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The Best Winter Camping Gear of 2017

The Best Winter Camping Gear of 2017

Snowy nights require serious weaponry.

Mystery Ranch
  Photo: Mystery Ranch

Mystery Ranch Pitch 55 Pack

At 55 liters, this is the largest option in Mystery Ranch’s climbing line. It swallowed everything we needed for a long weekend. Bonus points for features like the external crampon pocket and pick guard for ice axes.

Price $250

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Winter Camping
  Photo: SOG

SOG Reactor Multitool

Inside this Kit Kat–size unit are burly pliers, a stainless-steel blade, a quarter-inch bit driver, and seven other critical tools to get you through all your camp chores.

Price $64

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: Primus

Primus Winter Gas Canister 

When temps dip south of freezing, most canister stoves lose their mojo. Primus solved this by ­nesting a layer of mesh in the body of the Winter to helps boost the interior pressure, making your stove run smoother. The upshot: your morning coffee, sooner.

Price $11

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia Grade VII Parka 

Bow down to the king of puffies. This 800-fill-down beast handled subzero conditions in Norway with gusto but weighs less than a pound and a half. Laudable features include waterproof laminate on the shoulders and a huge hood.

Price $899

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: Bergans

Bergans Wiglo LT4 Tent

Yes, sleeping on ice can be glamorous. At 13.3 pounds, this tent’s heavy, but it makes up for the portliness with a tepee-like dome and cavernous interior that sleeps four.

Price $849

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NEMO
  Photo: NEMO

Nemo Vector Insulated Sleeping Pad 

Even minimalists who opt to forgo a pad in the summer need protection from the frozen ground in winter. The insulated Vector has a built-in foot pump for easy, fast inflation and internal baffles that provide extra warmth and support. 

Price $200

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: Petzl

Petzl Ride Ax

Superlight (8.5 ounces) and exceptionally small (17.7 inches long), the Ride is designed to come along on all your steep-snow outings—just in case. The tough, all-steel head bites into hard ice much better than the aluminum you usually get at a price this low.

Price $110

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: LED Lenser

LED Lenser XEO 19R Headlamp

Sure, 2,000 lumens is overkill for cooking dinner at camp. But you’ll appreciate the power in an emergency. Nice: the battery pack pops off easily, so you can keep it warm and dry (and charged) in your pocket. 

Price $330

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
  Photo: Feathered Friends

Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 900 Sleeping Bag

One of the best winter bags—with its DWR-treated shell, svelte cut, and low weight—is now stuffed with warm, packable, 900-fill down.  

Price $599

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Tech

The Best Goggles of 2017

Alpine optics have made huge leaps. Enjoy the view. ​   Photo: Smith Optics Smith I/O with ChromaPop Gear of the Year The truth is, goggle lenses have always been interchangeable. It just used to be a pain in the ass to wrestle them into the frame. Then, eight years ago, Smith introduced an easy lens-swapping design and offered condition-specific hues—storm day, bright sun, and flat light—to boost performance, revolutionizing the market. The first iteration had a panoramic field of view, a sharp spherical lens, a comfy fit (thanks to three layers of foam), and a supple, articulating frame. ­Today every major manufacturer

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Tech

The Best Sunglasses of 2017

Fear not these fashion-forward frames. The best sporty-shades makers are showing new style.   Photo: Rudy Project Rudy Project Momentum Best For: Making the Scene  Rudy gets all King Midas (mirrored gold lenses, gold-dusty frames) with this louche design. If you can handle it, you’ll revel in the view through lenses with great clarity and pop—amazing, considering they’re not polarized, which can make things look blah. The features aren’t about actually playing: comfort, coverage, and security are abundant. Price $175 Buy Now   Photo: Bollé Bollé Highwood Best For: Days on the Water These shades seem almost sharklike, with gill-slit vents at the hinges. Deeply tinted gray lenses

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Tech

The Best Packs of 2017

Seven packs to keep you adventuring, and safe, in the snow.   Photo: mammut archive I Ansichtsache AG Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0  Gear of the Year Over the past few years, winter backpacks have undergone a design renaissance, getting lighter and more comfortable while offering new features. Much of the creative energy has come from a surge in the development of airbags—bladders that inflate in an avalanche and float you to safety. They are proven lifesavers, and many backcountry enthusiasts have smartly adopted them as a standard tool. The holdouts complain that they’re too heavy, complicated, and expensive, arguments that are largely

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Tech

The Best Gloves of 2017

Your paws deserve the best.   Photo: Outdoor Research Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Why spend five bills on electric gloves? To play longer when the mercury drops. A heating surface covers 70 percent of the Capstone (twice the area of most other models), and the lithium-ion batteries deliver up to eight hours of cook time on low. When the juice runs out and it’s above freezing, the soft-shell material is all you need.  Price $500 Buy Now   Photo: Give'r Give’r 4-Season Think ski-patrol glove straight from DARPA. Originally tested by crews deicing planes at the Jackson Hole airport, the Give’r lets you do everything

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Tech

The Best Snowsports Helmets of 2017

Safety first, but style always.   Photo: K2 K2 Diversion  Gear of the Year The one thing that can’t be overemphasized when buying a helmet? Fit. A lid might be loaded with slick features and look cool as hell, but it can’t protect you if it’s sliding all over your head, and you’ll hate it if it’s tight as a vise. Also, make sure it plays nice with your goggles, unless you want to be plagued by gaper gap. For those reasons, we recommend you always try before you buy. And it helps to know where to start. We tested a dozen helmets

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Tech

The Best Snow Safety Tools of 2017

The ski world is going all in on high-tech safety gear, packing more features into smaller packages.    Photo: Mammut Mammut Carbon 240 Light Probe When there’s trouble, you need a probe that snaps together fast. The seven-foot-ten Mammut Carbon 240 assembles in under three seconds and weighs just 6.5 ounces, allowing it to fulfill its other most important duty—disappearing when not in use. Price $80 Buy Now   Photo: Black Diamond Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Poles  You shouldn’t wear normal pole straps in the backcountry. If you’re caught in a slide or take a fall in deep pow, they can anchor you facedown in

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