Not everything goes as planned in the backcountry, and heading out there with a proper helmet is the least you can do safety-wise. Weather-wise, it’s not all glitter and gold, either, meaning you need solid goggles to navigate around the out-of-bounds. Below, find four helmets and four goggles that’ll get the job done no matter what winter throws at you.
Fornix Backcountry MIPS
The Fornix Backountry MIPS’ name speaks entirely for itself. It’s a backcountry-focused noggin-protector outfitted with an MIPS and featuring an in-mold construction—this helmet is designed for big days out of bounds. And, on top of that it also sports an easy-to-use size adjustment system, strategic venting and a manageable weight of 450 grams.
This brain bucket from Uvex specifically designed for the backcountry. A Boa fit system keeps the helmet snug, while its in-mold construction will keep you safe and sound while coming in at the welcomed weight of 310 grams. Moreover, a removable liner paired and eight total vents keep the air flowin’ on long ascents.
This Bad Larry boasts a top-notch active venting system—fresh air enters via the brim and oversized top vents, and is then dumped through the rear openings. This will keep you cool on strenuous approaches. It’s also built to take on the biggest of blows—which you’ll hopefully never experience—through the use of durable polycarbonate sheets in ares of the head prone to big blows, as well as MIPS.
Igniter Alpiniste—Sweet Protection
Equipped with an injection-molded ABS thermoplastic shell, shock-absorbing EPS liner and eight total vents, the Igniter Alpiniste makes safety and comfort its utmost priorities. For those bagging big lines, it exceeds the certification requirements for both mountaineering and snow sports. On top of that, it has a useful attachment point for a headlamp and a moisture-wicking liner that really seal the deal.
Line Miner W/ Prizm—Oakley
Oakley changed the game with this one. Instead of pushing the lens away from the skier’s face to increase field of vision, Oakley created the Line Miner to sit nice and close with a wide lens that boosts peripheral and up-and-down field of view. The goggle also features a PRIZM lens, which enhances color and contrast, furthering your ability to take in the beautiful backcountry scene in front of you.
Smith’s highly acclaimed ChromaPop technology—lenses that filter light at two specific wavelengths for an incredible boost in contrast and clarity—is now available in its snow goggles, rather than just its sunglasses. No matter if it’s a shark lurking below the surface or a deep snow pocket sticking around late on a powder day, you’ll be able to spot it with ease.
The M2 is one of the best goggles on the market year-in and year-out, primarily because of Magna-Tech. Eighteen rare-earth magnets, with nine connection points, spread between the frame and lens facilitate snappy lens changes. On top of that, its strap features a snap-back adjustment system (like the hat) and a fleece lining around the frame absorbs then releases moisture to eliminate fog.
Things can get hot and sweaty out on the skin track, and that’s why Julbo came out with this ingenious goggle. Its lens can be popped out from its frame, similar to cracking a window, to let heat escape and rid you of lens fogging. In addition, the photochromic lens adapts to changing light conditions—a regularity in the backcountry.