The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2015

Intelligent picks for a bold pursuit.

Kyle Dickman

(Inga Hendrickson)
winter buyers guide, splitboarding essentials, gear, outside

Intelligent picks for a bold pursuit.

Kyle Dickman

Karakorum Prime Carbon bindings

The best of a new breed of splitboard bindings, the Prime Carbon ($850) locks into tour mode in seconds using a lever and a pair of titanium pins. With a stiff aluminum heel cup and woven-carbon highback, it provides confidence and a crisp board feel when you’re dropping into a committing couloir.

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Jones Ultracraft board

At 5.5 pounds, this is far and away the lightest splitboard we tested. Credit the carbon topsheet and carbon inserts in the core. We love how well it climbs and sticks to the snow even on steep traverses. Going down, the directional shape offers a fun, surfy ride. $1,300, jonessnowboards.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


REI Lightweight Polartec Power Dry Half-Zip top

This quick-wicking, slim-fitting next-to-skin piece functions perfectly under a warmer layer or shell. And with a UPF 20 rating, gusseted pits and sides, and a half-zip for ventilation, it also works great all by itself. $40, rei.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Spark R&D skins

Spark teamed with G3 Manufacturing to make these split-specific skins, which don’t soak up water (drier equals lighter) and, thanks to asymmetrical tail clips, stay put in wet conditions. $190, sparkrandd.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Black Diamond Carbon Compactor poles

At the push of a button, this one-pound pole breaks into three pieces and folds down to 15 inches. Ready to skin up again? Straighten it out by tugging the Kevlar cord running through the carbon shaft’s interior. $160, blackdiamondequipment.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Strafe Cham pants

There’s lots to like about these strong pants from Strafe, a new Aspen-based brand: ballistic-grade gaiters, latex-lined waterproof zippers, and the Polartec NeoShell base material, which exhaled even in the balmiest of spring outings. $375, strafeouterwear.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Mammut Merit Pulse Gloves

These lightweight and breathable polyester hand warmers give you just the right amount of insulation for climbing and offer sheepskin leather on the palm and fingers to increase durability. Elastic on the backs keeps them slim enough to fit beneath thicker mitts when the wind’s howling. $60, mammut.ch

winter buyers guide backcountry gear splitboarding outside gear
(Inga Hendrickson)


Fitwell Backcountry boots

Designed for serious snowboard mountaineering, these top-shelf lace-up boots have stiff Vibram soles with lugged traction, heel welts to support crampons, and hard plastic toe and heel caps to handle near vertical ice or rock. $636, fitwellboots.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)


Burton Splitboard pack

This 30-liter is loaded with smart features, including a T-shape strap system that lets you carry the board either put together or split apart for boot-packs. Testers cheered the water-resistant front storage pocket, which separates wet climbing skins from your puffy. $100, burton.com

karakorum prime carbon bindings jones ultracraft board rei lightweight polartec power  spark r&d skins black diamond carbon compactor  strafe cham pants mammut merit pulse gloves fitwell backcountry boots burton splitboard pack
(Inga Hendrickson)

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