We've scoured the floor at SnowSports Industries America Show, one of the gear industry's biggest gatherings, in search of the coolest products for our 2014 coveted Gear of the Show awards. Our top picks include: breakthrough goggles, a smarter helmet, a four-part splitboard, safer backcountry bindings, and Shotzski's DIY kit.
UVEX Snowstrike VT
The click of a button—that's how easy it is to switch between four different tints on Uvex's Snowstrike goggle. The technology, which is called variotronic, has been around for a few years, but Uvex just recently started using it in snow goggles.
Read the full review of the UVEX Snowstrike VT
POC Skull Orbic H.I. MIPS
A helmet that can tell you when it's sustained too many severe impacts and is no longer safe to use? That's the idea behind the Skull Orbic with its H.I.—or helmet integrity—system. Push a button on the back of the helmet, and a small green light will appear if the helmet is safe to use. The light turns red when the helmet is compromised.
Read the full review of the POC Skull Orbic H.I. MIPS
Fritchi Diamir Vipec Binding
One thing is becoming increasing clear: tech-type backcountry skiing bindings, which rely on sets of pins to hold the toe and heel in place and boots with tech fittings, have become the preferred system for dedicated backcountry skiers.
Read the full review of the Fritchi Diamir Vipec Binding
Shotzski DIY Kit
Normally, we tend to only give awards to innovative gear you actually use in the field. But because celebrating a day on the slopes can be just as fun as the actual skiing, we had to give Sandpoint, Idaho-based Shotzski props. The company's DIY kits come with 4 plastic boots, four bindings, and the necessary screws and instructions to turn one of your old GS boards into everyone's favorite communal shot-delivery device.
Read the full review of Shotzski DIY Kit
Salomon Premiere 4-Part Splitboard
The Premiere is the first-ever splitboard that breaks down into four parts, allowing you to ascend on narrower, lighter-weight, and more nimble skis. Currently, every splitboard on the market is designed the same fundamental way: for the way up, you break—or split—the snowboard down the middle, and use the two resulting (short, fat, ski-like) parts to ascend with skins as if you were on an alpine touring or a telemark set-up.
Read the full review of Salomon Premiere 4-Part Splitboard