Last week, we saw lots of flashy and expensive new skis, boots, and jackets at the annual SnowSports Industries America trade show in Denver. But we were also on the lookout for gear that doesn’t require a savings plan to afford. Here are five of our favorite under-$40 pieces for next year.
Buff with ThermoNet ($27)
We’ve repeatedly said Buffs are about as versatile and indispensable as ski gear can get. Now they’ve gotten even better. This version is made with a PrimaLoft material that’s hydrophobic, so it won’t get wet from your breath or sweat and then freeze on the skin track or chairlift. It’s also four times warmer than a normal Buff and made from 70 percent recycled materials.
HangEmRight Ski Hangers ($15)
Instead of building fancy racks for your skis, use these simple plastic knobs. Screw them into your garage wall, and they hold the toepiece of your bindings to keep your skis upright, off the ground, and organized. They work with all alpine and tech bindings and come in a variety of colors, like green, blue, and pink.
686 Waterproof Earflap Hat ($40)
Introducing the perfect skinning hat. It’s made from a waterproof material to keep you dry if it’s puking. It also has earflaps and a fleece lining, so there’s no need for a beanie. The front of the hat protects your face from the sun, and the back drops down to protect your neck. The antimicrobial lining means it won’t stink after a couple laps up your local hill.
Hand Out Gloves ($30)
The back of these thin neoprene and suede gloves zips open, allowing you to stick your fingers out while the glove is on. Among the things this frees up your hands to do: answer your phone on the chair, turn dials and press buttons on a camera, and vent your hands on the skin track. A Velcro strap holds the top half of the glove out of the way when it’s splayed open. The company also offers beefier insulated versions.
Joshua Tree Winter Stick ($10)
Even if you’re wearing a Buff, the tops of your cheeks and your nose still tend to stick out while skiing. Use this organic salve stick to prevent them from freezing on really cold days. A beeswax base creates a barrier between the wind and your skin, plus it moisturizes and smells good. Bonus: you get a low dose of sunscreen.