Gear trends to watch this season
Most winter sport enthusiasts know that deadly smell that starts to creep into your base layers after a few days of powder skiing. New Zealand-based Icebreaker’s Bodyfit line features three different weights of base layers that are designed to be soft and breathable, but most importantly, odor-free. The fabric will not bond to any of the odor-causing bacteria that might make your base layer smell like a hockey player. Icebreaker’s philosophy is to create innovative products from pure merino wool from the Kiwi countryside. Their products are made with thoughtful sustainability, including ethical manufacturing and relationships with merino farmers who value animal welfare.
Christy Sports in Avon carries the 200 weight ” the middle thickness ” intended for winter sports, mountain biking, hiking, and everyday use. Bodyfit is available in all shapes, including boxer briefs, crew-neck tops, zipper-tops and leggings of three different lengths. It’s designed to be warm enough to layer up on those stormy days, and breathable enough for an afternoon on the sun deck.
You may not be able to air out of the pipe like Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler, but her personal style is available through her Oakley line. A favorite this year, said Ramierez, is the Stockholm goggle, which brings the fashion of the streets to a functional women’s specific goggle. The Stockholm goggle is designed to fit comfortably on smaller faces and features Oakley’s vented dual lens and anti-fog technology. Gretchen Bleiler’s Signature Series has its own art motif and color scheme, so you can match your goggles to your jacket and pants.
Bleiler also worked with Giro helmets to develop the Shiv, a park-and-pipe specific helmet. The Shiv is available with a built-in audio system called Tune Ups with a mute button for when you’re standing in the lift line chatting with your buddies. The goggle retainer utilizes the new Mag Clip technology, giving you the option of two different goggle positions, held in place by a single magnetic clip. Designed with mobility in mind, the Shiv is lightweight with a low profile.
Wearing a helmet has not only become trendy, it’s become a way to assert your own style out on the slopes. Giro’s Omen, in its second year, has some functional features as well. Giro is another company who is aiming for a stink-free winter, developing ionized padding to prevent odor build-up. The Omen also features Giro’s In Form design, which allows custom fitting at the twist of a dial. The system provides 6cm of fore and aft adjustment, allowing comfort for all head shapes and goggle sizes.
Laurie Ramierez at Christy Sports said that full face helmets like the Giro Remedy S are becoming trendy for people of all skiing abilities.
“There’s definitely a coolness factor,” she said of the motocross-style helmet. “But unless you’re hitting jumps and going big, it’s not really going to make a difference.”
The Remedy is already light, but it comes in a carbon fiber version for a little extra coolness factor.
Last year’s Marker Duke revolutionized backcountry skiing with its touring-friendly design. The Duke functions like a downhill binding, but has a heel-release designed for efficient climbing. This year, Marker USA introduced the Baron for those looking for a lower DIN and a little less weight. The Baron has a range of 4-12 and replaces some of the Duke’s metal components with plastic, shaving a third of a pound. It’s designed for lighter weight skiers who still want to earn their turns and charge the mountain in and out of bounds.
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