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The Gear Shed

The Gear Shed

[ August 5, 2009 - 12:42pm ]
Flylow Higgins
Dek: 
If you’re only going to own one jacket, this is a great bet.

I did it all in this jacket and was I disappointed? No. Mid-winter storm riding, spring corn, wind, rain, sun, grauple…whatever. It is extraordinarily versatile with a thick enough shell to withstand the elements. A three-layered hardshell on the outside, fully taped seams, and a fuzzy lining block out cold, yet its low profile and streamlined design let this jacket—named after the character in Magnum P.I.—fill in where your softshell leaves off. It won’t pack up as small as your softshell though. The hood was a bit tight over my helmet and my XL fit like a large.

[ August 1, 2009 - 5:40pm ]
Marmot Stolkholm Cropped
Dek: 
In the past, Marmot’s clothes have had about as much style as the average Mad River Glen liftie (translation: not that much). All that has changed.

In the past, Marmot’s clothes have had about as much style as the average Mad River Glen liftie (translation: not that much). I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this puffy jacket with its silver exposed-zippers and of-the-moment eggplant hue. But don’t buy this jacket for its looks—buy it for the high collar, fleecy wrist cuffs, and oversized hood that will wrap around your face if you secure the Velcro. Although it’s technically a men’s jacket, women who buy it in a smaller size will appreciate just how warm the 650-fill down keeps them on stormy days.

[ August 1, 2009 - 5:21pm ]
BD Bandit
Dek: 
This pack, Seth Morrison’s pro model,is just large enough to contain all of your treasured necessities. And if you put yourself in harm’s way like Seth, know that it’s fitted with an Avalung.

Seth Morrison doesn’t mess around in the mountains. He goes, he shreds, he gets great footage. But he doesn’t ski tour for the camera. This means he skis with a small pack. A bag just large enough to contain all of his treasured necessities—an extra Malcolm X shirt, hair gel, and his copy of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. For the rest of us, if you ski out of the gates or out of a snowcat, you’ll want a pack just like that.

[ August 1, 2009 - 5:21pm ]
Newton Neutral Trainer
Dek: 
Instead of striking your heel first, the goal of forefoot running is to land more on the balls of your feet, so your calves, not your knees, absorb most of the force. That’s what Newton running shoes are all about.

Skiers don’t really like the summer. I know I don’t. You can’t ski, but you have to do something. I’m one of those self-flagellating types that likes to run. Except years of skiing, running, and playing hockey has trashed my knees. So I’d been tinkering with the idea of forefoot running to take some stress off my joints. Instead of striking your heel first, the goal of forefoot running is to land more on the balls of your feet, so your calves, not your knees, absorb most of the force. That’s what Newton running shoes are all about.

[ July 27, 2009 - 4:19pm ]
Canon G10
Dek: 
The Canon G10 is the perfect blend between a pocket-sized point-and-shoot and manual dSLR beast. It’s small enough to fit into a jacket pocket but still substantial enough to feel and shoot like a real camera. And here's a good camera pouch for carrying it, too.

The Canon G10 is not a replacement for a quality dSLR. But if size is an issue when travelling or on the hill the G10 is the next best thing. It’s the perfect blend between a pocket-sized point-and-shoot and manual dSLR beast. It’s small enough to fit into a jacket pocket but still substantial enough to feel and shoot like a real camera. For stills, landscapes, and macro shots the G10 can hold its own with anything out there. At 14.7 megapixels, and a 28-mm wide-angle lens, you have the resolution to land a spread photo in your favorite magazine and it shoots RAW.

[ July 24, 2009 - 12:46pm ]
Sugoi Helium Cropped
Dek: 
Three ounces. That’s the amount of shampoo you can bring in your carry-on bag on an airplane. That's also what Sugoi’s Helium Jacket weighs.

Three ounces. That’s the amount of shampoo you can bring in your carry-on bag on an airplane. Tiny. Practically weightless. Three ounces is what Sugoi’s Helium Jacket weighs—it’s a tissue-paper thin wind shirt made of woven polyester and built for running, biking, or whatever else you do outside. I wore it on a hike up and ski down Mount Elbert—Colorado’s highest peak—in July. It worked on its own for most of the way up, and for the cold temps at 14,000 feet, I added one more layer over it.

[ July 24, 2009 - 12:29pm ]
Rudy Project Cropped2
Dek: 
Cloudless ski touring days present a problem for most sunglasses—the light reflection off the snow can be brutal. But not these.

Usually wearing sunglasses at night is reserved for frat boys at ’80s theme parties, but I find myself doing it all the time with the Rydon. The photochromic lenses darken and lighten with changing amounts of UV exposure, so I often head outside in the afternoon sun and don’t even remember I’m still wearing my sunglasses as darkness approaches. Road biking is when I really appreciate them—the lenses get light enough to still see texture, depth, and bone-shattering potholes when it’s raining out.

[ July 23, 2009 - 6:03pm ]
Helmet Hero
Dek: 
You’re supposed to mount a helmet camera to your dome to catch point-of-view footage of you shredding two feet of blower powder. Unfortunately, all I shot this winter was crusty, stale powder.

You’re supposed to mount a helmet camera to your dome to catch point-of-view footage of you stomping a big air or shredding two feet of blower powder. Unfortunately, all I shot this winter was crusty, stale powder—so I won’t bore you with the footage. I used Go Pro’s helmet-mounted, wide-angle lens, which shoots five-megapixel still photos and 56 minutes of video. You can watch decent footage shot with a Go Pro here.

[ July 23, 2009 - 2:38pm ]
Strato Cropped
Dek: 
If it's good enough for Alaska, it's good enough for anywhere. Meet the Arc’Teryx Strato, made with 64 percent recycled Polartec Thermal Pro fleece.

On a freezing cold night in an RV in Alaska this spring, I climbed into my sleeping bag in as many layers of clothing as I could bear without strangling myself. By the morning, I’d overheated and removed my down vest, hat, and gloves. But the one thing I kept on all night? My Arc’Teryx Strato, which is made with 64 percent recycled Polartec Thermal Pro fleece. It’s fuzzy enough to sleep in (I tested that thoroughly) but also windproof enough to wear outside (I did that as well). The only regrettable thing about it? You could buy two lift tickets to Aspen for the same price as this fleece.

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