The Big Resort Gear Roundup

The snow guns are running and it’s time to gear up with everything you will need for a successful winter on the slopes. To that end, here are our picks for the stuff that will make 2021/22 an even better season at your favorite mountain.

Völkl M6 Mantra

Völkl M6 Mantra

It seems impossible that the German brand could improve upon its do-it-all-on-any-mountain ski with a cult following. But with dimensions of 135/96/119 the M6 succeeds. Melding stiffness and flexibility, and engineered to deliver three different sidecut radii (32,19, and 26 meters depending on where you edge) in a single ski, it’s the perfect choice for the variability of Colorado resorts when you go from navigating ugly bumps to letting loose on open groomers to seeking pow stashes in the trees. With the same dimensions, the women’s version, the Secret 96, features tighter sidecut radii (24, 14, 20 in a 163cm ski). $700; voelkl.com

Dynafit Blacklight 88

Dynafit Blacklight 88

Meet the perfect stick for banging out uphill laps at the resort. Built with a Paulownia wood core and weighing in at 2 pounds, 13.8 ounces in a 184cm ski, this baby was built for speed on the skin track and arcing long, elegant turns on the way down. At 125/90/113, it can handle soft snow, edge into groomers, and inspire confidence on tricky terrain. Whether you want to try skimo racing or just get after it with friends, this is the best choice for taking on the resort sans the lifts. $700; dynafit.com

Atomic Maverick

Atomic Maverick

Atomic’s newest all-mountain ripper can do it all. Crafted with poplar wood and two thin sheets of titanal, the 129/94.5/113 jack-of-all-trades provides enough rocker and overall power to smash through the type of crud you hit late on a powder day or the fluff you float through on first chair.  Hit the groomers, and the Austrian wonder delivers shockingly precise edge control. That adds up to a ski worthy of a winter dedicated to visiting all the varied terrain and conditions of the full range of resorts on an Ikon or Epic pass. Women’s version is the Maven. $700; atomic.com

Jones Frontier

This versatile, directional beast melds a powder-loving freeride nose and a freestyle tail, giving you the power to ride the entire mountain with confidence. The generous rocker will suck up crud and patchy snow or simply float untouched lines. But get it in the trees and it really proves its worth, slicing tight lines like a shorter, stiffer board. Add it all up and you get our top choice for the kitchen-sink conditions Colorado resorts can dish out. $480; jonessnowboards.com

Nordica Strider Elite 130 Dyn

Nordica Strider Elite 130 Dyn

It’s tough to strike the perfect balance between touring comfort and downhill power in a boot meant for the rigors of day-to-day resort skiing with some skin track time tossed in. With a long alpine tradition, Nordica delivers a boot that’s stable and fits snug for hard charging and quick turns, but you won’t feel bogged down by it on the uphill—released into tour mode it provides a 46° range of motion that won’t cramp your style. Fall in love with this boot and you may never buy a pure alpine boot again. $950; nordica.com

Leki Spitfire Vario 3D poles + Glace 3D mitten

Taken in tandem, this pole/mitten combination makes use of Leki’s new 3D system—the mitten connects directly to the pole via a small loop between the thumb and forefinger. It provides more control than a standard strap and releases if you run into trouble. The pole itself builds on Leki’s freeride standby but adds the ability to adjust it between 110 and 140cm, ideal for shifting from uphill to down. The cozy Glace mittens, which feature generous Primaloft insulation, loop right into the poles, making for a system that’s warm, as well as efficient. The system works with other Leki 3D gloves as well. $150 pole, $120 mitten; leki.com

DPS P3

DPS P3

Water-resistant oat leather on the outside and plush Thinsulate and polar fleece on the inside make this rugged glove our go-to choice on frigid days. Big bonus, it was designed by ski company DPS, so the fit reflects the testing proclivities of folks who spend a lot of time gripping a pole. $100; dpsskis.com

Pit Viper Victory Lane intimidators

Pit Viper Victory Lane intimidators

Pit Vipers are an attitude. Just ask the legendary Glen Plake, who signed on with this sunglass brand that makes the mullet (or the mohawk) feel hip. These shades offer up visor-like protection, but most of all just look badass—if you can pull them off. They come in just one size, as do winners. $119; pitviper.com

Flylow Women’s Fae Pant

Flylow Women’s Fae Pant

The cozy Fae is just the ticket for those who get cold sitting on a lift seat all day. Thank a 40-gram inner layer of PrimaLoft Eco, made from recycled water bottles, for that extra warmth. On the outside, the sturdy shell, built of two-layer Specter (which also provides a bit of stretch despite the extra padding), keeps out the nastiest of elements. $350; flylowgear.com

DB Hyatta 70L

DB Hyatta 70L

Organizing your ski kit can be chaotic. But this combo duffel and boot bag makes it simple to have everything right by the door and ready to hit the road. Built from recycled fabrics, the backpack bag splits open into two compartments: one for boots and the other hard goods, the other for clothes. Use it as summer storage at the end of the season too. $279; dbjourney.com

Rab Khroma Volition Jacket

Rab Khroma Volition Jacket

This highly breathable Gore-Tex ski shell from mountaineering brand Rab scored big for those of us who like to hit the skin track a bit in the a.m. and ride the lifts the rest of the day. Weighing in at 1 pound, 10.4 ounces, it includes intuitive ski features like deep pockets for skins, a helmet-accommodating hood, and a removable powder skirt. But it was the jacket’s ability to shuck off foul weather and keep us warm with Primaloft insulation while still not sweating us out on the uphills that really wowed us. $500; rab.equipment

Montane Dart Thermo Zip

Montane Dart Thermo Zip

The secret to this baselayer’s superpowers of providing plenty of warmth but never feeling too heavy is recycled nylon and a spandex fabric that’s plenty cozy and soft against the skin. Plus, a Polygiene treatment battles odor. It’s an ideal one-choice baselayer for a ski road trip. $60; us.montane.com 

Sweet Protection Trooper 2vi MIPS

Sweet Protection Trooper 2vi MIPS

Remember when we didn’t wear helmets at the resort? That was a mistake and brain buckets continue to evolve, getting easier to wear and providing more protection. The latest iteration of Sweet’s Trooper proves that point. It’s 7% lighter at 1 pound, 8.6 ounces and imparts even better shock absorption than the last version of the helmet, first introduced in 2004. $300; sweetprotection.com

Osprey Glade 12

Osprey Glade 12

Fitted with a 2.5-liter bladder and svelte enough to stay out of the way when you’re riding the lift or shuffling up a skin track, this resort pack swallows up all the gear you need for a full day away from your car, exploring the far reaches of big mountains. Even better, the materials used to make it are Bluesign approved, meaning they meet the world’s highest sustainability standards. $110; osprey.com

Bollé Torus

Bollé Torus

Meet the future of ski goggles. Bollé researched 20 million color combinations to discover the precise wavelengths to boost or dampen in order to create the perfect blend of pigments needed to offer the best color-enhancing high-contrast lens in the Torus. That means it reacts to changes in light almost intuitively. $220; bolle.com

Phunkshun Mistral Double Tube

Phunkshun Mistral Double Tube

This water repellent (and freeze-resistant) neck tube serves triple duty: It keeps you warm on cold days or when getting blasted by weather on the lift; it keeps you protected from the sun on bright day with UPF 50+ protection; and it serves as an impromptu face mask if you need it. $25; phunkshunwear.com 

Cover photo by Jay Dash Photography

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