Best New Winter Gear

November 6, 2016

Making the Most of Winter Adventures

By MJ Carroll


RockyMounts LiftOp Biggie Rack

Carrying up to three powder skis or two snowboards, the Rocky Mountains LiftOp system is compatible to fit all automobile crossbars regardless if they are factory-installed, or Yakima and Thule owner-installed. The tubular design of the LiftOp provides a quiet and fuel-efficient ride for you and your passengers. After easily loading gear with a one-touch push-button lever, never think twice about the safety of your gear with the plush padding holds and included locks, ensuring everything stays in place and is secured safely to the vehicle. Retail: $160

Smith Riot Goggles

The Portland-based Smith adds a new snow-goggle lens technology recognizing natural color in a full range of weather conditions and filtering light for sharper clarity. The new women’s Riot Goggles are easy on the eyes, both inwardly and outwardly. The goggle features a minimalist, medium-fit profile coupled with an oversized cylindrical lens for an expansive field of vision through the ChromoPop Everyday Lens. Retail: $100

Mishmi Takin Virunga 3L eVent Hard Shell

Mishmi Takin is the new kid on the block and fully dedicated to designing and offering high-performance hard and soft shells optimized for the rigors across all wet environments, both hot and cold. The new women’s Virunga jacket is made with three layers of fabric, including eVent fabric, for 100 percent waterproofing and durability. Breathability is maximized through front and rear laser cuts as well as pit zips for optimal air exchange and moisture control. Retail: $375

Outdoor Research Skyward Bib Pants

Based in Seattle, Outdoor Research understands the need for Northwest gear to withstand mild temperatures with wet conditions. Its AscentShell technology is just the solution for being waterproof and breathable. Perfect for all-day movement, the Skyward Bib Pants are designed with a touch of stretch and a lot of pocket real estate for handy and accessible storage. Retail: $299

Dynafit Mercury Gloves

Can’t decide if you like the dexterity of gloves or the warmth of mittens? Never again struggle with that decision thanks to the Dynafit Mercury Gloves. The wind-resistant and lightly Primaloft-insulated glove is designed with a foldable integrated storm over-mitten for protection against the elements. It easily transitions from mitten back to glove for quick binding adjustments, grabbing your ski pass or getting into your pockets. Just when you think the 2-in-1 is a sweet deal, the sub-$100 price tag sweetens it even more. Retail: $75

K2 Speedlink Poles

Engineered similarly to a camping tent pole, the Speedlink Pole retracts quickly and easily with an adjustable clamp and self-securing locking pins. The four-piece design breaks down into a packable size in a flash. An all-season kit is also available, changing the basket and tips to make the poles compatible for summer hiking explorations. Retail: $130

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest and made in Seattle, the MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes are best in class when it comes to grip and durability. Updated this winter with an even tougher decking that doesn’t compromise weight, the super light setup instills efficiency on the uphill and confidence when trekking across variable terrain, traverses or mixed-snow conditions. The Lightning is highly reliable and adaptable with dual PosiLock AT bindings with freeze-resistant attachments that secure feet, regardless of footwear choice. Retail: $289

Madshus Ultrasonic Intelligrip Skis

Immediately breaking down any intimidation factor related to what wax to use on cross-country skis, the Ultrasonic Intelligrip Skis are the perfect, easy-to-use classic cross-country ski.
Designed to be used by all levels of skiers, Madshus integrates an Intelligrip mohair skin into the Ultrasonic Classic’s base, creating a quiet ride, reliable grip and enhanced glide without the need for kick wax. It’s as easy as packing up, heading to the local trailhead and hopping on your skis. Retail: $275

MJ Carroll migrated from the Southwest to the Northwest. Currently based out of Seattle, she specializes in writing about the outdoors and ski worlds. She enjoys skiing, biking and trail running.