Check out the women’s edition of our Holiday Gift Guide for 2017 here.
If you don’t already, you should know a few things about the male skier(s) in your life. First, when it seems like they have enough gear, they don’t. Second, the holidays are the one time of year when they’re deluded enough to actually believe their “wants” carry as much weight as their “needs.” And third: They will love you just for caring enough to research the skiing world’s hottest gift items with them in mind—but they’ll love you even more if they find one in a box in December.
So here’s your guide to the holiday season, with insight from three of our lovably stereotypical ski-ployees.
Matt M’s Picks
The Bargain: Dakine Heli Pro 24L Backpack. “Who wants to stop at the lodge or car on a pow day? Lift lunches, cameras, avy gear, extra layers—skiers are increasingly looking to carry various goods with them as they tear up the resort. At 24 liters, the Heli Pro packs enough of these extras to keep you jammin’ all day long without feeling bulky. The slim profile, ski carry options, and quick shovel/probe access also make the pack a great fit for straightforward tours and dawn-patrol laps. Can’t stop, won’t stop.”
The Pragmatist: Giro Onset Goggles. “Skiing is believing, believing is seeing. A wide-angle pioneer, the sleek Onset with Giro’s crisp Vivid lens allows for maximum peripheral vision. You know, so you don’t get surprised by trees, rocks, bumps, out-of-control pizza skiers, or yetis. The lens’ contrast and color enhancement strikes the balance between not enough and too much.”
The Go-To: Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket. “I love puffies. You love puffies. But not all down jackets are created equal, and you’d rarely describe one as “rugged”. The Bivy Down is cozy, as per puffy requirements, and you don’t have to worry about shredding it on pointy things. Bring the elements, bring the dog claws—the Bivy Down feels bulletproof.”
The Treat: DPS Wailer A112 Alchemist Skis. “I’ll be perfectly honest: I’ve known in my head that DPS makes great skis for a while, but I haven’t felt it in my skier heart. Other skis were always more fun and a better fit for me. But like other epic things that bear the “Alchemist” name (the Vermont-based brewers of Heady Topper, the life-changing book by Paulo Coelho, etc.), DPS’ newest design flourish has me sold. The Wailer A112 packs that lightweight/smooth-ride tech into an all-mountain powder ski with a massive sweet spot. GIMME!”
The Bargain: Hestra Morrison Pro. “After making gloves for over 80 years, you learn a few things, and since 1936 Hestra has been doing just that. You cannot beat the sheer quality put into each and every glove that Hestra makes. As for my personal favorite, that would the Morrison Pro Glove. With race inspiration around the overbuilt back of the hand and a nice long cuff complete with Velcro strap. The aesthetics of these gloves are also spot on, black leather with a hint of cork on the pinky finger. These gloves will keep you warm, and they’re built to last. And they’re sure turn heads on and off the slopes.”
The Pragmatist: Oakley Line Miner. “As far as optics go, it doesn’t get much better than Oakley—especially since the introduction of the Prizm lens. This lens offers incredible contrast in flat light but still keeps your eyes shaded on those bluebird days. The Line Miner is an oversized cylindrical frame that gives you plenty of coverage and a complete seal between your helmet and goggles. The delicate blend of performance and style could just make this your new favorite gog.”
The Go-To: Strafe Nomad Jacket. “Breathability is the name of the game when it comes to Strafe outerwear. This brand does a great job making jackets that are designed for high performance athletes. There’s nothing worse than soggy clothes, and the EVent technology in the Strafe Nomad makes sure moisture won’t bog you down. Strafe outerwear is designed to be used and abused by the best athletes. If you are looking for high quality fabrics with exceptional style, Strafe is what you need this season. The Nomad shell is sure to be a crowd favorite both on the resort and out in the backcountry.”
The Treat: Black Crows Daemon Skis. “When Black Crows announced this ski, I could not wait to give it a rip. A reverse camber ski, with metal underfoot and a perfect 99mm waist width. How could you not get excited!? This ski is for those hard-charging folks who like a ski to be nimble and turn on a dime. The ability to pivot in the bumps and trees and then lay train tracks down the groomers is unlike anything else out there. Not to mention the black and gold topsheet looks pretty damn good. If you are looking to unlock the upper speed limits, and rip the technical terrain with ease, get on the Black Crows Daemon.”
Matt H’s Picks
The Bargain: Smith Squad Goggles. “The Squad is a no-nonsense goggle for skiers who don’t want to worry about their gear. It has interchangeable Chromapop lenses, a large field of view, and a sleek look that fits well with almost every helmet. While it may cost less than its pricier I/O siblings, it is impossible to tell on a powder day.”
The Pragmatist: Patagonia Better Sweater. “The Patagonia Better Sweater jacket should be a staple of every wardrobe. It’s soft, the fit is perfect, and it works at the office or on a morning hike. The Marsupial variant and its buttons just upped the classy factor of this timeless piece, so don’t worry about fitting in at swanky holiday parties this season.”
The Go-To: Flylow Dexter Jacket. “The key to a comfy ski kit is a mid-layer that insulates without smothering. The Dexter is that layer. It is lightweight and sturdy, and it easily transitions between the morning coffee run and the chair lift. Under a shell it all but disappears. Focus on skiing, not being cold.”
The Treat: Blizzard Rustler 11. “The Gunsmokes disappeared from Blizzard’s lineup and it scared people because it was a great ski. Blizzard didn’t care. They knew that they were replacing it with a better ski, and what a ski it is. The Rustler 11 will be a paradigm shift for someone looking for a powerful ski that still knows how to have fun. The Rustler 11 is never out of its element, no matter where it is on the mountain.”