Race to the top with these nine backcountry tools that will keep your kit fast and light.
Amplid Milligram splitboard
At 5.5 pounds, this carbon board is light without sacrificing performance. The blunt nose gives it a surfy feel in powder, while the stiff core remains responsive even while riding icy late-season couloirs.
Dakine Heli vest
Ditch the pack in favor of the Heli. The slim 1.9-pound nylon top is chairlift-friendly and easily accommodates the essentials (shovel, beacon, and probe), plus an extra layer, snacks, and a one-liter bladder.
Black Diamond Front Point bibs
With full-length zippers, internal gaiters with boot hooks, and a pair of enormous thigh pockets, these Gore-Tex bibs breathe well in the uptrack and keep powder out on the descent.
Deeluxe Spark XV boots
These stiff boots have crampon-friendly soles, durable layers of rubber at high-wear spots, and a comfortable lace-and-strap fit system that adjusts the tightness of the heel, forefoot, and toe.
Ride Snowboards Monthaven shell
Sure, it has fully taped seams, a helmet-compatible hood, and burly zippers. But it’s the highly breathable Cocona fabric and clever details like articulated elbows and extra-long pit zips that make this the ideal hard shell for long uphill slogs.
Spark R&D Arc bindings
This season’s Arc uses a new single-wire heel riser—flip down for climbing the steeps and up for the flats—and an injection-molded nylon heelpiece for improved board feel.
G3 Alpinist High Traction skins
To prevent these skins from losing their grip over time, G3 coated them with a proprietary long-lasting synthetic adhesive. Paired with adjustable tail clips, the high-traction Alpinists stick tight no matter what.
Backcountry Access Scepter 4S poles
These slick, lightweight, three-piece aluminum poles collapse to just over a foot long. Win.
SmartWool PhD Spring gloves
Smart splitboarders carry two types of gloves: a heavy pair for the ride down, and a light pair, like these, for the way up. The thin merino-blend lining and short cuff manage heat, while the goat-leather outer provides enough insulation for early-morning skins.