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The Best Goggles of 2016

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, but powder skiers spend more time in storms. During the nastiest conditions, we pulled out the LCG with its Illuminator lens. When it’s dumping, this lightly filtered storm lens is unmatched for depth of field and low-light contrast. Bonus: the goggles come with a slick contoured spare-lens case. 

Price $199

  Photo: Zeal Optics

Zeal Optics Forecast 

Swapping lenses can be a hassle. That’s why we prefer the impressively photochromic Forecast for variable-light days. In brilliant sun, the top-of-the-line Automatic+ lens lets in only 18 percent of visible light. In a storm, that light transmission jumps to 33 percent—and it transitions between those extremes in 30 seconds or less.

Price $239

  Photo: Spy Optics

Spy Ace for Protect Our Winters 

Buy these special-editon optics and three dollars from the sale helps the nonprofit POW fight climate change. Your reward: sweet-looking goggles built with Spy’s new cylindrical lens for improved clarity and impact protection. The tint kept contrast sharp in conditions ranging from bright sun to vertigo-inducing gray.

Price $120

  Photo: Oakley

Oakley Flight Deck XM 

Oakley’s Prizm lens—which lets in high-contrast colored rays to make terrain look sharp even on gray days—is the best we’ve ever seen for snow sports. We took the Flight Deck XM (a smaller version of last year’s model) out in milky conditions and were blown away by how crisp the snowpack looked. Oakley says the lens is so good it improves reaction times. We buy that, and it seems to reduce eye fatigue, too. 

Price $180

  Photo: Rudy Project

Rudy Project Klonyx Sferik 

The oddly named Klonyx Sferik ships with one versatile spherical lens, good for skiing everything from dark glades to sunny bowls. But it’s the removable nose cover, which fights frost nip much better than a soggy neck gaiter, that really won us over. 

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 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 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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