It’s in to ski out of bounds. With lift ticket prices at an all time high, more skiers and snowboarders are hitting the backcountry than ever before. And as they do, the essential backcountry gear list is expanding.
That’s a mixed bag for us. Sure, our favorite powder stashes are getting crowded… but all that new market has inspired companies to churn out some pretty cool gear. Take the four items, which are new this season.
OR’s Capstone Heated Gloves
Outdoor Research’s ALTIHeat glove line already leads the the industry. And this season, it looks like the company will extend that lead. OR’s Capstone Heated Gloves run two batteries per glove, giving them twice the heating power of last season’s model.
That heat output can be adjusted to three different levels or turned off entirely. The gloves can maintain warmth for up to eight hours on their lowest setting, and two and a half hours on their highest. PrimaLoft insulation, Gore-Tex inserts, and touchscreen compatible leather ensure waterproof warmth and exceptional flexibility when the batteries die.
The Procline SkiMo Boot
Fresh from North Vancouver for this winter, the newest addition to Arc’teryx’s footwear collection is a game changer for ski mountaineers The boot’s two-piece 360-degree rotating cuff system allows for more movement when skinning, but can lock to provide the rigidity needed to kick steps or ski steeps.
Fully waterproof with a no-pressure-point closure system, these backcountry essentials can seamlessly handle all winter activities with unrivaled performance. The Procline is available in three different constructions, with a carbon fiber version weighing in at just 2lbs 10oz.
Osprey’s Kamber 22+10 ABS Pack
The best backcounntry gear is flexible gear, and Osprey’s ABS Compatible Kamber 22+10 pack fits the bill.
The pack is designed for use both in and out of avalanche terrain. The pack is built to carry the ABS Vario airbag system, which features two 85-liter airbags for maximum lift and visibility in case of the worst. Unlike many ABS packs, the Kamber allows users to remove those bags for frontcountry days.
The pack’s 22 liters of capacity (plus an additional 10 liters in a dry compartment) is perfect for backcountry day trips, and its zippers and buckles are designed with glvoed hands in mind.
The pack sells online for $210.
The Zone MIPS Helmet
Giro’s new Zone MIPS helmet is constructed of two separate shells, which makes it better suited to handle multi-directional impacts. The light-weight molded lower shell stays put on the skull, but the ventilated exterior hard shell can rotate slightly. This rotation disperses the force of a collision over a greater surface area, reducing the impact on the skull.
The helmet’s vertical tuning makes it easy to find the perfect fit, and it’s designed to fit seamlessly with Giro brand goggles. A POV camera mount makes it easy to capture all the pre-impact action.
Did you add something to your backcountry essential gear list this season? Email us at