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When the snow melts, you don’t quit playing outside, and neither should your pack. Ski straps and glove-friendly zippers make the Direttissima a true winter warrior. But when summer rolls around, unobtrusive ski features mean it’s hike- and climb-friendly. The TopFlap design lets you remove an entire compartment to shed weight. Two built-in toggle bottle openers on the tool loops bring a whole new meaning to double-fisting. 42-, 46-, and 50-liter models; 55, 58, and 61 ounces, respectively.  [$200; mountainhardware.com]

Backcountry Packs

Why endure an ill-suited pack? Get organized and stay safe, comfortably. haul these packs up the hill; they’ll carry you through the day.

$435 We love the Marker Baron so much that we borrowed a fleet of them from Marker to mount on all of our backcountry test skis. When the Baron's predecessor, the DIN-16 Duke, debuted in 2007, it was the only alpine-touring binding that truly skied like a real alpine binding. Word spread, and shops literally could not keep it stocked. Marker released the Baron in 2008. It has the same alpine-style performance as the Duke—solid, secure, and confidence-inspiring—but is 150 grams lighter (thanks to the use of nylon instead of magnesium), and $60 less expensive. And with a DIN range of four through 12, it's more of an everyman's binding. If you're skiing the resort most of the time, but want touring capability for occasional side- and backcountry laps, you won't find a better binding.

Backcountry Bindings

Whether you're going on a day-long tour or just heading out the gates, you need a binding that works as well going uphill as it does going down. Here is a collection of some of the best AT and telemark bindings out there.

Merino with a touch of Lycra to give it stretch, the wicking, quick drying Sprint Crewe, from Icebreaker’s GT line is the perfect layer to wear on uphill-downhill missions, especially if you want everyone to be able to see your muscles.  $100; http://icebreaker.com

Best Baselayers

Baselayers are probably the most crucial, least interesting, part of your ski kit. To shorten your selection process, here are our faves.

If you ride switch a lot, this may be the binding for you. The Deadbolts zero ramp angle keeps your boot level underfoot and puts your shins in a neutral stance, which is ideal for switch riding, and 180-degrees of release range relieves pressure to your knees during a regular or switch twisting crash. A 5-15 DIN range and psychedelic styling complete this limited-edition binding.$374.99; 4FRNT.com.

Best Bindings

A binding is a binding, right? Wrong. Binding technology has come a long way in the last few years. Here is a look at what's new.

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Best of the Web

Not sure what to do with your days now that the mountain is closed? Thank goodness for the Internet.