GEAR of the YEAR


PATAGONIA Women’s Descen­sion­ist Jacket and Pants

Women lucky enough to spend a lot of time earn­ing turns this sea­son will be grate­ful to Patagonia for in­tro­duc­ing the Descen­sion­ist kit to its lineup. The shell jacket and pant are a no-frills setup made from a new pro­pri­etary wind- and waterproof fab­ric that’s sup­ple and moves eas­ily with its wearer. Patagonia claims the Descen­sion­ist is its most breath­able waterproof shell, and our ex­pe­ri­ence bears that out. As for its min­i­mal bells and whis­tles, the shell’s hel­met-com­pat­i­ble hood, ad­justable pow­der skirt, and two mesh front pockets placed with pack straps in mind, plus thigh vents and two large thigh pockets on the pants, cover all the ba­sics.

PATAGONIA Women’s Mi­cro Puff Hoody

The Down Sweater kings have come up with an en­vi­able al­ter­na­tive, also new to the line this sea­son. The in­no­va­tive Mi­cro Puff of­fers up ultra-light­weight warmth in a wa­ter-re­sis­tant mid­layer filled with down-like PlumaFill syn­thetic in­su­la­tion. Av­er­age weight: a scant 8 ounces. That’s a win.

PRET Corona X $250

We as­sume that safety, style, and comfort are im­por­tant when you choose a hel­met, yes? You’re in luck with the new Corona X. Check off safety thanks to its light­weight yet ef­fec­tive ACT (Ad­vanced Com­pos­ite Tech­nol­ogy) shell con­struc­tion; comfort is in the bag with Pret’s VTT4 ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, with mas­sive vents run­ning nearly the length of the hel­met; and style, well you’ll have to trust us when we say it looks cute on. With MIPS on board, you can’t go wrong.

DRAGON X1S with Lu­maLens $190

Lu­maLens, in ad­di­tion to be­ing fun to say, is Dragon’s new tech­nol­ogy that serves up high-def op­tics across all light con­di­tions, with the goal be­ing to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity in all en­vi­ron­ments. It’s a game-changer that fil­ters out the hazy light that leads to glare. When Lu­maLens is paired with the X1S, which fits medium-sized faces and boasts triple-layer face foam, your fu­ture is des­tined to be bright.

ASTIS Stuhlmann Mit­ten $195

What do you get when you com­bine hand-sewn suede leather gloves with beautiful cus­tom bead­work and a cozy Po­lartec Ther­mal Pro High Loft in­su­la­tion? The most kick­ass mit­ten you’ll ever rock on the slopes. The Stuhlmann, named for Ger­man zo­ol­o­gist and ex­plorer Franz Stuhlmann, will col­lect en­vi­ous glances ev­ery­where it goes.

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