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Trial Run – January 2001

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The best invention ever to bless my 20-year-old, heaterless VW bus (heretofore nicknamed the Icebox), Jacobs Electronics seat heaters have adjustable temperature settings, are fully waterproof, and were easily installed into the bus’s original plaid seats — retaining its late-’70s vintage look. When the first storm of the winter rolled in, the heaters cranked right up, and the van and its happy occupants rolled into a much warmer future. The heaters are designed to retrofit any vehicle, so your ride to the slopes can be a lot more pleasant, too. — Tom Winter

$129/Jacobs Electronics/800-825-3345/www.jacobselectronics.coma

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With the Gold Hill, Telluride-based Jagged Edge brings its expertise in technical outdoor clothing to a garment designed for downhillers. These pants’ lightweight ripstop-nylon fabric is laminated to a stretchy waterproof-breathable membrane for enhanced mobility. Abrasion-resistant, extrastretchy fabric is added to the rear, crotch, and knees, so these britches — reasonably priced for waterproof-breathable skiwear — should hold up for seasons to come. Other thoughtful details include bomber scuff guards, a powder skirt inside the waistband, and not-quite-full-length side zips. If you like coordinates, there’s also a Gold Hill jacket. — Cindy Hirschfeld

$180/Jagged Edge Mountain Gear/800-926-0159/www.jagged-edge.com

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Welcome to the future. I strapped Nike’s tiny, 2.7-ounce PSA (Portable Sport Audio) Play 120 MP3 player to my arm for a hardcore cardio workout, and it never skipped. It never will, either, even when skiing bumps. That’s because it uses the newest in digital audio technology and has no mechanical moving parts. The unit’s 64-meg hard drive holds up to 120 minutes of music, which I uploaded from my computer. For techie style points, the PSA Play comes with sleek, futuristic headphones and an attachable mini remote control. — Adam Hirshfield

$299/Nike/800-806-NIKE/www.nike.com