Attention, snow-loving gearheads—if you’re in the market for some new toys, there’s plenty on offer this winter. From items that keep you warm and dry, to tech that will keep you safe, we’ve got a few items worth adding to your repertoire this snow season.
Depending on how cold it gets where you ski, and how numb your fingers turn on the chairlift, heated gloves and mittens can be considered either an indulgent luxury or a must-have investment. Many heated gloves offer various settings, so you can cruise on “low” while you’re making your way down the hill, and crank them up to “high” while you wait in the lift line. Just don’t forget to recharge your batteries at night!
There are few feelings more unsettling than the sensation of stepping into soaking-wet (and probably really stinky) ski boots in the morning. Luckily, there’s a solution to this: portable boot dryers. All you have to do is remove your ski boots at home, pop them on the heater, and let it do its thing. They’ll be bone dry in time for first chair. Most models are pretty reasonably priced and will dry your boots within 12 hours, but if you’re willing to fork over the dough, you can find heaters that will get the job done in less than half an hour!
A satellite messenger is more than just a cool gadget—it’s your way to stay in contact with the rest of the world when you’re in the backcountry, long out of cell service range. Satellite messengers help you check in with a loved one to let them know you’re okay, track your route via GPS, and—perhaps most importantly—call for help in an emergency. There are several different brands and models, each offering varying features at different price points. Some require monthly or annual subscription services, so be sure to include that in your budget.
If you’re driven by data and appreciate brilliant engineering, then smart goggles are for you. They’ll monitor your speed, log your miles, and track your runs, and you’ll be able to watch it all happen in real time, since the stats are displayed inside your goggles. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it: picture a tiny little dashboard that you can glance at mid-run. A quick peek will let you know your exact speed at any given time. Smart goggles can also help you track down your buddies, answer phone calls in the middle of a lap, and manage your playlist, among other impossibly cool features. They’re not cheap, but consider the fact that your goggles are essentially a computer.
Electric boot liners
Most would agree that the worst part about skiing is the boots. Aside from getting custom fitted ski boots, the next best trick to making them tolerable is to invest in electric boot liners. Trim them down to fit the insides of your boots and slip them in like regular insoles—except, unlike regular insoles, these ones will warm up and keep your tootsies toasty lap after lap after lap.
Helmet-compatible Bluetooth set
Whether you use it to play tunes, answer phone calls, or walkie-talkie with your friend, a Bluetooth set built specifically to be worn with your helmet is incredibly convenient.
The best ones are able to pick up your voice, crystal clear, minimizing the sound of the wind whooshing past you as you send it down the mountain. In other words, it’s entirely possible to take a business call and convince your boss that you’re working out of your home office, rather than enjoying a day on the hill. We won’t tell.
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