Oakley Evolution Lite jacket
Magnets come standard in this beautifully designed piece of technical outerwear that comes in "orange flame" or "sheet metal."
Magnets? There's a deep pocket flap that can be worn outside the jacket to display your ski pass or tucked inside when you don't need it. Magnets embedded in the flap keep it securely in place.
Oakley has packed high-performance fabrics into this garment and come up with snazzy names for them. The wind-blocking fabric is the "Airbrake System," and the fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin is called "Hydro Fuel." Any stylish jacket that comes with airbrakes and magnets for $200 has to be a great value.
Garmont Endorphin freerando boot
At last, a ski boot Alpine skiers can really take into the backcountry. The boot is designed to make the most of new technology that allows backcountry skiers to decide when to lock their heels for downhill runs and when to free them for uphill climbs. Traditional "randonee" equipment is now referred to by the hipper term "freerando," as in, "Homey, are you into freerando?"
The four magnesium buckles are arranged as inverted pairs to make the boot more comfortable for walking.
Naxo nx02 Alpine touring binding
$350 (work well with freerando boots)
Older Alpine touring bindings pivoted only at the toe, limiting flexibility. The Naxo nx02s have two pivot points, allowing the bindings to articulate on climbs and the skier to move across the snow in a more natural gait. The maximum DIN number of 13 means all but the most aggressive pro skiers can use these bindings any day on the mountain.
Grivel Racing Wing Ice Tool
This exotic baby, with the Cascade blade, is built for speed. There is no hammer, and there is no leash - so don't let go. It's ideal for a trip to Ouray with the single pitches in the climbing park. The relaxed wrist angle is designed to make it easier to overcome overhangs, as long as you're not hungover. Take your choice of five wicked blades. If you're not an ice climber, you can use it to get the ice out of your car's wheel wells.
Nordic Afterburner Alpine skis
The Nordic Afterburner just might be the ski that helps you elevate your game from Level 2 to Level 3. These big, beefy babies refuse to let you wash out your turns. The X-Balance system integrated into the ski will help you finish your turns in a precise carve by redistributing kinetic energy to the right place in the ski. What does that mean? No more flaking out at the end of a turn.
The Afterburners function particularly well with the Marker N0311 binding.
And you can kick in your own pair of Afterburners discounted well below full retail in Steamboat.
All together now, let's make like Tom Cruise in that jet fighter movie and sing along with Kenny Loggins - "Highway to the danger zone ... I'm gonna ride into the danger zzzzzone!"
Descente DNA Uncle Herbert jacket
With its subtle pattern of oriental dragons on the fabric, this jacket is the height of fashion. Although the dragons are not of the fire-breathing variety, the Uncle Herbert - from Descente's hipper DNA line - is super warm thanks to Heatflex Insulation, which traps more body heat in a thinner membrane than other insulating layers. Other features include a cell phone and goggle pocket and an iPod headset loop.
The sight of you in this fetching jacket just might cause all the ladies in the lift line to sing, "Stop Dragon My Heart Around..."
DC Allegiance snowboard boots with double BOA system
This is an all-terrain boot that leans toward the park. The twin BOA cams on the lace system allow for independent adjustment of stiffness between calf and ankle, and a snug fit over the instep. Also included is a pump-up air liner for an even more custom fit (the release valve is on the outside of the liner). And here's a bonus - the Recco Avalanche Rescue System offers built-in reflectors that assist the radio direction pinpointing capacity of avalanche transceivers. They will not, however, allow you to pick up Sirius Radio without a service contract.
Giro G10 MX helmet
The Giro G10 MX helmet means you never have to squeeze your MP3 earbuds under your helmet again - headphones are built into the helmet's earpieces. And if you want, you can tell your mom they're safer than wearing your 'buds. Our testers say the built-in speakers of the G10 MX make it far easier for skiers and riders to hear ambient noise, for example, a 250-pound college boy screaming, "Loooooookouuuutduuuuude!"
The other primary purpose of the G10 MX, other than protecting your gray matter, is allowing hands-free use of a cell phone. The helmet comes with all kinds of adapters in a little package called "Skull Candy."
The G10 MX has been called the "Realtor's Choice" because it makes any chairlift a real estate sales office.
Arc'Teryx Acrux 50 seamless mountaineering pack
This pack is as waterproof as a whitewater rafter's drybag. Made in Canada, it will keep your gear dry in any storm. The pack offers a lot of storage - 2,805 square inches - and weighs only 3 lbs, 11 oz. Also includes four external compression straps and a fully seam-taped hydration bladder pocket.
At Home, Winter 2007