Let’s start with nature’s wünderfabric. Not only is merino wool (sourced mostly from sheep in New Zealand’s Southern Alps) a sustainable, bio-degradable fabric, but gear makers have figured out how to make it softer and thin enough to wear on a hot summer day.
If you ski mostly in wet snow, like the stuff in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, then you need something waterproof. In drier climes, like the Central Rockies, a water-resistant soft-shell glove should suffice. The more leather it has, the more waterproof it’s going to be.
Choosing the right bindings is just as important to your snowboard experience as your board and boots. We've selected three of our favorite bindings to help you find what's right for you.
Scaling rock and ice in the winter is serious business. Bring the right stuff.
It’s all about fit. Too loose and your head is a yolk inside an eggshell. Too tight and you’ll get migraines from all the pressure points. Most of today’s helmets have features that allow you to maximize fit.
Most goggles feature fog-resistant double lenses, but the cheap ones are built flat and bent into the frame, creating distortion, which can cause headaches. Invest in optically correct spherical lenses. Polarization? It cuts reflected light, but it can mask ice, too.
Dynafit-style tech bindings, like the Radical and the La Sportiva RT, are the only ones that offer a true free pivot, meaning there’s no hardware attached to your boot heel or sole. They have fewer moving parts, ice up less, and require 15 percent less energy from you than other bindings.
Whether you’re at the resort or deep in the backcountry, if your boots don’t fit properly you’re miserable. Not sure about size or which brand fit you best? Consult a fitter. To narrow your choices, match the boot to the binding you’re pairing it with.
You now have two choices when it comes to telemark bindings: 75mm (traditional duckbill) and the newer NTN. The former is favored for its simplicity, lower cost, and greater variety of boot choices, but NTN is vastly more powerful and releasable, and it’s better-suited to driving today’s fattest skis.
Rather sort your sock drawer than run on a treadmill? Us too. Here’s the gear you’ll need to keep running outdoors all winter long.