Every winter, Outside gathers a group of several dozen skiers to test out new releases from all the major brands in the industry before they hit the market. The best test each year is discussed in our annual winter buying guides. In 2020 this test took place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. But while we were constantly checking the skis, we also turned up the latest clothes and accessories. The gear testing was intensified. Within four days, we descended 160,000 meters per person while the weather gods delivered snow and brutal cold. For the convenience of the testers, we have only requested equipment that we can trust. That's how it went.
Marmot men's freerider jacket ($ 485)
(Photo: Courtesy Marmot)
The freerider is about as well equipped as an in-bound jacket. Two-layer Gore-Tex with an environmentally friendly (PFC-free) water-repellent agent on the flexible upper material keeps it waterproof and breathable. The hood is large enough to cover a ski helmet thanks to a unique zipped neck gusset. With extended zippers you can let out hot air. Ample pockets and a storm skirt make it ready for powder day. The testers appreciated the athletic cut and how unencumbered they felt wearing it on the hill. "Most of my fully waterproof trays are wrinkled and restrictive," said one. "That groundhog just moves with you."
Marmots WarmCube Featherless Hoody for Men ($ 500)
(Photo: Courtesy Marmot)
This hooded jacket isn't really suitable for everyday skiing, but everyone needs a versatile pouf that can be worn on the lift on extremely cold days or dressed for après-ski. Instead of using down, this is Marmot's new WarmCube technology is a great insulator until it gets wet. She uses Pertex-filled cubes that are stacked like bricks for insulation. The cubes (only visible when you open your coat) will keep you warm even if you're trapped in the wet snow before happy hour. They also allow for amazing loft and compressibility. We were happy that our test piece arrived just before an Arctic The air mass spilled over the watershed and put us in the freezer for a week. We carried it around on cold mornings, waited for the lifts to start and walked through the ski village at night. It's a perfect auto-camping shift.
Marmot Women's Ventina Jacket ($ 350)
(Photo: Courtesy Marmot)
We're all about hard shells for skiing, but on the coldest days, it's hard to beat the comfort of an insulated jacket. Marmot & # 39; s Ventina comes with a seam-bonded, waterproof face and just enough synthetics to retain body heat without overheating. A whole range of functions – the helmet-compatible hood, a powder skirt, chest and hand pockets, two-way zips and zippers – ensured that we felt comfortable on long days when we drove lap after lap. This garment is cut to cover your bum, which is good on cool lift rides, and stretchy cuff guards seal out snow and icy gusts.
Scott Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet ($ 220) and LCG Compact Goggles ($ 200)
(Photo: Courtesy Scott)
For years we have needed helmets for tests outside of the ski. In the last few seasons we have chosen Scott's goods. Why? Skiers get used to their helmet and goggle systems and it's no fun testing skis on things that don't work properly. Scott's Symbol Plus Helmet and Lens Replacement Goggles (LCG) offer seamless helmet goggle compatibility (no gap spacing) and a no pressure point fit. Other advantages are special inserts in the Icon 2 plus D to reduce the impact of slow-speed hits. The LCG compact glasses are equipped with Scott's Illuminator Blue Chrome storm lens – still one of the best low-light lenses we have ever used.
Buy a helmet buy protective goggles
Hestra Sarek Ecocuir gloves ($ 150)
(Photo: Courtesy of Hestra)
Connoisseurs have relied on Hestra gloves for decades. They fit a million times better than these statement pieces from the hardware store and at the same time allow a smooth articulation. You can open a jacket with them. In our test, this skill is useful when filling out assessment cards that every tester has to perform on lift rides between laps. The styling is timeless. And when you buy a pair with a removable wool liner like the Sarek and dry the linings separately each night, they'll never stink like the overbuilt, plastic-rich ski gloves of your childhood. Better still, the Ecocuir contains cowhide that has been cured without the unpleasant chrome and the toxic wastewater produced by the standard process. "I have a couple of pairs of Hestra products – gloves and now the Sarek gloves," said one tester. “These are heirloom quality products that I take pride in when I care for them with warm beeswax. I hope my grandchildren will ski in them one day. "
Leki Spitfire Vario 3D Pole ($ 150)
(Photo: Courtesy Leki)
Adjustable length poles are not only suitable for skiers. With the Spitfire Vario 3D you can shorten the shaft to save your shoulders in the bumps or for Cross, extend them as you walk across the apartments, remove the basket and extend a pole as an emergency probe and even loan your poles to a friend. They are also perfect for children as the Vario can grow along with them until adulthood. Our testers also love the safe but easy-to-change baskets with which you can ride aerodynamically on days on the slopes or float in soft snow.
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Main photo: Lee Cohen
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