SIA: The Best Women’s Gear


Last week's SnowSports Industries America trade show (SIA) made its second debut in Denver, Colorado, exhibiting a lot of new cold-weather product set to hit stores for the 2011/2012 winter season. I spent a couple of days there, getting the skinny on new snowboards for next year as well as some hot pieces for women.

Want a sneak peek? Here are my four favorite new things for the ladies.
–Alicia Carr Troxell

1) Giro Amulet Goggle

Giro's been making goggles for a few years now, but never before have they had a women's-specific goggle. And, no, it's not one of their smaller frames turned pink. This tree-adorned goggle is based on their men's bestseller, the Basis, and features all of the same high-tech details like Carl Zeiss optics and a roomy interior with wider-than-usual peripheral vision. Not to mention leather detailing at the temple. Stylish.

2) Bonfire Taylor Pant

There were only a few items that took the crowd's collective breath away at the SIA fashion show. These pants were one of them. Technical features abound here–20K waterproofing, stretchy twill fabric, fully sealed seams–but the real reasons we love 'em? You'll never unvoluntarily show off your thong again, you can drink as much beer as you want without feeling like a muffin top, and, most importantly, of course, powder won't find its way down these babies.

3) Burton Nugget Snowboard

This may or may not be a revolution in snowboards. Burton's Nugget (the women's version of the Nug) is out to prove that size doesn't matter. They've rejiggered the normal size snowboard, optimizing edges, width, and flex, so you can size down 8-10 centimeters with this board. For instance: I normally ride a 146. I would ride a 134 or 138 (the only two sizes available) in this board. Sounds crazy, right? And it's not even for park. This oompa loompa-size board is actually for riding all over the mountain, including pow. Or so they say.

4) Bern Cougar 2

Bern is one of the only helmet companies (if not the only helmet company) to have equal parts male and female when it comes to their helmet line. Two new women's helmets grace the line next year, one of which is the Cougar 2. With multiple vents up top that open and close for added warmth or ventilation, it's one of the more technical helmets I've seen (and lightweight I've held) for women. Plus, the brim is an adorable canvas.