Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Born in Ski Towns, Made for Ski Bums

Locally innovated gear that keeps you out on the snow in style, while supporting the businesses that make ski towns thrive.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

There are locals who eat lunch on the lift, know the secret chutes and dreamy pow lines, and après at the cheapest—and best—spots for inexpensive beers and burgers: These ski bums keep the vibes alive. And sometimes these ski bums dream up some pretty rad businesses themselves. Here are some of our favorite gear sold in and inspired by local ski towns. You’ll be ripping in style while supporting the ski-town economy.

Glade Adapt Goggle

Local ski goggle and helmet gear company Glade has you covered for all your snow days.
The Glade Adapt Goggle has you covered for every condition on the slopes. Photo Credit: Jon Resnick

While the helmet and goggle world is dominated by parent corporations, Glade is a Breckenridge-based, 100 percent independent goggle and helmet company. The brand’s technical specs are easy to understand and its gear is put to the test on the slopes of Breck and the surrounding backcountry. The Adapt Photochromic Ski and Snowboard Goggles feature full UV protection and anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings. Most impressively, the Photochromic tint allows the lens to adapt to all conditions, which means no more switching out lenses on the slopes. [MSRP: $120;]

Taos Bakes

Have a snack on the ski lift with these local, New Mexico based, and Taos inspired snack bars.
A perfect snack for the lift, Taos Bakes’ Crowd Pleaser pack lets you try eight different flavors.Photo Courtesy of Taos Bakes.

Ski bumming in New Mexico after college, Brooks Thostenson and Kyle Hawari—the co-founders of Taos Bakes—decided to dream up a bar that didn’t taste like cardboard. Their bars are hand-mixed and baked, with real-food ingredients and no added fillers. The bars are also sourced from local growers and made in a 100-percent solar-powered facility. Tuck your chairlift snack into your coat pocket knowing it’s a little more sustainable than most. To get your footing in their flavor profile, check out the “All-In-One” box. [MSRP: $26 for 12 bars;]

Fairweather Ski Works

Handcrafting in Haines, Alaska the local ski shapers of Fairweather Ski Works bring charm and buttery turns to the mountains.
The Birch Cathedrals are not only backcountry skis, but also works of art.Photo Courtesy of Fairweather Ski Works.

Fairweather Ski Works is a local, family-owned operation that hand-builds skis in Haines, Alaska. From June to September, owners Lindsay Johnson and Graham Kraft head off in their wooden boat to commercial fish for Salmon—then they return to Haines for ski shaping and, of course, testing. The brand’s Birch Cathedrals are a masterpiece of a backcountry ski, featuring artwork from Alaskan local Klara Maisch. Instead of using plastic, Fairweather skis have solid birch sidewalls, reducing the microplastics both produced in the manufacturing process and over the course of the life of the skis. [MSRP: $899,]

Mystery Ranch Saddle Peak Pack

Local Bozeman, MT gear company, Mystery Ranch, makes a ski pack for backcountry and resort days alike.
Take this pack with you on all of your resort and backcountry adventures.Photo Courtesy of Mystery Ranch.

Mystery Rack Packs, born in and based out of Bozeman, Mont., sells hand-built rugged packs for everything from firefighting and military use to skiing. “We’re a bunch of mountain folks all of a sudden building some of the most hardcore bags for some of the most hardcore folks out there,” says production coordinator Claire Gleason. The Saddle Peak Pack is a 25L workhorse with a slim profile perfect for resort and backcountry days. The pack features a quick-access pocket for avalanche gear and external ski and board carry. [MSRP: $219,]

Skida Bandito

Locally made in Vermont, Skida provides fun ski flair for the mountains.
Keep your face and neck protected with Skida’s Bandito. Pictured is the Glacier pattern.Photo Courtesy of Skida.

Skida’s founder, Corrinne Provot, began making hats for her cross-country ski teammates at Burke Mountain Academy in 2008. Word quickly spread and since then Skida has expanded and included more colorful products in its line—all still locally sewn in Vermont. The Bandito is especially fun and brings a cowboy style to the slopes. The Bandito is fleece-lined with a very snow- and sleet-resistant fabric and Velcro closure for layering ease. [MSRP: $28,]

Thoroughbred Custom Skis and FELS Skis

Locally made in British Columbia, the Attitude is an all mountain ski that'll keep you feeling like a racer on the hardpack.
Hand-crafted in B.C, the Attitude is made for all-mountain charging. Photo Courtesy of FELS.

Located at the base of Kicking Horse Resort in British Columbia, Thoroughbred hand-builds custom skis for each individual. After spending many years working at a global engineering consulting firm, Thoroughbred owner Dave Horsfield decided to make a change and pursue a career that nurtured his love for skiing. Horsfield trained at SpuArt Custom Skis and Snowboards in Innsbruck, Austria, and in 2015, Thoroughbred was born. Customers can design their skis at home or in a workshop. “As a life-long passionate skier, I decided to do something about the countless times hearing expert skiers say ‘this ski is great, but I wish it was more stable at speed (or turns quicker, floats better…..),’” says Horsfield. “So we set up to do custom designs, one at a time tailored to each customer.”

Thoroughbred has partnered with FELS Skis to design an exclusive line of planks called the Attitude—all-mountain skis for the front- and backside. There are three crafted lengths at 163, 172, and 178 with specific camber profile, sidecut, and flex to optimize performance. The 172cm (90mm waist) profile of the carbon Attitude uses a power lens core design for a lightweight performance carbon ski meant to give it a race ski feel that performs everywhere on the mountain. [MSRP: Starting at $1,175.00 CAD;]

Strafe Outerwear Sickbird Suit

Innovating locally at the base of Aspen, Highlands, ski company Strafe Outerwear and the Strafe Sickbird suit will keep you shredding on even the…
The Sickbird Suit one-piece from Strafe serves up complete protection on the coldest Aspen days.Photo Credit: Eric Sales

Inspired by the need for bomber outerwear required for ripping down Aspen Highlands’ Highland Bowl, Strafe is the brainchild of twin brothers John and Pete Gaston, who started the company in 2011. The company innovates and tests right at the base of Aspen Highlands. One innovation we love is the Sickbird Suit, which has you covered for big storm days. The one-piece is made from breathable three-layer eVent fabric with plenty of pockets, so you’ll be skiing in style and comfort. [MSRP: $999,]

Wild Rye Jane Legging

WildRye, a small local ski brand based in Ketchum, Idaho will keep you warm, while supporting women in the outdoors.
The flowery Ranunculus print renders the Jane legging functional and adorable.Photo Courtesy of Wild Rye.

Wild Rye, based in Sun Valley, Idaho and only minutes from Bald Mountain, is dedicated to sustainability and empowering women in outdoor spaces. It provides support for SheJumps, an organization that helps young women and girls build their outdoor skills. Keep your bottom half cozy in the Jane Legging, made from 100-percent Merino and designed to accommodate every situation from aprés to the backcountry. [MSRP: $99,]

Meier Skis Mustang Mens and Mustang Sally

Meier Mustangs are locally built in Denver, Colorado from sustainably harvested trees.
The Mustang’s build is perfect for making epic turns on the front side. Photo Courtesy of Meier Skis.

Meier Skis ships worldwide but hand-builds its boards in Denver, Colorado. The skis are made to be eco-friendly, with sublimated top sheets to cut down on ink, paper, and eliminate toxic chemicals. Rip it up on packed powder with the Mustang and Mustang Sally, the quickest turning skis in the Meier lineup. The Mustang features a maple, beetle-kill pine, and aspen core, while the Mustang Sally features a beetle-kill pine and aspen core with a softer and lighter build for women. All Meier skis are crafted from 100-percent ethically managed Colorado trees. [MSRP: $749,]

Arcade Ranger Belt

Tahoe based Arcade belts will keep your ski pants up, while supporting small and local.
Forget sagging ski pants, use an Arcade belt instead.Photo Courtesy of Arcade Belts.

Co-founded by iconic pro-skier Cody Townsend, Arcade uses the Tahoe aesthetic to create versatile belts for outdoor folk. The Arcade Ranger Belt features durable, elastic stretch webbing and an easy to maneuver buckle that’ll keep snow from intruding into your pants. Best of all, the belt will work for climbing, hiking, lounging, or just about anything. No metal in the buckle also means you can walk through airport security without beeping and throw it in the washing machine without it getting damaged. [MSRP: $30,]

More Gear: