HOT GEAR FOR SHREDDING THE SLOPES

Mountain Hardwear Pistolero The Pistolero combines the dexterity of an earnest work glove with the water- and wind-proof capabilities of a traditional ski glove. How does MH do it? They treated the goat skin leather shell with OutDry technology–a water- and wind-proof membrane that’s actually bonded to the shell of the glove, instead of being inserted into the shell as a separate piece. The result is a workhorse of a glove that breathes tremendously while providing full dexterity for your digits. You may not need the Pistolero for lift-served skiing, but in the backcountry, where you’re constantly adjusting gear, reaching into packs, and moving obstacles from the trail, the Pistolero comes in handy. $99; mountainhardwear.com

Patagonia Special Edition Down Sweater If you’re into performance down, you’ll want to get your hands on one of these. The Special Edition Down Sweater is stuffed with an amazing 900-fill goose down that’s extremely warm yet ridiculously lightweight. The new rip-resistant nylon shell is lighter and twice as tough as Patagonia’s regular Down Sweater. Plus, the highly compressible design packs into a stuff sack that’s little more than a handful. Act fast. These were made in limited supply. $275; patagonia.com Blizzard IQ Max Binding System Skiing often gets labeled as one of the most expensive sports you can take up, but finally, there’s a new technology that could actually save you money in the long run. The new IQ Max Slider system from Blizzard features a detachable plate that accepts alpine, telemark, and AT bindings. Mount your alpine bindings to one plate, tele bindings to another and interchange them onto the same set of skis. The plate slides in and out of Blizzard’s rail system attaching with only one screw. What this means is you can now have one set of skis for multiple styles and terrain. Ski the front of the mountain on alpine gear in the morning, switch to tele bindings in the afternoon and tear up the backcountry. The IQ Max Slider only works with Blizzard skis, but they accept any binding from any manufacturer. For East Coast conditions, check out Blizzard’s Magnum 8.7 IQ Max. $925 with the slider, $80 for additional Sliders; blizzardsportusa.com The North Face Kishtwar The North Face’s new Kishtwar is a soft shell jacket designed for highly aerobic activities in foul weather—think snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in a classic Southern wintry mix of snow, sleet, and rain. The new jacket is as breathable as any other soft shell on the market, but also virtually waterproof. The ability to shed snow and rain has been the Achilles’ heel of soft shells in the past, forcing skiers to reach for the hard shell when the weather gets nasty. With the Kishtwar, you no longer have to compromise. Our tester poured a Nalgene bottle of water on the jacket and watched it roll off completely. Then he went on a trek during a rainstorm and emerged from the forest with a dry torso. $279; thenorthface.com Venture Zephyr Splitboard Climb up the mountain on two boards, shred down the mountain on one. That’s the theory behind split boards, backcountry snowboards that can split into two separate skis for climbing up the mountain, then reattach for pointing downhill. Splitboards are all the rage with snowboarders looking to hit deeper powder further a-field, and Venture’s Zephyr is a practical way for East Coast boarders to enter the sport. Unlike some splitboards, the Zephyr performs just as well on hard-pack conditions as it does in powder, which means it can be your go-to board for typical in-bounds riding as well as the rare backcountry powder days. One board, two purposes. Skins sold separately. $895; venturesnowboards.com