Our Gear Guy praised this shirt in his test of the best performance flannels. “The Fjord deserves points for its 100 percent organic cotton, which felt soft and supple, and it had just enough give to never slow me down as I rode the Jabberwocky Trail outside Ashland, Oregon,” he wrote.
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.
We included the Karsee in our roundup of the best technical flannel shirts of 2019. The cotton-Tencel fabric is stretchy and on the lighter side for flannels. We especially like the buttons at the sides that let you adjust the fit so you can move as you need while climbing or hiking.
We included these pants in our roundup of the best women’s après gear of 2019. “The nylon Møva is flattering and cocktail-hour comfy,” our tester Stephanie Pearson wrote. Plus, the pants have ample pocket space to fit a small wallet, phone, and keys.
Stay grounded and train like never before with the Vibram FiveFingers KSO EVO Men’s grey/black training shoe. Great for both indoor and outdoor activities, this minimalist shoe is lightweight, and features fully-articulating toes with a Vibram XS TREK sole for advanced traction and grip on wet and dry surfaces.
This climbing balm is our video producer's favorite for taking care of her hands. She's been using this bar for over four years and says: “the balm stays on my hands longer than others I’ve tried and has a thicker consistency, which helps its healing powers but isn’t ideal for workdays.” She also recommends using the balm before bed.
We tested the Party Cooler for our roundup of go-anywhere travel totes and it topped the list. Our tester Kelly Bastone wrote: “I found the cooler capacity to be perfect for a two-person picnic, and the uninsulated portion held a blanket, sunscreen, book, and extra layers.”
Saola’s Cannon shoe is one of our favorite pieces of eco-friendly gear. Each part of the shoe is environmentally friendly or sustainably sourced. The soles are built with Bloom foam, which takes harmful algae out of water systems while the uppers are made of recycled canvas and plastic bottles. Plus, our tester Jakob Schiller says they look damn good, too.
In 2016, this flannel was our top pick for bike commuting. This upgraded version still has the moisture-wicking polyester and underarm mesh vents that we love and has added reinforced flannel patches on the elbows and shoulders for style and durability. Plus, the shirt has two chest snap pockets and a zippered hip pocket for your everyday carry.
We included this towel in our roundup of our favorite yoga gear. Jade’s Yoga Mat Towel uses polyester microfiber making it extra absorbent and quick drying. It’s ideal for sweaty yoga sessions when you want to stay dry and have plenty of grip.
In this Winter’s Buyers Guide we wrote: “on the coldest powder days, turn to the Black Magic and its polyester insulation to keep you warm and cozy.” The Black Magic has all the features you want in a bib (ex: tailored fit, boot gussets, mesh-lined leg vents) for a reasonable price. Plus, the belt-loop has a special eyelet for your lift ticket.
Our Gear Guy loves the Hydro Flask 32-ounce tumbler; with one of these suckers, he "can nurse a single pour for hours without having to worry about lukewarm beer." The same goes for hot drinks—a freshly brewed cup of coffee will stay hot for up to six hours.
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