Lots of folks dread the winter months, but some of us here at Made Man are pretty stoked. See, if you love skiing and/or riding (a.k.a. sk’riding) this time of year has the potential to be pure magic—especially if you have the right gear. So pick up a few of the following choice items and don’t be surprised if this season turns out to be as epic as the photo above...
Abom Fog Free Goggles ($269): Revolutionary tech acts like a rear window defroster, keeping your lenses clear of fog for up to six hours with the simple push of a button. Combine that with a comfortable fit and you’ll be in the clear all day long.
SYNC Performance Puffy ($299): Looking for the perfect all-condition ski jacket? Look no further, as this beauty has it all: flexibility, breathability, water repellency and, um, anti-microbial-ness. Did we mention it’s über-warm? Well, as we’ve learned testing it over the past month, it’s über-warm. So there ya go.
Quiksilver Travis Rice Invert 2L GORE-TEX® Snow Pants ($330): As we were reminded watching The Fourth Phase, Travis Rice is the current king of the snowboard adventure film world. So if these rugged boarding pantaloons—combining excellent waterproofing and windproofing with easy breathability—are good enough for him, they’ll probably cut it for you, too.
Smith Quantum Helmet ($300): Smith is widely respected for their goggles, but their helmets are pretty kickass too. This new model boasts a bunch of fancy proprietary ingredients, but all you really need to know is that it fits, protects and looks like a dream, allowing you to focus on the powder visions inside your dome, rather than what’s on top of it.
Full Tilt Descendant 8 ($750): Full Tilt is widely known for insanely comfortable, high-performing boots, and the new Descendants are no exception. They stick to the traditional three-piece design while adding a brand-new shell that caters to wider feet. That means ski boots that (finally) don’t leave you screaming by lunchtime.
Adidas ZX500 Snowboard Boots ($200): Don’t let the classic looks fool you; the ZX500s boast plenty of performance, too. We are talking dual-zone (upper and lower) speed lacing for a fine-tuned fit, plus a heat-moldable liner and 3D injection-molded tongue that wraps around your leg for a more responsive flex and feel. Slip into these puppies and you’ll be ready to shred and socialize from first chair to last call.
Forsake Trail Boots ($150): This sneaker-boot will keep your feet warm and dry while you lug your gear from the car to the mountain. Slip back into ’em after a day on slopes and take your après ski game up a few notches thanks to their superior style.
Line Pescado By Eric Pollard ($1050): Yes, this is a powder ski. The swallowtail back ends sink into soft snow, producing a surf-y, floating feeling and helping you keep your tips up. However, the Pescado performs surprisingly well in other conditions too, making it a worthy addition to your quiver.
Ride Warpig Snowboard ($530): When Ozzy Osbourne sang, “No more war pigs have the power…” he obviously wasn’t referencing this product. Nope, this Warpig has all the power: the short length and compact sidecut make for smooth carving and spinning, while the extra width makes it simply float on powder. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for a Blizzard of Aahhh’s.
Dragon MountaineerX Sunglasses ($220): Ski goggles are great and all, but when it comes to skinning up a mountain or doing après on a deck, shades are much more appropriate. Try this versatile option from Dragon, which boasts optional peripheral protection, ear hooks and a lanyard so even a dip in the hot tub won’t leave you searching for your sunnies.
Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Gloves ($500): Take Primaloft insulation and Gore-Tex waterproof materials, add OR’s ALTIheat technology and you’ve got a glove that runs on batteries up to eight hours, keeping your mitts toasty even on the coldest days.
Falke SK2 Ski Socks ($46): These socks are all about performance, with just enough padding for your feet to feel comfortable but not squished into your boots. Meanwhile, Merino wool keeps your dogs dry and warm all day long.
Smartwool Men’s NTS Mid 250 Pattern Crew ($105): There’s a reason we have sworn by Smartwool for years. Their stuff is consistently comfy and moisture-wicking, and this form-fitting, chafe-free, merino wool crew is just the latest in a long line of layers we love. Pair with the NTS Mid 250 Boot Top Bottom and you’ll be cozily covered from… neck to mid-shin.
Looptworks Upcycled Folding Shot Ski ($149): What do you do with old skis? Upcycle them into them into a shot ski, of course. Looptworks has turned last year’s shred sticks into a drinker’s dream—and even provided an upcycled tent as a carrying case for this must-have après ski accessory.
BCA Scepter 4S ($120): Whether you're splitboarding, skiing or hiking, this pole has you covered. The EVA foam grip is comfortable with or without gloves. The scraper helps push snow off your board or skis while skinning and, when you’re done, the poles easily collapse to stash in your pack.
SkiLynx 3.0 App ($3): Stay in touch with your peeps all day long thanks to the new version of this award-winning app. Log your ski miles, see exactly where your friends are and even chat with them to coordinate some turns or a time to meet for après ski. Last one there buys the first round!
Dakine Poacher Removable Airbag System 26L Backpack ($200): This aggro backcountry pack boasts board and ski carry straps, a hydro sleeve, a rescue whistle, slots for a shovel and ice axe and more. Feeling truly gnarly? Add the Removable Airbag 3.0 system from Mammut and the DK Impact Spine Protector and you’ll ready for anything an avalanche-prone mountain can bring. —Steve Mazzucchi and Rich Stoner