Icy paws are about the only thing that can slow a good powder pup down, this stuff will make sure that doesn’t happen. Super easy to apply, just rub this wax-based gel on your dog’s paws, it dries in a few seconds and gives the pads a measure of protection from the snow and ice. It’s especially important on those early season missions when the pads can get raw. Bonus: works equally well in the summer to protect from hot sand and pavement.
Sometimes, on very rare occasions, the best product in its category is also the cheapest. For about 25 bucks plunked down at your local hardware or farm & feed store you can get a pair of Kinco Pigskins that’ll take you through more than one season, keep your digits toasty the whole time, and give you that air of dirtbag chic on the slopes that your Arc’tyrx shell is unfortunately immediately rendering false. Bake on some snoseal in the oven, preferably when your significant other or roommates are out of town (it’s an odorous process), and you’ve got a waterproof glove that’s as good as anything you’ll find for 4x the cost.
If your base layers aren’t merino you’re doing it wrong. The technical synthetic materials have their applications but also tend to collect a stank that lingers no matter how you wash them. These wool boot toppers eliminate the extra fabric around the ankle that you inevitably roll up to clear space in your ski boot for socks. They’re warm enough, without being too warm and they wick very effectively in the skin track. Best of all, they last, with three or four seasons of heavy use virtually guaranteed.
The holy grail: the efficiency of a pin binding on the way up, and virtually all of the capability of a DIN-certified alpine binding on the way down. There’s probably no buzzier product in skiing than these bad boys and for good reason. If life (and gear design) is about compromise, the S-lab Shift is the best one available when it comes to bindings. You’ll add a little weight to your settup (about 1kg per pair over more minimalist tech bindings) but it’s an easy price to pay for the performance and the peace of mind your ACLs get on the way down.
If you’ve got a ripper in training, these little guys are definitely worth picking up. Attached to the tips of both skis, they help prevent your little one’s pizzas from inverting and turning into meltdowns. Bonus points: leave them connected and you can throw your little shredder’s skis over your shoulder, an important consideration when you’re schlepping kids and gear around the base area.
I was going to list all the different ways these’ve come in handy, but we only have a couple sentences of real estate to work with here. They’ve done everything from hold a faulty mountain bike suspension in place on a multi-day hut trip to securing a broken ski buckle, to their ‘intended’ use strapping skis together. Bottom line: you need em, you need lots of em. And if you have lots of em, you need more, cus they tend to go missing. Often imitated, never quite duplicated, the Voile brand of these do-dads is superior.