This toasty 650-fill puffy is one of our go-to layers for winter crag days: the two-way zipper allows you to flare out the hem over a harness for an easy belay. We prefer the Colter for less aerobic outings, but if you’re working up a sweat, it has pit zips for dumping heat. Bonus: the brushed tricot in the pockets and interior collar provide a boost of comfort in frigid temps.
6 Snow Toys for Powder-Loving Families
A quality snow tube isn’t cheap, but my family has broken enough plastic sleds over the years to fill up our own landfill. So, it’s time to invest in a sturdy tube, like this beast that’s big enough to handle multiple pilots (50 inches across with a 500-pound limit). Bonus: Tubes are fast and offer a softer landing when things go airborne.
Kick it old school with this powder-hungry snowboard that was built to ride without bindings, just like the original prototypes back in the day. Stand on the grippy foot pads and use the nose leash to help steer down your local sledding hill. It performs best in powder conditions, so make sure you get first tracks.
Got a little ripper who lives for the pump track? Keep the stoke alive through winter with these plastic attachments that turn a Strider bike into a ski bike. My kids have outgrown their Striders, but my nephew loves the ski attachments to his bike.
I know what you’re thinking: a snow scooter? For adults? I actually got to try one of these out at a resort in Colorado one afternoon and I was shocked by how much fun I had. Learning how to ride these scooters is easy, and the whole family can share, giving you one more tool at the neighborhood sledding hill.
Technically, this shovel is meant for avalanche recovery, but the fact that it breaks down into a size that you can slide into your backpack means you can carry it to the sledding hill and use it to build sick jumps at the bottom of a sledding run. It’s also good for building snow forts.
Skijoring—getting pulled by a dog while you’re wearing skis—with pair of cross-country skis is a little less intense, and it’s a great way to get outside with your pup during cold and snowy winter days. Ruffwear’s system combines two harnesses: one for you and one for your dog, with a bungee-style leash that gives when Fido gets moving, so you don’t get thrown off your skis.
Rumpl teamed up with Loki the Wolfdog to create this portable bed. Its self-inflating sleeping pad gives your pup two inches of cushion, and is wrapped in a recycled poly face with a reversible fleece side for warmth. Columnist Wes Siler spent five days camping with Loki and wrote: “If he thinks this thing is comfortable, your dog will too.”
Pups don’t need sunglasses, but certain dogs “could benefit from dog goggles, or Doggles, because of the decreased UV exposure,” contributor Jade Kolker explained in 2014. “They’ve become a regular fixture on family adventures when my dog sticks his head out the window on the way to the trailhead,” says tester Graham Averill.
This bag is made from 40-denier ripstop nylon with synthetic insulation that’s rated to 30 degrees. Tester Graham Averill says his DoggyBag has held up to ritualistic circling and scratching from his dog, Rocket, until the pup finds just the right spot to sleep. “After he settles down, it’s easy to tuck him in and sleep worry-free, knowing that he’ll be toasty all night.”
This dog coat from Ultra Paws is more practical than most because it’s designed with reflective lines, so your pup is more visible if you’re walking or running at night. It has a waterproof polyester outer shell to shed water, which we found handy on wet walks. The coat also has a fleece lining and adjustable neck gaiter to help keep Fido warm.
This is the midlayer that makes life easier on 20-degree high-alpine backcountry excursions. “The outer fabric on the Proton LT was more wind resistant than many of the other jackets,” we wrote in our review.
The Anchor Line was one of our favorite technical flannels in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Our tester liked its “funk-fighting boost courtesy of a merino-nylon blend that wicks moisture as you move and lends a bit more stretch.” The nylon material on the shoulders and sleeves helps shed light drizzles and snow.
We gave this lightweight rain jacket a Gear of the Year award in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. The Bantamweight strikes a perfect balance between being waterproof and breathable, so you stay dry in summer showers and comfortable on strenuous hikes. “The Bantamweight feels like a windbreaker but performs like a hard shell,” one tester wrote.
The Baxter was the best street/slope crossover puffy in our 2021 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Our tester called this coat “Equal parts stylish, cozy, and technical.” Read our full review here.
We featured the Force Dry DX in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide page of the best gear care tools. “Slide your boots over the tubes, set the timer, and wake up to warm, moisture-free gear. Works with gloves, too,” wrote our tester.