Considering the latest running trend? Some experts weigh in on the benefits.
“Barefoot training” and “minimalist” shoes are making waves in athletic communities across the country. Yet these two training innovations are not one and the same. Minimalist shoes such as Vibram FiveFingers and Nike Free are joining the shoe landscape, partially in response to the bare-footing movement.
If you go camping in the fall or into the winter, you'll need a bag that's warm and protective. This bag does the trick.
Although Labor Day generally marks the last camping weekend of the summer, there’s still plenty of time to sleep outdoors. The nights are getting a little chillier, though, and the high country is starting to see a few dustings of snow. If you do pack up the car and head to the mountains to camp, you’ll need a bag that’s warm and can withstand the elements. The Marmot Never Summer MemBrain is a zero-degree bag that works well for chilly fall nights, and will keep you warm winter camping too.
Anyone who’s ever slung wet, muddy ski boots over his or her shoulder will appreciate the Sidekick Pro. Thanks to a padded laptop sleeve, hydration pouch, mesh helmet gusset and boot carriers with drainage grommets, all your gear stays organized, dry, protected and clean.
Designed by a big-mountain skier and inspired by Deuter’s monocolor packs of the 1940s, the Edge is part of ski film star Eric Hjorleifson’s Signature Series. With a side ski-carrying system, full-circumference compression straps, signal whistle and tool pocket, it’s equipped for short touring trips. But at a compact 25 liters it’s also right-sized for a day at the resort.
Blizzard’s new Slider binding plate ($80) gives you choices. It mounts—in seconds, with a single screw—to any Blizzard IQ Max ski, and accepts any flat-ski compatible binding. You get the benefits of Blizzard’s unique IQ interface (slop-free energy transfer, unimpeded flex), using a binding you might already own. (Blizzard calls it the industry’s first “open-source” system.) The mounting process is so easy, you might even want two or more Sliders, one mounted with your AT binding, another with your telemark binding, and so on. One ski, multiple applications.
mountain performance. The Schizo system, available on Marker’s Jester and Baron bindings, lets you have it both ways. A cable-and-track system allows the binding to be mounted somewhere in between, then moved forward or back over a six-centimeter range. A screwdriver’s all you need to adjust it (Marker even provides one), and there’s no need to readjust the forward pressure or otherwise worry about your DIN setting. Best of all, you get the industry-standard power and edge-hold of the Royal Family series of bindings, thanks to that extra-wide foundation.
How many times have you woken up to a snow report of fresh powder, only to be slowed down by an hour-long search for your scattered gear? Get out the door and on the mountain faster by storing your stuff in Mountainsmith’s new Utili-Tote. Two front pockets hold small stuff (goggles, gloves, extra socks); the main compartment fits your boots plus a helmet and water bottle (with a zip pouch for keys and cards). The tote’s rubberized bottom keeps it from slipping or sliding and prevents your snow-caked boots from soaking your car’s upholstery.
Your ski-movie heroes might be fearless, but they aren’t stupid. So don’t think for a second that they aren’t padding up underneath that cool outerwear before they go huge in the pipe or charge that steep, rock-studded line in Alaska. In the past, lots of pro athletes have adapted padded motocross apparel to their uses. Now companies like Scott USA (which happens to have a motocross line, too) are offering ski-specific body armor. Example: the Compression Reducer X.