So it’s the middle of winter and if you are anything like us, you’ve already gotten a few epic ski/board trips under your belt. But with at least a couple months of frosty flakes ahead, the best is yet to come. And if you’re looking for some kickass gear to get you stoked on your next sojourn in the slopes, well, keep reading…
Poc Fornix Jeremy Jones Ed. Helmet ($230): No boarder has accomplished more in the backcountry than the legendary Jeremy Jones. Hence, his signature helmet is safe bet. Key feature? The patented MIPS system, which reduces the rotational forces to the brain in case of an oblique impact. Oh, and just like the Model T, it comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black.
Smith I/O 7 Goggles ($199): There’s a reason Smith has rolled out seven editions: When you achieve perfection, you don’t mess with it too much. And these specs are just that, thanks mostly to an ingenious lens swap system that makes it easy to adjust to changing light conditions, even with gloves on.
Elm Company Jedi Claw Hood ($28): Perhaps we’ve just got visions of The Force Awakens still dancing in our heads, but we love the look of this burly new face protector. Boasting a micro fleece lining and the only nylon shell on the market, it’s perfect for braving, say, Hoth.
Oakley Silverado Gloves ($130): You’re looking at the ultimate combo of comfort and function. All leather on the outside, this zippered glove also features a layer of Gore-Tex and one of Thinsulate to ensure that your hands will be warm all day—and not encased in a sweaty, soaked mess.
Lululemon Surge Warm ½ Zip *Silver ($118): We’ve said it before and we’ll see it again: Lulu makes some of the comfiest base layers out there. Silverescent tech stops odor-causing bacteria dead, keeping you smelling (relatively) fresh from first chair to last call.
Dakine Men’s Parsons Jacket ($395): Let’s face it, it can get pretty chilly and damp out on the slopes. That’s where this jacket’s blend of Gore-Tex and Primaloft Gold insulation comes in, keeping your warm and dry no matter the conditions. The fact that it looks damn good is just a bonus, really.
Quiksilver Swords 2L Gore-Tex Snow Pants ($280): Just because they come in a color called “Pumpkin Spice” doesn’t mean these pants aren’t super tough. Waterproof Gore-tex, fully taped seams and mesh-lined vents make for custom climate control, even if you’re just wearing them to pick up coffee for your still-slumbering compadres.
DC Travis Rice Snowboard Boots ($400): Alongside the aforementioned Jones, T-Rice is one of the top shredders on the planet. His boots follow suit with a progressive asymmetrical design that minimizes heel and toe drag for optimum performance on those triple corks… or just cruising down the mountain.
K2 Cool Bean Snowboard ($500): We admit, we had our doubts about this surprisingly short, funky-shaped shred stick. But we took it out on the slopes in Vermont last weekend and were blown away by its speed and maneuverability on groomers. It really does feel “surfy,” as they say, and we are simply drooling at the thought of strapping on a powder day. Bring it on, Mother Nature...
Full Tilt Descendant 8 Ski Boots ($600): Beyond the classic three-piece design, this boot features significant upgrades over previous editions. The all-new shell pairs with a hybrid buckle system that is more durable and user-friendly, while the Powerwrap Pro Liner is warm, comfortable and customizable. Finally, a ski boot you don’t hate at the end of the day.
K2 iKonic 85Ti Skis ($700/$900 with bindings): Made with an Aspen/paulownia wood core and a metal laminate, these skis the heavier, steadier materials to the perimeter while keeping the lighter materials in the middle. Add a fatter footprint and longer side cuts and you’ll be carving harder than Lane Meyer.
BCA Scepter Carbon/Aluminum poles ($120): Made of super light materials and fully adjustable, these poles are perfect for hard chargers in the back- and sidecountry. The coolest feature is the grip, designed with a scraper to push excess snow off the top of the skis when you are truly earning your turns (a.k.a. skipping the lift and skinning up the hill).
Mountainsmith Bootcube Ski Bag ($50): This well-designed bag features a padded shoulder strap, large main compartment for heavy gear and front zipper pocket for accessories. The mesh ventilation and drainage holes make it perfect for tossing your wet clothes and boots in after a day of lapping the mountain. So, no more lugging your gear around like a hopeless gaper, OK?
MSR Revo Ascent Snowshoes ($240): Not everyone craves sliding down the mountain; some like to manfully hike up it. That’s where the Revo Ascents come in, with durable steel teeth and torsional flex for reliable balance on unstable terrain, plus burly bindings and heel lifts for powerful performance on the steepest slopes. (Is that enough alliteration for ya?)
Helly Hansen Garibaldi 2 Boots ($150): In snowy, sometimes slippery climes, you need formidable footwear with style to, um, boot. The Garibaldis combine grippy soles, waterproof nubuck leathers and a cozy faux fur lining to keep you upright and toasty when it matters most.
Obermeyer Hemsedal 1/4 Zip Sweater ($200): While we can’t all be legends on the slopes, there’s no reason we can’t look and feel legendary off them. This sweater hearkens back to the classics while ensconcing you in the comfort of 100 percent Merino wool. And hey, according to the bunnies we encountered last weekend, this season it’s all about the quarter zip… —Steve Mazzucchi and Rich Stoner