Winter Gear Guide 

Essentials and luxury items to drool over this winter.

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Whether you’re into high-performance gear to propel your skills to the next level or just into looking like you’re at the next level, the outdoor retail industry spits out an avalanche of gear to choose from each season—each new crop of offerings seemingly more lightweight, durable and multifaceted than ever before. We’ve carved a list of our favorites to help you stay current.

Soul Poles

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Functional art meets sustainable design meets professional usability—that’s some serious soul. Designed and hand-painted by artist Nelson Parrish, these bamboo poles are as light as their aluminum counterparts and are made with recycled material. Steeze it up for the environment, bro. $99-$195, SoulPoles.com

Digital Liner Glove

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Anyone who’s ever had the harrowing experience of dropping a glove off of a lift because they were sending a text message or changing a song understands the amazing power of conductive material. This liner glove has it on the thumb and index finger—perfect for phone fiddling—and it gets bonus points for being ultralight, windproof, stylish and warm. $49.95, BlackDiamondEquipment.com

Yaktrax Pro

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These snow chains for your feet are so grabby and durable that you could parkour in a winter storm. OK, parkour isn’t for everyone, but the lightweight, easy-to-remove Yaktrax Pro is—from walking the dog on unshoveled sidewalks the morning after a storm to trail running on the packed snow of Bonneville Shoreline Trail. $30, Yaktrax.com

Banshee Bungee 20-foot Board Package

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This human slingshot can fire someone on water, pavement or snow at speeds up to 35 mph—unheard-of launch speeds without a hill or a car tow-in. It comes with a 20-foot bungee, handle and 30-foot lead line. The Banshee works for tricking in the park, an urban assault or a speedy getaway if the 5-O are approaching (so says the manufacturer). $229.99, BansheeBungee.com

Magellan eXplorist 310 TOPO Edition

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A smartphone is not a replacement for a GPS unit, in terms of reliability, durability and ease of use. Magellan’s eXplorist 310 goes beyond the included map and compass with its pinpoint accuracy (within 10 to 15 feet), tracking tools, uploadable maps and push-button controls (for us old-schoolers still wary of a touch-screen GPS). New for 2012, this unit can come equipped with prepackaged software to fit a variety of needs, like this TOPO! Edition for geocachers, backpackers, snowshoers and backcountry skiers. $199.99, MagellanGPS.com

Smith IOX Interchangeable Goggle

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The coolest thing about the Smith IOX goggle isn’t the streamlined angles, the huge peripherals or the Vaporator Lens Technology, which allows for fog-free skiing and riding—it’s that they are the only goggles you need. Gone are the days when you need a pair of goggles for low-light conditions, another for bluebird days, another for your look and so on. Each goggle comes with two lenses, and there are seven in total to choose from to customize your pair to suit where and when you ski/ride. $174.95, SmithOptics.com

Leatherman Sidekick Multitool

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No matter the activity—be it snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing or general home DIY repair—it’s nice to have a multitool that you can count on. With 15 tools, including spring-action pliers, a saw, two knives, screwdrivers and, of course, a bottle opener, and weighing a mere 7 ounces, the Sidekick has it all, and at a modest price point. And the 25-year warranty insures that it’s your sidekick for years to come. $39.99, Leatherman.com

Hydro Flask Bottle with Hydro Flip Lid

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Hydro Flask bottles keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold: How does it know? Bottle magic—plain and simple. This insulated 21-ounce, stainless-steel, wide-mouth water bottle is perfect for stowing a coffee or your favorite hot toddy for drinking on the lift. And it’ll keep that electrolyte booster chilly at the gym on off-slope days. $25.99 for bottle, $4.99 for lid, HydroFlask.com

Zipfy Mini Luge

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Getting properly outfitted in new gear to slide down the snow on skis or snowboards can cost from $1,000 to $3,000—and that’s not including lift tickets. How does affordable winter fun sound? The Zipfy Mini Luge is a lightweight, low-cost sled that has a 250-pound weight capacity, making it solid for adults and kids. Pack a few in the trunk and head to Sugar House Park or Little Mountain in Emigration Canyon to save some loot while still getting your “Wheee!”s in. $39.99, Zipfy.com

Discrete Headwear Lexic

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Local headwear and hoodie company Discrete is one of a kind. At least that’s what the name, taken from a mathematical concept, implies. With that, Discrete, founded and owned by pro freeskier and Salt Lake City resident Julian Carr, puts the ease in steeze, because every piece of gear looks so unique and so fresh—on the hill or off. The Lexic is a tri-color beanie, offered in six variations, that will brighten up your face and warm your cabeza, and is just one of the many cool-looking options offered by Discrete. $20, DiscreteHeadwear.com
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