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The Gear Shed

The Gear Shed

[ January 22, 2010 - 4:04am ]
Megan and Black Diamond Starlet
Here's a sneak peak at a 2010-2011 women's ski from Black Diamond called the Starlet. We had a chance to test this women's early-rise, lightweight powder ski during an early morning backcountry tour in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon.

It’s 7 a.m. in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon and it’s still so dark I need to use a headlamp to stick my skins to my skis and click into my bindings. I’m in Utah for the winter Outdoor Retailer show, a gathering of gear manufacturers, retailers, and media meant to showcase outdoor gear that’ll be hitting retail shelves next fall. I’m doing a dawn patrol backcountry tour near Alta Ski Area with some friends to test out a new pair of Black Diamond women’s skis called the Starlet, which is 100 millimeters underfoot, the perfect all-mountain width that’s still plenty fat enough for powder.

[ January 5, 2010 - 6:36pm ]
Liquid Image goggles
Point-of-view ski photography has never been easier. Introducing a pair of goggles with a camera built into the frames that shoots still photos and video.

As if helmet cameras weren’t enough. Now, a new company called Liquid Image (known for their underwater digital camera mask) has created the Summit Series 335 Snow Camera Goggle, which comes with a built-in digital camera with a wide-angle lens. The hands-free camera shoots still photos and video with two easy buttons (one for on/off and one for the shutter) along the side of the goggles that you can push while wearing gloves.

[ December 16, 2009 - 3:24pm ]
Arc'Teryx Atom LT Jacket
This light, insulated jacket can be used when it's cold, windy, or wet. We tested it in all kinds of weather—and were never disappointed.

Arc’teryx has an ability to make exactly what I need before I know I need it. And I kind of resent them for it. Enter the Atom LT Hoody. This feather-weighted insulated piece (13.1 oz) has universal cool weather appeal for me: trim fit, active-use mobility, minimum features, breathes when I’m on the move, and with wind/water repellant coating, can be worn as the outer layer on all but the wettest days. I took this jacket for a weekend of ice climbing. For two days the sun was out and it was my jacket. On day three we had heavy snow and I threw a hardshell over it.

[ December 10, 2009 - 7:34pm ]
Burton Vice Mitt
Finally, a mitten with a built-in beer koozie.

Sometimes you can combine two existing things to make a new, crazy-unique product—like if you take a boring, old blanket and add sleeves. Boom! Slanket! That’s kind of what Burton is going for with its new Vice Mitt. These $70 hand sleeves combine your basic leather mitten with a beer koozie.

[ December 10, 2009 - 5:01pm ]
ResQr iPhone App
Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport. You never know when an accident will happen and help might not always be close by. This step-by-step first aid and CPR coach app for your iPhone just might save the day.

Here’s the scenario—you’re out skiing with your buddies in the backcountry of Berthoud Pass, Colorado. It’s bluebird, fresh snow, and the avalanche danger is low. It’s a perfect day and everybody’s having a great time. So your buddy Cliff McNutts decides to send it down a sweet line that he’s been eyeing for years. He drops in, stomps the first couple pillows and comes into the outrun hot. Too hot. He catches a little tree with his ski tip and cartwheels out of site. After a few seconds you see nothing of Cliff. You shout and get no response.

[ December 9, 2009 - 12:33pm ]
Eesa Hockey Socks
Hint: It’s not a mustache. One Canadian hockey fan test out a pair of ski socks decorated with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo.

Once upon a time, George Bush sr.’s face was painted on the floor of the Al-Rashed hotel in Baghdad. Checking in? Kindly step on the infidel’s face, sir.

I can relate. Every time I walk in these Eesa ski socks, I step on the management team behind the staggering incompetence of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that marches to the basement of the NHL’s Eastern Conference with circadian regularity. So I walk on their faces on powder days, and sometimes just around the house with a few stomps thrown in for good measure.

[ December 8, 2009 - 6:55pm ]
Canada Goose Down Jacket and Vest
Primarily for Arctic exploration, Canada Goose introduces a new line of down vests and jackets that are surprisingly practical for the everyman.

Canada Goose has been making clothing for Arctic expeditions for 20 years, but most of their products aren’t geared for the typical day at the a hill. Take the Snow Mantra Parka, for example. One look at it and you can’t help but envision some brainy MIT guy walking out of an Arctic research station and getting all excited about core samples. Their jackets are warm and tough, but a little over-kill for us lift riders and backcountry skiers.

[ December 8, 2009 - 1:40pm ]
Atomic Renu 110
The Atomic Renu is the first ski boot in the world made of 100 percent recycled fiber. Composed of biopolymers, cotton, and bamboo fiber, making it 13 percent lighter than other boots on the market with comparable stiffness and support.

Tall-tee-wearing freeskiers and tight-pant-wearing tourons alike will appreciate Atomic’s new Renu boot. Befriending the environment more than Al Gore, it is the first ski boot in the world constructed with all-recycled products. The shell comes from African Miracle Tree and castor oil plants, while the liner uses only bamboo fiber, cork, and cotton. Available in a 98 millimeter last and 110 flex index, it's 13 percent lighter than the average ski boot on the market.

[ November 23, 2009 - 5:25pm ]
It’s easy to find positive feedback on the Internet about this pouch designed to dry and salvage wet electronics, but it didn’t work for us.

The directions on the back of the shiny, silver plastic bag are pretty straightforward: Turn off your wet electronic device, put it in the pouch, and close the Ziplock-style seal. I’m almost positive I did those three things correctly. The operation must have gone wrong somewhere else—most likely 20 minutes earlier when fellow intern Jake and I stood in front of a kitchen sink with his partially-functional iPod.

[ November 18, 2009 - 1:34pm ]
"So where you headed?" "Aspen." Hmm, California! Beautiful!"
Klaus Obermeyer turns 90 in December. To celebrate, we check out some of Obermeyer’s new outerwear.

Klaus Obermeyer turns 90 in December. To celebrate, we check out some of Obermeyer’s new outerwear. —Jake Davis

Thaw Jacket [$275]