Looking for a killer gift for that skier in your life? Here is a sampling of gear that will not disappoint any skier on your list. This isn’t a listing of novelty items or throw-away junk that will find its way to the donation bin before it ever sees the hill; this is the stuff skiers actually want, picked by skiers here at Gear Institute. While most of this stuff is available at REI, there are a few items that can only be found elsewhere. And keep in mind that REI is not open on Black Friday due to their #OptOutside campaign — so while this list will help you shop, we encourage you to get outside this Friday!
You can’t go wrong with a new Chaos beanie for a practical and comfortable stocking stuffer. Available in assorted colors and made from materials like merino wool, alpaca wool blends and featuring soft liners — these will warm their head and heart.
Ghost Shadow Jackets & Vests
Check out this deal on the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow line of jackets. On Cyber Monday, they’re 50% off! These eco-friendly jackets and vests feature Primaloft Silver 80g synthetic insulation. They’re not going to replace a full on down jacket, but they may be the ideal mid-layer on days that aren’t super frigid.
Fall Line Gloves
I’ve featured these before in gift guides, and there’s no other glove I’d rather have on a cold day. Hestra makes warm, durable gloves that will keep fingers toasty, even in single digits, while still affording the dexterity needed while burning laps off the summit chair. They’re a bit pricey, but whoever you buy these for will hardly be able to repay you.
Legacy Snow Goggles
Goggles are an essential piece of gear for hitting the hill, and can make all the difference in varying weather conditions. These Spy goggles provide a super wide field of view and the ability to interchange lenses. They also feature the “Happy Lens” technology that completely blocks out harmful UV but still allows the spectrum of rays that keep us happy and prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — so your guy will be extra happy after making turns all day — as if that wasn’t enough!
Revent+ Amid Helmet
All three of these helmets from Sweet Protection feature MIPS technology, which helps reduce trauma to the brain during impact. It’s basically a must for your loved-one’s noggin as it has been shown to reduce the rotational forces that contribute to concussion.
Burnet Mid Polarized Sunglasses
Kaenon’s Summit Series is specifically designed to block out sun reflecting off of ice and rock. And their durable SR91 lenses provide the ultimate in clarity. BTW – SR91 stands for Steve Rosenberg (Co-founder), 9 ingredients, 1st try. Who says you can’t succeed on your first try, and these help you look good doing it!
Bamboo Ski Poles
Metal ski poles are fine, but these eye catching poles are built from bamboo which provides extra flexibility and durability in addition to environmentally friendly benefits. Built by and for ski bums in Steamboat, CO they come with a lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee.
Clyde II Boots
Forsake makes waterproof boots that look good enough to go from the ski hill parking lot to the lodge, to dinner, and out for the night — without looking like a lumberjack. These Clyde’s were one of Forsake’s first models blending outdoor capabilities with skater shoe design. These things rock — I’ve worn mine into the ground.
Baker Bib Snow Pants – Men’s
Flylow makes some of the most functional and durable ski gear out there. Their no-nonsense design and colors lend themselves to all types of mountain riders. I’ve skied all my downhill in Flylow pants for the past nine years, and don’t have any plans to change my ways. This powder-proof bib is all they’ll need if they’re going to ski 100 days, or at least look like they do!
Foxy Bib Snow Pants – Women’s
Flylow makes functional and durable ski gear that not only works well, but looks great too. These pants are a powder hunter’s dream with women specific fit and features. These are guaranteed to be a hit with that special woman on your list!
Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit
Even if you’re like me and didn’t make it much past cub scouts, it’s good to be prepared. This medical kit has everything they may need when out on a powder mission or just turning out laps in the resort. It contains common medications like ibuprofen & antihistamine, as well as bandages, moleskin, tape, and antibiotic ointments. It’s waterproof, compact, and lightweight at only 1/2 a pound. This is the kind of gift you hope they won’t need.
Kinetic Boxer Briefs
In the world of men’s underwear, in my opinion, Saxx reigns supreme. Their patented pouch, and maximum comfort fabrics will keep him focused on making tracks while on the mountain. This model features moisture-wicking and quick dry performance as well as moderate compression for a little extra support on the mountain.
Kamber 16 Snow Pack – Men’s
This compact ski pack is perfect for that long day of in-bounds skiing or riding. He’ll love the comfort and fit while having the freedom of bringing along water, snacks or a few beers? There’s a lined goggle pocket, internal zippered pocket for valuables and a reservoir sleeve. Diagonal ski carry and vertical snowboard attachment round out this small, but do-it-all pack.
Heli Pro 24L – Women’s
This pack from Dakine features 24 liters of pack space, diagonal or A-frame ski carry capabilities, vertical snowboard carry option and helmet attachment loops. It’s more than capable in or out of bounds, and has a front-access pocket designed to carry avy tools. DAKINE has been selling their Heli packs for a long time, and the reason is — they’re great ski packs!
Sherpa 100 Power Bank
Goal Zero has upped the game with their newest version of the Sherpa 100. It’s slim, weighs only 2 lbs, and has a built in AC inverter. It’ll charge a laptop or charge a phone five or six times. I take it with me when I travel in the backcountry or overseas. If you’re looking to wow someone on your gift list with the best travel capable, portable power bank with a wall outlet built right in — this is the one.
Sometimes coffee is a must on the way to the ski hill, trail, or, god forbid, work… This little guy keeps beverages hot for up to six hours — and cold drinks cold for up to 24. I’ve had a Hydroflask full of coffee with me on the drive up to the hill, only finished half, and at the end of the ski day returned to a hot cup of coffee for the drive home. These insulated bottles work.
FreshTrack 6 Ski/Snowboard Mounts
If you’re tired of putting the seats down, cleaning up dirty snow from the back of the car and making the backseat an unusable mess — get them a rack. This one-button, easy access rack from Yakima will fit up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards. And it’s universal mounting system will work with most car/suv roof racks.
Base Camp Duffel
If you’re planning a winter getaway, this is the luggage to get you there. It’s absolutely bomb proof. It has handles for carrying like a duffel, and adjustable straps to wear as a backpack. It has cinch down straps to compress your load, and plenty of handles and attachment points in case you find yourselves traveling by sled or snow cat. The pictured large size holds 95 liters while there are also medium, x-large, and xx-large sizes available. And if you get them in the Summit Gold color (pictured above), they’re really hard to miss on a luggage carousel.
Franconia OTC Lightweight Socks
These ski-specific merino wool socks feature cushioning, warmth and breathability — all with a slim fit that won’t bulk up in a ski boot. These socks are soft, naturally bacterial resistant, and you’re supporting American farmers since 100% of the wool is provided by U.S. farms.
Super Tune Kit
If your shopping for a do-it-yourself type, this is a slam dunk. This kit has everything they’ll need to put a solid tune on their board or boards. It’s got wax, p-tex, files, scraper and more. If they already does their own tuning, the adjustable temp iron included in this kit will not only work better than the household iron, it’ll prevent additional wax stains on their clothes…
Gear Subscription Box
Don’t know exactly what to get for the avid outdoors person in your life? Get them the gift of random new gear from Cairn, the most popular monthly subscription based curated outdoor boxes. Even if it seems like they already have everything, this will deliver stuff they may not have thought to buy. Even if they get a duplicate item that’s a new backup, or an upgrade! And if they already have a Cairn subscription, this will extend it. One month starts at 29.95 — you can give up to a year of monthly boxes, or opt for their high-end Obsidian Box for 249.95 per quarter.
TS Transceiver, Probe, and Shovel Package
If they’re planning on heading out into the backcountry, or even the slackcountry, it’s imperative they’re prepared with a beacon, shovel and probe. This package from BCA combines lightweight tools with an easy to use 3-antenna beacon, all for a reasonable price.