Holiday steals we can get behind
Black Friday is a polarizing time; many people storm the Walmarts and Best Buys of the world, racing each other to the flat-screen TVs, while others prefer to stay in and feast on Thanksgiving leftovers in defiance. I count myself among the latter. But that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to scoring a good deal. And I don’t blame others for wanting to grab gear at a steep discount when they can—just do it online while riding the chairlift for your next lap. Here are my thoroughly vetted picks for the best deals on outdoor gear this Black Friday.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Reversible Jacket ($211; 35 percent off)
I’ve used the Ghost Whisperer as a go-to midlayer for three seasons now. It’s perfect for insulation under a shell at the resort, but it really shines in the backcountry—I’ve summited and skied Mount Shasta in this jacket twice. Why? Its warmth-to-weight ratio is off the charts. It’s only 7.4 ounces and loaded with water-resistant 800-fill down, so I don’t think twice about throwing it on for a powder day.
Black Diamond Guide Ski Gloves ($127; 25 percent off)
The first time I wore the Guide gloves, I was climbing the Arête de Cosmiques in Chamonix in 2014. Since then, I always reach for them when a backcountry ski trip looks like it’s going to be spicy enough to require crampons and a whippet. The hearty goatskin palms are nice and sticky for gripping a snow tool, while the Gore-Tex lining keeps out moisture.
Backcountry Access Tracker3 Avalanche Beacon ($251; 25 percent off)
The most important thing to do when you’re thinking about getting into backcountry skiing—even before you dial in your boots, bindings, and ski setup—is to invest in the necessary safety equipment. Along with a probe and shovel, I opted for the Tracker3 beacon because of its simple, straightforward design and full digital display.
MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove ($34; 24 percent off)
Less is more in the ultralight backpacking world. At 2.6 ounces, this little unit comes with hardly any weight penalty while boiling a liter of water in an impressive 3.5 minutes at full blast, plus the simmer control allows for fine-tuning the heat. I tested the PocketRocket 2 for Outside’s Buyer’s Guide and was blown away at both its sophistication and ease of use.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 60 ($90; 30 percent off)
The Black Hole won second place in an exhaustive duffel review I put together last spring. It has a best-in-class combination of lightweight, durable 900-denier fabric, plenty of lash points, and, of course, the namesake cavernous main compartment.
JBL Charge Speaker ($90; 40 percent off)
I’ve tested dozens of speakers in my time, but the Charge is my favorite. The sound quality can’t be beat for its size. The simple round geometry and clean aesthetic blend in on my kitchen counter, perfect for dancing to Paul Simon or the Talking Heads while I make coffee in the morning. And it’s waterproof for the times I want to take my tunes outside.
Keen Uneek Sandals ($40)
The look of Keen’s Uneeks may appear dorky, but they’re the most versatile water shoes money can buy. The cord uppers accommodate feet as they swell and don’t hang onto moisture, and the rubber sole grips both wet and dry surfaces. (Plus, for what it’s worth, Uneeks are high fashion in Japan. Seriously.)