Still looking for a gift for an outdoors-lover? Here are our suggestions:
Voormi Access Vest ($300)
Buy For: The never-warm-enough
Voormi’s schtick is to take the wool we know and love and make it better. In this case, they added weatherproofing during the weaving process, turning this vest into a water- and wind-proof barrier and adding tons of durability. As a vest, it’s a nice hit of warmth in the coldest wind. The athletic cut fit nicely over a fleece and under a jacket.
Oakley MOD5 Helmet (from $200)
Buy For: The skier
The goggle-makers’ first helmet is aimed at preventing ice cream headaches. Each helmet comes with two brims, so skiers can figure out which one fits best with their goggles, filling the dreaded gap between helmet and goggle that leads to ice cream headaches. To further customize, dial in the fit with the BOA wheel. The higher-end models come with MIPS, a cradling technology aimed at reducing head trauma.
Buy For: The fashion- and comfort- conscious
Any woman who likes to look cute while staying warm will love this vest. Its fitted cut is flattering. Its retro style is fashionable. The hood, combined with the recycled 600-fill down, is cozy. The nylon canvas exterior is water- and wind-resistant. “It feels like a hug,” said our smitten tester. She hasn’t taken it off in days.
Buy For: Always-chapped faces
After a few days outside in the Rockies, I often want to rub lip balm all over my face. Now I can. This wipe on stick is like lip balm, but it’s made for going over skin and we find it works better than just about anything for keeping skin moist, protected from the sun and wind and feeling good. I’ve even started using it on my lips—it doesn’t seem to disappear as quickly.
Forsake Scrunch ($140)
Buy For: The après queen
Think of the Scrunch as Uggs with outdoor cred. Like all of Forsake’s shoes, the soul’s are a mix of sneaker comfort and hiker grip. The slip-on boots are insulated and waterproof. Yes, they look a little quirky, but our testers say they are ridiculously comfortable, warm and waterproof. (Hiking from the ski hill to the car in six inches of slush she arrived dry. Her friend in the Uggs… not so much.)
Louis Garneau Course Boa ($300)
Buy For: The runner
Weighing less than two pounds, these are the lightest snowshoes we’ve tried. And that matters more in snowshoe running than just about anywhere else. With stiff materials throughout the binding and a customizable fit with the turn dial of the BOA fit system there’s also less energy wasted. Aggressive crampons kept testers on their feet. These may be the most efficient running snowshoes out there.
Buy For: Snuggling
Throws are made of crappy materials. A sleeping bag is overkill. Rumpl is the middle ground. They took the function of hollow fibre insulation, ripstop nylon and water repellant coatings and turned it into a simple blanket. The result is a throw style comforter that resists hot chocolate spills and isn’t afraid of a little dirt. It comes in a variety of sizes and can double as an actually comforter. With a great stuff sack, a good option for an emergency blanket in the car.
Yaktrax Pro ($30)
Buy For: Hikers
Don’t go winter walking without these simple, pull on crampons that fit any shoe. Coils of steel wrap around the foot providing bite and grip into ice and hard packed snow. They turn unworkable slipperiness into grippy ground. Stretchy rubber at its core allows them to slip onto just about any style of shoe and a strap across the forefoot holds them in place.
Buy For: Cold hands
Dry equals warmth when it comes to gloves and the Jalapeno’s are hot. Vancouver Island is the ultimate ski glove testing ground and the OutDry in these mitts is better than anything else I’ve tried for locking out leaks. Even in pouring rain or dunked in the ocean they stay dry inside, which means my fingers are more likely to keep working. The wooly interior does a good job of wicking sweaty palms, too.
Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody ($400)
Buy For: Ski tourers
I wear this lightly insulated jacket all the time. The long strands of synthetic insulation lock in enough heat to keep me warm as the evening cooled on a recent camping trip. The trim fit layered under a shell keeping me cozy on a chilly opening weekend at the ski hill. And hiking and skiing the stretchy and breathable wind resistant and water repellant shell breaths, allowing excess moisture and heat to escape. Basically, you put it on and rarely take it off.