Shiny Things: New Gear to Give You Hope
We usually don’t start getting excited about new gear until September, but with many of us homebound during the pandemic, we could all use something to look forward to. Here is a preview of some new (and untested) backcountry gear that will come out in fall 2020. It’s a small reassurance that the world will keep turning—and so will we.
Rab Khroma Tour Infinium Glove
Rab Equipment, known for their insulation and alpine technical apparel, will launch a backcountry ski glove designed so you won’t ever have to take it off. The Khroma Tour Infinium promises a super dexterous grip for putting on skins, handling ropes, adjusting bindings, and getting snacks out of your pack. Rab also added microscopic ceramic plates to increase durability. It’s windproof and water resistant, but it’s not insulated, so it will be best for high-energy output and warmer days.
Dynafit Hoji Free 110
Weight: 1,550 grams
The Hoji Pro Tour and Hoji Free 130 have been such huge successes, Dynafit built a lower-flexing version for lighter weight skiers (and it goes down to a 23.5, which is good news for women). The Free 110 features all the award-winning tech of the Hoji boot line, such as the interconnectivity of all the buckles with ski mode lever and the huge degree of cuff rotation. The Hoji line is the brainchild of pro skier Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson and the inventor of the original Low Tech Binding (aka pin-toe), Fritz Barthel.
POC Obex BC Spin helmet
Weight: 480 grams
With a thicker shell than POC’s standard Obex, the BC Spin is even safer for the backcountry, giving you more protection where you need it most. Also, it has a fancy new medial ID chip in it that rescuers can access to make potentially vital treatment decisions immediately after an accident. Download the app, enter your info, and your rescuers can access it by getting their smartphone near the helmet. (The only caveat is that the rescuers also must have the app on their phone.) The helmet also includes a Recco reflector to enhance searchability. It’s not the lightest backcountry helmet out there, but it may be the safest.
Arc’Teryx Shaska Women’s Jacket
We love the looks of this new backcountry-specific offering from Arc’Teryx. The longer length is super hip right now, and just because you skinned up thousands of vert doesn’t mean you don’t want to look cute at the summit. The length is also versatile for resort, heli, or cat skiing, too, as it will keep your bum warm between laps. Arc’Teryx has partnered with Gore since 1995, and this jacket features a new fabric called Gore Pro 2.0 that’s more durable and breathable than ever before.
Nearly all ski wax is made from petroleum. Last year there was an estimated 2.5 million pounds of petroleum-based ski wax introduced into the U.S. snowpack, which eventually washes into local streams and rivers. After two years of R&D, MountainFLOW developed a proprietary blend of plant-based waxes and oils that replicate the performance of a conventional ski wax. It comes in four temperatures: warm, all-temp, cool, and cold.
Rossignol Blackops Alpineer
Dimensions: 122/86/108 mm
Weight: 2,480 grams per pair at 168 cm
Rossi introduces a new touring-specific ski with the Alpineer. With a core made from pauwlonia wood, second only to balsa in lightness, and honeycombed in the tip to reduce swing weight, it’s designed to be uber light on the ups yet balanced and stable on the down. It also incorporates recycled topsheet, base, and edge materials to help reduce environmental impact.