From the Ski Canada Test Kitchen

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We’ve taken new gear to the mountains and come up with some picks to pack.


  Olympus’s OM-D E-M5 ($1,299) won a pride of awards last year, so on a hunch it was chosen for last year’s Readers’ Trip to Champéry, Switzerland. The dust- and splash-proof model is but a third of the size and weight—400g versus around 1,300g—of a pro-level, full-frame camera sans lenses. That means it stores into a super-small waist belt—and leaves room for other things, like carry-on ski boots. Size and weight savings come via the micro 4/3s innovative mirror-free technology. Small and mighty, it packs punch. Its technical specs read like the photographer’s holy grail. In fact, the Champéry story was shot with the OM-D. Have a look for yourself.

  Head adds one of the world’s most popular fitness training apps to its safety award-winning helmet. Enter the stylish Sensor BT Runtastic ($299) complete with a strap-on heart monitor. Bluetooth technology broadcasts Runtastic-generated information like heart rate and calorie consumption when attached to your phone’s GPS system. Set yourself a training schedule and an app’s voice will coach you through height-adjustable speakers. The system updates social media in real time.

  Helly Hansen identifies core areas to both precisely insulate and vent, depending on the conditions, with its mid-layer H² Flow Jacket ($200). When closed down, body heat passes through the inner mesh to warm the polar fleece’s perforated pockets. Open the venting zips and allow ambient air to flush (or in HH parlance: Flow), cooling the jacket’s microclimate (the pockets also double as vents). Made for the active outdoors-person, H² Flow does what it says, working particularly well when getting off the beaten track in variable heat-and-cardio-intensity conditions, like off-piste skiing.

  SOG’s PowerLock S62 ($114) begins with its unique chassis that applies compound leverage technology to its pliers, wire cutter and crimper, doubling the leverage of its competitors. When using its serrated knife, V-cutter, file and other accessories, the locking feature kicks in to keep fingers safe. A couple of nice bonuses: a ¼-inch socket drive works with a Hex bit accessory kit of a dozen interchangeable heads, transforming it into a versatile pocket-sized tool chest. Replacement pieces can be ordered online so you can customize your Powerlock at will.

  The North Face’s new synthetic Thermoball insulation from PrimaLoft shows up in several must-have pieces, like the vest ($180), jacket ($230) and hoodie ($250, shown here). Thermoball offers the best of both worlds: the warmth of 600-fill goose down and the wet-weather performance that comes with synthetics. Each item is ultra-light (330g), highly compressible (you might forget it’s in your pack, plus it’s hand-pocket stowable) and just as appreciated at the summit after your hike as it is at après ski.

  The Doom goggle from Spy ($220) comes with a free bonus lens, which is great because it also comes with Spy’s new Lock Steady quick-change technology, allowing easy, fingerprint-free lens changes when the weather in the afternoon isn’t what it was in the morning. It’s anti-scratch, helmet-compatible and available in five colours—but we chose the Beach Party Bombers…mostly because of the name.

  Mountain Hardwear’s new Compulsion Glove ($170) is specifically designed for skiers. Its Outdry and Q.Shield with ion-mask technology take water-resistancy to a new level, all within a Kevlar-stitched soft goat-skin-leather exterior. Inside warmth comes from a wool-blend lining combined with Thermal Q.Elite synthetic, which mimics the structure of goose down, combining a matrix of gaps and softer fibres to fill those gaps. And with your mother not around to help, the pull-on webbing loop at the wrist makes doffing and donning a snap.

  Denmark’s Glerups Feltshoes are new to the Great White North, but they’ve got “ski crowd” written all over them. The shoe (shown here), slipper and boot are all wool, all comfort, with either leather or rubber soles depending on how crazy your après-ski lifestyle is. Styles range from $99-$119, but a pair is yours free if you join Ski Canada in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Ski Canada Staff
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