Here’s what gear we’re rockin’ on the hill for springtime shredding
It’s a joyous time of year; a time when the temperatures are higher, the sun shines bright, spring corn snow blankets the mountains and bell-to-bell laps with your friends are more fun than ever. In other words, it’s spring. And with it comes the oh-so-epic activity of spring skiing. So, to help you crush the tail end of the ski season to the maximum, we’ve rounded up a ton of radical, spring-friendly gear, below. Take a look and have fun out there, friends.
686 GLCR GORE-TEX Paclite Multi Jacket
We’re damn excited that 686 has emerged onto the ski scene, and products like the GLCR GORE-TEX Paclite Multi Jacket validate that move. This brand-new product screams “spring” with a fully waterproof build, water-resistant zippers, micro-mesh chest pockets that double as vents, an internal media pocket, an antimicrobial wool collar and removable/adjustable straps that make for easy on-and-off of the jacket on the skin track and/or other high-exertion occurrences. In other words, it’s built to keep you extremely comfortable and prevent moisture no matter what you’re battling—sweat, snow or rain. Perhaps the coolest aspect of the Paclite is that it has a mini bag in one of its pockets that the jacket easily packs into—perfect for those varying spring temperatures, particularly in the backcountry. Bottom line: it’s super versatile; totally usable for hiking, biking and more, while also being stylish as hell off the mountain.
The North Face Apex GTX Jacket
This The North Face product sports everything you could ever need in a spring jacket. A weatherproof GORE-TEX 3L shell fights off the elements, while sporting enough breathability to comfortably exert energy out on the hill. Throw on a simple baselayer underneath and you’re good to go on most spring days. The comfortable soft-shell build also offers a lot of stretch, ideal for the skin track or just rippin’ down groomers at your local resort. Throw in pit zips, waterproof zippers, an adjustable hood and hem and a stylish, street-friendly fit and you’ve got yourself a real winner. (It also comes in a women’s version, available here.)
Under Armour ColdGear Reactor Hooded Jacket
While this midlayer from Under Armour gets the job done all season long, we’ve been really enjoying it lately in warmer temps for a few reasons. For one, when paired with just a baselayer, it serves as a solid primary spring jacket; not too hot, not too cold, just right. Additionally, it repels water and wind to keep you dry and comfortable on the inside. And, while the ColdGear Reactor intelligent insulation excels in keeping you warm when it’s freezing out, it’s just as effective on hotter days because that adaptive insulation works around the clock, in any conditions.
The North Face WHOISTHIS Jacket
Windproof, water-resistant and breathable, the Women’s WHOISTHIS jacket is ideal for the lady springtime shredder. Great as a midlayer on colder days or by itself on warmer ones, this lightweight jacket—made with over 50-percent recycled materials—looks good both on and off the hill. Its shirt-style, snap-up design is mega-sleek, too, highlighted by a collar, chest pockets, shirt-tail hem and a relaxed fit.
Tierra Deterra Jacket
Environmentally-concious skiers, listen up. This jacket from Swedish brand, Tierra, is entirely bio-based (no fossil materials involved. It’s made of castor beans, Tencel, wool, corn, cotton and corozo nuts, and Tierra says they’ll use the jacket “to talk about new materials and solutions as part of our quest to make technical clothes that are sustainable both for us users and the planet.” Sure, it’s not as technical as some of the other gear in this roundup, but it’s extremely comfortable and serves as an awesome midlayer all year round. The Deterra jacket isn’t currently for sale, but it’ll be available by fall 2017 and you can learn more about its creation via the button, below.
Under Armour GORE-TEX Chugach Bib Pants
Spring can be wet—really wet. So why wear pants that can’t stand up to the moisture? Avoid the trouble and go for these waterproof bibs from Under Armour. They’ve got a 28K/20K waterproof/breathability rating, built to crush spring (and, of course, winter) incredibly well. Fully-taped seams add to that prowess, too.
lululemon Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve
Built to crush the hill, après and even non-winter activities, lululemon’s Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve is a super impressive do-it-all garment. Sweat-wicking, four-way stretch X-STATIC fabric is smooth to the skin while also providing serious function, aided by a mesh construction that allows prime air flow in high-sweat zones. A slightly loose fit builds on that comfort—especially with spring’s warmer, more humid weather—and also makes the shirt look darn good off the hill.
REI Co-op Merino Midweight Base Layer Top
For spring skiing days when the temps are still on the colder side, this soft, mid-weight, moisture-wicking and odor-resistant merino wool base layer is a trusted companion. The ultra-fine merino is purely plush—not scratchy. The flat seams do away with chafing concerns. Underarm gussets allow for a full range of movement and a drop tail hem is designed to stay tucked in. Pair it with the Co-op Merino Midweight bottoms. Both the top and bottom are available in a women’s version, too.
Smartwool Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Brief
Keep your underparts comfortable-as-can-be all spring by way of Smartwool’s amazing Merino 150 Pattern Boxer Brief. Like all of Smartwool’s products, these are made with breathable, soft, light, yet durable merino wool and feel like a dream against your skin. Additionally, they’re moisture-wicking and odor-controlling to increase comfort as much as possible. Warning: You might throw away all the other underwear you own after putting these on.
Phunkshun Wear Single Tube Facemask
Phunkshun’s Single Tube is our best friend in the springtime. Cover up your mug with one thin layer and protect yourself from sun, wind and cold. Rest assured breathability is crazy-good, even when you’ve tucked the face mask into your goggles for zero skin exposure. This moisture-wicking piece provides UPF 50+ and odor control. Plus, it’s made in the USA and made from recycled plastic bottles.
Pret Cirque X Helmet
Airflow is key in the springtime—no matter what kind of gear we’re talking about—and this tech-packed helmet from Pret thrives in that category. Tons of gaping vents up top, out front and in the back keep your noggin cool, calm and relaxed, while X Static fabric nixes odor from that sweaty head of yours. In the safety category, different thicknesses of polycarbonate sheets provide durability while remaining lightweight, supplemented by a full-wrap lower shell decked out with MIPS to properly take blows from all directions. Just because the snow is soft doesn’t mean it won’t hurt your head, people. Buckle up and be smart.
Oakley Line Miner Goggle with PRIZM Lens
We’ve been rocking’ these goggs all season and they’re performing super well as we dive into spring. To begin, the close-to-face fit and wide lens offer optimal peripheral vision. And, on top of that, the PRIZM lens adapts to varying conditions incredibly well. Even when the light’s flat, you can trust the lens to increase color and contrast and result in a safe ride. Not to mention, they’re super badass lookin’, too.
Smith Squad Goggle with ChromaPop Lens
Smith’s latest lens innovation, ChromaPop, increases color and contrast on the hill so you can enjoy shredding more than ever. And, fortunately, these Squad goggles feature said lens. Rip around in style and see everything with totally clarity, then laugh at all your friends rocking scratched lenses that don’t adapt to the changing spring weather.
anon. M3 Goggle
First and foremost, the M3’s lens-swapping system—Magna-Tech, which connects lenses to the frame via 18 rare-Earth magnets (nine connection points)—is super for spring. No matter the conditions, changing from lens to lens ain’t no thang. And, on top of that impressive system, its sleek cylindrical lens provides a great field of view, improved upon by way of big vents that prevent any and all fogging. In sum, these goggles are dressed to impress.
Avoid the dreaded foggy lenses of spring skiing via the Abom Goggle, equipped with KLAIR technology that heats and disintegrates moisture electrically, via a rechargeable battery. Be on the lookout this fall, when Abom debuts its newest anti-fog goggle, the Abom Heet. It’s lighter, lower profile and has intelligent sensors to help react and adjust the heat output to conserve energy and prevent fogging efficiently.
Hestra Wakayama Gloves
We’ve been waiting all season to whip these puppies out for some spring shredding and, as expected, they deliver, 100-percent. Comfortable, lightweight and durable, these gloves are like heaven on your hands. Impregnated cowhide gets the job done on the outside, while the wool terry interior strikes a balance—not too hot, not too cold. They’re not the most waterproof, but they’re some of the best darn spring skiing gloves we could possibly imagine, nonetheless.
Oakley Factory Pipe Gloves
Springtime calls for a spring glove like this Oakley Factory Pipe Glove. It’s lightweight, fits snug, has a DWR finish to fight off moisture and a microsuede brushed inner liner to keep it comfortable within. To top it off, super grippy palms and fingers help you hang onto your poles like a champ while nuking through spring slush.
lululemon ABC Pants
There are few better feelings than slipping out of your ski gear and sliding into a nice set of cozy clothes. These lululemon ABC Pants are the belle of the ball when this glorious time of day arrives. Four-way stretch, sweat-wicking Warpstreme fabric is incredibly lightweight and breathable, equating to the smoothest post-ski feeling imaginable. A sleek lifestyle look also makes ‘em worth wearing around the clock, not just after a day of spring shredding. Bonus spec for bikers, runners and walkers: fold up the cuffs and they expose reflective details to keep you safe in the streets.
Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket
Whether you’re winter camping, car camping or just kickin’ it at home after a day of spring shredding, this blanket will keep you wildly comfortable. Imagine your favorite down jacket in blanket form, and that’s essentially what you’re working with here. 600 fill insulation gets the job done super well, without being too hot in the spring months, aided by a tough DWR coating to fight off moisture. And, despite being such a big and puffy product, it packs down like a champ into a sleek stuff sack.
YETI Hopper Two 30 Cooler
YETI’s new Hopper Two 30 is a legend among coolers—plain ‘n’ simple. Building on the success of its younger brother, The Hopper, it keeps its contents cold for days on end—much thanks to a burly exterior made with the same material that’s used on white water rafts. Bad-to-the-bone zippers further that top-notch performance, as well as a super durable exterior that won’t break, leak or tear. Handy straps also make the cooler easy to take around on adventures, because this thing isn’t built to just sit on your porch all day.
Vapur 1L Wide Mouth Anti-Bottle
You know those products that you look at, and they make so much sense that you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” This is one of those products, for sure. Vapur has taken the typical idea of a water bottle and flipped it on its head with the “anti-bottle” design. Instead of hard plastic or metal, these bottles are totally soft and storable. And, not only do they fit in your pocket well on the hill, but, when you’re finished, they roll up into a nearly-unnoticable package. Don’t fret, it’s BPA-free and machine washable. (Vapur also makes booze-friendly products that we recommend checking out, for sure.)
Lifeproof FRĒ Phone Case
Nothing ruins a day of spring shredding more than a perfectly-good phone flying out of your pocket mid-spread eagle, right into a puddle of slush. Unless, that is, you own a Lifeproof FRĒ Phone Case. Waterproof and shock-absorbent, these cases are built to take on the gnarliest of situations, so you can ski stress-free and keep your device handy the whole time. The button, below, takes you to the iPhone 7 version but Lifeproof makes cases for most modern cellphones, here.
The North Face Thermoball Versa Boots
We just put these suckers to use for the first time in Whistler, BC, where in our two days of on- and off-hill testing we experienced everything from heavy snowfall to pissing rain. Down in Whistler Village, it was more of the latter (not surprising, given spring has arrived). The waterproof and insulated Versa Boots were a life-saver for us, keeping our feet warm and dry as we made our away around town, trudging through wet snow. PrimaLoft ThermoBall synthetic insulation in the collar and 100g PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco in the vamp provided just the right amount of warmth. That is to say, it’s not the type of insulation that might yield sweaty-hot feet, but it sure was noticeably pleasant compared to a standard, non-insulted boot. Style and comfort are on-point, too.
Arcade Adventure Belt
The FREESKIER staff swears by these belts and so should you. Designed by outdoorspeople, intended for outdoorspeople, these bad boys feature a little bit of stretch to let you be active and not restrict you in any way. Think yoga pants for your waist, but in belt form… On top of the snug yet forgiving belt material, the buckle is also on point; a simple plastic closure system hangs on tight and doesn’t loosen whatsoever throughout the day—though you’re welcome to do so on your own after a few apres beers. Wear it on the hill, wear it to work, wear it in the off season, wear it all the time.
Dakine Heli Pro 20L Backpack
Be prepared for the best darn spring shredding of your life by keeping this stellar pack from Dakine on your back at all times. For those venturing into the backcountry, it has a plethora of useful pockets for all your gear, and for those just rippin’ the resort it’s still a comfortable and roomy bag for all your belongings. No matter what you’re up to, the hydration sleeve comes in handy, big time, and off the hill you’ll find the 15-inch laptop sleeve to be super useful.
Tipsy Elves Big Air Ski Sweater
While this garment may not be as technical as the others in this roundup, it sure does have style. Imagine yourself just sending it off the biggest knoll you can find at your spring skiing destination of choice, tossing a classic old-school trick and wearing this frickin’ thing. Yeah, you’d look like a total legend and likely receive many high-fives and/or drinks after completion.