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The Gear Shed

The Gear Shed

[ September 10, 2009 - 6:07pm ]
Smith Pivlock V90 Sunglasses
Dek: 
A pair of sunglasses so light it's easy to forget you're wearing anything at all.
[ September 9, 2009 - 6:41pm ]
Lhasa Pow 2
Dek: 
Like the Rossi S7 and the Armada JJ, this ski's bullet-shaped tip and early rise are perfect for powder.

I got a chance to get out on PM Gear’s new 186 Lhasa Pow fiberglass ski for a day of spring turns at A-Basin. The conditions that day ran the gamut from

[ September 8, 2009 - 4:46pm ]
Peppod
Dek: 
An energy drink tablet that, when prepared correctly (we show you how), tastes like Sunny D.

Skiing and energy drinks go together like Paris Hilton and purse dogs. Skiers are always toting around Red Bull and Monster cans in their packs. Introducing another energy drink alternative (as if there weren't enough already). PepPod’s energy drink in an Alka-Seltzer-like tablet made me enjoyably jittery without the heart-exploding-out-of-my-chest feeling I usually get from high-performance beverages. Marketed as a convenient, healthy, and easy to use (because opening a can is to hard?) each tab comes in a shiny little packet for easy portability.

[ August 31, 2009 - 6:13pm ]
Cold Pole
Dek: 
A long-forming trend for entrepreneurs seems to be creating products that combine skiing and drinking. How resourceful.

A long-forming trend for entrepreneurs seems to be creating products that combine skiing and drinking in an incredibly contrived manner. (Insulated fanny packs or ski boot bucklers with wine keys, anyone?) But the Cold Pole is actually pretty awesome. Unscrew the top of the grip, and you can pour in your favorite beverage for storage inside of the shaft. It even comes with a funnel and a wired cleaning brush. Depending on the length, each pole stores around 8 ounces of liquid—just make sure you don’t fill it with something that will freeze.

[ August 28, 2009 - 5:53pm ]
Pilot Suit
Dek: 
This lightweight one-piece is an all-inclusive, next-to-skin baselayer with a hood, thumb loops, and a drawstring at the waist. But the magic lies in the crotch.

Believe it or not, skiers are wearing one-piece suits again…without irony. So it makes sense that baselayers are returning to the union-suit days of old too. Take the I/O Bio Merino Pilot Suit, for example. This lightweight one-piece is an all-inclusive, next-to-skin baselayer with a hood, thumb loops, and a drawstring at the waist. But the magic lies in the crotch. The zipper there starts just below the waist and continues all the way down and around to the seat of the suit, replacing the dated button-up trapdoor on the rear of other union suits.

[ August 20, 2009 - 7:26pm ]
Saddle Peak Pack
Dek: 
A small Bozeman company makes a pack built for skiing and hiking Bridger Bowl.

In December 2008, Montana's Bridger Bowl opened Schlasman’s (pronounced Slushman) lift—a new 300-acre expansion that accesses 1,700 feet of steep, agressive terrain. Beacons, shovels, probes, and partners are required and bootpacking is encouraged. Runs like Little Schlasman’s Ravine require a five-minute hike to reach 1,600 vertical feet, starting with an open bowl that narrows into funnel with two mandatory airs. The point is: It’s expert-only terrain and you’ll want a pack to carry all your stuff.

[ August 6, 2009 - 4:43pm ]
Brooks Range Shovel Cropped
Dek: 
This isn't just a shovel. It's an excavator with a serrated edge.

Sure, it sucks carrying a big, heavy shovel in your pack all day on a long tour. I complained while trying to stuff this 10-by-10.5-inch blade and 36-inch (when compressed) shaft into my backpack. And then I complained some more while lugging its 32.6 ounces up and down the mountain. But when I went to test the actual digging performance of the shovel, I stopped complaining immediately. It has this super sharp serrated edge (which comes with a plastic protective sheath so you don’t slice yourself) that chomps through icy crud like an excavator.

[ August 6, 2009 - 4:26pm ]
Oakley Splice
Dek: 
Best goggle testing grounds: Pond-skimming. The Oakley Splice stands up to the challenge.

Early June at Arapahoe Basin just might be the ideal time to test goggles—the weather can go from bikini-friendly to blizzarding before you get your fill of watching pond-skimming carnage. As I walked across the parking lot I pulled the Splice down over my eyes to combat the intense glare from the summer sun at around 11,000 feet. After the first few sunny runs, I still hadn’t gotten used to seeing a reflection of my own eye on the inside surface of the pink-mirror lens in greasy, veiny detail.

[ August 6, 2009 - 1:09pm ]
TNF Jitterbug
Dek: 
I was ready to dislike this jacket. Then I wore it.

Chrysler’s PT Cruiser made me forever skeptical of retro re-launches. So I was ready to dislike this jacket, especially when I saw its purple, black, and acid-green argyle lining that looks like a Hot Topic adaptation of the famous golf-sweater pattern. But something about neon colors is irresistible, so I slipped on the 550-fill down jacket and wanted to keep it. Design-critique aside, I did actually take this jacket skiing one day. The ’70s-style ribbed elastic cuffs keep your wrists warm, the hood will fit over your helmet, and the down is plenty toasty.

[ August 6, 2009 - 12:11pm ]
Scott Pants
Dek: 
The insulation in these pants is far too good for skiing in July. But it’d be perfect for January.

The insulation in these pants is far too good for skiing in July. But it’d be perfect for January. After hiking all morning while lapping a jump in Copper’s summer terrain park, my legs were sweating and I found myself wanting more ventilation than the short inner-thigh zippers were providing. However, as long as the temperatures are even close to freezing, these would be my go-to pants—the fit is comfortable (especially when you remove the suspenders), the Gore-Tex outer fabric repels water, and they have lots of pockets.