The ski world is going all in on high-tech safety gear, packing more features into smaller packages. 

Winter Buyer’s Guide
(Mammut)

Mammut Carbon 240 Light Probe

When there’s trouble, you need a probe that snaps together fast. The seven-foot-ten Mammut Carbon 240 assembles in under three seconds and weighs just 6.5 ounces, allowing it to fulfill its other most important duty—disappearing when not in use.

Price $80

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
(Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Poles 

You shouldn’t wear normal pole straps in the backcountry. If you’re caught in a slide or take a fall in deep pow, they can anchor you facedown in the snow. Black Diamond’s solution is a breakaway strap that gives you power when you need it but also keeps you safe when things go awry. The adjustable flick locks and low swing weight are bonuses. 

Price $120

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
(BCA)

BCA Shaxe Tech Shovel

There aren’t many instances in which you need an ice ax (or what the French call a piolet) and an avalanche shovel at the same time. So BCA came up with a single tool that incorporates both. It also includes hardware for rigging a rescue sled out of compatible skis. 

Price $180

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Winter Buyer’s Guide
(B and D Ski Gear)

B and D Ski Gear Ski Crampons

Free-hinging ski crampons—claws that fit over your skis for ascending steep, crusty terrain—bite least when you need them: in climbing mode. That’s because binding risers prevent your boot heels from driving them into the snow. B and D fixes that problem by adding riser posts to the crampons and keeper clips to the skis, so they’re always digging into the track at full depth. 

Price $51

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Micro
(Pieps)

Pieps Micro Avalanche Beacon

This miniature beacon is smaller than a smartphone (and weighs a scant 5.3 ounces) but has a large screen and multiple-burial functionality. Instead of a toggle, it relies on a photo sensor to change from search to trans­mit mode. That means when it’s nestled in a harness under your jacket, it stays in transmit mode, but when it detects sunlight, it automatically switches to search. 

Price $390

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Tech

The Best Goggles of 2017

Alpine optics have made huge leaps. Enjoy the view. ​ (Smith Optics) Smith I/O with ChromaPop Gear of the Year The truth is, goggle lenses have always been interchangeable. It just used to be a pain in the ass to wrestle them into the frame. Then, eight years ago, Smith introduced an easy lens-swapping design and offered condition-specific hues—storm day, bright sun, and flat light—to boost performance, revolutionizing the market. The first iteration had a panoramic field of view, a sharp spherical lens, a comfy fit (thanks to three layers of foam), and a supple, articulating frame.

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Tech

The Best Sunglasses of 2017

Fear not these fashion-forward frames. The best sporty-shades makers are showing new style. (Rudy Project) Rudy Project Momentum Best For: Making the Scene  Rudy gets all King Midas (mirrored gold lenses, gold-dusty frames) with this louche design. If you can handle it, you’ll revel in the view through lenses with great clarity and pop—amazing, considering they’re not polarized, which can make things look blah. The features aren’t about actually playing: comfort, coverage, and security are abundant. Price $175 Buy Now (Bollé) Bollé Highwood Best For: Days on the Water These shades seem almost sharklike, with gill-slit

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Tech

The Best Winter Camping Gear of 2017

Snowy nights require serious weaponry. (Mystery Ranch) Mystery Ranch Pitch 55 Pack At 55 liters, this is the largest option in Mystery Ranch’s climbing line. It swallowed everything we needed for a long weekend. Bonus points for features like the external crampon pocket and pick guard for ice axes. Price $250 Buy Now (SOG) SOG Reactor Multitool Inside this Kit Kat–size unit are burly pliers, a stainless-steel blade, a quarter-inch bit driver, and seven other critical tools to get you through all your camp chores. Price $64 Buy Now

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Tech

The Best Packs of 2017

Seven packs to keep you adventuring, and safe, in the snow. (mammut archive I Ansichtsache AG) Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0  Gear of the Year Over the past few years, winter backpacks have undergone a design renaissance, getting lighter and more comfortable while offering new features. Much of the creative energy has come from a surge in the development of airbags—bladders that inflate in an avalanche and float you to safety. They are proven lifesavers, and many backcountry enthusiasts have smartly adopted them as a standard tool. The holdouts complain that they’re too heavy, complicated, and expensive,

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Tech

The Best Gloves of 2017

Your paws deserve the best. (Outdoor Research) Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Why spend five bills on electric gloves? To play longer when the mercury drops. A heating surface covers 70 percent of the Capstone (twice the area of most other models), and the lithium-ion batteries deliver up to eight hours of cook time on low. When the juice runs out and it’s above freezing, the soft-shell material is all you need.  Price $500 Buy Now (Give'r) Give’r 4-Season Think ski-patrol glove straight from DARPA. Originally tested by crews deicing planes at the Jackson

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Tech

The Best Snowsports Helmets of 2017

Safety first, but style always. (K2) K2 Diversion  Gear of the Year The one thing that can’t be overemphasized when buying a helmet? Fit. A lid might be loaded with slick features and look cool as hell, but it can’t protect you if it’s sliding all over your head, and you’ll hate it if it’s tight as a vise. Also, make sure it plays nice with your goggles, unless you want to be plagued by gaper gap. For those reasons, we recommend you always try before you buy. And it helps to know where to start. We

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