Because boot-packing takes too long
G3 Alpinist Plus Glide Skins ($184)
G3 tweaked the mohair-to-nylon ratio in its Alpinist skins to suit a variety of conditions and terrain. Our favorite: the 70 percent mohair, 30 percent nylon Glide. It’s downright zippy on low-angle tours.
Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket ($299)
A quality shell is a must on any backcountry mission, even if it mostly lives in your pack. Arc’teryx’s Beta SL tips the scales at less than 11 ounces. And with its cinchable hood, slim fit, and two-layer Gore-Tex, we were more than happy to bust it out when necessary.
Salomon Pillow Talk Splitboard ($800)
Terrible name, killer deck. Salomon took its women’s all-mountain Pillow Talk, cut it in half, and gave it a new core. The flex is on the soft side, but the board handled well in mixed conditions.
Dakine Poacher R.A.S. 26 Pack ($210)
With a whistle on the sternum strap (smart), a hydration sleeve in the main pack (nifty), and a rear-entry zipper (essential), the Poacher is full featured. But what we liked most is compatibility with Mammut’s top-end R.A.S. airbag ($490).
Salomon Speedway Splitboard ($900)
“Super fun, super light, very maneuverable,” said one tester. With a wide nose that gives it great float in soft snow, the Speedway is ideal for beginner or intermediate splitboarders who focus on powder.
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Ski Touring Pants ($199)
These touring pants are made of four-way-stretch soft-shell material. They give in all the right places, and they’re breathable while still providing insulation. The tailored fit is a plus: call us hipsters, but we don’t like tangling our crampons in our pant legs.
Burton Hitchhiker Bindings ($460)
The Hitchhiker is a collaboration between Spark, arguably the first name in split bindings, and Burton, arguably the first name in the fixed kind. The aluminum baseplates are light but durable, and the lever that releases the toe to switch to ride mode is glove-friendly.
Vans Verse Boots ($390)
With a customizable insulating liner and a waterproof zipper shroud, the Verse is luxe. Hardy inserts can be removed to soften the boots for the climb up and replaced to stiffen them for the ride down.