Our Favorite Winter Gear of 2013

We needed to consult the manual to figure out how to make the most of the 38-liter Quintic’s unique triangular design. But it was worth the effort. The pack is cleverly divided into five large zippered pockets: two wing out along the hip belt, and the others hold the weight low, to prevent jostling. Read More (Inga Hendrickson)

Best Pack: Arc'teryx Quintic 38

We needed to consult the manual to figure out how to make the most of the 38-liter Quintic’s unique triangular design. But it was worth the effort. The pack is cleverly divided into five large zippered pockets: two wing out along the hip belt, and the others hold the weight low, to prevent jostling. Read More

Best Multi-Use Jacket: La Sportiva Storm Fighter GTX

Who knew that an Italian bootmaker would be so proficient in the jacket game right out of the gate? The Storm Fighter’s Active Shell fabric—a new, lighter-weight version of Gore-Tex’s most breathable stuff—kept us bone-dry during three days of nonstop rain along Northern California’s Lost Coast Trail, and it breathed impressively well as we huffed along Lake Superior’s North Shore through sideways snow. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Resort Jacket: Arc'teryx Modon

Thanks to fancy new synthetic insulation, the Modon was just as warm as heavier, puffier jackets we tested. It’s also tougher than it looks. The Modon’s new face fabric, N80p-X, was developed with Gore, and it’s the company’s most abrasion resistant yet. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Running Shoes: Salomon Snowcross CS

This is the most winter-specific running shoe we’ve ever seen, with an above-the-ankle gaiter, glove-friendly one-pull laces, ankle pads to prevent snowshoe bruising, and nine carbide-metal spikes embedded in those big snow lugs for goatlike grip even on black ice. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Snowshoes: Atlas Race

At just a hair over two pounds per pair, the Race is one of the lightest snowshoes on the planet, and its fixed binding felt “practically spring-loaded,” according to one snowshoe-racing tester. (The downside is that it kicks soft snow up over your head when you’re moving quickly.) Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Backcountry Skis: K2 BackDrop

With the BackDrop, K2 has refined its proven recipe for a powder ski—a perfect blend of rocker and sidecut combined with a bit of carbon fiber—with fantastic results. “Catlike quickness, and it floats like a cork,” one tester said. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Alpine Skis: Dynastar Cham 97

Rocker (an upward bend of the ski) and taper (a narrowing at the tip, tail, or both) are arguably the biggest innovations since metal edges. Getting the right balance is the tough part. Not so with Dynastar’s Cham 97, named for the French company’s hometown of Chamonix. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)


Best Snowboard: Never Summer Proto CT/CTX

Twin boards used to belong to freestyle riders, shining most on kickers and rails. But because they were soft and often chattery on uneven snow, they were less fun outside the park. Tides have turned, and manufacturers like Never Summer are experimenting with stiffness and pop—and it’s working. Read More

(Inga Hendrickson)

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