Powder-Day Gear

Stuff you'll want to shred your local hill on a powder day.
Powder-Day Gear

1.Atomic Blog ski

A brand-new ski for this year, Atomic’s Blog comes with a rockered tip and tail and traditional camber underfoot. It’s wide and planky enough (110 millimeters) to demolish powder, but it’ll also carve well on the cat tracks between pow laps. If you can afford just one new ski this year, this would be a good bet. [$749; atomicsnow.com]

2.Völkl Kuro

At 132 millimeters in the waist, the Kuro is Völkl’s widest ski. This isn’t an everyday board—a generously rockered tip and stiff wood core mean it’s built mainly for expert skiers and the deepest of days. But on those days, it’ll float like a surfboard.
[$1,065; volkl.com]

3. The North Face Shugga Thatch

A one-piece keeps snow from getting stuffed down your pants or up your jacket when you take a digger on deep days. This waterproof women’s onesie does just that, with style. One flaw: Bathroom breaks become tricky. [$499; thenorthface.com]

4.Millet Great Day GTX jacket

The aptly named Great Day is designed for deep snow. The Gore-Tex Soft Shell Fusion fabric keeps you dry, a high collar saves you from choking on face shots, and a powder skirt made of body-hugging Lycra seals out snow. [$450; milletusa.com]

5.Black Diamond Justice skis

With a slightly rockered tip and 115 millimeters underfoot, the Justice skims atop the surface and is forgiving and nimble enough for newbie powder skiers or East Coasters heading West. [$729; blackdiamondequipment.com]

6.SmartWool Neck gaiter

We don’t normally endorse neck gaiters, but when it’s absolutely puking and the wind is blowing sideways, you’re going to want one. This 100 percent merino wool model works well. [$25; smartwool.com]

7.Scott Powder Baskets

Little pole baskets sink in more than a few inches of fresh snow, throwing you off balance and making it difficult to pole your way out of a flat zone. Attach these hamburger-size powder baskets to the tips of your poles and problem solved. [$10; scottusa.com]

8.Mountain Hardwear Guajillo glove

Featuring OutDry, a new waterproof-breathable membrane, the Guajillo has a patch of Cordura nylon that stops sharp ski edges from cutting during bootpacks, and the long gauntlet cinches tight to keep out snow. [$80; mountainhardwear.com]


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Prime Powder Skis

In the gear world there's nothing more lust-worthy than super fat powder skis, the kind made of heli drops and snorkel-deep days. These are the best of the year.

Favorite Skis 2010

12 Cheap Skis

We asked manufacturers to make the case for their best low-cost, high-performance models. As you read, keep in mind that the prices listed are suggested retail prices. Shop around and you’ll likely find these skis for a couple hundred bucks less than what’s listed.

One of my buddies loves to get on the slopes but doesn’t have the means to get up to the mountains as much as he would like or buy the best gear. His bargain bin goggles are probably the best example. Sure, they work, but they put a very uncomfortable orangish-brown spin on an otherwise colorful world. To remedy the situation, I’m getting him a fresh pair of Smith I/O goggles. They come with two high quality spherical lenses— a light one for overcast, a dark one for sunny days. The lenses can be switched easily thanks to Smith’s tricky quick release lens system. Plus, the goggles fit well with a helmet and are about as stylish as goggles can get. -K.L. [$165;smithoptics.com]

Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Last minute shopping? Stumped on what to get your your high-maintenance mama or lifitie cousin? Still need some ideas for yourself? We’ve got your back. From our slightly-crazy families to yours.

Designed by some of the world’s foremost adventurers for dialed backcountry layering, the Microtherm’s 800-fill goose down makes this mid-layer nice and warm but allows it to pack down small and fit easily in your pack. It will repel some precipitation, which is ideal for skinning during light snow flurries, and the jacket’s athletic cut fits well under an outer shell.  [$169: eddiebauer.com]

Gear for Getting Out There

Skiing’s December issue is all about adventure—what, when, why, and how to get out beyond the typical day trip. Here’s more adventure-certified gear to help get you way out there.