With the holidays upon us, Gear Institute wanted to help you find the perfect gift for the skier or snowboarder in your life.
From skis to snowboards to jackets and gloves, here are five of the top rated products we tested for this winter. With all the snow falling from the Sierras to St. Anton, it’s a sure bet this gear won’t stay wrapped up for long:
1. Arc’teryx Keibo
Bottom line, if you can afford it, buy it. The Keibo is an exceptionally well-fitting, meticulously tailored, and uncommonly well-designed ski jacket built from top-shelf materials. It’s also extremely expensive. Few people will need the performance this jacket offers on piste, but those who can afford it will not be disappointed.
Retail Price: $750
Read the full review: Arcteryx Keibo
2. Scarpa Maestrale RS
This year (Winter 2012-13) Scarpa upgraded the Maestrale, which was already good boot, and made it bad ass. The flex is notably stiffer, but the boot didn’t gain any significant weight. Scarpa has made gains in balancing substantial tour-ability with high performance on the down. It can hold its own in bounds, but it really shines in the backcountry.
Retail Price: $700
Read the full review: Scarpa Maestrale RS
3. Salomon Rockette 115
This user-friendly and playful ski can float through deep snow and carve up the rest of the mountain with relative ease. It’s stable and hardy enough for expert women tackling big-mountain terrain, but not so stiff and heavy that it’ll be overbearing for less aggressive skiers. It’s 115 millimeters underfoot and has a low-to-the-ground, turned-up tip and tail to help keep you afloat in powder. The shape (137/115/127) gives it a fun, playful feel.
Retail Price: $810
Read the full review: Salomon Rockette 115
4. Gnu Velvet Guru
Also designed for women, the Gnu Velvet Guru is true all mountain board. Both beginners and experts loved its versatility: it floats in powder, responds to aggressive maneuvers at high speeds, pops like a cork, and is so light and playful, you’ll want to hit every berm you see.
Retail Price: $450
Read the full review: Gnu Velvet Guru
5. Outdoor Research Vert
Highly water- and wind-resistance, the Outdoor Research Verts are excellent softshell spring touring gloves—among the very best in this category. They have great dexterity, good durability, an very good fit, and strong attention to detail. Plus, at this price—it’s hard to go wrong.
Retail Price: $50
Read the full review: Outdoor Research Vert