Downhill Suspects (Cont.)

Fresh Loot

    Photo: Nigel Cox

WITH FANTASTIC OPTICS, great value, and snug fit, up till now the only thing BOLLÉ goggles lacked was panache. With the new ZYPHER, though, style finally catches up with performance. The Zypher sandwiches a Gore-Tex gasket between two lenses to minimize moisture buildup and provide a double dose of UVA and UVB protection. ($40; 800-222-6553, www.bolle.com)

THERE SHOULD BE A SHED'S WORTH OF board tools on the market, but BAKODA'S MCIVER DRIVER gets our vote for being gloved-finger friendly: A button pops open the screwdriver like a switchblade. Plus, it's magnetized to keep your bits from vanishing into the pow. A tape measure takes the guesswork out of swapping boards between sessions, and the palm-size design minimizes the chance of a belly-flop-induced puncture wound. ($30; 206-762-2955, www.bakoda.com)



IN SEARCH OF A FREEZE-PROOF agua system for those minus-30-windchill days, NIKE ACG worked with professional ski patrollers to develop the CONVERTIBLE HYDRATION PANTS. Hydration pants? Yep, a pocket on the lower back of the suspenders accepts a 50-ounce bladder. By nestling your H2O stash closer to your torso than traditional hydration packs do, it keeps your refreshment in its preferred, thirst-friendly state: liquid. ($250; 800-344-6453, www.nike.com)

THINK HELMETS ARE DORKY? One good head smack on the hardpack will change your tune. Take a less painful path to enlightenment and don GIRO'S FUSE: It's lighter, tighter, and cooler than any other lid around. A switch lets you close or open six vents on the fly, and you can custom-tune the airflow by plugging any or all of a half-dozen other ports during the sub-zero days of January. ($150; 800-456-2355, www.giro.com)

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