Gift Ideas For The Outdoor Enthusiast
Are you too busy skiing or ice climbing to come up with gift ideas? Here's a compendium of some of the coolest, most drool-inspiring winter adventure gear, just in time for the holidays!
4 Pines Insulated Pant
They know cold in Jackson, Wyoming. And from Jackson-based Cloudveil comes the 4 Pines Insulated Pant, a best-of-both-worlds piece: Slim Primaloft insulation throughout the entire pant keeps you warm on lift rides without looking like you've gained 5 pounds. The exterior Tweaker Tweed shell fabric is stretchy, windproof and highly water resistant but breathable enough that you won't feel like your legs are in a sauna.
The Vapor Jacket
From Sierra Designs, this jacket is the ultimate backcountry ski or snowshoe jacket (especially because it doesn't cost more than your skis). The construction combines weatherproof softshell fabric for unhindered mobility with an overlay of waterproof/ breathable material across the shoulders and sleeves. Welded seams on the pockets streamline bulk and weight and zippered vents that run almost the length of the sleeve let you air out as needed.
The Patrol Glove
From 180s, this glove improves on the two-pronged approach to keeping hands warm - wicking away sweat inside so hands aren't clammy and sealing out wind and moisture - by using a combination of fabrics that dry, breathe and resist the elements exceptionally well. Moreover, the gloves incorporate 180s' Exhale technology, which traps warm air inside the glove as you blow into it, as well as Primaloft insulation, a large wrist gauntlet, leather palm and a removable liner. For all these features, the price is pretty exceptional, too.
Black Diamond's Verdict Ski
With tip/waist/tail dimensions of 132/118/115, this is a behemoth that lets you float effortlessly through powder, yet so light (9 pounds, 4 ounces) that you won't feel like you're dragging a fat guy up the hill. The secret to making this the lightest ski of its size is a Formula One-based technology (yes, as in race car) that trims expendable bulk while retaining the ski's torsional rigidity so it can hold an edge and plow through crud.
Pair the Verdicts or your backcountry ski of choice with tried- and-true climbing skins from Ascension. A great feature is sizes already trimmed to fit popular ski dimensions, a two-barred tip loop that fits a wide range of skis, and a pumpkin- orange hue.
Icebreaker's Olympia and Slalom zip tops and Strider leggings are the ultimate "green" garments. Knitted entirely of wool from merino sheep in New Zealand's Southern Alps, these base layers are naturally odor-resistant, insulating yet breathable, lightweight and non-itchy. And they're sporty-looking without being flashy. It's hard to say bah-humbug to that.
The Futura Vario Backpack
This pack from Deuter stands out for a day on the slopes in part because of a "shield" made of Ripstop nylon and a custom Aircomfort system; it elevates the pack slightly for air circulation when you're hiking A-Basin's East Wall, say, then protects your back if you wipe out on the way down. Framesheet, aluminum suspension, built-in rain cover, sternum strap with attached emergency whistle and multiple external pockets are also noteworthy features.
Ski or Snowboard Bag
Surprising your spouse or kids with an out-of-state ski trip to Snowbird or Tahoe? A great complement (and one that looks more impressive under the Christmas tree or menorah than a plane ticket) is a ski or snowboard bag from High Sierra. Both feature interior padding, mesh pockets for wet gear and carry straps that can be slung over the shoulder.