Buyer’s Guide 2021 – Groomers

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Powder may get all the press, but you know there’s nothing like the art and satisfaction of laying a perfect arc in an immaculate groomer. You might not admit it to your friends, but sometimes it feels better than powder. Cruising around the groomers, exploring the hill, hitting the gas pedal with confidence and precision…it’s why you ski. There’s no need for excuses or explanations.



    It may be called the Midweight Ski, but Bridgedale designed its new ski sock for any cold and snowy adventure with lots of merino, Endurofil to wick moisture away from skin, nylon for durability and Lycra for a snug fit. Padding in key spots adds all-day comfort and extra warmth. $35;


POC Cornea Solar Switch goggles


    The electrochromic lens in POC’s Cornea Solar Switch automatically adjusts tint to the sun conditions. It’s not the first goggle to switch from dark to nearly clear, but others rely on bulky battery power and skier input. The Solar Switch uses a small solar panel built into the goggle to power the LCD lens. The transition happens instantaneously without any input from the skier. $500;


Dalbello Asolo DS

    Dalbello went back to the drawing board to design the new Asolo DS, a frontside, hard-charging boot that’s also comfortable. It developed a new liner with premium materials to make this boot easier to get on and off, and redesigned the shell to reduce volume in the instep, Achilles and forefoot, improving responsiveness without constricting. The result is a 98mm-last boot that should fit most feet right out of the box, says Dalbello. From $500;


North 45 Anti-Fog Merino Wool Magnetic Facemask

    Neck warmers don’t stay up, and face masks are constricting and foggy. Montreal-based North 45 has the solution with a hybrid that combines a neck warmer, skull cap and physics. Glue the tiny magnet into the nose bridge of your goggles and the Anti-Fog Merino Wool Magnetic Facemask seals out cold air but leaves room to spare inside to prevent fogging. Brilliant! The magnet and putty glue are provided, and the masks come in a variety of weights and styles. From $60;


Noteworthy * HANDS-FREE BOOT

Nordica HF Elite

    The ’80s called and they want their boot back. The Nordica HF Elite is a rear-entry ski boot with 2021 technology. The boot opens super-wide for easy entry, and then latches closed with the push of a pole or boot. No need to bend over. A double-pivot point adds lateral stability. With a 102mm last, the HF Elite promises to be more comfortable than the rear-entries of old, but with a 110 flex there’s still enough power to ski the whole mountain. $800;


Seirus Magnemitt

    Mittens don’t have to feel like dexterity handcuffs. Magnets close a slash through the back of the hand of the Seirus Magnemitt. Crack it and fingers, protected inside a heat-reflecting liner glove, can pop out to make adjustments or tap on a smartphone. When closed, the gauntlet-style mitt locks out flakes and locks in heat. $230;

Auclair Crosswind

Nothing keeps fingers warm like RDS-certified premium goose down. Auclair stuffed the Crosswind full of this down, then added a waterproof-breathable membrane and wrapped it up with vegetable-tanned goatskin to keep the down lofty and dry, and the fit sublime. $150;

Swany SX-1

Swany combined technology and technique to up the warmth in the SX-1 glove. It used synthetic insulation with aerogel in it to boost heat retention by 50%, added a heat-reflecting liner and used Stem Finger, a construction technique that reduces compression of the insulation at the fingertips. With a waterproof liner, you should have warm hands no matter the weather. $170;


California Cowboy

    Designed for the rigours of après-ski, inside this warm button-down are sunglass and glove holders, and pockets for your phone, bottle opener and beverage of choice. US$148;


Patagonia classic R1 fleece

    To improve its classic R1 fleece, Patagonia added air in the shape of zigzags. The back and forth internal pattern does a better job of wicking moisture, drying and breathing than the square blocks of the past. It’s still cozy, Fair Trade Certified and made from recycled polyester. $159;


Bolle Chronoshield

    Go 1990s retro with these monster shades from Bollé, especially in the optional neon pink colour. More than looks, they’re ideal spring-skiing companions with plenty of protection and venting. $300;



    Blundstone turned 150 this year and they’re still part of a skier’s uniform. Be ready for winter with an insulated lining and cloud-like sheepskin footbed, while staying dry in Australia’s magical waterproof leather. $260;



    Keep goggle lenses scratch-free while expressing a little style and affiliation (from panda eyes to the Canada flag) with one of these protective, easy-on and off microfibre sleeves made from recycled plastic. $16.50;



Blizzard Black Pearl

    The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 was the world’s best-selling ski. Its siblings, the Bonafide, Brahma and Black Pearl 97 were nearly as popular. Now they’re getting an upgrade to make them even more versatile. Starting with the core, Blizzard layered the wood core lengthwise and, uniquely, across the width of the ski, too. The lattice-like structure allows Blizzard to customize not only the flex throughout the ski, but also the edge bite. Denser woods through the centre of the ski add edge grip and control. Softer woods at the tip and tail ease initiation and exit. Add metal in just the right places, new rocker profiles and sidecuts and you’ve got a better classic. From $900;



Helly Hansen

    Hydrophobic and quick to dry, Helly Hansen’s LIFA was the original technical baselayer. Now the company has figured out how to use it to create a more environmentally friendly waterproof-breathable jacket. For the Elevation Infinity Shell Jacket, Helly uses LIFA Infinity Pro in two places, the membrane and exterior. LIFA’s hydrophobic nature means it needs no chemicals to deflect water, yet the shell still brags HH’s proprietary waterproofing, breathability and durability. It also has RECCO reflectors, articulated tailoring for a great fit and integrates with a matching pant. $900;

from Buyer’s Guide 2021

Ryan Stuart
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