(Charles Dustin Sammann)

The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2018


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Two sticks up, one down.

(Courtesy Weston)

Weston Backwoods Splitboard ($899)

Slashy even in tight trees, this poplar-bamboo board hails from a boutique maker in Weston, Colorado. Its fun, surfy feel comes from a tip that’s wider than the tail, plus camber underfoot and rocker at the ends.


(Courtesy ThirtyTwo)

ThirtyTwo Jones MTB Boots ($600)

With full-zip gaiters, a crampon-compatible Vibram outsole with heavy lugs for hiking, and a collar that folds back to allow longer strides while skinning, these boots are tough enough to get you anywhere you think you want to be. Careful: you’ve still got to get down. 


(Courtesy Ortovox)

Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Transceiver ($490)

This flip-phone-esque, three-antenna beacon uses a digital display to locate buried riders. Internal compass-like tech senses when you turn, and a grid screen displays multiple victims and the distance to each within its impressive 164-foot-wide range. 


(Courtesy Patagonia)

Patagonia Descensionist Jacket ($449)

This waterproof-breathable kit has a soft-shell feel with hard-shell performance. We appreciated it skinning up on a crisp morning and while storm riding. Play to your vanity: the all-weather jacket can be matched with the Descensionist pants ($349). 


(Courtesy Ibex)

Ibex Shak Glove Liners ($40)

These simple merino inner gloves are slim enough to fit below the Mercurys for the way down and breathable enough that you won’t sweat them out on the hike up. 


(Courtesy Jones)

Jones Higher 30L Backpack ($149)

For long tours, go for this vertical-board-carry pack. Thirty liters belies its true capability, with pockets galore for all your essentials. A slick, coated interior beefs up toughness and adds waterproofing.


(Courtesy Union Bindings)

Union Expedition Splitboard Bindings ($349)

Once you’ve clipped into these freestyle-focused bindings, the stiff nylon and plastic backs and an attachment that corkscrews the board together make the new Expeditions rip like you never left the resort. 


(Courtesy Voile)

Voile CamLock 3 Lock Poles ($110)

In the backcountry, you need small poles that can collapse to fit in your pack. Voile’s three-piece aluminum CamLocks shrink to just over two feet long and are stiff enough to pole you out of the flats.  


(Courtesy Voile)

Voile Split Skins ($185) 

These durable nylon skins, with nearly unbreakable metal split clips, will survive whatever your season dishes out, meaning they’ll last well beyond the next tech upgrade.


(Courtesy Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Mercury Mitts ($110)

Take two sets of gloves into the backcountry: a light pair for going up and a heavy pair—like these lined goat-leather mitts —for going down. 


From Winter 2018 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Charles Dustin Sammann

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