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The Best Helmets of 2016

The Best Helmets of 2016

These six brain buckets manage to look slick and feel great, all while offering state-of-the-art protection. 

  Photo: Giro

Giro Range MIPS 

Best For: Oddly Shaped Noggins
Giro developed a unique ratcheting system that lets wearers adjust both the exterior shell and the interior liner for a custom fit. Result: the Range is the most comfortable helmet here. Well-placed vents and mesh ear pads make the whole package plenty breathable. 

Price $240

  Photo: Smith Optics

Smith Vantage 

Best For: Season-Long Use
Our favorite helmet of the test, thanks to a slick, low-profile design that’s packed with smart features, including grooves along the sides to hold goggles in place and a versatile two-part venting system that kept us happy in temperatures ranging from 25 to 60 degrees. 

Price $220

  Photo: Sweet Protection

Sweet Protection Igniter MIPS 

Best For: Spring Conditions
The Igniter is one of the lightest (1.2 pounds), airiest (26 vents) lids on this page, ideal for warm resort days and long backcountry adventures. It also works with more goggles than any other helmet we tested. Our only gripe: the top vents don’t close, so it isn’t warm enough for cold days. 

Price $250

  Photo: Electric

Electric Saint 

Best For: Bold Style 
Sleek motorcycle-inspired lines meet high on-snow performance in the Saint. With only ten vents, it’s the least breathable helmet we tested, but what it lacks in temperature control it more than makes up for with its stunning good looks and comfortable fit. Note: the Saint runs small, so be sure to size it up. 

Price $135

  Photo: POC

POC Auric

Best For: The Park
POC developed this ultimate park-rat helmet with input from pro freestyle skier and Olympian Aaron Blunck. The multi-impact Auric, meant to be worn over a beanie and goggles, covers the wearer’s ears and temples with a hard shell, boosting protection without adding much weight. “Feels like a skate helmet—in a very good way,” one tester raved. 

Price $120

  Photo: Bollé

Bollé Millenium 

Best For: Warmth at Speed 
So you like to mach down groomers on below-freezing days? This is your lid. The plush, furlike liner kept our noggins cozy, while the adjustment system in back let us dial in fit all the way around our temples, preventing cold air from creeping in. It gets extra style points for the classy, understated two-tone coloring. 

Price $130

The Best Gloves of 2016

It's simple: better mitts equal happier hands. The engineering and tech that went into these six warmers—which deliver on warmth, breathability, and fit—is not.    Photo: Hestra Hestra Narvik Wool Terry Like most of the leather gloves here, the Narvik is made from goatskin, but unlike some of them, it’s tanned with plant tannins. Like Flylow, Hestra utilizes a wax coating rather than laminating its fabrics. It’s a touch less breathable but still adequately water resistant, provided it’s waxed periodically. The removable wool liner is exceptionally fast drying.  Price $185   Photo: Seirus Seirus HeatTouch Torche Seirus upgrades the typical battery-heated glove, adding a poly-fleece

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The Best Goggles of 2016

With these tools, you can vanquish flat light forever—improving reaction times and reducing eye fatigue. Heck, that's enough to make you a better skier.    Photo: Abominable Labs Abominable Labs Abom  Nothing ruins a ski day faster than foggy goggles. But the geniuses at Abominable Labs have a solution. The antifog Abom has a thin, invisible heater inside the double-layer lens that works like a rear-window defroster—that is to say, brilliantly. Leave it on low in wet conditions, and switch to Boost mode after a wipeout for a quick thaw.  Price $250   Photo: Scott Sports Scott Sports LCG Compact  Bluebird blower days are nice,

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The Best Packs of 2016

Packs keep getting lighter, smarter, and easier to use. We ran 18 new models through the wringer, and almost every one made the final round. But while it’s easy to find a great pack, choosing the perfect one still requires careful consideration. For starters, standard or airbag equipped? If you spend more than ten days a year in avalanche-prone terrain, consider an airbag. Next there’s size. As a general rule, opt for 15 liters or smaller if you’re riding lifts, 15 to 25 for sidecountry adventures, 25 to 45 for day trips, and 45 or more for multi-day missions. Finally,

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The Best Base and Mid Layers of 2016

Your ability to have fun playing outside in the cold is only as good as your layering system. A good base or mid layer should be warm, breathable, comfortable, and (ideally) stink-free. These six versatile tops and bottoms deliver.    Photo: Icebreaker Icebreaker Zone One Sheep Suit onesie Onesies bring out our inner kid. Plus they’re warm and won’t ride up under a shell. The hooded wool Sheep Suit is toasty yet breathable, with mesh under the arms and at the knees. When nature calls, just use the two-way zipper and fly—no disrobing necessary.  Price $200   Photo: Under Armour Under Armour

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The Best Snow Safety Tools of 2016

Staying safe in the backcountry is mostly about good decision making. But you'll also want a few pieces of simple, reliable gear.    Photo: Back Country Access Backcountry Access Scepter 7075 Aluminum poles The Scepter is BCA’s classic two-piece adjustable metal pole, with a built-in scraper on top to help you keep your skis, skins, and boot soles clear. Because nothing is worse than dragging ten pounds of caked ice up the hill with you.  Price $80   Photo: Black Diamond Black Diamond Free Glide Skin Care wax  Spring skiing means wide temperature swings, which can cause climbing skins to soak up moisture and lose

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The Best Winter Camping Gear of 2016

There's no need to put away your camping gear come winter. Just upgrade it. Presenting everything you need to stay warm and have a blast on snowbound nights.   Photo: Western Mountaineering Western Mountaineering Snojack parka This 850-plus-fill down jacket, made from Gore Windstopper, was easily the warmest of the dozen tested. But with quilted stitching along the side panels, we never felt we were trading mobility for coziness. Bonus: the expanded hood creates better peripheral vision.  Price $775   Photo: Valandre Valandre Odin Neo sleeping bag The new Odin Neo is 10 percent lighter than last year’s but equally capable. With

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