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REI spring gear to make real outdoor lifestyle
Aug '08
Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) announced a broad lineup of REI-brand outdoor gear and apparel with a focus on backcountry, family camping and urban lifestyle that will be available to members and customers in Spring 2009. Additionally, the company announced its decision to use a European-based temperature rating methodology to aid in consumers' backpacking sleeping bag purchasing decisions.

Unveiled to the industry at Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor gear and apparel tradeshow in the country, REI's Spring lineup will include new collections of REI-brand down and synthetic ultralight and lightweight backpacking sleeping bags, family and two-person tents, packs, travel gear and new apparel designs.

"REI has made a focused effort to introduce high-quality; durable gear and apparel that helps people enjoy the outdoors,” said Lee Fromson, vice president of REI Gear & Apparel. “We will continue that momentum for the Spring with expanded offerings of stylish and functional gear and apparel that we hope help make an outdoor lifestyle a reality for more people everyday.”

Sleeping bag testing and ratings drive temperature consistency
With product availability set for stores and on rei.com in Spring 2009, the company will incorporate the European Norm (known as EN 13537) into its new mummy-style backpacking bags above zero degrees. EN 13537 is a standard testing methodology developed and used in Europe that ensures sleeping bag temperatures above zero degrees are consistent across styles and brands. It will be easier for customers to make informed decisions when selecting a sleeping bag that will keep them warm wherever they recreate.

“To date, there has not been a consistent test for temperature ratings among sleeping bags sold in the United States, and we believe this has resulted in customer confusion,” adds Fromson. “By using the EN 13537 rating, we're removing the guesswork for our customers, and allowing an apples-to-apples comparison to other EN-rated bags, so the customer has a comfortable night's sleep.”

Striking sleeping bag designs, easy-to-understand temperature ratings
Customized for men's and women's sleeping comfort and fit, REI's new sleeping bag collection will be available in regular and long lengths and will consist of 21 mummy-style backpacking bags in four categories: ultralight down (Halo) and lightweight down (Radiant); as well as ultralight synthetic (Aura) and lightweight synthetic (Zen). All new mummy-style bags will carry the EN 13537 rating.

The Halo collection will be REI's premium ultralight backpacking down bag, and will be available in +10F, +25F and +40F. The REI Halo line will balance warmth, weight and performance fit for maximum efficiency.

REI's Radiant collection will offer the ideal selection for customers looking for a lightweight down sleeping bag that prioritizes comfort over weight. The REI Radiant line, will be available in +10F, +25F and +40F, and will offer customers a balance of performance and price.

Additionally, REI will optimize the amount of down per baffle and baffle size to provide the most warmth with the least amount of weight for the Halo and Radiant sleeping bag collections.

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