Gear & Gadgets

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from 40th Anniversary issue

 A leader in on-slope safety products, POC’s melon protection lineup includes the Receptor Backcountry helmet ($299). With its patented MIPS System, rotational forces to the brain (through serious oblique or lateral crashes) are reduced when a replaceable pin shears and the helmet’s liner releases from its outer shell.

 Whether you’re catching an epic powder day in the Kootenays, BASE-jumping in the Alps or swimming with your dog in Georgian Bay, the resulting high-def video and still photos from a GoPro are so remarkably sharp, clear and vibrant, it’s hard to believe it all comes out of such a small package. Three models from the HD Hero 960 to the new HD Hero2 Professional range from $199 to $399. Check out how much cooler GoPro pros’ lives are compared to yours:

 The all-electric Tesla Roadster has been turning heads for several years now, including around Ontario’s private ski clubs. The 53 kWh battery-powered Roadster is famous for its all-torque, 0-to-100 in 3.7 seconds acceleration as well as its Toronto-to-Collingwood (and back) electric bill for less than $10. (Maximum range almost 400 km.) And yes, the lithium-ion battery prefers winter cold over summer heat. But it’s become a limited-time offer now that the high-end California car-maker has wound up production on the Roadster and will soon be launching its somewhat more practical, but still sexy, Model S, making the Roadster the definitive “collector’s item.”

 The North Face’s Powder Guide Vest ($250) offers plenty of carrying capacity without the need for a bulky pack. Modelled on a staple hanging in pro patrollers’ lockers, your skis, board, avy gear, lunch and more will fit snugly on, or in, the many pockets of this durable vest.

 If your energy level is crashing near the top of an off-piste hike or you just want to ski through a busy lunch hour, the right kind of calories are in a Clif Bar snack, or a more instant performance product like Clif ShotBloks energy chews. With no preservatives (other than salt), no animal ingredients, and almost all organic, your jacket pocket is empty without a little extra energy. And unlike the competition (now owned by Nestlé and Kraft), the über-environmentally and community-conscious Clif Bar has always been run by athletes who understand food from seed to table—even if your table happens to be somewhere in the high alpine.

 Norway’s Helly Hansen is at home on the sea as much as the mountain, and its Arctic Boot ($180) incorporates the best of both. Premium full-grain leather is naturally waterproof, the suede upper and felt lining are as comfy as a slipper, and its Helly Wear rubber outsole will keep you from slipping whether you’re clearing a drive or a mountain peak.

Blundstone has been in the boot biz since 1870, but The Winter ($189) is the Australian company’s first “seasonally focused” boot. It has all the usual features of the ubiquitous lace-free, waterproof favourite, but with Thinsulate insulation and pure sheepskin insoles so comfy you’ll wish they were big enough to sleep on.

 Leave it to Columbia to let us play outside longer. Not only does the Bugaboot Max Electric ($500) have 200 grams of insulation and OmniHeat thermal reflective technology, onboard batteries provide three heat settings with the push of a button—keeping you warm all over, from your toes up.

 The Finna Fur Lace-Up ($200) is surprisingly waterproof (a Rockport specialty) and made with a grippy rubber outsole, full-grain leather and an aluminum layer footbed to help reflect and maintain body heat—leaving you more energy for après ski.

 If you’re paying for the bag (other than Porter, what airline doesn’t bean you for bringing skis nowadays?), you might as well stuff it with more than just skis and poles. Dakine’s Fall Line Double ($130), with wheels, has plenty of pockets and volume to do just that. Plain, plaid or patterned, it’s fully padded and comes in two ski lengths, 175 and 190.

 Where were you in ’62? It’s hard to believe both K2 and The Rolling Stones are about to turn 50, but what better way to party than on a pair of limited-edition skis? The first of four Rolling Stones skis started rolling out the door in mid-November on a K2 SideShow chassis (132/90/115)—a great everyday ski on terra firma but light enough to tour on, so to speak. But there’s more to come from the birthday boys in 2012….

Ski Canada Staff
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