The Best Ski Gear to Pack this Season
For this year’s ski season, you'll want innovative gear and plenty of old favorites.
The 90Eight skis are part of Volkl’s Eight series, which features 3-D ridge construction and a vertical sidewall running along the entire length of the ski. Each allows for a lighter weight construction, quicker transition from each edge, and better edge grip. If you’re looking for a great all-mountain freeride ski, this is your best bet. It can take every bump, branch, and grove that you may find on the trail.
To buy: amazon.com, $775
Skiers are raving about the comfort of the Head’s Vector Evo 130 ski boot—something that’s not too common in the ski community. The boot, which features Head’s Form Fit system, molds to your foot and lower leg and provides tons of comfort without sacrificing performance.
To buy: amazon.com; $650
Finding a pair of non-fogging goggles is a skier's dream. Thankfully, Oakley has been developing just that. The Inferno, which will be available this winter, uses an electric current to heat the entire surface of the lens. The heat is powered by a small battery pack on the goggle strape, and eliminates any fog that might appear due to moisture in the goggle. The technology is similar to defrosting a car window.
Available winter 2016/2017: oakley.com; $260
Atomic’s commitment to producing quality value skis is evident in the Vantage 100 CTI. Seventy percent of the ski is cambered, which means the ski itself acts like a suspension. Transitioning between the deep powder off-trail and the groomed snow on-trail is seamless. Additionally, the brand’s Carbon Tank Mesh incorporates carbon into an open weave mesh to improve performance without adding a ton of weight. If you’re looking to save some money, but don’t want to compromise on quality, this is the ski for you.
To buy: amazon.com; $700
New for the 2016-2017 ski season, the Dabello Lupo Carbon is the perfect hybrid of an alpine touring boot and freeride skiing boot. The carbon design makes it extremely light, and the crazy flex capability gives you the opportunity to transition from the trail to the backcountry without having to change your boots.
To buy: dalbello.com; $1,000
Another great anti-fog goggle is the Smith I/07. It uses AirEvac ventilation to prevent fogging and includes dual-axis outriggers to ensure optimum helmet integration. Additionally, the single-pivot quick release makes lens changing easy, giving you the opportunity to switch your look as often as you’d like.
To buy: ems.com; $200
Protection on the slopes is essential, and Smith has been offering some of the safest ski helmets for years. The Vantage is one of the most popular models, as it fits perfectly with the brand’s goggles and offers a lightweight custom fitting helmet. The Snapfit ear pads also give your ears some coverage during the colder months and are compatible with Skullcandy audio systems.
To buy: ems.com; $270
When it comes to ski bags, there are two main options: a hard shell or a soft shell, and Sportube has been making hard shell cases for more than 20 years. The series 3 is the brand’s largest and most versatile case. It can fit multiple pairs of skis and offers great protection. Whether you’re bringing your gear on the plane or shipping it to your destination, the high-density polyethylene shell will keep them from getting ruined during your travels.
To buy: amazon.com; $270
Airflow is the focus of this big mountain ski jacket. There’s an air-permeable membrane fabric, a temperature regulation system, and built-in Recco reflectors. Ultimately, the jacket is designed to keep you dry, warm, or cool, depending on the ride. There are adjustable cuffs for easy glove incorporation, and the snap-away stretch powder skirt will keep the snow out if you fall.
To buy: hellyhansen.com; $650
Don’t let the name deter you; this soft-shell ski bag is a popular choice among frequent skiers, and for good reason. The bag itself is compressible, making it customizable to a variety of ski lengths, and easy to store away when it’s not in use. You simply roll the end until it reaches the tips of your skis. Additionally, the hook-up system makes it easy to travel with multiple bags by stacking one on top of the other. The design is sleek and the construction makes for a protective bag.
To buy: douchbags.com; $250
You may not be familiar with the bamboo ski pole fad, but more and more skiers are deciding to give them a try. Each pole provides great stability and the material is more environmentally friendly than competitors. Grass Sticks, a relatively new company, allows skiers to customize their poles. Choose from a variety of colorful grips and baskets and get your poles delivered to you.
To buy: grasssticks.com; $85
If you’re willing to spend the money, these gloves are sure to keep your hands nice and toasty on even the most brutally cold mountain days. Each glove is equipped with a rechargeable battery that pumps heat throughout the glove—it’s similar to the heated seats in your car. There are three heat levels, each providing more warmth. The green level is the lowest and will continue for six or more hours, where as the yellow and red levels heat the glove to a warmer temperature, but only last a few hours before needing to be recharged.
To buy: amazon.com; $375
This ski pole is a bit more traditional than the bamboo poles, but the technology is definitely innovative. The shaft is made of carbon, which reduces the weight and allows for less air resistance, and the AsymmPro Grip and Strap design is super comfortable and provides an easy hold throughout the day.
To buy: amazon.com; $100
Any parent tasked with teaching their children how to ski will tell you how difficult it can be. Trying to ski backwards while guiding your child down a hill is taxing, not to mention uncomfortable. Slope Ropes aims to eliminate that problem. Wrap the tow rope around your child’s waist and hold the other end in your hand. Stand behind them and guide them as they make their way down. There are no clips or clasps and the rope will fall off easily if there is a fall.
To buy: amazon.com; $30