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The 2022 Winter Buyer’s Guide

40-plus testers, thousands of pieces of new winter gear, four months of skiing, snowboarding running, biking, hiking, and aprés chilling



Editor's Letter

Making our annual Winter Buyer’s Guide is roughly an eight-month process. We start testing gear in late January and go to press in September, just as the temps begin to drop and workplace banter turns to which ski passes everyone has sprung for. Flipping through page layouts and seeing all the season’s most exciting new products in one place always gets me looking ahead to what I’m most excited about for the coming winter.

This year, it’s heading out the door for mid-week dawn patrols at Ski Santa Fe, our local hill. At 5:45 A.M. on a cold morning, everything gets reduced to habit. I slide into the base layers I laid out the night before, followed by the shell pants and jacket perpetually hanging on a hook by the door. I spread peanut butter on toast, steep a thermos of tea, and pour warm water into a bottle. I grab my pack, which is ready to go with mitts, helmet, goggles, and a headlamp—I always put my touring kit right back in as soon as it’s done drying. The only thing I have to think about is what midlayer to wear—heavier or lighter—and what kind of music to put on the radio for the 40-minute drive up to the resort. Often, this is the calmest part of my day.

At its very best, gear makes outdoor pursuits simpler. Perfect products are the ones you don’t have to think about, so you can focus on getting into the mountains or onto the trails and back home again, safely. This is true across the board, from the most basic goggles (check out the Glade Challenger here) to the most cutting-edge skis (click here to read about the Salomon QST Blank).

Unfortunately, real-world function is one of the few things you can’t surmise from spec sheets alone. That’s where Outside’s testing comes in. Our writers spend months in the field checking out hundreds of products that all boast fancy features, novel materials, and innovative sustainable manufacturing. The purpose of our review process is to get beyond all of those bullet points, to study the way each item fits, moves, feels, and performs, and to identify the pieces that we want to keep using again and again­­—without thinking twice. —Ariella Gintzler

Ski and Snowboard

Punch your ticket to all-mountain adventures

Lenses and frames built for superior vision

Noteworthy rigs for everything from pow to hardpack

Skimo tech meets ­four-buckle power

Kit upgrades for the climb and the descent

There were so many good boards this year that it was hard to pick just a few for print. Here are the others our testers loved.

Testers like eight boots, but we only had room for six. Here’s an all-around boot and a women’s powder-chasing boot that almost made the cut.

With far-flung travel off the table, I learned how to enjoy the meandering flexibility of a road trip

We’ve got your next car-based ski vacation dialed, complete with worthy detours and the best powder stashes

Layers

No matter the temperature, these tops and bottoms kept us comfortable

Threads that keep your body temp just right

Warm fingers are worth celebrating

These vests, fleeces, shells, and puffies came up just short of print inclusion—but they’re still worth your attention

We only have space for six pants in the print magazine, but there are plenty more worthy pairs you should know about

Essentials

A kit to keep you protected in the mountains

Make cold, snowy sites feel like home

Tough, multifunctional accessories for any itinerary

Step up your game with this hardy equipment

This snow rocket was built for fun

Only the very best makes it into print. But there are some pretty great runners-up you should know about, too.

In a lineup of touring packs, this boot bag and small daypack didn't make the cut, but they're still well worth your attention

A knife, rangefinder, jacket, and other pieces that are worth checking out

Fitness

This year’s fastest kicks for every kind of terrain

This kit will get you out the door even on cold days

A kit for lacing up all winter long

Rigs we want to pedal all year long

With this gear, twice the ice is just as nice

The apparel and accessories we loved for exercising at home

Gym-bag highlights for all sweat hounds

Trick out your own training space

We only have space for seven shoes in our print magazine, but there are a few others you should know about, too

Even the runner-up hikers from this year’s test are pretty great

We still love these runner-up apparel pieces and accessories

There are five wearables in our print magazine, but several more worth checking out

Après

Cozy, stylish apparel for post-ski festivities

Timeless after-ski essentials you’ll be reaching for all season long

Sleek timepieces for every kind of adventure

Turn the parking lot into your party HQ

Bring the festivities to your living room or backyard

These layers herald a bold, new, sleeveless future