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Best of the Backcountry

The soul of the sport is out away from the lifts. Here, we present the gear that made getting to quiet places with wild snow and big peaks even better.

Arc’teryx – Sentinel Relaxed Jacket and Bib

This bombproof kit can withstand any conditions—from deep snow to sleet to sun—without cramping your style thanks to a relaxed fit and a brushed liner that makes the Gore fabric quiet and comfy. It shucks off everything winter can throw at it. But it’s the fit that really sells us—just put it on and you will want to wear it every day. $750 jacket, $700 bib;

Black Crows – Draco Freebird

Skiing the backcountry should be creative, playful, an art of melding movement and mountain. This twin-tip touring ski is just the ticket for that experience. At 110mm underfoot and tipping the scales at just over 4 pounds, this beast can slither up the skin track and absolutely rip through a wide range of snow conditions on the down. $1,150;

Dynafit – TLT X Boot

It’s no surprise Dynafit has once again excelled when it comes to crafting the perfect tour-and-score boot, but the TLT X provides plenty of control and stability in a boot weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces. The takeaway: Burn by your bros on both the climb up and the way down. $800;

DPS – Carbon Pagoda Tour 106

At 106mm underfoot, this sports car of a backcountry ski is shockingly light and impressively stable via a construction that melds wood, foam, and bio-based sidewalls. Combine that build with a shape that gives you rocker and a 19-meter turn radius and you will smile the whole way down. We suggest you add DPS’s Phantom base treatment ($179) so you will never have to wax them again. $1,695;

Deuter – Alproof Tour 38 + 5

We continue to advocate for the use of airbags—not as a guarantee but as the one tool that could actually yank you out of a slide—and this 3-pound-10-ounce system makes it hard to claim an airbag pack is too heavy. Plus, it’s got enough space to carry all you need for big excursions and short hut trips. $1,550;

Ortovox – Diract Voice

Avalanche rescue needs to be calm and efficient and Ortovox has streamlined the process with this beacon that gives you voice instructions when you search to help avoid any errors during a crisis. It also features a big, clear display and weighs a svelte 7.4 ounces. $450;

Marker – Confidant Tour

You wear that helmet every day at the resort so why not in the backcountry? Comfy, light, well ventilated and featuring a strap system that you can operate with one hand, this lid leaves you with no excuses. Best of all, it can serve as a bike helmet too. $140;

Pomoca – Free Pro 2

Here’s the skin your big skis crave—it even comes in 120mm and 140mm widths. It’s easy to cut to fit your boards and provides the right amount of both stickiness and glide, impressing us on funky terrain where some friends flailed. $200;

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