If I came into a huge sum of money, I would do three things: donate to my favorite adaptive sports program, save for my future kid’s education, and spend the rest on this amazing gear for my buddies.
Despite my gear-obsessed career, I’m a strong believer that the tools don’t make the athlete—with a few exceptions. After skiing on a pair of Wagner Custom Skis ($1,750 and up) since February, I have to say that these skis actually made me a better skier. We can’t promise the following five products will up your game—or that they’ll even fit under the tree—but they will make you the best gift giver in the house.
Cricket Trailer (From $10,000)
The man behind our all-time favorite camper, the Cricket, wanted a trailer to keep himself and his two young kids safe, secure, and dry—and away from standard RV campgrounds. The brilliant result: a trailer with more features than most camper vans and built to handle rough forest roads. The Cricket, inspired by designs used by NASA, features an indoor shower, a sink, and an electrical system that can power all of your appliances for about three days. At 1,460 pounds, it’s light enough to tow behind a four-cylinder Subaru Outback.
CMH Valemount Lodge Heli-Ski Trip ($221,000 per week)
No, it’s not a piece of gear, but with a price tag on par with most starter homes in the United States, the CMH Valemount Lodge Heli-Ski Trip is the most luxurious gift I can imagine. The lodge houses 10 guests, who enjoy exclusive use of a Bell 212 helicopter. Along with two guides, the skiers can explore more than 870 square miles of skiable terrain in the surrounding Cariboo Mountains. A private chef takes care of the meals. Massage and hot-stone treatments are options after a long day of skiing.
Dynafit RC1 Ski Boot ($2,150)
Weighing just over a pound for the pair, Dynafit’s RC1 is the lightest ski boot in the world. They have a carbon shell and cuff and can help you “ski run” (Dynafit’s term for their use) fast as hell thanks to 75 degrees of cuff rotation. Light, durable boots are key to ski-mo racing, and these boots, designed by French national ski mountaineer team racer Pierre Gignoux, are the best money can buy.
DJI Inspire 1 ($3,400)
The Inspire 1 is DJI’s best drone yet, with pro-caliber features packed into an easy-to-fly package. We’re talking a built-in 4K camera with a 360-degree range of motion (made possible by the drone’s automated carbon fiber legs) and GoPro Hero4-like capabilities. You can control the camera and the drone separately, so the pilot doesn’t have to worry about capturing the perfect shot and missing the tree.
Arc’Teryx Theta SVX ($750)
Why does the Theta SVX cost $750? We’ll start with the materials. Its 80-denier Gore-Tex face fabric is one of the most durable, waterproof-breathable materials on the planet—expect it to last roughly forever. Then there’s the pro cut. This thigh-length jacket offers the most coverage in the Arc’Teryx line but still looks great on, thanks to its athletic cut.