With snow on the ground and Turkey day behind us, we’re all looking forward to the holiday season. It’s that time of year when we balance the desire to buy fresh skis for our selfish skier selves whilst also considering thoughtful presents for the friends and family too.
But X-MAS doesn’t have to break the bank. Depending on your stoke/finance level, we usually make it work with quality gifts for the quality people in who mean so much to us and include us. This goal of this guide is to put a small on skiers/riders faces. Or at least, keep their cheeks warm and cozy…
Kind Designs – Topo Facemask (*Double Layer)
On those sub-zero days, a thin buff isn’t going to do much to keep your nose and cheeks from turning that scary shade of white. Avoid such life-long skin problems by grabbing one of these Kind Design Facemasks instead.
The double layering allows for burly wind protection and a more than ample amount of material allows the mask to stretch from your neck all the way up past your nose. The facemask designs are based on a wide array of topo maps from ski areas across North America and chances are you can find your home hill here.
Buy here: Kind Design Topo Facemask (Double Layer)
- Made in Colorado
- 92% Polyester / 8% Spandex
- UPF 50+
- Odor Control
- Water Repellant
- One size fits all
This year, Smartwool is bringing new tech to its already bomber ski socks. The newly redesigned PHD Light Elite Ski Socks sport utilize a 4 Degree ® “elite fit system” that helps the socks retain their form throughout a long and sweaty ski season.
Buy here: PHD Light Elite Ski Socks
- 55% Merino Wool, 42% Nylon, 3% Elastane
- Knit in USA
- 200 needle construction provides high-density, low-profile cushioning
- Virtually Seamless toe
- 14″ overall height
Do you suffer from Raynaud’s or just plain ole poor circulation that makes skiing in cold temps suck the big one? Well ditch that poor attitude and those frozen toes in one fell swoop by purchasing a pair of Hotronics. You won’t regret it.
Buy here: Hotronic FootWarmer S4 Custom
The perennial favorite jacket/bib combo is back with one big change, they’re using recycled nylon in their Gore-Tex shells to create what they are calling ‘GORE-TEX® Pro Shell.’ The result is a jacket that’s just as tough but a smidgin lighter than its predecessors. Most importantly, the new PowSlayer is more sustainable than previous models.
Buy here: Patagonia Powslayer Kit
- 3-layer nylon ripstop GORE-TEX® Pro Shell
- 2-way-adjustable fixed hood with laminated visor
- Watertight, coated zippers with slim zip installation reduce bulk and weight; Vislon® watertight, center-front zip is durable and easy to use
- Concealed RECCO® reflector
- Pit zips quickly release heat; adjustable, low-profile cuffs secure over or under gloves
- Adjustable powder skirt can be cinched for a tight seal or lies flat when not in use. A webbing loop at center back connects to any Patagonia® Snow pants
Do you appreciate your elders? If so, fill up one of these ski flasks with some single barrel whiskey and surprise your mom or dad on the chairlift. After a couple nips, you’ll have won Christmas without spending more than $15!
PS– Don’t forget to thank them for passing along their love of all things snow.
Buy here: Retro Skiing Flask
When it comes to puffy jackets, we prefer Patagonia over nearly everything on the market. Not only is their manufacturing process eco friendy but their end product is superior to anything we’ve tested.
Buy here: Women’s Nano Puff Bivy Pullover Hoody
- 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell with DWR (*water repellent) finish
- 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco
- Brick quilting pattern with narrow horizontal quilt lines on side panels stabilizes insulation and uses durable thread for abrasion resistance
- Kangaroo-style handwarmer pocket; zippered drop-in torso pocket doubles as a stuffsack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop
There’s nothing worse than getting completely ready for a day of skiing the night before to find your car frozen solid the day of. So forget going outside in your undies to get the car started– start the car from the comfort of your comforter.
Buy here: CompuStar Remote Car Starter
One of our favorite new products in the last three years is the RipClear lens protector, which keeps your goggles clear as crystal no matter how many trees you come face to face with. No longer will nailing branches on the traverse ruin that pair of goggles you spent $175 on last season…
Buy here: RipClear Lens Protector
Looking for a slick tie/pocket square combo that will make your groomsmen stand out at the wedding? Well look no further than Kind Design’s Topo Map Ties and Pocket Squares. These ties look beautiful and include topo layouts of your favorite ski area.
Buy here: Topo Tie
Buy here: Topo Pocket Square
The Stomp is the larger frame version of our favorite sunglasses, the Belushki. They feature the same revolutionary urethane lens material that sets Shred apart from the rest of the industry and most of all– they look really dope.
- High-grade urethane lenses manufactured in Japan.
- Contrast Boosting Lens Technology.
- Option of polarized or non-polarized lenses.
- Option of mirrored or non-mirrored lenses.
- A permanent oleo and hydrophobic protective treatment on the inside of the lens makes its surface water and grease repellent
Buy here: Stomp Sunglasses
Sizes: 148, 152, 156, 160, 164
The Hovercraft is in its seventh year of production and Jeremy Jones continues to outdo himself with meaningful improvements on an already great board. This year, the board features a modified 3D Contour Base that allows for optimal float in the deep stuff. When it comes to screaming down the mountain atop nothing but pow– accept no substitute.
Buy here: Jeremy Jones Hovercraft
- Directional Rocker
- 3D Contour Base
- Sintered 7,000 Base
- Poplar Core
- Recycled ABS Sidewalls
- Bamboo Topsheet
Is there a better ski movie that falls into the drama genre? Short answer– no. While Hot Dog The Movie and Out Cold both win comedic prizes for their sense of humor, Aspen Extreme has it all. Not to mention, Scot Schmidt and Doug Coombs as ski doubles make for the best ski segments in history.
Rent/Buy here: Aspen Extreme
Instead of watching the tube after a day of skiing and riding, break out a sick ski puzzle instead and laugh with your friends about your first time skiing Hunter Mountain when you were 4. Don’t forget to bring a lot of beer too– this one takes a while.
Buy here: Ski Badges Puzzle
Before you sign your friend or loved one up for an AIARE sponsored avalanche course, make sure to get them up-to-date gear such as this kit from BCA. Most importantly make sure their beacon has two or more antennas.
- The package comes with our industry leading Tracker3 avalanche transceiver, BCA’s extendable B-1 EXT avalanche shovel, and quick deploying Stealth 270 avalanche probe.
Buy here: BCA Access T3 Rescue Package
AIARE Avalanche Course Registration
More important than any single piece of gear is one’s own mind. Make sure to stuff some knowledge into your noggin before venturing out into avalanche terrain this season. #KBYG
Find a course near you: AIARE Training Course List
SKIDA is the hottest new headwear brand in the ski industry and while they started out as a mostly female centric brand, they are now offering hats for men as well. SKIDA’s founder, Corinne Prevot was recently featured by Forbes as one of the magazine’s ’30 under 30′ for ‘manufacturing and industry.’ Congrats Corinne!
- Printed outer fabric: Poly-spandex jersey with MAX-Dri moisture management technology: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex
- Medium weight fleece lining: 100% polyester
- One size fits most
- Made In Vermont
Buy here: SKIDA Alpine Hat
When it comes to baselayers, don’t skimp. Get a couple of top-bottom pairings that fit your climate and your size. Mons Royale is quickly becoming our favorite thanks to their particularly long fitting shirts. That extra long top allows for a nice tuck-in that keeps your butt warm and more importantly dry when you go to Tomahawk city.
Buy here: Miho Jersey Crew
Buy here: Christy Women’s Leggings
Move over Patagonia, our favorite new pair of boxers are made by Stance. We can’t hype these boxers enough. They do well on the slopes, in the gym, and on the couch. Not to mention their designs are fresh and very aesthetically pleasing.
- Feather-Seam™ Construction
- 5” Inseam Length
- Butter Blend Milk-Protein Fabric
- Exposed Elastic Core-flex Waistband
Buy here: Diamondhead Basilone Boxer Brief
Dimensions: 140/106/126 | Lengths: 167, 174, 181, 188
Man or woman, the QST 106 is currently one of the best skis on the market and we were more than stoked to see how this ski performed well on everything from hardpack to 20″ of deep Wasatch pow last season. If there’s a one ski quiver on the market right now– this is the best one.
- Spaceframe Woodcore
- Twin Rocker Profile
- Full Sandwich Sidewalls
- Ti Power Platform
- Hook Free Taper
Buy here: Salomon QST 105
For the last two years, we’ve been waiting for a side-country pack from BCA that’s not a vest. This is that pack. The Speed 17 is a light, airbag equipped pack that will keep you safe when venturing beyond the ropes while not weighing you down on the traverse back to the lift.
- Requires BCA Float 2.0 Cylinder
- Main compartment, internal tool pocket for shovel and probe
- Tool loops
- Compression straps
- Gear loop
Buy here: BCA Speed FLOAT 17