9 Pieces of Essential Ski-Touring Gear

Fast on the ups and the downs

Nov 2, 2015
Outside Magazine

The inbounds touring essentials of 2016    Photo: Inga Hendrickson

In-bounds touring—in which skiers ditch the lifts and slap on climbing skins, like the Fischer Profoils, to get up the mountain—is catching on everywhere. It helps that most resorts keep access free and encourage the fun.

Dragon NFX2 Goggles ($180)

Dragon Alliance nfx2 ski goggle
  Photo: Dragon Alliance

Dragon’s frameless goggles provide a huge field of vision, and two side levers allow for quick switches among the 20 lens options.

The North Face Summit L5 Shell ($600)

The North Face summit l5 shell
  Photo: The North Face

The North Face Summit L5 shell is tailored mostly from a single piece of DryVent fabric for a trim fit with a minimum of seams. Hem cinching at the waist keeps it from riding.

Blizzard Zero G 108 Skis ($960)

Blizzard zero g 108 skis
  Photo: Blizzard

The carbon-fiber Zero G 108 skis (136/108/122) are light enough (3.6 pounds) for all-day uphill duty, yet the sidewall construction and paulownia core lend them power to carve trenches on hardpack.

Dalbello Sherpa TI I.D. Boots ($850)

Dalbello sherpa ti id ski boots
  Photo: Dalbello

These boots have a two-piece tongue for more range of motion. At 8.4 pounds, they’re a great everyday option and sacrifice little on the descent.

POC Fornix Helmet ($160)

POC fornix ski helmet
  Photo: POC

POC’s Fornix helmet tips the scale at under a pound, but its layup of aramid fibers (think Kevlar) meets alpine ski-safety standards.

Backcountry Access Scepter 7075 Aluminum Poles ($80)

Backcountry Access scepter alum
  Photo: Backcountry Access

These poles add built-in ice scrapers to already bombproof adjustable sticks.

SmartWool PhD Ultra Light Long Sleeve Base Layer ($80)

Smartwood phd ultra light long
  Photo: Smartwool

This base layer blends polyester and merino to resist pilling and funk. For maximum breathability.

Eddie Bauer Hangfire Pro Hooded Jacket ($129)

Eddie Bauer hangfire pro hooded
  Photo: Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer’s Hangfire Pro pairs Polartec Power Dry panels under the arms with a polyester-spandex outer.

Dynafit Radical 2.0 FT Bindings ($649)

  Photo: Dynafit

The Radical 2.0 FT bindings boast rotating toe plates that let boots release from the front—helpful in a cartwheeling fall.

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