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Spring skiing is right around the corner, and the time is now to get a grip on your gear situation, if you haven’t already. Depending on where you live, ski season can last quite a while, so you’ll want to be sure you pick out high-quality, long lasting gear that will be with you from start to finish. Whether you’re only looking to grab a new pair of boots—or you need to replace your entire kit—you’ve come to the right place.
With some of the industry’s most notable brands releasing updated gear on a yearly bases, all of the choices available to you can feel like a whirlwind—that's why we highlighted some of our favorite releases to give you a clear picture of the options you have.
JetForce Pro 35L Avalanche Airbag Pack
Avalanche safety should become front of mind the second you step off-piste. Pairing excellent knowledge with great gear is essential for a successful backcountry trip. This starts with your avalanche bag. If you've never used one before, it's essentially a life-saving device that deploys an airbag in case of an avalanche. The airbag then helps you stay above the snow and provides some protection from impacts.
However, what makes the JetForce Pro so special is its lithium-ion-powered design. Most other avalanche bags are powered by a gas canister that fills the bag like a life preserver. With Black Diamond's latest pack, a lightning-quick battery-powered fan does the work instead, allowing a litany of benefits. For starters, it will enable you to test your deployment technique before venturing into the backcountry. It also means that the JetForce Pro has the capability to automatically deflate, creating a temporary air pocket should you find yourself buried in snow.
Free 97 Ski
If you're looking to get into touring, the Free 97 skis from Dynafit are for you. With their 100% poplar wood cores, they're light and manageable on the ascent. However, you can still expect elite downhill performance on all conditions — powder especially — due to their newly designed rocker at the tail and tip.
Look to pair with Dynafit's Radical Pro boot to keep your entire kit well-rounded on both the uphill and the downhill. These cutting-edge boots feature a patented Hoji Lock System that allows you to snap in and out of walk mode with an assurance that you won't find with any other boots on the market.
Cochise 120 Ski Boots
These are the latest boots from Tecnica's Cochise line, and they're a great option if you're looking to get into ski touring. The Cochise features Tecnica's Custom Adaptive Shape technology on both the shell and the liner — meaning you can schedule an appointment with your local ski shop to get them fitted perfectly to your measurements.
Consider pairing the Cochise boots with the Hustle 10 skis from Blizzard, Tecnica's sister company. These deep-powder skis are made for freeriding and backcountry experiences and are perfect companions for the Cochise.
75L Waterproof Duffel
While YETI might not immediately come to mind when you think of ski gear, that is about to change. Their Panga duffle bag is the perfect option to carry all your ski items to the mountain. Not only is it spacious and waterproof, but you can also wear it as a backpack to lighten the load on your arms. It also has a reinforced zipper that is certain to last a while.
Jackson Hole Ski Patrol uses the Panga in their daily operations, so you know that it can hold up to the harshest possible conditions.
Rush Bib Pants
Arc'teryx's Rush bib pants are the brand's most recent take on backcountry GORE-TEX Pro gear. When you've got these on, you can expect complete and total protection from the elements, so don't worry about a bit of powder or snowfall. They feature multiple pockets — as well as zipper thigh vents that will help you regulate your temperature.
Plus, if you plan on hitting the backcountry this year, they come standard with a built-in RECCO reflector, which helps search and rescue teams find your location.
Vision Hybrid Hoody
This ultralight insulator from Black Diamond packs a punch when it comes to warmth. Consider it the perfect upgrade to anyone's backcountry set-up. It has two large pockets in the front and an internal drop pocket that is great for gloves and liners. Look to pair with a GORE-Tex shell for an unstoppable up-hill set-up.
The Vision Hybrid Hoody's secret is its 60g of PrimaLoft Cross Core and Aerogel that keeps your body heat where it belongs. Initially developed by NASA and engineered by PrimaLoft for outdoor brands, Aerogel is seriously some of the best material on the market.
While some might think the mitten vs. glove debate is purely based on style preference, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Mittens are by far a better option if you plan on spending long hours in sub-freezing temperatures, and this is because your fingers can draw warmth from each other.
That’s why we suggest these Burton GORE-TEX mittens for our ski readership. They’re completely waterproof and feature a synthetic leather palm that lets you control your phone without having to take off your mittens.
Igniter 2Vi Mips Helmet
This lightweight helmet from Norway-based Sweet Protection is a great all-mountain option if you're looking for an upgrade from your current helmet. Thanks to its twistable adjustment system, you can quickly tighten or loosen it on the slopes, the ski lift and everywhere in between. Plus, it has a magnetic chin strap that you can easily buckle and un-buckle while wearing your gloves.
It's also Mips certified, so you'll know that you're protected when, not if, you take a spill this season.
Anon's M4 goggles are perfect for you if you find yourself skiing in variable lighting conditions. With one of the easiest-to-use magnetic lens locking systems on the market, you can quickly change your lenses to match the level of sunshine. The goggles also come with a compact lens case that fits in your jacket pocket for easy access.
If you want a seamless fit with your helmet, pair the M4 goggles with one of Anon's WaveCel helmets, like the Merak.
Ski Targeted Cushion Print Over the Calf Socks
Your investment in your base layer should extend all the way down to your socks. Cold and wet feet can ruin your day—and even worse, cause blisters. Depending on the thickness of your boot insulation, you’ll want to choose a sock thickness that matches and doesn’t rub your feet the wrong way.
Smartwool’s socks are a great middle-of-the-road option that don’t carry any unnecessary thickness, due to its special blend of synthetic and natural materials. These are also a great option if your boots already have a thick built-in liner. This particular model also features their patented Indestructawool technology that strategically places merino wool and reinforcement fibers where they are needed most for durability and comfort.
Read more: Best Skis for 2023 Season
Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck Base Layer Top
Jackets get a lot of attention—and deservedly so. However, your base layer is nearly just important. Proper layering during cold weather is a surefire way to keep your body warm and dry in even the harshest of elements. Also, just remember, since base layers are meant to be worn under your outer shell, design matters less, and functionality matters more.
Patagonia and functionality go together like two peas in a pod, and their Capilene zip is no exception. This base layer comes with midweight fabric that has a smooth face for easy layering and an internal diamond-grid pattern that traps warmth before it ever leaves your body. It also features the company’s patented HeiQ technology that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria by weaving antimicrobial elements in its design.
Read more: Best Thermal Shirts for Men
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