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The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2017

The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2017

You don’t need no stinkin’ chairlifts.

winter buyer’s guide
  Photo: Northern Playground

Northern Playground Ziplongs 3/4 Wool Tights 

Thanks to full zippers along the legs of these calf-length long johns, they go from toasty to ventilated in moments.  

Price $100

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Discrete
  Photo: Discrete

Discrete Touque Beanie 

A tuque or a beanie? Depends on whether you’re in Canada or the States. Whatever you call it, this one’s luxurious and warm, with a tight weave.

Price $20

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Black Diamond
  Photo: Black Diamond

Black Diamond Carbon Whippet Poles 

An ice ax feels extraneous until you need it. The Whippet, with a steel head above the grip, keeps one at the ready. 

Price $140

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Patagonia
  Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs 

These are possibly the world’s best winter pants, with bomber three-layer Gore-Tex fabric, roomy pockets, and a trim, athletic cut.

Price $600

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Venture
  Photo: Venture

Venture Storm Splitboard 

The staple of the Venture lineup gets even better this season. A new poplar, ash, and aspen core shaves off half a pound— so it’s lighter, for fast climbing, yet still stiff.

Price $899

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Spark
  Photo: Spark

Spark Arc Bindings 

An easy-to-flip latch on the 1.5-pound Arc makes for quick conversions. An aluminum baseplate delivers a precise feel.

Price $385

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Spark
  Photo: Spark

Spark Ibex Crampons 

Click these 5.6-ounce aluminum spikes behind the toepiece of your bindings and you’ll stop peeling off slick traverses when the slope steepens. 

Price $100

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Burton
  Photo: Burton

Burton Tourist Boots 

The Tourist pulls off the combo you want: stiffness in the sole for efficient skinning and soft side-to-side flex for comfortable rides down. A clever lace-and-loop system lets you microadjust tightness in the midfoot, heel, and shin, while an antimicrobial liner fights stank. 

Price $480

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G3
  Photo: G3

G3 Alpinist High Traction Skins 

Proprietary glue that stays sticky down to minus 16 degrees, tail and nose clips that keep the skins snug, and better board coverage—they’re the best year in and year out for a reason. 

Price $199

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Tech

The Best Resort Skis of 2017

Our testers whittled a field of 132 down to ten. Here are our three choices for best all mountain powder skis. Now shut up and ski.   Photo: Blizzard Blizzard Quattro RX Gear of the Year Most of us bought fat rockered skis at some point in the past five years, and for good reason—in soft snow, the loose feel lets you surf the mountain. But what about the hardpack we usually find? Increasingly, the industry has taken lessons learned from fattie designs and applied them to all-mountain frontside skis. The result? User-friendly, lightweight, subtly rockered skis that lay trenches in corduroy. Our Gear of the Year winner sits at the apex of that

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Tech

The Best Alpine Boots of 2017

The holy grail of the ski world? A comfortable boot that doesn’t sacrifice power for roominess. Gear designers have wrestled with this problem for years, but we’ve seen some significant gains this season with three major developments.  First, companies are offering stiffer, speed-hungry models in medium and wide widths. Behold the best-in-test Rossignol Allspeed Pro 120 (100 millimeters; $750), which let our broad-footed testers enjoy race-car speed and precision. Full Tilt, a cult-favorite brand championed by Seth Morrison, introduced the wider Descendant (102 millimeters; $750) to let big dogs enjoy the shin-cushioning benefit of three-piece construction.  Next, custom fitting, which started with

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Tech

The Best Women's Resort Skis of 2017

Presenting the three winners from our ski test.   Photo: Elan Elan Ripstick 94 W  Head’s Total Joy is a frontside ripper, the Salomon Stella is a big-mountain tool—and the Ripstick falls right in between. It may be the most precise carver on this page, staying positively glued to the snow when laying down everything from short-radius slalom moves to sweeping super-G tracks. It did best in soft snow and bumps, nimbly leaping from turn to turn. “Comfortable, effortless, and powerful,” raved one tester. “For chargers who want a ski with spark, spunk, and personality,” said another. The only caveat: you’ll have to

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Tech

The Best Après Shoes of 2017

Casual kicks to face down winter’s wrath.   Photo: Reef Reef Rover Hi  Reef took its popular, summery Rover line and updated it for winter commutes. This new iteration has a waxed-leather upper that fends off light snow. (Spray it with a waterproofing treatment if you’ll be in really wet conditions.) The fleecy lining paired with a springy midsole makes it downright slipper-esque. Price $120 Buy Now   Photo: Sanuk Sanuk Beer Runner  It’s all in the name. We loved the classic jogger look of the Beer Runner for six-pack shuffles to the corner store. A herringbone-patterned rubber sole gave enough traction, while the

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Tech

The Best Snowboards of 2017

The best new boards for all kinds of riders.   Photo: Ride Ride Alter Ego Gear of the Year This spring, more than 30 snowboard testers stormed Crested Butte, Colorado, to evaluate some 85 new board models. Over a week, we rode everything from powdery steeps and playful jump lines to early-morning ice and last-chair slush. In the end, we picked the following eight boards as our favorites. The biggest surprise: falling in love with the Alter Ego. Initially we were skeptical. The locking split-tail design, which allows you to ride it as either a pliable powder board or a hard-carving all-mountain

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Tech

The Best Women's Snowboards of 2017

Best-in-class picks to match your style.   Photo: Amplid Amplid LoveLife Best For: Aggressive Riders  Amplid got the memo that not all women crave soft flex and graphics that look like Disney-princess wallpaper. Despite the unfortunate name, expert testers endorsed the LoveLife for its tip-to-tail stiffness, created by a low-density poplar core and a carbon stringer that runs along the vertical axis. The design delivers energetic flex and snappy ollies without preventing playful turning. “It threw butters left and right,” said one tester. Multiple contact points afforded by the slightly set-back camber profile gave riders confidence in no-fall zones.  Price $520 Buy Now   Photo: K2 K2 Wildheart Best

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Tech

The Best Backcountry Skis and Bindings of 2017

The race is on to create the perfect beyond-the-ropes setup.   Photo: Vollé Voilé Supercharger Gear of the Year This season our team of more than four dozen tested 210 skis, 53 boots, and 13 bindings—and crunched the num­bers on 1,400 review forms—to come up with this: the best backcountry gear of the year. The 19 products featured continue the trend toward lightweight performance. The skis all have at least some carbon (although you wouldn’t know it from how they rip), the boots come in well under eight pounds, and only one of the bindings has a frame. So yeah, a lot of brands are making great stuff, but there

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Tech

The Best Women's Backcountry Skis, Boots, and Bindings of 2017

Superior setups for heading beyond the ropes.   Photo: Dynafit Dynafit Meteorite It’s not a women-specific ski, but testers preferred it to the Sphinx—the Meteorite’s softer, lighter sister. One of Dynafit’s new freeride offerings, it has an ash and poplar core overlaid with carbon at the rockered tip and tail for added float and lower swing weight. 125.5/97/115.9; 8 lbs Price $699 Buy Now   Photo: Salomon Salomon MTN Explore Last year, Salomon introduced the 120-flex, unisex MTN Lab. Now women get another option: the 90-flex, two-buckle MTN Explore. With a shorter cuff, lighter liner, and 63-degree walk mode, it’s designed for the backcountry but

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Tech

The Best Alpine Touring Ski Boots of 2017

What hikes up must shred down.   Photo: Lange Lange XT Freetour 130 Lange brought its World Cup pedigree to the new XT Freetour. The boot got some uphill-friendly upgrades, such as tech inserts and a rockered sole so grippy it wouldn't be or of place on a running shoe. But it relishes driving big sticks through crud. Only one gripe: with all those backcountry details, its walk mode should have a wider range. 7.8 lbs Price $950 Buy Now   Photo: Salomon Salomon QST Pro 120 This boot focuses on fast descending, with an oversize ankle pivot and burly shell. But with a 40-degree

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Tech

The Best Nordic Skiing Gear of 2017

World Cup skinny-ski gear for your local skate track.   Photo: Bridgedale Bridgedale Vertige Light Socks  The merino Vertiges mix polypro­pylene to wick moisture and Lycra for a snug fit. Subtle padding at the ball of the foot gives you exactly what you need for hours of glide.  Price $25 Buy Now   Photo: Salomon Salomon Condition-Specific S-Lab Skate Skis  The new S-Lab line offers a range of highly specialized weaponry, with variations in stiffness, base hardness, camber profile, and finish for specific snow types and temperatures. Pick the one that best matches your track. Just be sure to get the wax right.  Price $700 Buy

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