Tailgating and Lodge Dodging

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 If nothing else, last season taught us that hunting for a table in a packed ski lodge is unnecessary. With the right gear and the right attitude, the parking lot, hell, even your backpack, has everything you need.

Osprey Glade 12

It’s amazing what you can fit in a small space. The Glade may be only 12 litres (it also comes in a 5-litre version), but it has room for lunch, an extra layer and the included 2.5-litre hydration bladder. It can also carry skis and has a dedicated avalanche tool pocket. Once on, we didn’t notice it, even skiing the bumps—until we got hungry, hot or thirsty and then we were glad to have it. $160 osprey.com

Racer The District

Normally a chill from a long line or cold, slow ride would send us in for a warm-up coffee. This winter we just turned on The District. The battery-powered vest heated our core in minutes, providing plenty of warmth to take us from chattering to comfortable without stepping out of skis. And once we warmed up we shut it off…until we needed it again. $400 racergloves.com

Biolite FirePit+

This is a portable campfire, elevated. Weighing less than 10 kg, with foldable legs and burning charcoal or wood, it’s easy to cart as well as set up. A battery fires up a fan that fuels low smoke and less waste burning, ensuring easy cleanup. It also stands in for a phone charge point. With the griddle add-on we cooked our lunch on it, too. And of course, its flames warmed us up. No cozy lodge fireplace can do all that. $300 bioliteenergy.com

Buff Crossknit Beanie

Buff Crossknit Beanie Buyers Guide 22

Our new favourite toque is just what your head (and hair) desires after a morning of skiing in a helmet. Warm insulation combined with a sweat-wicking liner keeps the chill off, and a ponytail pocket manages long hair. Casual looking, comfortable and warm, it became our go-to toque on and off the hill. $40 buff.com

Poler The Knapsack

Poler The Knapsack Buyers Guide 22

This is somewhere between a puffy parka and a sleeping bag, and tossing it on in the parking lot felt like that first step inside the lodge, but more hug-like. There’s a draw cord at the bottom to snug it up around the legs or pull it tight at the waist. A hood adds coziness. Two arm zips keep things dexterous or lock in the heat. Stuffed with synthetic insulation, it was just right for parking lot hangouts, even on -15C days. $130 poler.com

from Buyer’s Guide 2022 issue

Ryan Stuart
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