Undoubtedly the most innovative headlamp we saw was the Coleman CXS Plus 250. With its new KineSix technology, this headtorch can be operated entirely by swiping your hand in front of the lamp to change mode. (No more fiddling round for buttons in the dark!) Naturally this technology raises questions about how the lamp will perform in the real world and we're a little worried we might end up frustrated if the lamp starts changing mode at the slightest movement or worse yet, if it stops working.
The other key piece of tech in the CXS range is Reax which allows the headlamp to adjust beam intensity and focus automatically depending on the user's body position. If you're looking up for example, the beam will spread out to give a wider view. Again, while we're undeniably impressed by the concept we're still a little nervous about leaving the adjustment of our light source to the torch itself, but hopefully this new technology solves more problems than it creates.
So we're a little cautious about the new tech, but if the CXS Plus range works as well in practice as it does in theory, we expect to see them prove popular among skiers and runners where their ability to adjust automatically will save a lot of unnecessary fiddling on night runs or when skiing the last few turns at the end of the day.
Compared to the CXS Plus range, the Black Diamond Spot may not seem like a particularly innovative piece of gear and in all honesty it isn't. What it is, is an extremely well designed product at an affordable price that achieves exactly what it sets out to do. Compact, lightweight and still very bright, the Spot's most impressive feature is that it is completely waterproof. In fact, at the Black Diamond stand their team were actively submerging them into tanks of water (see below). While the waterproofing is obviously a big selling point it was the Spot's overall package that made it stand out to us with its weight, size and 200 lumens of output making it an ideal torch to keep in anyone's bag in case of emergencies.
To see all of the best new products from OutDoor 2015, check out our series page here.