Gear

Gear of the Year 2018: Apparel

Forget sorting through the shop rack to find the perfect jacket and helmet. These are the goods you want for the best weather and impact protection on the market.


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Patagonia Women’s Descensionist Jacket and Pants
Women lucky enough to spend a lot of time earning turns this season will be grateful to Patagonia for introducing the Descensionist kit to its lineup. The shell jacket and pant are a no-frills setup made from a new proprietary wind and waterproof fabric that’s supple and moves easily with its wearer. Patagonia claims the Descensionist is its most breathable waterproof shell, and our experience bears that out. As for its minimal bells and whistles, the shell’s helmet-compatible hood, adjustable powder skirt, and two mesh front pockets placed with pack straps in mind, plus thigh vents and two large thigh pockets on the pants, cover all the basics. [Jacket: $450, Pant: $380. patagonia.com]

Patagonia Women’s Micro Puff Hoody
The Down Sweater kings have come up with an enviable alternative, also new to the line this season. The innovative Micro Puff offers up ultra-lightweight warmth in a water-resistant midlayer filled with down-like PlumaFill synthetic insulation. Average weight: a scant 8 ounces. That’s a win. [$300, patagonia.com]

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Astis Stuhlmann Mittens
What do you get when you combine hand-sewn suede leather gloves with beautiful custom beadwork and a cozy Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft insulation? The most kickass mitten you’ll ever rock on the slopes. The Stuhlmann, named for German zoologist and explorer Franz Stuhlmann, will collect envious glances everywhere it goes. [$195, astis.com]

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Dragon X1S with LumaLens
LumaLens, in addition to being fun to say, is Dragon’s new technology that serves up high-def optics across all light conditions, with the goal being to improve visibility in all environments. It’s a game-changer that fi lters out the hazy light that leads to glare. When LumaLens is paired with the X1S, which fi ts medium-sized faces and boasts triple-layer face foam, your future is destined to be bright. [$190, dragonalliance.com]

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Pret Corona X
We assume that safety, style, and comfort are important when you choose a helmet, yes? You’re in luck with the new Corona X. Check off safety thanks to its lightweight yet effective ACT (Advanced Composite Technology) shell construction; comfort is in the bag with Pret’s VTT4 ventilation system, with massive vents running nearly the length of the helmet; and style, well you’ll have to trust us when we say it looks cute on. With MIPS on board, you can’t go wrong. [$250, prethelmets.com]

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Helly Hansen Sogn Shell Jacket and Shell Bib
There is a saying in Scandinavia that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” Norwegian brand Helly Hansen takes the phrase literally, and when wearing the Sogn Shell Jacket and Bib, horrible weather actually seems quite lovely. With Helly Tech three-layer fabric construction and fully sealed seams, and an optional attachment from the jacket to the bib, it’s super easy to keep the elements out and the warmth in. [Jacket: $375; Bib: $350. hellyhansen.com]

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Down DS Jacket
Puffies can be as functional as a tucked-in fitted shirt. Lift your arms up, and they get bunched up and uncomfortable. The Stretch Down DS solves this by replacing stitched baffles with elastic panels, providing a stretch that moves with you. Nikwax Hydrophobic Down keeps this jacket warm when wet. [$340, mountainhardwear.com]

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Dakine Team Phantom Glove
Featuring a Gore-Tex insert, Primaloft insulation, and a soft, supple, silky fleece lining, these gloves impressed our hands right away. With an all-leather exterior with subtle graphics created by professional skier and artist Eric Pollard, these gloves look as cool as they feel. [$105, dakine.com]

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Giro Contact with VIVID Lens Tech
The new VIVID lens technology from Giro and ZEISS Optics is amazing to look through. The lenses enhance contrast and definition without over-saturating the view, all of which combined reduces eye strain and makes things look, well, awesome. We prefer the VIVID-enhanced spherical lens shape of the Contact goggle, which includes two magnetically interchangeable lenses. [$250, giro.com]

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Giro Range MIPS Helmet 
The Range MIPS helmet features the best adjustment to fit any head with the turn of a dial, and MIPS technology to keep your noggin and neck protected in case of a crash. The helmet has seamless capability with any Giro goggle, and a slew of the brands’ frames as well. [$250, giro.com]

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