Since 1936 Hestra has been making some of the best leather gloves and mittens in the world. Based in Sweden, the brand designs insulated dress gloves,
motorcycle gloves, skiing gloves and as of Outdoor Retailer, snowboard-specific gloves. The Freeride CZone is warm, water-resistant and flexible, making them perfect for snowboarding. Hestra tapped Chris Rogers, AASI national snowboard team member to test out the new trigger gloves. He loves the update with CZone membrane construction, Wolf Paw reinforcements, and special cuffs that help with wrist mobility. Look for them this fall for $160.
Patagonia Macro Puff
Patagonia’s synthetic insulation most closely matches the performance of down yet and was released initially in its Micro Puff Jacket in fall 2017. The key to that success is PlumaFill, an insulation that’s made up of down-mimicking polyester fibers secured together in one continuous, fluffy line. It made the Micro Puff remarkably warm for its weight. In 2018 Patagonia followed the release with the waterproof Micro Puff Storm, and for 2019 it’s releasing a thicker, warmer version called the Macro Puff. Warmth isn’t the only element that makes the Macro different than the Micro though — it’s longer and less boxy, which makes it less performance-oriented and perhaps better suited for everyday wear in cold towns and cities (as well as off the grid).
Igloo Recool Biodegradable Cooler
Igloo has been a pillar in the cooler world long before Yeti came to be. If your childhood involved a Playmate cooler, you are a part of the Igloo team. While the brand has grown and changed with time, we’re pretty excited about the cheap cooler the brand just dropped. The Igloo Recool cooler ($10) is biodegradable, reusable and holds up to 20 cans. While this likely won’t be the best cooler
of the year, it is a huge step toward eliminating styrofoam single-use coolers that are found at grocery stores and gas stations. As more and more cities ban styrofoam (see: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle), the Recool cooler might just become the new standard.
Black Diamond Vision Down Parka
Down jackets have been a cornerstone item for any outdoor kit since the 1930s. While the concept hasn’t changed — to create an extremely warm, lightweight and packable layer — they’ve undergone a lot of changes in the decades since. This year, Black Diamond’s Vision Down Parka is the one to get excited about. With 800-fill, moisture-resistant down, it’s the warmest insulated jacket the brand has made yet. It includes gusseted arms for an increased range of motion and six pockets.
But the coolest thing about the Vision is its proprietary shell fabric, which is made in Japan with a liquid crystal polymer that makes it incredibly tear-resistant. It’s so hard-wearing that Black Diamond’s factory could barely cut it. The Vision applies to activities other than climbing too — a jacket this warm and durable is ideal for hiking, camping, skiing and casual wear, also.
POC Obex SPIN
Backcountry ski and snowboard emergencies are often met with unconscious victims. This helmet is equipped to deliver vital information when it’s not otherwise available. That’s because the POC Obex Backcountry SPIN has Near Field Communication (NFC) chip coordination. Just upload your health information (medicines, blood type, allergies) to the My Ice Info AB app and anyone with a smartphone (and the app) will be able to access it, making rescuers’ jobs easier. If someone is injured, the chip will enable the helmet to talk for you. It will be out in September for $250.
After some recent business turbulence, K2 showcased an entirely remade line of freeride skis called Mindbender. And while nearly every ski brand at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2019 exhibited skis with slight variations for the coming year, K2 was the only one with a completely new collection. The Mindbender skis range in size from a 116-millimeter waist width for deep snow to 85-millimeters for bulletproof groomers and focus on torsional (lateral) rigidity while maintaining tip to tail flex. Take it as a signal that the brand is remaking itself through its core product: skis.
Airblaster Ninja Suit Pro
The Ninja Suit Pro is your one-stop shop for a winter base layer top and bottom. It’s a full body suit made from four-way stretch merino blend complete with a hood, thumb holes and a just the right amount of pockets. For the Pro, Airblaster added Schoeller to their original Ninja Suit design at the shoulders, arms and shins. This durable material means your pack and boots won’t wear through your base layer while touring. The drawstring waist keeps the suit in place, while the 350-degree waist zipper allows you to use the bathroom without having to take off your jacket. It comes in this all grey as well as a black and marine blue combo.
Weston Carbon Backwoods Splitboard
The Carbon Backwoods Splitboard comes pretty damn close to being the lightest splitboard on the market at 5.84 pounds. But, being the lightest wasn’t their goal. “We wanted to shave weight because that’s the main concern with backcountry travel, but we didn’t want to compromise durability,” said Weston’s marketing manager, Sean Eno, of the carbon fiber board. Based on their best-seller, the Backwoods Splitboard, the new model is 1.3 pounds lighter and combats chatter inherent to carbon with aluminum stringers. It’s also smartly cambered underfoot to maximize contact area with the snow during skinning for better grip. And, we’re applauding the price: it’s at least $300 less than the competition at $1,099.
Hydro Flask Journey Series
We tested the 20-liter hydration pack
in a Flywheel class in Denver and were impressed with its comfort and ease of use. While we wouldn’t recommend it for an indoor cycling class, our team has a feeling this new backpack will shine on the hiking and biking trail. The 10- ($165) or 20-liter ($200) packs will keep water cold for up to four hours. Hydro Flask cut its teeth on insulated water bottles, mugs, growlers and then soft-sided coolers; now it’s tackling the hydration pack market. Check these out starting this April.
While a select few pieces below are available for purchase now, most of the gear featured here will be available for purchase in 2019.