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The Best Gloves of 2016

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 liner that slips into a leather-and-soft-shell outer with a heat reflective layer. Choose from three settings: warm, medium, and toasty (the last seriously diminishes battery life). Unlike most heated gloves, the Torche works well when switched off, even without the liner. 

Price $395

  Photo: Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Trigger

Mittens are notorious for compromising dexterity, but the pointer finger and notched leather at your knuckles make it easy to grasp ski poles while letting your index finger freelance. Like the Extravert, this one is built with goatskin palms and a nylon shell but also includes a blanket of PrimaLoft batting. 

Price $179

  Photo: FlyLow Gear

Flylow Gear Blaster 

Other than the cuff, this is completely leather. Between all that hide and the fluted lines along the outsides of the fingers, you’ve got a glove that wants to wrap around a ski pole like an anaconda around a hog. Credit the warmth to Prima-Loft Gold insulation and the waterproofing to triple-oven-baked leather and a coat of beeswax. 

Price $99

  Photo: Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research Extravert

The perfect choice for skin up, ski down mornings. The nylon on the outside of the hand breathes extremely well, while the wool lining wicks away moisture. Goat leather in the palms is durable yet oh so supple. Easy-to-snug Velcro cuffs cozily swaddle the wrists, and the handy nylon loop makes slipping them on a snap. 

Price $75

  Photo: Arc'teryx

Arc’teryx Lithic 

The Lithic eschews leather in the palm for polyurethane patches laminated to Gore-Tex. And while our friends at Arc’teryx may be vegan, they say they do it to improve waterproofness. Leather, they insist, absorbs moisture no matter how diligently you apply a DWR treatment. Add seam-taped Gore-Tex and you’ve got the driest hands on the hill.

Price $249

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 NogginsGiro 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 UseOur 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

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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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