GearSnow Sports

11 Backcountry Skiing Essentials

Everything you need to go up and down

Your climbs and descents are about to get even better. (Dustin Sammann)

POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS Helmet ($210)

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(POC)

POC has taken the brain-protecting MIPS system and put it in a backcountry-specific helmet that weighs just shy of a pound. Adjustable vents en­sure you don’t get too clammy. 

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La Sportiva Vapor Float Skis ($1,299)

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(La Sportiva)

At just three pounds per ski, the carbon Vapor Floats are nearly a third lighter than similar lollipop-shaped powder planks, meaning you work less on the way up and fly more on the way down.

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Elevenate Bec de Rosses Pants ($640)

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(Elevenate)

Named for the famed freeride mountain in Verbier, these top-end bottoms from Swedish outerwear upstart Elevenate feature three-layer Gore-Tex and a look that’s pure athleticism. 

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G3 Ion LT Bindings ($549)

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(G3)

Yes, they’re featherweight (a svelte 1.5 pounds each), but G3’s lightest bindings drive the fattest pow skis with authority.

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Eddie Bauer ­IgniteLite Flux Hooded Jacket ($249)

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(Eddie Bauer)

The IgniteLite is a slimmed-down, air-permeable midlayer that vents on uphill slogs, with cushy synthetic insulation that keeps you warm on the descents. 

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Arc’teryx Alpha AR Gloves ($189)

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(Arc'teryx)

The Alpha ARs combine Arc’teryx’s unbeatable finger articulation and weatherproofing with an over-the-cuff design for maximum protection.

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Black Diamond Pieps Micro Beacon ($390)

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(Black Diamond)

Finally, a beacon the size of a smartphone. It still has three antennae for accuracy and an effective range of 328 feet.

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G3 Scala Climbing Skins ($209)

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(G3)

Scaled skins deliver more glide, but they don’t fold or store well in your pack. G3 solves that problem by using a hybrid construction, with plastic scales up front and pliable nylon hairs everywhere else. 

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Columbia OutDry Ex Diamond Snow Shell ($425)

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(Columbia)

Columbia adapted its bomber waterproof shell for the slopes, adding an adjustable powder skirt and a drop tail for deep days.

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Patagonia Snowdrifter 30L Pack ($169)

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(Patagonia)

With all the focus on airbags, it’s good to remember that most days you just need a slim, well-built ski carrier that fits lunch and layers.

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Dynafit Beast Carbon Boots ($900)

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(Dynafit)

Dynafit nails powerful descents with the rigid, carbon-fiber, 3.2-pound Beast. It even has streamlined buckles for less drag.

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Filed To: The Essentials
Lead Photo: Dustin Sammann
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