Editor’s Choice Gear 2019

If you're going to go to Hokkaido, or any other powdery locale, these are the tools you need this season.

Photo: Keri Bascetta

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From an overnight flight to overhead powder, these are our picks for the best gear for Hokkaido, or any ski trip that will involve deep snow.

Editor’s Choice Powder Skis

Nordica Santa Ana 18-19 women's powder ski
Nordica Santa Ana 110Photo courtesy of Nordica

Nordica Santa Ana 110

The widest and surfiest in the female-specific Santa Ana line, these skis are made to shred as well as surf. A lightweight balsa wood reinforced with two layers of Titanal and carbon chassis provide maximum stability at speed while remaining lightweight. [$899, BUY NOW]

Read the 2019 Gear Guide Review of the Nordica Santa Ana 110 here.

2018/2019 Dynastar Proto Factory
Dynastar PROTO FactoryPhoto courtesy of Dynastar

Dynastar PROTO Factory

A ski made for hardchargers who spend equal time in the powder as they do flying over it. Drive the full poplar wood core in an athletic stance and the PROTO remains responsive and damp; in an upright stance the ski allows for poppy fun. An ideal choice for Japan’s playful features. [$900, dynastar.com]

Read the 2019 Gear Guide Review of the Dynstar PROTO Factory here.

Editor’s Choice Ski Gear

Look Pivot Forza 18, Nordica ProMachine, Stio Envrion XT
Look Pivot Forza 18, Nordica ProMachine, Stio Envrion XT JacketPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta

Look PIVOT 18 FORZA Binding

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but freshen up the look. The Pivot 18’s seven points of contact deliver optimal energy transmission, and the classic turntable design gives piece of mind for high speed consequences. The Forza Fade throwback looks sleek, and the colors assist for finding a ski if lost in deep powder. [$400BUY NOW]

Nordica ProMachine 130 Ski Boot

The ProMachine offers all the high performance you want on the hill, but trims weight for easier traveling. Hiking in-bounds is rare in Hokkaido, so skip the walk mode in the name of pure powder performance. Nordica’s 3D custom cork tech is simply the best ski boot liner on the market. [$849, BUY NOW]

Read the 2019 Gear Guide Review of the Nordica ProMachine 130 here.

Stio Men’s Environ XT Jacket

Dermizax 3L fabric is an absolute must in Japan’s powdery conditions, and the Environ XT’s fully seam-sealed cut makes this jacket the complete package for deep snow. Add in trimmed weight for easy transport and a freeride cut to accommodate thick midlayers, and this jacket will stay on for the entire trip. [$409, stio.com]

Shred Helmet and Goggles, Salomon Drifter Mid Hoody
Shred Optics Slam-Cap No Shock Helmet and Simplify Goggle, Salomon Drifter Mid Hoody, Nordica Santa Ana 110Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Shred Slam-Cap No Shock Helmet

With the brand’s Rotational Energy Management System (RES), Aegis anti-microbial and anti-odor treatment, and a honeycomb NoShock system, this helmet offers significant safety tech in a simple, comfy package. Also, the Slam-Cap’s name deserves an award almost as much as the helmet itself. [$200, BUY NOW]

Shred Simplify Goggle

The NoDistortion semipermeable valve between the dual lens system was a lifesaver when other goggles fogged up in Japan’s cold and wet conditions. Add in ShredWide and Contrast Boosting Lens tech, and these gogs provide must-have vision in Rusutsu’s powdery glades. [$200, BUY NOW]

Salomon Drifter Mid Hoody

Versatility is a plus on the move. The Drifter Mid serves it up with a construction that lets you rock the AdvancedSkin Shield waterproof side out when it’s wet, or the pillowy Softshell Stretch 3L when breathability is the name of the game. The Drifter’s four-way stretch lining and 60-gram PrimaLoft insulation keeps things comfy. [$180, BUY NOW]

Spyder Syrround Hybrid Hoody
Spyder Syrround Hybrid HoodyPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta

Spyder Syrround Hybrid Hoody

The Syrround Hybrid Hoody features a Spylon DWR finish to keep the jacket water-resistant, making it perfectly functional for keeping warm walking around town or the ski area base village during snowstorms. Where the puffy really earns points is with the use of ALLIED Down, sustainably sourced and warm to the point we were grateful for the jacket’s neoprene underarm panels. [$259, BUY NOW]

Atomic Backland FR Poles
Atomic Backland FR PolesPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta

Atomic Backland FR Poles

Poles are poles, unless they have a trick up their sleeve. The adjustable Backland FRs feature two screwdrivers—one pozi #3 and one flathead—built into the upper part of the pole for turning screws on the fly. The bike-handle grips comfortably fit into your gloves like…well, gloves. These are more like rad tools disguised as poles. [$110, BUY NOW]

Backcountry Access Tracker S Beacon
Backcountry Access Tracker S BeaconPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta

Backcountry Access Tracker S Beacon

BCA redesigned the Tracker S to be a slim, sexy, easy-to-use three antenna beacon perfect for recreational backcountry users. Featuring the same display and design as the Tracker 3, the Tracker S cuts the price by taking out the advanced features only necessary for guides, but keeps intact the same record-setting send-and-receive functionality. [$300, BUY NOW]

Smartwool polo, Helly Hansen Shoes, Bose Headphones
The SmartWool Mertion 250 Long Sleeve Polo, Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, and the Helly Hansen Women’s Monashee Ullr HTPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta

SmartWool Merino 250 Long Sleeve Polo

Being able to pack efficiently and look good is a tough combo, but SmartWool found that balance with this 100 percent Merino wool polo. It can go from travel to skiing baselayer to looking sharp at dinner in the same day—and do it again the next. The odor-fighting merino is all you need to stay fresh. [$120, smartwool.com]

Helly Hansen Women’s Monashee Ullr HT

The chic Monashee Ullr HT is a sneaker-boot hybrid with the best features of both. A full-grain waterproof suede upper and Helly Grip rubber outsole is lined with a Helly Tech waterproof membrane to ensure that your toes stay warm and dry. They pair great with jeans or yoga pants. [$160, HellyHansen.com]

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Slip these headphones over your ears before takeoff, select the highest noise cancellation level, then sit back and relax. If you take them off mid-flight, you’ll likely wonder how you ever survived flying without them. The second iteration of the QuietComfort 35 can be synced with Google Assistant for on-the-go voice control. [$350, bose.com]

Got the gear? Start planning the best ski trip of your life to Hokkaido here.

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