Article By Rich Stoner from All About Après | Cover Image: Dynastar
Flakes are falling across North America, and the holiday season is in full effect. It is tough to imagine a better time of year for those of us looking to make our way back to the mountains. To do so, you and your riding buddies will need the right gear. From base layers to mid-layers, to jackets, boots, and skis, having the most comfortable, high-performance equipment is an absolute game-changer.
Don’t get all amped up though, we’ve taken a look at the hottest new products on the market and have totally got you covered. So treat your loved ones to some fresh new gear for the season or maybe even buy yourself a holiday gift. It will all come in handy as you line up your list of “sick day” excuses and head to for the hills when that first pow day arrives.
Photo Credit: California Cowboy
This flannel will change your life in so many ways. Super soft and thermal lined you can easily make this your mid-layer for mountain riding. Then when the lifts stop spinning the High Sierra really kicks into high gear. Clip your gloves to the additional loop, pull your beer from the bottle pocket and get ready to party. The High Sierra is synonymous with elevated apres. Especially the fun conversation cards each shirt comes with. You know, just in case those sick lines you shredded aren’t enough to chat about that day.
686 Anything Multi Cargo Pant – $109.95
Photo Credit: 686
True to its name, the Anything pant is legitimately the perfect pant for your ski weekend. A modern, yet stylish fit to rock them at the bar, check. Loose enough to just chill in them at the house or lodge, check. Water resistant to walk the dog in the snow, check. Pockets for days, check. You get the point, they’re good for anything.
Vasque Clarion ‘88 Boots – $159.99
Photo credit Ari Lamb Creative
Old school style meets new school technology with the Clarion ‘88’s. One never outgrows the classics and the vintage look of the Clarion is a compliment waiting to happen. The technology is no slouch either. Savvy enough to take those good looks from apres at the bar to trudging through the snow and back to the lodge. Light, durable, comfortable and good looking, what more could you ask for in a boot?
Photo Credit: Dakine
The perfect pack for the guy who is looking for something just big enough. At 18L it will accomodate all of your resort or backcountry needs including skis, a board, and even the capability of adding an airbag. Don’t let all that room fool you into thinking it’s bulky. The Poacher’s super streamlined fit hugs the body like a glove and won’t slow you down when you decide to send it.
Smith 4D Mag Goggles – $280
Photo Credit: Smith
Smith’s has been known for their amazing ChromaPop lenses for years, but it is the shape of these that is revolutionizing the goggle world. Breaking from the traditional flat lense, the new 4D Mags curve under the bottom of the goggles. Your downhill view will be amplified exponentially and even allow you to see into your pack or pockets without having to look down into them. Throw in Smith’s secure lense swap system and this is easily one of the best goggles on the market.
Smith Level Helmet – $200
Photo Credit: Smith
Avoid the gape and pair those aforementioned goggles seamlessly with Smith’s new Level helmet. An aerodynamic look combined with solid ventilation makes this an ideal helmet for any resort going skier. Lightweight in nature with a comfortable fit, it doesn’t make you feel like a bobblehead. Pony up the extra money for the MIPS, your noggin will that you in the long run.
Flylow D$ – $150
Photo Credit: Flylow
Daren Rahlves and Flylow just may have come up with the perfect do-it-all mid-layer. It’s lighter, thinner and doesn’t feel like much, but that is pure deception. The D$ is actually perfect for layering and will certainly keep your warm. Without a hood, it fits perfectly under your shell without any annoying bunch up. It also makes for a great piece when skinning and you’re looking to shed your jacket on the way up. Like I said, perfect.
Photo Credit: NordicTrack
Apres Ski recovery just got a little bit better. Cordless and rechargeable the Percussion Massager won’t take up too much room when packing for your trip. So throw it in your bag for when you’re done shredding the gnar that day. This way you can go deep tissue post pow. Loosen up those tight muscles with one of three speeds and those sore legs will be ready for more action that next day.
BlackStrap Summit Hooded Top – $79.99
Photo Credit: Blackstrap
Baselayers are an annoying necessity and it is tough to find a good one, but the Summit Hooded Top delivers. Looser, it fits comfortably enough that you don’t feel like you’re stuffed into a sausage and it’s dual layered chest and hood will keep you warm all day long. Complete your baselayer with the Outback Baselayer Pant and you’ll be all set for your day on the mountain.
Spy Flynn 5050 Sunglasses – $150
Photo Credit: Spy Optics
Cast away that sun reflecting off the white mountain snow with Spy’s stylishly functional pair of sunglasses. Versatile in a way that only a Swiss Army Knife knows, you can rock the Flynns while carving corn, ripping the single track on your bike and, most importantly, chilling on the deck at apres. The design offers a great fit and the retro look and colors will have heads turning and jaws dropping for days.
Marmot Vection Glove – $163
Photo Credite: Marmot
Two “D’s” define the Marmot Vection Glove: dry and durable. This makes them an excellent choice for any winter related activity. Designed with a DriClime lining and Gore-Tex insert your hands will stay toasty warm and dry and you shred pow on and off piste. Reinforced leather padding across the knuckles and palms increases shelf life and comfortable under the cuff fit prevents any annoying snow from getting in.
Stio Raymer Jacket and Pants – $399 & $349
Photo Credit: Stio
Backcountry shredders and inbounds minimalists are loving this kit. Crazy light and breathability stand out from the second you put it on. So make the Raymer your choice in the backcountry and don’t get overburdened or soaked from sweat. Not a backcountry player, no worries. It also plays equally as well inbounds where its durability can withstand the rigors of resort life and waterproof material sheds snow like a boss.
Dynastar Menace – $900
Photo Credit: Dynastar
Straight outta the toaster and ready to butter that muffin, Dynastar’s new Menace Proto Factory is the one-quiver ski for those who dream of steep spines and pillow lines before going to sleep at night. This hard charging pow chariot comes with an ample 118mm waist width providing for a perfect platform to slash deep turns and boost big airs. Just ask AK legend Richard Permin or up-and-comer Sandar Hadley, both already seen rocking these sticks this season, as they make the mountains their playground, approaching once taboo terrain as slarvy, carvy fun. Available in lengths of 180 and 189cm, the Proto’s poplar wood core, tip and tail rocker design and sandwich sidewall construction make this thing a beast in the backcountry.
Full Tilt Descendant 8 – $599.95
Photo Credit: Full Tilt
If you’re a strong all mountain skier looking for performance and out of the box comfort then slide your feet into the Descendant 8. It is the ultimate in performance meets comfort technology. The Flex 8 Tongue gives you the stiffness and responsiveness necessary for aggressive mountain charging while the wide last and walk mode provide the comfort that Full Tilt Boots are known for.
Kind Design is a clothing and design company based in Colorado that creates with the intention to spread kindness towards the earth and others, simple as that.
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Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres