2019 Spring Skiing Essentials

Julbo – AEROSPACE Goggles

Why We like them: We’ve tested these goggles in a variety of conditions and they performed as advertised. When we’re working hard to ski uphill in the spring sun, these goggles haven’t given us a single issue with fogging.

Details: The Aerospace Goggles use Julbos’ Reactive Technology in their Photochromatic lenses. Essentially these lenses adapt to any given light condition eliminating the need for additional lenses. We’ve used these on bright sunny days while touring around Vail Pass – and in some of the worst visibility conditions we have ever seen in-bounds at Arapaho Basin. These are great when you are cross country skiing and you are moving from patches of shade coved trees into bright sunny valleys and back again.

These are the goggles you want to have with you on the skin track. These goggles come equipped with Julbos’ SuperFlow system. The lenses can easily be pushed forward away from the frames. This allows for better heat management and prevention of fog while climbing or after any exertion.

Cons: Not quite as good in low-light conditions compared to some of the other high-end goggles out there that have dedicated low-light lenses.

Lébent – Le Base 200 Lightweight Base Layers (Men’s and Women’s)

Why We Like Them: They’re comfortable, they’re made from all natural fibers, and they don’t don’t stink after seve days on the mountain.

Details: Lébent uses a rayon made from bamboo blended with merino wool to make their entire line of luxurious feeling baselayers. We tested the men’s and women’s (tops and bottoms) Le Base 200 Lightweight Base Layers. We put them to the test on some serious powder days when it was fairly cold as well as some classic warm Colorado bluebird days when we were breaking trail through heavy snow. We really enjoy how comfortable these base layers are. The ultimate sign of good gear is to never notice that you’re using it. These fit the bill. They feel great and they perform as well as any other base layer we have used. The Lightweight version is perfect for those Spring days when it’s warm in the morning and then cools off once the clouds roll in. Aside from the comfort and performance, the main thing that sets these base layers apart from the pack for us is that they don’t hold your stink. We wore these for ten days without washing them and without fail the next morning they smelled just fine. We’re not proud, but we saved a lot of water!

Cons: The waist band on the women’s pants is tight and skinny, making it uncomfortable to wear apres.

686 Men’s SMARTY®3-in-1 Cargo PANT

Why We Like Them: These 3in1 Cargo Pants have more features than you can shake a stick at. They have performed well in a variety of weather conditions. The removable stretch-poly fleece layer serve as comfortable chill-pants or, when kept inside the shell they serve as a super warm mid-layer.

Details: 686 is always striving to push the current boundaries of design. They hit the mark with these pants. Let’s talk features. The main feature that makes these pants unique is the 3-in-1 aspect. These pants are comprised of an outer shell and a stretch-poly-fleece layer that easily zips into the shell to create the warmest pair of snow pants we have used. My favorite feature I didn’t know I wanted was their Boa compatible boot system in the boot gaiter. There are plenty of pockets, and you’ll be able to carry whatever you need without a backpack.

For spring skiing we recommend just using the outer shell without the inner layer. Open up the inner leg vents and these pants vent nicely letting out your excess heat. The shell itself is made from Duracore 20k fabric that 686 claims is the most durable material on the market. While we didn’t check the validity of this by throwing outselves against rocks, we did take quite a few falls on some sparsely covered slopes and these pants didn’t flinch. They seem like they’ll hold up to whatever you throw at them.

Cons: All of the features and durability create a somewhat heavy and bulky pair of pants. Not a problem in a resort, but we could see them being somewhat cumbersome in the backcountry.

Joshua Tree Winter Stick SPF 15

Why We Like It: It protects and rejuvenates sunburnt and wind-chapped skin and is made with all natural ingredients. It comes in a nicely shapped stick that slips comforably into any pocket and can be used while wearing gloves.

Details: We’ve been using the Joshua Tree winter stick to protect our faces from the harsh winter elements for a couple of years now and it’s become a staple for us. Don’t let the name fool you. The Winter Stick is your perfect spring skiing companion even in warmer skiing conditions. In the spring you tend to have more skin exposed while you’re ripping down the mountain. As any good Coloradan knows – spring skiing can cause some nasty sunburns. The Winter Stick will protect your face from the sun as well as the cold morning winds. As the spring wears on you may want a higher SPF than 15. Joshua Tree has got you covered with their Sun Stick (50SPF).

Cons: The price might seem a little high but each stick does last a long time. If you leave your winter stick in the cold overnight is can harden up and becomes a little more difficult to apply.

Tailgater Tire Table

Why We Like It: It takes up less space and is more durable than a traditional collaspible table. It’s stable regardless of ground conditions making it the perfect companion for lunchtime or aprés in the resort parking lot. Fully collapsible and you don’t need tools for installation.

Details: Whether you’re hanging out with some friends at the resort, at the trailhead, or in the backcountry the Tailgater Tire Table is a great option to replace your old flimsy camp table. The idea is that this all-steel table can easily attach to almost any sized tire 14′ and up to create a sturdy yet compact table that is also a good size. Overall this is a very well thought out design. Everything is stored in the table and weighs under 12 lbs. We have used this table in the snow in the resort parking lot as well as on our van outside Buena Vista, CO and it works great every time. We love how little space it takes up when collapsed. In the van, space is always at a premium.

Cons: It can be a little awkward to place it on the tire by yourself.

Nikita Poplar Jacket

Why we like it: It’s wonderful when you can wear a jacket that looks good, feels good, and supports awesome initiatives. It may be a little on the heavy side, but the Thermore Ecodown that is 100-percent recycled makes it all worth it. Add in looking great on the mountain, and you’ve got a must-have jacket. 

Details: Nikita is a lady company supporting lady riders. This jacket has what you need, and nothing you don’t. The biggest seller for me is the Thermore Ecodown, one aspect of the whole line being Blue Sign Approved.  The comapny is working toward more of their clothing being eco-friendly and I highly support it. This Thermore insulation works too. While it may be a little heavy for spring skiing, it is a staple in my jacket quiver. Perfect for those fluke windy spring days that need more than just a softshell. Zip pockets, snow skirt, long waist length, armpit vents, tuck in hood, and a ton of hidden pockets for passes, snacks, phones, and maybe even a brewsky, this jacket is a favorite.

Cons: This is a resort shredding jacket, and wouldn’t work well for touring or other backcountry activities.

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