Bula Foot Print Beanie A hat is a hat, until you start looking at the materials that go into that hat. The Foot Print is constructed with a sustainable bamboo and wool blend and a comfy recycled microfleece liner. $25. Bulabula.com.
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Don’t think of this as a four-season tent. Think of the Flying Diamond as your winter mountain home. It’s completely waterproof and windproof from top to bottom, with enough floor space to sleep eight and the headroom to accommodate Andre the Giant. Add the mesh gear loft to keep your packs and jackets organized and pop open the front vestibule for a shaded front porch. $599.95. bigagnes.com.
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes You only wear snowshoes for one reason: to save energy when hiking in deep snow. The Lightning Ascent maximizes the energy savings by offering an uber-light and stable platform that keeps your ankles out of the snow and your legs fresh for the trail ahead. The shoes are edged in light aluminum with “teeth” that grip the snow, while the rubber center provides the float you expect from a snowshoe. $259.95. msrgear.com.
Western Mountaineering Antelope A five-degree bag may not keep you warm enough on your thru-hike of Antarctica, but it does the trick below the Mason Dixon most of the time. And the Antelope weighs under 2.5 lbs, making it the perfect partner for winter backpacking trips. With seven inches of natural down loft and a fully insulated collar and hood, this five-degree bag might keep you warmer than some zero-degree bags on the market. $435. Westernmountaineering.com
Mountain Hardwear Dragon A lightweight, wind and water-resistant soft shell, the Dragon is designed for intensely aerobic winter activities (think cross country skiing or ice climbing), which means it’s highly breathable with a full range of movement. But our wear-tester loved the details built into the Dragon, like the thumb loops, chamois lined collar, and convenient chest pocket perfect for an Ipod or map. $240. Mountainhardwear.com.