Lead Photo Credit: Nixon
Thinking back to last fall, waiting to ski and snowboard seemed like an eternity. With the previous ski season cut short due to the pandemic and so much still up in the air leading into last winter getting there felt like forever.
This fall, however, the lead up to ski season has been so much more positive. Locations in California, Utah and Idaho have already acquired some serious dumps. Ski resorts like Arapahoe Basin and Keystone already opened a while ago and Wolf Creek, Palisades Tahoe and Mammoth recently followed suit.
With so much happening and even more to look forward to, it’s time to start thinking about your ski and snowboard gear again. Dig out your bag and assess the situation. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your raggy old base layer. Does your helmet have so many dings in it that it’s really a glorified beanie? Are your goggles’ so jacked up you can’t decipher a tree from another human being. If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time for an upgrade and the following list of this season’s hottest new ski accessories will get you well on your way.
Photo Credit: Nixon
Designed as an upgrade to their highly popular, original Regulus, you will find the Expedition to be all that and then some. The MLCD screen offers a crystal clear view of the watch surface while the molded silicone strap is not only durable but also as secure as they come thanks to the double pronged buckle and locking loop. Functions include an altimeter, barometer, compass and thermometer. The sensors even detect weather emergencies based on real time metrics. The Nixon Regulus Expedition is everything you need in a watch for the outdoors.
Flylow Randal Jacket – $120
Photo Credit: Flylow
There are some days when you need a little extra to keep you warm. Hoodies, as cool and fun as they are, are not always the best choice as a mid-layer. That’s where the zip up Randal comes into play. The sleek nature of the Randal layers well under your shell jacket and can even fit under some of the newer less puffy insulated jackets. This will certainly keep you warm as the material wicks moisture from your lower layers. With all the added overlays in just the right spots, its durability is unquestioned and when the ski day ends you are looking for something light to wear to the bar, Randal is your guy.
Smith Survey MIPS Helmet – $290
Photo Credit: Smith Optics
The beauty of the new Smith Survey MIPS Helmet is in its simplicity. They’ve integrated the goggles right into the helmet as a visor. No more annoying gape on your forehead and, more importantly, no more lost goggles. The goggles are everything you would expect from Smith. They include Smith’s patented Chromapop technology while the helmet is equipped with all the top features like MIPS and AirEvac ventilation. Mountain life just got a whole lot easier with this killer combo from Smith
Photo Credit: Mountain Hardwear
After seven years of athlete collaboration and development Mountain Hardwear dropped the new Powabunga 32 this season. The key to the Powabunga is in its versatility. It is large enough for a day out of bounds but still compact enough to use as your in-bounds pack.
Constructed with 500D CORDURA Nylon and a steel frame the Powabunga is as durable as they come. With all of this structure and durability, it does not lack in comfort thanks to the Hoverbelt technology. The padded hipbelt not only moves with your body on your uphill climb but also has the ability to spin the pack around, while standing. This ultimately makes it easy to get into the main compartment with the hipbelt still on.
Easy access like this continues throughout with a separate hammock below the pack to store the helmet giving skiers the ability to access the large front avy-tool pocket. There are also dual front zip expandable pockets to store your skins, gloves and other necessities in. Turns out hard work and time pays off because the Powabunga has it all.
Seirus HeatTouch Hellfire Gloves – $449.99
Photo Credit: Seirus
Cold hands can flat out ruin your day on the mountain. Fully leather and available in both a glove and a mitt option, the Seirus HeatTouch Hellfire, resolves this issue with ease. The warming element turns on at the touch of a button allowing for three temps: low, medium and hot. Depending on what selection you choose, the battery life can last all day, especially with the low and medium options which are, more than likely, all you’ll need.
The Hellfire even comes with a handy storage case for when the gloves and charger aren’t being used. Ultimately, these are a highly functional heated glove without all the bulk and a longer lasting battery than of many of the others on the market.
Photo Credit: Spy Optic
More magnets and a better lens make Spy Optics new Marauder Elite a pow stopping choice for your face. A frameless goggle, allows for an oversized lens to boost your vision potential immensely. The lenses are equipped with six magnets that are both strong but easy to change out when the time comes. They are also anti-fog, scratch proof and claim to boost your mood with their Happy Lense technology. As if you needed more reason to be happy on the slopes this winter. Sounds like Spy just gave you one.
Saxx Viewfinder Baselayer – From $75
Photo Credit: Saxx
Do you like to go “al fresco” under your baselayer when skiing or snowboarding? Then the Viewfinder is for you. Designed with the active guy in mind who doesn’t like to wear underwear underneath their baselayer, the Viewfinder is equipped with Saxx’s patented Ballpark Pouch. That’s right, the boys have a place to go down below in the form of a built-in hammock that holds them in place with every bump and jump you hit. The Viewfinder is also mid-weight, soft, breathable and will keep you oh-so-warm as you shred this winter
Anon Merak Wavecel Helmet – $319.95
Photo Credit: Anon
The Merak is Anon’s top of the line model and with good reason. The first thing you will notice is how light it is. At only 10 oz. it doesn’t feel like much on your head. Don’t let that confuse you into thinking this isn’t going to protect you though. Anon’s WaveCell technology (their version of MIPS) will keep your dome as safe as can be. Combine that with 10 ventilation channels, the Polartec Grid fleece lining and the easy to use BOA closure system and you’ll find the Merak a safe option with a super comfortable dialed in fit.
Photo Credit: JLab
Looking for a solid pair of earbuds at a reasonable price? These are the ones! The rugged feel is noticeable the second you pick them up and makes them perfect on-mountain use. So too does their battery life. With the ability to last last the entire day out there, you’ll never run out of tunes.
The Airspot ANC earbuds also happen to be quite comfortable. Their ear hooks maintain a consistent seal on your ears and you’ll barely notice they are there…even under your helmet. How do they sound? This is where they really stand out. The sound quality is excellent, especially at this price point.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après and the co-host of the Beyond the Après podcast. 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