Gear & Gadgets Vol 48 #3

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Auclair Race Fusion

Magic armour! Auclair’s Race Fusion ($225) glove might make gate bashing almost comfortable. Lining the back of the hand and fingers of its newest race glove is a layer of D3O. Most of the time the material is soft and flexible. But hit it and it instantly stiffens to absorb and dissipate impact energy. Auclair says it absorbs 34 per cent more energy than the usual armour inside race gloves. The rest of the Race Fusion is just as luxe with a textured goat-skin palm, a proprietary waterproof membrane, an easy-to-layer neoprene cuff and 133g of Primaloft synthetic insulation.

Apple Watch Series 5

Whether you need an ECG on the chairlift, a compass to find the lift, or you can’t get up and need an international emergency call sans phone, it’s all on your wrist. Now into Series 5, the Apple Watch (from $529) continues to offer even more help, feedback, communications and entertainment for skiers and boarders; it’s like you have a mini iPhone or laptop on your wrist. Health and fitness is a key push with multiple apps from heart monitoring to automatically recognizing your sport or workout and then quantifying it. Make your day or week in the backcountry go smoother with the new ground elevation feature that shows current elevation along with direction, heart rate and a breathing app alert when you’re overwhelmed. While you’re at it, sneak a pair of AirPods into your Christmas stocking (from $219) for near instant connection and seamless communication, or listening with your new watch or other Apple devices.

Ewool Pro Heated Vest

Keep your core warm and you’ll stay comfortable all day. Not surprisingly, Ewool’s Pro Heated Vest ($498) was designed in Canada and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to test it than at a home hill. Want to stay out for a couple more runs before lunch? Is it a long windy ride up the chair? Or do you want to keep biking to work in winter? Just push the button to add a zap from the built-in battery then relax as the heat envelops you, even in the collar.

Arc’teryx Voltair pack

An avalanche pack will help you stay on top of things, but if charging an air canister at your destination is a problem (U.S. air travel does not allow charged compressed air packs) or if you hesitate on the handle, unsure if “this is the time to pull,” consider a Voltair pack from Arc’teryx as this year’s big Christmas present. Practice makes perfect, or certainly makes it automatic when there’s no hesitation about unnecessary deployment. The powerful Li-Ion battery (now good to -20 temps) allows the user repeated same-day deployments before recharging, and the flashing LED light lets you know you’re good to go. In the event of a puncture, the fan continues to top up for five minutes, while the wraparound bag design offers better head protection. Deflation/repacking is fast and simple. The top load bag isn’t over-engineered with extra pockets, just laminated, solid, weather-tight construction with waterproof zippers. 20 usable litres at 3.2 kg ($1,250) or, shown here, the 3.5-kg 30-litre ($1,300) size, battery $400 and 790g extra.

Giro Jackson helmet

Giro’s popular ultra-light Jackson helmet ($219) with MIPS technology and dialled-in Form 2 Fit system has quickly become a favourite from high-speed groomers to the park and the backcountry. Its subtle lines and clean design offer seamless compatibility with Giro goggles. Removable earpads and superior venting.

from December 2019 issue

Ski Canada Staff
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