Winter Buyer's Guide

Archive

The Titanium Smartphones can handle shock and dust, or so Motorola claims. Editor Sam Moulton and Intern Dave put the phones to the test.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Jones Snowboards Mountain Twin.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Fischer RCS Carbonlite Skating Hole skis.

The 1964 Olympic silver medalist picks his favorite ski mountains

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Line Celebrity 100 skis.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain jacket.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Black Diamond Custom boots

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Salomon F4.0 snowboard boots.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the CW-X Insulator Stabilyx tights.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer Bra.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Pro-Tec B2 Snow helmet.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Saucony PowerGrid Cortana running shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Saucony ProGrid Outlaw.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Casio ProTrek PRW-5000Y-1 watch.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Merrell Wilderness Canyon boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Rossignol Super 7 Skis.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the L.L. Bean Polartec Power Dry Quarter-Zip Lightweight base layer.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Nau 3/4 Length Cocoon jacket.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Marker Duke bindings

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Black Diamond Cayenne gloves

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Atlas Aspect snowshoes.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Volkl Nunataq skis

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Salomon Quest 30 pack

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Columbia Hoodster boots.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Canada Goose HyBridge Lite jacket

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Surly Pugsley bike.

Skis may be sexier, but boots are more important

Intern Dave dives deep for Olympus’s waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof point and shoot, the TG-810. For more of the right travel gear, check out our travel essentials.

For this winter’s Buyer’s Guide our testers teamed up with Backcountry magazine to put the skis through the ringer, for a week, in waist-deep powder.

Avalanche air bags are gaining in popularity. And for good ­reason—they can increase survival rates by 98 percent.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Rossignol Krypto Magtek snowboard.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the CAMP Xenon Trek pole.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Pole.

Outside Buyer’s Guide editor Sam Moulton takes Intern Dave and Patagonia’s waterproof Primo Down jacket to the carwash.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the BCA Arsenal A-1 shovel with 35-centimeter saw.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Exped Explorer 120 trekking pole.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Oakley Holbrook sunglasses.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Contour+ POV camera.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoe

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Cassin X-All -Mountain ice ax

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Tecnica Cochise Ski Boot

A great looking down jacket that can weather harsh conditions. $325…

An 850-fill goose down jacket at home on a weekend climb or in the city. $269…

Wick away sweat and stay warm with these new baselayers, the Helly Hansen W Verglas Hybrid $100 and the Neve Designs Chamonix $130.

A pair of well-priced, versatile snowshoes built for rolling hills and trails.

Classic board shorts perfect for that ultimate winter getaway. $108…

Buyer’s Guide managing editor Alicia Carr picks some of her favorite new gear from the SIA snow show.

Look your part on the slopes or in town with these stylish lids. From $35-70.

A tough, old school commuter bag made in the U.S.A. $170…

Buyer’s Guide managing editor Alicia Carr picks her favorite gear from the SIA Snow Show.

An axe that works for everything from chopping kindling to field dressing an animal. $170…

Take your finest wine into the backcountry with this budget gift. $10…

A fashionable new jacket that works just as well on the slopes as it looks good at the resort bar. $300…

The most versatile jacket, and our Gear of the Year winner.

Whether you’re cutting blocks to build a snow shelter or testing slope stability, this light and compact (12-inch) metal saw won’t let you down—it’s durable enough to cut through wood or ice. bcaccess.com…

HARD CHARGER Textile wonks say the Velocity’s Schoeller NanoSphere fabric—which runs across the jacket’s shoulders and back—is inspired by the especially water-repellent leaf of the white lotus. How closely it resembles its natural cousin we can’t say, but the Velocity does shed water better than most soft shells. And because…

When your snot starts to freeze on your face, grab this goose-down monster. Smart vents in the chest minimize overheating on hard-charging descents. oakley.com…

Hats with built-in speakers have been around for years, but a faux-shearling-lined plaid Bomber that also plays tunes? Who can resist? bulabula.com…

What started as a utilitarian whitewater helmet has crossed over to snow sports. With alternating layers of plastic and energy-absorbing foam, the Fresh Roy is the safest helmet for the money. Wear it as is with a thin beanie or Velcro in the included fleece liner with ear…

Wherever you roam—on the sea under a blazing sun or in the forest on an overcast day—these polarized green-gray lenses, with a gradient that’s darker up top, let your eyes relax and enjoy the scenery. revo.com…

Run in any weather? A Gore-Tex XCR liner and Salomon’s aggres-sive Contagrip tread handle the ugliest conditions. One-pull Kevlar laces are hassle-free and secure on wild descents. We loved the snug, fully gusseted tongue and lower heel height of the women’s model. Buying tip: They run almost a full…

BACKCOUNTRY CHOPS Good for Big Mountain Smooth, light, supple, and quick. Those were the most common words our testers used to describe the Coomba. The 22m sidecut and wood-core board is easy on your legs, and the ski is lightweight enough for hiking or touring. The…

Designed specifically for the park and pipe, the Shiv’s eight vents do an adequate job of cooling, and the detachable magnetic goggles clip is a smart feature—just don’t lose it. giro.com…

FlyLow takes a classic pigskin-and-Thinsulate work glove and oven-bakes it with a beeswax coating. The result: warmth and water resistance for the price of dinner. flylowgear.com…

SKI SHARP Good for Resort Look as good as you ski. The Spectre is for the guy who wants street-smart style but not at the expense of top-end technical performance. Beneath the understated, retro tweed is a waterproof-breathable Gore Performance Shell membrane protecting the jacket’s blizzard-ready…

BREATHES EASY Biggest surprise of the test: In light rain and on moist trails, the Chinscraper’s soft-shell upper blocked out water just a well as Gore-Tex but breathed considerably better. Plus it felt smooth on moderate terrain and in snow, even paired with snowshoes, though not as much on rocky,…

We didn’t expect the first hybrid Android smartphone/GPS device to do both jobs so competently. Preloaded with maps for North America—with worldwide ones downloadable from Garmin’s store—it uses cell towers and satellites, for better, faster mapping (especially in rural areas) than any other phone can offer. The camera, music player,…

This is the warmest boot we tested this year (rated to 60 below zero). The key is a removable, quick-dry felt liner, with an inner heat-reflective layer that also helps draws moisture out of the boot, plus the mid-calf height keeps the snow out with the pull of a…

This is the warmest glove here. The outer is a beefy, Gore-Tex-lined and insulated glove with goatskin fingers and a full over-the-jacket-cuff gauntlet. But testers especially loved the inner glove, which has a Windstopper liner and tacky palm that make it perfect for nordic or spring skiing.

The best compliment this snowboard received from our testers: “This is a powder champ that doesn’t need to sit in the closet until the big snows come.” The keys to its versatility are Kevlar plates, which transfer energy to the edges for powerful turns on groomers, and bands of…

ROCK THE GLOP The little brother of Rossi’s S7 powder ski, the new S6 features U Rocker—bent up at the tip and tail, flat underfoot. As you’d expect, it floats in crud and fluff, but that flat section adds edging confidence. You can arc the ski into a big sweeping…

For slogs into the backcountry, this soft shell carried its (barely there) weight with smart features like a chenille-soft chin guard and slanted pockets you can still access with a pack on. It won’t stand up to a major snowstorm—the Pro Tour is only water-resistant—but it’s the go-to jacket…

Saves Some for Later Last fall, we picked Nike’s amazing LunarGlide+, with its unique Dynamic Support midsole, as our Gear of the Year. Nike built the new LunarEclipse+ on the same platform but opened up the toe box, and took its stability one notch further, bracing the heel with a…

You’ll get the right support with HANDFUL‘s feminine but run-worthy BRA.

1. Atlas’s signature Spring-Loaded Suspension helps underfoot crampons bite into hard snow and ice for maximum traction. Offset rows of aggressive teeth have exceptional lateral stability and grip to keep you from sliding sideways while traversing. During a heinous descent of Vermont’s exposed Sunset Ridge Trail—a mix of rock,…

Interchangeable lens, done right: Flip open the hinged front gasket, pop in a different lens (it ships with two) and in a matter of seconds you’ve got the right tint for the conditions. carrerasportusa.com…

A pair of FULs weighs just four pounds. But unlike other light-weight boots, they don’t skimp on freestyle flex or overall comfort. Credit the internal heel landing pad and secure harness, which held our heels in place during hard toe-side carves. ridesnowboards.com…

From ripping the steeps at Silverton to carving groomers at Loveland, these twin tips were the ultimate hero skis. Their wood core makes them feel indestructibly stiff while bombing descents, yet their lightweight construction means they climb easily too. 128/98/121, 8.4 lbs; rossignol.com   Bonus: Super stable in crud.  …

The Heli Ski Short’s water-resistant leather-and-nylon shell fits so well, it’s hard to believe the liner is removable. hestrausa.com…