While I am normally out getting as much mileage as possible on ice this time of year, I actually had the opportunity to ski a bunch already this winter since Tahoe has been blessed with tons of snow. Here is some of my favorite gear I wore quite a bit last season and am still sporting this season.
Columbia CSC Mogul Jacket ($275): Lightweight yet warm and waterproof, this ski jacket was originally designed for and worn by the US, Canadian, and Russian mogul teams competing in 2014 at Sochi. With vibrant and fun contrasting colors, the jacket is slim enough to be flattering but stretchy enough to move with you. The CSC Mogul Jacket is lightly insulated with an Omni-Heat reflective lining for added warmth. The adjustable, snap back powder skirt hooks directly into the matching Jump Off Pants to keep snow from getting into your unmentionable places on snorkel days or if you are prone to yard sales. On a recent trip to Park City where we decided to boot pack it up to the Jupiter bowls, the underarm vents came in handy for quickly dumping some extra heat.
The ski pass pocket on the left arm is the perfect size for my Epic Pass–I simply keep it stored there all winter–and the helmet compatible hood is removable for those non-powder days. Don’t forget to keep your car keys safely stowed in the interior security pocket. I also appreciate the large internal stash pocket for securely storing your sunglasses or gloves when you need to take that chairlift selfie. Tip: Don’t store your phone in the low-hanging hand pockets as it will get in the way of fully bending your legs. Keep it in the internal media pocket instead.
Note: If it’s REALLY cold, opt for the Heatzone 1000 TurboDown Hooded Jacket ($450) instead. There were a few sub-zero days in Sweden where I was super happy to be wearing that jacket.
Columbia Jump Off Pant ($250): Lightly insulated with an Omni-Heat reflective lining, these stretchy, relaxed fit ski pants offer all the warmth and protection you need with leg vents that let you dump excess heat when earning your turns. I keep my chapstick and even some small snacks in the chairlift accessible lower leg pockets–genius idea. Internal gaiters keep snow out of your boots and the reinforced cuff guards help protect your investment from sharp ski edges.
Voormi Drift Jacket ($249): Unless we are talking spring skiing, I throw on the Drift Jacket as my midlayer. Made from 21.5-micron wool, the jacket is abrasion resistant thanks to an array of outer surface facing nylon fibers that are finished off with a durable water-repellent coating. The nice thing about wool as a midlayer is that it regulates your temperature pretty well without getting overly hot, but for true spring skiing, you could actually ditch the shell and just wear this as your outer layer. The Drift has also served as my outer jacket for winter hiking in the Bay Area–it’s water-repellent enough for those misty rain days and keeps the biting wind from blowing through to your core.
Columbia Winter Catalyst Gloves ($145): Waterproof and lightly insulated with a combination fleece and Omni-Heat reflective lining, these ski gloves keep your hands warm and dry all day. The precurved fingers make them super comfy to wear and the Pittards goatskin leather palm provides good grip on your ski poles. Don’t forget the all important nose wipe on the thumb.
Giro Range MIPS Helmet ($240): I wear a Giro Synthe helmet for road cycling and am a huge fan of the company’s featherweight feel and comfortable fit–so needless to say I was psyched to test out their new Range MIPS helmet for snow sports. Normally, I feel a bit like Marvin the Martian when I wear a ski helmet but the Range is super low profile with its semi-flexible, 2-piece shell design. A simple turn of a dial lets you customize the fit and a slider on top of the helmet lets you control the amount of venting. The Fidlock Magnetic buckle is a nice touch, making it super easy to buckle and undo your helmet when wearing gloves. And MIPS tecnology is second to none in terms of head protection.
Dissent Ski GFX Compression Hybrid Protect ($47): These compression ski socks offer a great combination of warmth and light padding protection for a comfortable boot fit. Graduated compression helps delay fatigue in your calves and the Polygiene permanent anti-odor treatment keeps your boots smelling fresh at the end of a long day.
Kari Traa Rose Base Layers ($100 each): Finally some base layers that are cute enough to strip down to at lunch, drink a beer in at après time, or wear around the hut at night. I’m in love with Kari Traa–I wore these merino wool base layers all summer for backcountry climbing and backpacking adventures and now all winter for skiing and ice climbing.