


Finally, we were also dead impressed with Liz Asquith's Jamulator - just up there - an ingenious modular crack simulator designed to allow route setters at climbing walls to create a variety of constantly changing cracks with the added bonus of easy cleaning of chalk, grease, sweat and other nastiness from the holds. A really neat idea we thought.

Congratulations to all the finalists who'd obviously put a lot of hard graft into their ideas.

More information at

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