Welcome to a special Backcountry Issue installment of Gear Spotlight from FREESKIER. Here, we provide a close-up look at the equipment and accessories that everyone should know about when heading off-piste. Can’t get enough gear? Click here to see our entire 2019 Buyer’s Guide.
The HEAD KORE 105 maintains its position as one of the most versatile skis on the market. Inside, this ski features a combination of featherweight karuba wood which is strengthened by Graphene, Koroyd and carbon fiber. The result here is an amazingly lightweight yet strong set of skis that will carry you with confidence across the resort, through the backcountry gate and into the untracked snow that’s waiting for you outside the boundaries.
Gone are the days of needing a touring- and resort-specific ski setup. Introducing the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC, a binding that provides skiers the responsiveness and safety features of a fully TÜV-certified alpine binding combined with the touring capabilities of pin-tech bindings. For riders who split time between the resort, sidecountry and longer backcountry missions, this binding affords you the opportunity to do it all on one pair of twigs.
Designed for short stints out of bounds, the Backcountry Access Float 17 Speed provides industry-leading airbag technology in a compact package. Its Float 2.0 inflation system is 30 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than its previous iteration, meaning more room and less weight, with the peace of mind of an airbag pack.
Dragon is taking a different approach to goggle design with the all-new PXV. Employing a toric lens, called Panotech, Dragon’s engineers give skiers the best of both worlds: a wide field of vision without that bulky, bug-eyed look. The color-optimizing Lumalens technology also brings out the detail of your mountain environment, one of the reasons for heading out-of-bounds in the first place.
The Off-Piste Leather gloves from Level should be a go-to for riders who seek out a variety of conditions in the mountains. With a durable, waterproof goat leather exterior and Swiss wool insulation, these gloves protect your hands against inevitable brushes with rocks, ice and tree branches, while keeping your digits snug and warm in the most demanding weather conditions. For the skier who needs dexterity, toughness and warmth from their gloves, look no further than the Off-Piste Leather.
Downhill performance meets uphill prowess in these boots from Nordica. The Strider Pro 130 DYN provides the stiffness and responsiveness that the most demanding skiers seek from their ski boots, with touring-capabilities that will have backcountry skiers taking notice, too. With a Grilamid construction, these boots are notably rigid and lightweight, and Nordica’s Infared Heating Element—an in-shop customization process—skyrockets the comfort level.
686 is revolutionizing the hydration game with its all-new GLCR Hydrastash Reservoir Jacket. Featuring a patent-pending design that holds up to 25 ounces of water comfortably wrapped around your waist in a custom powder skirt, the Hydrastash negates the need to haul a bladder around in your pack. Its DWR-treated stretch fabric with 20K/15K waterproof/breathability ratings ensures you’ll stay protected from the harshest off-piste elements, in addition to its top-notch hydrating capabilities.