Gear

2020 Editors' Choice Gear

Our editors used, abused, and reviewed a lot of gear this season. Here's what stood out on a trip to Sun Valley.

Every season, SKI’s editors take a break from their desks to practice what they preach—skiing. Our annual Editor’s Choice trip is an opportunity for our staff to put boots on the ground and do some in-depth gear testing, as well as preview new and exciting things that are happening at ski resorts around the world. These trips have taken our staff to some pretty far-flung places, including Chile and Japan, but this year we headed somewhere closer to home: Sun Valley, Idaho.

Why Sun Valley? Because it’s got everything, from classic resort slopes ideal for testing carving skis to accessible backcountry that beckons to powder hounds and ski tourers alike. We did our best to sample a little bit of everything Sun Valley and Ketchum have to offer and put a plethora of new gear through the wringer in the process. Here are our editors’ favorite pieces of gear of the season.

Skis and Boots

SKI 2020 Editor's Choice Trip Sun Valley, Idaho
SKI’s content producer Jenny Wiegand and digital content editor Jon Jay scope lines during a day of heli-skiing with Sun Valley Heli Ski. Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

K2 Mindbender 108Ti

K2 Mindbender 108TI
The K2 Mindbender 108Ti.Photo courtesy of K2

Like a brand-new pair of shoes that fit perfectly and don’t need to be broken in, there’s no need to figure out “how” to ski this ski. Just click in and start having fun. The modified upper layer of Titanal provides playfulness and forgiveness, while the extra thick ABS sidewalls underfoot allow for full-throttle charging in all conditions. [$750, BUY NOW]

Nordica Santa Ana 88

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, NORDICA Santa Ana 88
The Nordica Santa Ana 88 for 2020.
Photo courtesy of Nordica

It’s like the newest addition to the popular Santa Ana line was made to carve up Sun Valley’s famously steep groomers and bob in and out of its moguls. An 88mm-waist, generous tip rocker, and a poppy balsa wood core make the Santa Ana 88 a playful and responsive resort ski, yet two sheets of metal and carbon means it holds its own while arcing at high speeds. [$600, BUY NOW]

Fischer Ranger One 130 DYN

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Fischer Ranger One 130
Fischer Ranger One 130 DYNPhoto courtesy of Fischer Sports

With a 101mm last, GripWalk soles, tech inserts, walk mode, and Vacuum fit, this versatile ski boot is ideal for any adventure that involves resort skiing, backcountry touring, and, if you’re lucky, a little bit of time on snowmobiles and in helicopters. [$749, fischersports.com]

Ski Outerwear

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Sun Valley Idaho
SKI’s content producer Jenny Wiegand working hard at Sun Valley while testing the Mountain Hardwear Boundary Line Anorak, Holden Sierra Bib, and the Nordica Santa Ana 88.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Mountain Hardwear Boundary Line Gore-Tex Insulated Anorak

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Mountain Hardwear Boundary Line Jacket
The Mountain Hardwear Boundary Line Gore-Tex Insulated Anorak.
Photo courtesy of Mountain Hardwear

Don’t let the stylish cut and colorways fool you into thinking this new anorak is just for looks. The Gore-Tex 2L waterproof and breathable shell features body-mapped synthetic insulation, underarm zip vents, a zippered kangaroo pocket, powder skirt, and a zipper opening on the back to allow for easy on/off. [$450, BUY NOW]

Holden Sierra Bib

SKI 2020 Editor's Choice Gear: Holden Sierra Bib
Photo courtesy of Holden

Say no to bibs without drop seats—they’re just not worth the struggle. This bib, however, gets our endorsement for its two-way side entry and drop seat for easy access. The Sierra doesn’t skimp on ski- and weather-conscious features, either, with a fully waterproof, breathable outer shell fabric, reinforced panels at the leg bottoms, and out-seam leg venting. [$350, BUY NOW]

SPYDER Eiger GTX Shell Jacket and Norwand GTX Bib Pant

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Spyder Eiger Jacket
The SPYDER Eiger GTX Shell
Photo courtesy of SPYDER

The new freeride kit from Spyder is almost too good to be true. The Eiger jacket and Norwand bib map multi-density 3L Gore-Tex laminate materials so certain areas of the jacket are more waterproof and durable, while others are more stretchy and breathable. This seamless tri-density fabric construction maintains top tier warmth, dryness, and breathability with a comfortable fit. From early-up chairlift rides to afternoon snowmobile missions and sunset ski tours, this new outerwear combo is next-level in every sense, and provides a glimpse into the future for where Gore-Tex’s tech is going. [Jacket: $800 Bib: $700, spyder.com]

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, SPYDER Norwand Bib
SPYDER Norwand Bib.
Photo courtesy of SPYDER

Skiing Accessories

SCOTT Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Scott Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet
The SCOTT Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet.
Photo courtesy of Scott

The Symbol 2 Plus D helmet’s industry-leading RAS Fit System and integrated MIPS means it sits exactly where it needs to be when buckled up, and an intuitive ventilation system makes it easy to cool off—or warm up—without having to remove gloves. [$220, scott-sports.com]

SCOTT Vapor Goggle With Amplifier Lens Technology

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, SCOTT Vapor Goggle With Amplifier Lens Technology
The SCOTT Vapor Goggle.
Photo courtesy of Scott

The best type of ski goggle is the kind you don’t notice wearing: no fog, no glare or visual distortion, and the world only seems less clear when the goggles come off—not while wearing them. The new Scott Vapor is this type of goggle, and it’s comfortable on the face to boot. [$120, scott-sports.com]

SHRED. Stomp Sunglasses

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, SHRED. Stomp Sunglasses
The SHRED. Stomp sunglasses.
Photo courtesy of Shred

The Stomp’s liquid-cast urethane lenses have enough of SHRED.’s proprietary Contrast Boosting Lens tech to sharpen visual clarity on a sunny day, and the perfect amount of polarization to reduce intense glare. The frames are so light and flexible, they might be impossible to break. [$120, shredoptics.com]

Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Ski Poles & Tour Glove 

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Black Diamond Tour Glove
The Tour Glove from Black Diamond.
Photo courtesy of Black Diamond

Using an aluminum upper shaft and a carbon lower, the poles are both durable and lightweight, making them unicorns for both in- and out-of-bounds use. Their swing weight alone feels so good it justifies the price tag. Combined with the soft and surprisingly warm-yet-dexterous leather Tour Glove, you might never use any other pole and glove combo. [Poles: $140 Gloves: $80, blackdiamondequipment.com]

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, BLACK DIAMOND Razor Carbon Pro Ski Poles
Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Ski Poles.
Photo courtesy of Black Diamond

Off-Hill Apparel

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Sun Valley Idaho
SKI’s editors swap out on-hill gear for comfier duds to enjoy àpres cocktails at Hotel Ketchum. 
Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Helly Hansen W Snowfall Beanie 

SKI 2019 Editor's Choice Gear, Helly Hansen Snowfall Beanie
Helly Hansen W Snowfall Beanie.
Photo courtesy of Helly Hansen

This plush, ultra-warm knitted beanie, decked out with a faux fur pom and oh-so soft inner fabric, is the next-best thing to wrapping a cozy blanket around your head. [$40, hellyhansen.com]

Boulder Denim 2 .0 Men’s Slim Fit Jeans

SKI 2019 Editor's Choice Gear, BOULDER DENIM 2 .0 Men's Slim Fit Jeans
Boulder Denim 2 .0 Men’s Slim Fit Jeans.
Photo courtesy of Boulder Denim

This brand claims to make the most advanced stretch denim, and SKI’s editors are likely to agree. Featuring proprietary 360-degree extreme diagonal stretch, the 2.0 Slim Fit Jeans come pre-shrunk and ready to hug your lower body in all the right ways thanks to memory-shape denim. Bonus: the jeans are stain- and water-resistant and come with reinforced stitching for long-lasting durability. [$109, boulderdenim.com]

prAna Cozy Up Sweatshirt

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Prana Cozy Up Sweatshirt
prAna Cozy Up Sweatshirt
Photo courtesy of Prana

A sweatshirt that can seamlessly transition from lounging to après thanks to comfortable fabric and understated style features. Made from a hemp/recycled polyester/ Tencel blend, the oversized Cozy Up is warm yet breathable and incredibly soft next to skin. [$79, BUY NOW]

Picture Organic Clothing Voice Jacket

SKI Editor's Choice Gear 2019, Picture Organic Clothing Voice Jacket
The Voice Jacket from Picture Organic Clothing. 
Photo courtesy of Picture Organic Clothing

The Voice Jacket proves that outerwear doesn’t have to weigh you down in order to keep you warm. The Voice is ultralight and comes in a sleek profile, but its quilted body made from 100 percent recycled polyester is packed with PrimaLoft Eco insulation designed to trap body heat. A long fit and generous hood also help keep the cold at bay. [$209, picture-organic-clothing.com]

More from SKI Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Trip to Sun Valley