The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2022
Kit upgrades for the climb and the descent
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Twenty years ago, only the most dedicated snowboarders rode splitboards. They’d cut old fixed boards in half, glue on metal edges, fashion their own skins and bindings, climb up the mountain, then enjoy a clunky ride down. Today, the industry is flush with gear that makes skinning, sliding, and the transition between the two immeasurably easier and way more fun. The gap between in-bounds gear and the backcountry has never been slimmer thanks to this latest crop of innovations.
G-3 Pivot Backcountry Ski Poles ($154)
G-3’s Pivot covers the basics, with durable aluminum construction and a latch-initiated locking system. A small extension on the handle can lift the heel risers on your bindings. Each pole weighs 295 grams—less than most jackets. Each pole weighs in at 295 grams—less than most jackets—and is foldable to about 16 inches, so it fits snugly in backpacks. The small size extends four feet, and the large goes up to five.
Patagonia Stormstride Pants ($399)
The best pieces of equipment are the ones you never notice. Patagonia’s three-layer nylon Stormside pants clear that bar. At 476 grams, the Stormstride is lighter than most other pairs we tested. We also love the supple, 50-percent recycled nylon and PU-reinforced ankle scuff guards. On cold, wet, and warm days alike, our testers said they forgot they were wearing pants at all. High praise indeed.(women’s XS–XL / men’s XS–XL)
Arc’teryx Men’s Procline Jacket ($499)
Layering is a backcountry ethos. Crucial to that is a good outer layer, like Arc’teryx’s men’s Procline jacket. The Procline’s wind-resistant fabric is stretchy, quiet, and clothlike, with a DWR coating that held up when snow turned to rain. A powder skirt and seven pockets round it out. (XS–XXL)
Jones Frontier Splitboard ($750)
Jeremy Jones makes aggressive boards to suit his big-mountain style of riding. Mortals, rejoice: the Frontier isn’t like that. With a blunt nose and slashy tail, it floated in deep powder during March laps in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Serrated edges improved edge hold in hard conditions, and the poplar core gives the board energy and a damp feel.
Burton AK Dispatcher 25L Pack ($160)
All you need for most touring days is a hauler that can stash extra layers, water, skins, and your avy kit. This bag is just that. Side zippers and a three-quarter zip back panel get you to your gear quickly. Nice details like the bomber ripstop Cordura-Kevlar outer, helmet bra, padded goggle pocket, splitboard carry straps on the back, and safety whistle on the chest strap round it out.
Nidecker Talon Boots ($480)
The Talon’s liner responds to your body heat and naturally molds to your shin over time, while a dual-Boa system reduces pressure points. An external carbon backstay boosts precision on the way down.
G-3 Split LT Glide Skins ($210)
The LT Glide’s camming plastic tail connectors clip over the back of any splitboard, while additional pivoting clips fix the skins to the board’s exterior edges.
Karakoram Grizzly Split Bindings ($400)
At 840 grams, the Grizzly is the heaviest of Karakoram’s split bindings, but it’s also among the most affordable. Utilizing the same aluminum baseplates and bomber lever-style attachment system as its high-end cousins, it offers such a secure connection that it makes splitboards ride like fixed boards.
Petzl Iko Core Headlamp ($90)
At 79 grams with a baffling 500 lumens, the Iso Core is hard to justify leaving behind when you head into the backcountry. This little lamp has a rechargeable built-in battery but also takes AAAs. It burns nine hours in the standard lighting mode, which is (hopefully) more than enough to get you out of the dark should things go south. The rigid plastic headband fits snugly over hats or helmets if you’re inspired to ride under a full moon.