We love to ski and snowboard, but I think everyone will always have a few choice words for that brutal winter cold. Dropping mercury can ruin a trip, especially for those of us who just can't figure out a way to stay warm in even the mildest conditions (hey, it happens to the best of us). Luckily, technology is finally catching up to Old Man Winter, proving that we don't have to be miserable every time we're on the mountain. In fact, there are plenty of options out there designed to keep even the most sensitive skier and boarder shredding from open to close.
With ski trip planning well under way, we thought it was time to make a list of those products built to keep us extra toasty and extra stoked this season. Ready, set, send!
Ever wish you could just lug around your own personal heater on some of those unbearably cold snow days? Well, thanks to Brunton, you can. The portable power company produces the Heatsync Vital, a vest and wearable under-the-jacket heating system specifically designed to provide heat to the core of skiers and boarders. Best of all, it is a one-size-fits-all piece with three separate heat settings and weighs only 8 ounces, so it won't cramp your style on the hill. For those who catch a nasty chill, the price is right, but be careful, the Brunton 5V/2.1AMP USB power bank that keeps the Heatsync up and running is sold separately. MSRP $74.99
Cold feet are the second worst thing about skiing (besides, of course, not skiing). While boot heaters have gained popularity over the years (check out Thermic and Hotronic), they add weight to your already clunky ski boots, and when the battery runs out, so does your fun. A great alternative at a comparable price is the Intuition Boot Liner, a series of heat-molded boot liners guaranteed to make your day sweeter. Cold toes are often the product of a poorly fit boot, something a custom fit liner knocks out in one sitting at the local ski shop. Plus, they make ski boots comfy again, the ultimate double whammy. MSRP $198
Unless you grow a burly mountain beard, winter is not the season for showing skin. Cover up your face this winter with a Cyclone Buff from Buff USA, and make sure that you stave off that frozen snotsicle with the coverup's moisture-wicking microfiber and fleece. Easy to fit under a helmet, the Cyclone also employs a Gore Windstopper fabric built to keep gusts out and the warmth in. It's also easy to wash and dry, so keeping the smell of yesterday's chili cheese fry breath away is a non-issue. MSRP $43
It may look like your favorite goofy onesie pajama, but the Patagonia Capilene 4 Baselayer is one piece of skiwear I simply won't go without. Part of staying warm is maintaining a balanced temperature--too cold and you'll freeze, yet if you’re too warm you'll sweat and then that will freeze. The Capilene's moisture-wicking fabric regulates temperature unlike any other baselayer I've ever worn, keeping you dry and warm in any condition. Dropping $200 for a ninja suit might seem like a lot, but I'm not kidding when I say there isn't a better first layer of defense out there. MSRP $199
The Columbia Fusion Exact is the chameleon of the ski outerwear world. OK, so it doesn't change colors to avoid predators, but it does change its heat output to battle killer cold--and that might be even more impressive. The secret is in Columbia's Omni-Heat Reflective technology, a series of metallic dots along the inner side of the jacket that keeps the heat you're generating on the hill inside your jacket, rather than lost somewhere on a windy chairlift. Combined with a waterproof and breathable outer shell, Omni-Heat Reflective helps make the Fusion Exact a must-have option for skiers and boarders who just can't get comfortable on those cold mountain days. MSRP $172.46
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