Throw this vest on as an outer layer before a hike, or layer a puffy over it before hitting the slopes. Either way, the Ghost Shadow will keep you toasty thanks to its synthetic PrimaLoft insulation. Plus, the vest packs down easily and weighs 7.3 ounces.
Now Is the Time to Stock Up on Ski and Snowboard Gear
At this year's ski test, we loved the Bonafide as a men’s all-mountain shredder. The double sheets of Titanal make these skis stable “steamrollers” for fast, aggressive skiers. One tester said the skis were “both stout as hell and an easy round-turn carver.”
We gave the Switcher MIPS a Gear of the Year award. “After more than a dozen testers placed the Switcher on their noggins, all agreed that it was the most comfortable helmet they’d worn,” we wrote. The helmet ticked all the boxes we wanted (like a MIPS construction and a magnetic closure on the strap).
This past winter, our writer tested 20 new ski and snowboard goggles and the Scott Linx came out on top. He called these the best “performance bang for your buck.” “We took the Linx out in storms and blue-sky sessions through the spring and forgot we weren’t wearing goggles twice as expensive," he wrote.
In this year’s alpine touring ski boot test, the Celeste III became a favorite because of its roomier lower portion of the shell and the cuff. “The Celeste performs more like a ski-mountaineering boot than a four-buckle powerhouse,” we wrote. Plus, the boot has a 60-degree range of motion in walk mode so climbing is smooth and efficient.
The Völkl Secret is the sister ski to the Gear of the Year–winning M5 Mantra. We featured the Secret in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide because of its ground-up approach to making these women’s-specific. One of our testers—a former instructor—said: “It’s powerful enough to bite into the hardest snow, but you can back off the gas and ski it easy, too.”
Unlike Salomon's earlier boot, the MTN Lab, the updated Salomon S/Lab MTN has Custom Shell HD technology making it heat moldable to accommodate your foot specifically. When we tested this boot for our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide, our testers said “it skied like a boot with twice the buckles.”
Several years ago, Dynafit introduced a turnable heel to prevent pre-release and the new ST Rotation 10 improves on that. This new version includes a spring-tensioned toe piece that auto-realigns itself so it’s easier to step back into the heel piece. This feature is why we included the Rotation in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide.
Salomon took its women’s all-mountain board, the Pillow Talk, and sliced it in half to get this splitboard. This past winter, when we rounded up the best splitboarding gear of 2019, the Pillow Talk was our favorite women's splitboard in spite of the name. "The flex is on the soft side, but the board handled well in mixed conditions,” we wrote.
In our review of the best ski pants of 2019, our tester wrote, “the Patsey Marley excels on all-day missions.” Convenient features like side zippers and four pockets allowed us to store plenty of snacks and easily use the bathroom when we needed.
In our roundup of the best jackets of 2019, we dubbed the Ventus Light the top backcountry shell. “Neither flimsy nor overbuilt, this three-layer shell is breathable enough for high-output climbs and just tough enough to spar with errant ski edges,” our tester said. Bonus: it packs down to the size of a grapefruit so it’s easy to stuff when traveling.
Last winter, our testers reviewed over 100 winter jackets and the Hemispheres made it into our top eight choices for outdoors sports. “The main feature of note on the Hemispheres is a set of zippers that extend from the arm to the hem for poncho-style venting,” we wrote.
Don’t underestimate this little guy. The JBL Clip 3 plays for ten hours on one charge and is waterproof down to a meter. If you want a more powerful sound, connect your JBL to other speakers through a wireless daisy chain. It also has a built-in carabiner, so you can take the party anywhere.
Contributor Crystal Segan conducted a long-term test of women’s ski pants and the Winner was her runner-up pair for resort skiing. “The Winner is perfect for the weekend-warrior resort skier,” Segan wrote. She also noted the Winner is ideal for narrow-waisted women because it’s fitted through the hips and waist.
In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, we featured this jacket in our list of the best men’s hiking gear. “The nylon shell, waterproof zippers, and sealed seams make it completely waterproof,” our tester wrote. It packs into its chest pocket and at just 6.7 ounces, it doesn’t add much weight to your kit.
Our Gear Guy tested five different fleeces for three weeks and the Tekno Ridge was the most versatile. The women’s version has all the same high-performance features as the men’s with a slimmer fit and longer back length. The fabric “easily fended off 15-mile-per-hour headwinds during a trail run,” Jackson wrote.
Gear tester Graham Averill recommended this parka in his roundup of his favorite around-the-town winter jackets. “The brushed herringbone outer shell adds class to the fully waterproof shell that’s stuffed with a wool/polyester blend,” he wrote. We also dig the stylish oversized buttons on the pockets and storm flap that add a nice retro touch.
Versatility is the name of the game with this headlamp. A solid companion for your next camping trip, the Cosmo 225 has a beam distance up to 72 meters and is waterproof, too. Plus, it has five different modes including red night vision and strobe.
The full-zip version of this windbreaker was one of our favorite pieces of peak bagging gear for its compact size and light protection. The half-zip jacket is ideal for a hike or getting around town. This windbreaker won’t blend into the landscape and that’s just fine with us.
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