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Adventure, Board / February 5, 2017

The Snow Show: Gear we’re watching

Written by: Stewart Moore

The annual SIA Snow Show is the largest trade event in the snow sports industry. Every January, companies from all over the world come to Denver, Colorado to showcase new styles, technologies, and innovations that continue to drive the snow sports industry.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet with a handful of companies in Denver and also test out gear on the slopes at Copper Mountain. These five products caught our eye.

 

For your dome: Pret Helmets

Pret Helmets came on the scene five years ago with an obvious but revolutionary idea: make helmets shaped like people’s heads.

The helmets are built with a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), which absorbs impacts from all angles. They’re also fitted with RECCO technology, which allows ski patrollers to find the helmet after an avalanche.

Also… they look cool. Pret Helmets come in a variety of colors, and they’re designed to totally eliminate the gaper goggle gap. The helmets don’t sell online, but you can find a store locator and other info on the Pret website.

Just one of dozens of color combos available from Pret Helmets.

Among the biggest perks of SIA attendance is the chance to try next season's gear. We tried Native Eyewear's 2017/18 Spindrift goggles and loved them.

For your orbs: Native Spindrift Goggles

We started using Native sunglasses and goggles five year ago, and we love their lenses. Back in November we featured Native Eyewear’s Backbowl Goggle, and while the Backbowl impressed us, a drawback was that it only came with one non-changeable lens.

At the snow show, we got to test the pre-release Spindrift model for Native’s 2017/2018 lineup. With a medium/large fit and great nasal nest that allows you to breathe easily, the Spindrift features a huge field of view but also comes with interchangeable lenses for different light conditions. We tried out three different lens combinations on these bad boys, and they did not disappoint.

Keep your eyes on Native’s website for the release of the Spindrift next season.

 

For your phalanges: Handout Pro Mitten

Honestly, we have no idea how this idea escaped humanity for so long. The latest product from Handout Gloves is a high-performance, waterproof leather mitten that allows you to use your hand like… well… a hand.

As in all their models, Handout Gloves’ Pro Mitten features a waterproof zipper on the backside that allows you to quickly use your fingers without taking the whole thing off.

Available as a glove and in non-leather versions, the Pro Mitten sells online for $120.

For eco-boarders: Niche 2017/18 Theme

In September we were lucky enough to get to talk with Ana Van Pelt and Kirsten Kolter about their line of award-winning eco-friendly snowboards.

Bio-resins, basalt and flax stringers, recycled metal, and certified sustainable wood set Niche apart from the industry in terms of green practices, and for next season they’re going one step further. The 2017/18 Theme is the world’s first zero waste snowboard… and it rides as well as anything in our quiver.

The 2017/18 Theme won’t be available until the fall, but the company’s 2016/17 line is nothing to scoff at, either.

 

For shredettes: Coalition SOS All Mountain

When most companies design skis for women, they generally build them for a lower center of gravity and a smaller frame. Unfortunately, they also generally build them with the assumption that women don’t shred as hard as men. As a result, makers of women’s skis usually cheap out on materials or design.

Thankfully, the ladies at Coalition Snow are working to get patriarchy’s hands off your boards. The ski and snowboard company focuses exclusively on women’s gear, and is entirely female owned and operated.

As a 5’6″, 135 lb. male, I can say that the SOS All Mountain Skis also hold up for men who are smaller than Shaquille O’Neal.

The 2017/18 SOS won’t come out until the fall, but the 2016/17 version sells online for $699.

Want to learn more about a piece of gear on this list? Email us your questions at [email protected].

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about the author

Stewart Moore

Stewart Moore is a writer and endurance athlete based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally from Alabama, Stewart has hiked over 1,000 solo miles, completing the Colorado Trail in 2015 and a 500+ mile trip linking the Tahoe Rim Trail and the John Muir Trail together via the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. Outside of hiking, Stewart enjoys trail running, snowboarding, ice climbing, fly fishing, and yoga (subjects which he also finds himself writing about).

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