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Gear

Editors' Gear 2011-12

One of the perks of our jobs as editors is that a lot of shiny new gear comes through our office. It runs the gamut from baselayers that we barely ever take off to who-the-hell-came-up-with-that junk like spangled fur mittens. This is the gear that’s getting us really psyched this season. The stuff we personally use, because we think it’s the best.

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Lightweight,      comfortable, warm, and fully customizable— my first day in the Pro ID      Liner provided for one of the few…

Lightweight, comfortable, warm, and fully customizable— my first day in the Pro ID Liner provided for one of the few “how-the-hell-did-I-live-without-these?” revelations of my downhill obsession. Working thanklessly behind the scenes inside my Dalbello Krypton Pro’s, the Pro ID Liner simply makes skiing more fun.-Alex Witkowicz, multimedia editor

$700; www.dalbello.it

I like products that do good things for people. Partnering with pro skiers like Cody, Michelle and JT in the Squaw Valley area, Arcade Belts works to…

I like products that do good things for people. Partnering with pro skiers like Cody, Michelle and JT in the Squaw Valley area, Arcade Belts works to organize and sponsor local events to raise money for good things like the High Fives foundation. If buying a $22 belt helps get skiers back on their feet, sign me up.-Sally Francklyn, online editor

$22; http://arcadeapparel.com

Forget about trying to find the right ski for you. Wagner Custom Skis will make what you want even though you might not know what you want. Through…

Forget about trying to find the right ski for you. Wagner Custom Skis will make what you want even though you might not know what you want. Through software that determines a skiers “DNA” based on your personal history, skiing style, musical tastes, etc. they’ll find out for you. Personally, I’d go with a 185 cm, 115 under foot, aspen core with high torsional rigidy, slight traditional camber, and sidecut with a fat rockered tip. -Mark Lesh, art director

$1,750; wagnerskis.com

These days, helmet cams are a dime a dozen. One time at Breckenridge I saw a guy with three on. So you’ve got options, but what makes the Contour…

These days, helmet cams are a dime a dozen. One time at Breckenridge I saw a guy with three on. So you’ve got options, but what makes the Contour particularly awesome is that it’s really, really easy to use. I’m hoping that’ll help me avoid the issue I’ve had with other cameras in the past where I couldn’t tell when I was shooting and would come home with 300 clips of me adjusting my boots and three of me skiing. That makes for piss poor edits. –Heather Hansman, online editor

$500; contour.com

I’ve only skied the Mastrale a hand full of times at demo days but in my opinion, it offers the best lightweight-to-downhill-performance ratio of any…

I’ve only skied the Mastrale a hand full of times at demo days but in my opinion, it offers the best lightweight-to-downhill-performance ratio of any touring boot on the market. It’s an everyday boot for someone that prefers skin tracks over lift lines and wants to do more than swish turns in tennis shoe touring boots. Kevin Luby, assistant editor

 $599; scarpa.com

 

I’d heard that Blizzard’s 2011-12 line-up of skis was unreal. But I didn’t pay attention until a tall, narrow box arrived at my cubicle neighbor’s…

I’d heard that Blizzard’s 2011-12 line-up of skis was unreal. But I didn’t pay attention until a tall, narrow box arrived at my cubicle neighbor’s desk last week. He was on vacation, peeping leaves on the East Coast while the rest of us were at work, recovering from a particularly brutal shipping cycle. There’s been a lot of shwag hitting his desk lately, too. We didn’t care that part of receiving a package is the excitement that comes with opening it. So we took the liberty of opening leaf peeper’s box for him, which unveiled a pair of styley 187-centimeter long, 98-milimeter underfoot Bonafides. I’ve been looking for the perfect everyday Colorado ski. Once I saw the Bonafide, I knew I’d found it. –Kelley McMillan, associate editor

$700; blizzardsportusa.com

I was wearing an early version of this helmet when I skied into an Aspen tree headfirst a few years ago and compression-fractured three thoracic…

I was wearing an early version of this helmet when I skied into an Aspen tree headfirst a few years ago and compression-fractured three thoracic vertebras. Had I not been wearing it, my frontal lobe and face would have become applesauce. It’s comfortable, light, sharp looking, and highly protective. –Sam Bass, editor

$200; pocsports.com

A hardshell is my go-to for anything—it keeps me warm (with a few added layers underneath) as easily as it keeps me cool (wear one just over a…

A hardshell is my go-to for anything—it keeps me warm (with a few added layers underneath) as easily as it keeps me cool (wear one just over a t-shirt). The Sideways features a stylish cut, roomy hood, plus an ultra-high cuff and inner thumb gaiters, both necessary (yet often overlooked) features for icy cold days.

$400; salomon.com

I have a toddler-sized dome, but I had trouble getting behind the mini girl goggles of the past; they always made me feel cross-eyed. The Phase has a…

I have a toddler-sized dome, but I had trouble getting behind the mini girl goggles of the past; they always made me feel cross-eyed. The Phase has a big enough lens to avoid that, but still comes in chick appropriate—but not too girly—colors. –H.H.

$130, smithoptics.com

This is probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent on a tool. Able to store five bits in its’ handle, this thing never leaves my pocket at the resort or…

This is probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent on a tool. Able to store five bits in its’ handle, this thing never leaves my pocket at the resort or in the backcountry.  It has saved my butt countless times on the hill, making last-minute binding adjustments possible.–M.L.

$9.95; blackdiamondequiment.com

Trust me, this thing skis even prettier than it looks. The Howitzer is an impressive one-ski-quiver for Western skiers with tip rocker, a healthy…

Trust me, this thing skis even prettier than it looks. The Howitzer is an impressive one-ski-quiver for Western skiers with tip rocker, a healthy 110-millimeter waist, and the ability to carve rails on hardpack. Lightweight, thanks to its full-wood construction, the Howitzer is a great ski for touring too. I skied it almost every day last season and I look forward to doing it again.

$750; skilogik.com

This has been my favorite hat for season after season. I won’t ever give it up.-S.F.$30; coalheadwear.com

This has been my favorite hat for season after season. I won’t ever give it up.-S.F.

$30; coalheadwear.com

True life, I’m an editor at a skiing magazine and I’ve been touring on an old pair of eight jillion pound Volkls. They’re great skis, amazing even,…

True life, I’m an editor at a skiing magazine and I’ve been touring on an old pair of eight jillion pound Volkls. They’re great skis, amazing even, they just have something like 18 sheets of metal in them. And I have skinny legs. So this year I’m going to lighten up, but I don’t want noodle-town sticks that won’t hold an edge. The Nordica Hell and Back is my happy medium. –H.H.

$700; http://www.nordica.com/products/?target=freeride

A longtime fanboy of the revered turntable heel, I have surprised myself by drilling up my quiver for the Marker Baron. Having the option to skin…

A longtime fanboy of the revered turntable heel, I have surprised myself by drilling up my quiver for the Marker Baron. Having the option to skin around slackcountry, flail in bumps, and play gaper slalom on groomers, the Baron has redefined versatility and is the oft-overlooked key ingredient to a one-ski quiver.-A.W.

$380; www.markerusa.com

I prefer to bring the party with me. So I prefer the Best of Times Bar—a portable, fold-up, bar complete with grill table, party umbrella, and…

I prefer to bring the party with me. So I prefer the Best of Times Bar—a portable, fold-up, bar complete with grill table, party umbrella, and stools. Bust this puppy out in the parking lot of your favorite ski resort for a DIY après fiesta that reeks of class.-K.L.

Eight easy payments of $37.38; bestoftimesbar.com

Most of the time I agree with our ski testers. But there are some times when I wonder what the hell they’re smoking. Like when they don’t recognize…

Most of the time I agree with our ski testers. But there are some times when I wonder what the hell they’re smoking. Like when they don’t recognize one of my personal favorite skis as awesome. That’s what happened with Rossignol’s Experience 98. It’s a kick-ass do-it-all board that floats powder and crud and slices up groomers. It would make a killer touring ski, too.-S.B.

$700; rossignol.com

I’d also like to stay alive during my mission to tag something classic. Research shows that your best chance of surviving an avy is to stay afloat.…

I’d also like to stay alive during my mission to tag something classic. Research shows that your best chance of surviving an avy is to stay afloat. BCA’s Float 36’s massive air bag will help keep you floating should you be caught in a slide while also protecting your neck and back. With a 36-liter storage volume, the Float 36 offers enough space for longer expeditions. The bright orange air bag will help researchers locate you. I’m a believer.-K.M.

$785; backcountryaccess.com

Pant polarity has been a personal problem of mine for years. Historically it’s been hard to find pants that didn’t get swass-y (or whatever guys get.…

Pant polarity has been a personal problem of mine for years. Historically it’s been hard to find pants that didn’t get swass-y (or whatever guys get. Swalls? Snuts?) in the backcountry, but also looked cool in the resort. Arc’teryx, who has always made bomber technical pants, revamped their colors and cuts this year, so their pants, including the GORE-TEX® soft shell Sentinel look way less rando-dorky. They hit the sweet spot of functional and awesome looking: steezy, but, like, grown up steezy.

$400; www.arcteryx.com

Goggle tans are en vogue. Skin cancer is not. I slather up in a zinc-based product that goes on clear to make sure my pale skin stays…

Goggle tans are en vogue. Skin cancer is not. I slather up in a zinc-based product that goes on clear to make sure my pale skin stays healthy.-S.F.

$8; beyondcostal.com

These bindings are ridiculously light but they ski incredibly stable. They have a ton of feel for the snow and give me at least the feeling that I…

These bindings are ridiculously light but they ski incredibly stable. They have a ton of feel for the snow and give me at least the feeling that I have control over the way I ski. They are really intuitive and easy to use.  Three levels of rise and a nice pivot point under foot make kick turns a breeze. It’s so simple to use it would be a great beginner touring binding. –M.L.

$750; sportiva.com

If you’re wearing a shapeless glove or mitt, you’re constantly struggling to keep your pole grips in your hands. That’s distracting, uncomfortable,…

If you’re wearing a shapeless glove or mitt, you’re constantly struggling to keep your pole grips in your hands. That’s distracting, uncomfortable, and dangerous. I love this glove’s dexterity and warmth, and the fact that its low-profile cuff fits neatly inside my jacket sleeves. –S.B.

$165; hestragloves.com

It’s really easy to look like a doofus in a helmet. But I like to think Giro’s Seam makes that impossible—its accentuated brim and low-profile design…

It’s really easy to look like a doofus in a helmet. But I like to think Giro’s Seam makes that impossible—its accentuated brim and low-profile design don’t make my head look huge, and the closeable vents mean I can stay warm or cool. –S.F.

$160; www.giro.com

I’m still not down with the whole fast-and-light thing. It freaks me out to feel like I’m ice-skating down a mountain in slippers. I like a little…

I’m still not down with the whole fast-and-light thing. It freaks me out to feel like I’m ice-skating down a mountain in slippers. I like a little heft in my touring boots—not only for the stability, but more weight = means more calories burned = a smaller butt, which I also like. On me. Salomon’s Quest line has struck just the right balance of unwavering downhill performance mixed with high-tech touring wizardry. The new Salomon Quest 14 boot offers a stiffer boot with greater range of motion and a higher cuff by virtue of a longer magnesium backbone. Perfect.-K.M.

$600; www.salomon.com

I like a light, breathable, non-insulated pant that I can hike, skin, and slash powder in. Reengineered to be lighter and faster, the Heyburn’s…

I like a light, breathable, non-insulated pant that I can hike, skin, and slash powder in. Reengineered to be lighter and faster, the Heyburn’s two-layer, water repellant shell means they’ll work in any condition. Bonus: they’re currently on sale for $179.-S.F.

$179; eddiebauer.com

I run hot so this short sleeve merino baselayer is the ticket to the most comfortable base layer. The merino fabric doesn’t retain odor which makes…

I run hot so this short sleeve merino baselayer is the ticket to the most comfortable base layer. The merino fabric doesn’t retain odor which makes care easy cause I don’t have to wash it too often.-K.L.

$90; ortovox.com

A good beanie can be hard to find, which is why it’s nice that Discrete makes simple, for skiers, by skiers, hats. It’s no wonder that Julian Carr’s…

A good beanie can be hard to find, which is why it’s nice that Discrete makes simple, for skiers, by skiers, hats. It’s no wonder that Julian Carr’s Utah-based company is gaining traction in Little Cottonwood Canyon and beyond.

$36; http://www.discreteheadwear.com/shop/arccos

My goal for this winter is to climb and ski something big and classic: an iconic peak, a 14’er, a certain couloir in Telluride’s backcountry. Thus, a…

My goal for this winter is to climb and ski something big and classic: an iconic peak, a 14’er, a certain couloir in Telluride’s backcountry. Thus, a harness is a must. The Arc’teryx X-350a is the end-all-do-all, four-season harness. What makes it particularly great for ski mountaineering are the adjustable leg loops (comfy for wearing over ski pants) and ample gear loops and ice clipper slots for ski belay and crevasse rescue gear. Plus, the self- locking buckle adds some extra confidence, which I will most definitely need.

Disclaimer: I’m a ski-mountaineering neophyte and there’s a lot I need to learn before launching towards one of my aforementioned goals. So, I’m hoping to sign myself up for a few skills courses, including an avy two class with Alpine World Ascents, a freeride slash backcountry touring skills course at Golden Alpine Lodge in Canada with Matchstick poster boy Eric Hjorliefson, and an ice climbing class with Boulder Rock Club. PS. I’m scared shitless.-K.M.

$179; www.arcteryx.com

Sorel’s Liftlines are trendy, warm, and comfortable—all must-haves for attending winter concerts, contests, and shoveling up after La Nina’s repeated…

Sorel’s Liftlines are trendy, warm, and comfortable—all must-haves for attending winter concerts, contests, and shoveling up after La Nina’s repeated puke-fests.-S.F.

$225; sorel.com

Carrying      a full camera kit on the hill can be a burden, but the F-Stop Tilopa makes      it all the more bearable. The internal metal frame…

Carrying a full camera kit on the hill can be a burden, but the F-Stop Tilopa makes it all the more bearable. The internal metal frame provides maximum durability and keeps gear from shifting, but the inflexibility can sometimes throw off your balance. Major bonus points for overhead-bin compatibility and a 20-year warranty. For backcountry users, check out the new Tilopa BC. –A.W.

$405; fstopgear.com

I have a bit of a lady boner for the whole Nimbus crew, I think everything they do is kind of magic. Big floaty backcountry threes set to Tribe…

I have a bit of a lady boner for the whole Nimbus crew, I think everything they do is kind of magic. Big floaty backcountry threes set to Tribe Called Quest. Yes, please.  So it’s not shocking that I’m a fan of Pollard-designed skis, and now poles. The Paintbrushes have ideal swing weight and their gimmicky-looking grips are actually really sensible.-H.H.

$80; lineskis.com

Sometimes, skiing is cold. Like, icy-wind-that-seeps-into-every-fiber-of-your-being cold. And sometimes the only thing that warms is a good ol’…

Sometimes, skiing is cold. Like, icy-wind-that-seeps-into-every-fiber-of-your-being cold. And sometimes the only thing that warms is a good ol’ insulated puffy. But puffies of the past were missing one critical element—waterproofness. Enter the Powderhorn Powdersmoke jacket: 750-fill Toray Waterproof Quix Down stays warm and dry, even in the gnarliest conditions. An attached powderskirt, venting pit=zips, and an internal goggle pocket complete the package. -S.F.

$400; powderhornworld.com

I spend a lot of time touring on icy and wind-packed sidehills on the Continental Divide in Colorado. Having ski crampons with me in extremely…

I spend a lot of time touring on icy and wind-packed sidehills on the Continental Divide in Colorado. Having ski crampons with me in extremely gripping, no-fall sitiuations has saved many a day for me. The trick is to find ski crampons that fit today’s wider ski. B&D goes up to 120 mm. –M.L.

$51; bndskigear.com

Here's something I haven't tried, but would like to. Fischer makes a new series of moldable-shell boots with flexes of 110, 130, and 150. That's…

Here’s something I haven’t tried, but would like to. Fischer makes a new series of moldable-shell boots with flexes of 110, 130, and 150. That’s right: the shells themselves are fully moldable, using a proprietary heating-and-cooling process done for you at the ski shop. I can’t call it revolutionary because I haven’t tried it yet, but it sure sounds like it will change the whole process of finding the perfect blend of comfort and performance. —Sam Bass, editor $995; fischersports.com