Whether you’re going outside to build a snow fort, carve down an intermediate groomer or cross-country ski to a backcountry hut, winter is a beautiful time to enjoy the Great Outdoors. Grab your skis, snowboard, snowshoes, skates or other technical equipment your activity requires, then bundle up and fight the chill with these winter-ready gear items.
Arc'teryx Beta Insulated Jacket
This is easily one of the best jackets I’ve ever worn. With built-in synthetic insulation, a helmet-compatible StormHood™, a GORE-TEX® bluesign® approved shell and an embedded RECCO® radar reflector to make you findable by search and rescue, this jacket is made for mountain activities. Waterproof, windproof, breathable, durable and—most importantly—extremely comfortable, the Beta Insulated is perfect for winter pursuits, from hiking in the alpine to cross-country skiing after work. It fits loose enough to slip a mid layer underneath; slim enough to not feel baggy or get in the way. It’s available in neutral colours, but the bright pink Techno option won’t get lost in the snow.
Mustang Survival Beanie
Keep your ears and head cozy with this charcoal melange polyester beanie from Mustang Survival. The crew at Mustang knows cold, wet, windy weather—after all, they specialize in water sports, crafting technical gear for the stormy Pacific Ocean. Trust them to make a classic knit beanie you’ll wear all season, from the blustery docks to the peak of a mountain. Sleek design, simple branding and acrylic thermal protection means you can get outside to enjoy cooler mornings and colder climates.
This unisex boot is a disrupter to the classic snow-boot industry. If you’ve seen them, you likely remember them—a Technicolor footwear display of orange, pink, blue, green and more. But if you pried your eyes away from the boots themselves, you likely saw a smiling face atop them. FUBUKI is Japanese for “snowstorm,” but this company is Swedish. The idea for these boots was conceived by two Swedes during their time in Niseko, Japan. The Niseko 2.0 is constructed from a 100 per cent EVA outsole and shell, with an ABS toe cap for protection. They keep you warm with a non-removable polyester lining and a drawstring-close polyester cap. The result is 100 per waterproof and windproof with a -30 C rating.
lululemon Down for It All Mitten
Made for winter trail running, these mittens are water-repellent and windproof. For ultimate warmth, the back of the hand is insulated with 500-fill goose down, which is 100 per cent certified responsible. The PrimaLoft® insulation stays warm, even when you’re making snowballs or clinging to wet trekking poles. The tech fleece fabric lining features four-way stretch, so your fingers don’t feel constricted—just toasty. With snug-fitting cuffs, a pull tab for easy on/off, reflective details and a snap to lock your mittens together, these are an easy choice for winter adventures.
Mark’s Glacier Air Protect Glove
Alison Karlene Hodgins
Best for casual winter adventures, like building snowmen, these CTR men’s gloves are wind- and snow-resistant. The forefinger and thumb are touchscreen compatible, so you can answer important phone calls and respond to texts without taking your gloves off and numbing your fingers. Simple, effective, comfortable and flexible, these 100 per cent polyester gloves get the job done: the rib-knit elastic cuff keeps snow out while the integrated palm insert helps guard against the wet and cold—even when you’re shoveling knee-deep snow.
MEC Couloir GORE-TEX® Bib Pants
Alison Karlene Hodgins
Venturing into the alpine this season? These bib pants are designed for backcountry skiing but can be easily used with snowshoes or crampons. Thanks to the reinforced kick patches on the bottom of the pants, you won’t scratch or tear these snow pants on microspikes, skis or boots. Flexible GORE-TEX® fabric and internal gaiters guarantee wet snow stays out while vent zippers allow your sweat to dry. Smartly placed pockets offer easy access to essentials. The adjustable suspenders are an ode to the 90s, and it’s a throwback that offers a better fit we can get behind—all in an eco-friendly, bluesign® approved package.
Mystery Ranch Coulee 25 Backpack
For fast-and-light day outings into the mountains, the COULEE 25 integrates Mystery Ranch’s classic three-zip design for instant access to gear. The zippers extend from the sides and bottom of the pack, meeting in the upper middle to form a Y. There are two front and side stretch-woven pockets, a top lid zippered section and a removable waist belt. The patented Futura Yoke easily adjusts for different torso lengths. The women’s version is available in XS/S and M/L, with beige and charcoal colour choices. The men’s version is available in S/M or L/XL, with additional blue and red options.
iPhone 14 Pro
Alison Karlene Hodgins
You likely have a capable smartphone with offline maps, a decent battery life and good camera quality for close-to-home adventures. The iPhone 14 kicks it up a notch. For the first time, users can access emergency services through a message with Emergency SOS via satellite. When you don’t have cell service, Apple can connect you to search and rescue or 911. You can send your location and medical ID to first responders and notify your emergency contacts. The iPhone 14 Pro also boasts incredible camera quality that has me leaving my DSLR at home. Subscribe to explore’s print magazine for an upcoming deep dive into the features of this new phone.
UltrAspire Lumen 800 Multisport Light
When days get darker, you don’t need to stop exploring—you need to illuminate the night. Grab a high-powered torch and keep it in your backpack or car for every winter adventure to stay safe. If you’re on the go outside, we recommend the Lumen 800 Multisport, because it has two-spot cones that create a wide angle and project a focused beam further ahead. This torch is secured on a waist strap for hands-free adventuring. The UltrAspire 3D Lighting casts shadows across uneven surfaces, giving you a better understanding of your terrain. It can be removed from the belt and attached to the included UltrAspire bike bracket or a headlamp band, making it a versatile gear investment.
Apple Watch Ultra
Contributor Alicia Haque recently tested the Apple Watch Ultra to see if it’s worth the hype. She says, “I’ve been very impressed with the Ultra’s capabilities, aesthetic and synchronicity. It’s packed with powerful features that are well suited for adventurers as well as everyday wear. Apple created a brilliant piece of tech that accompanies hikers, divers, runners and outdoor enthusiasts in pushing the boundaries, while using tech to offer a layer of safety we never realized we needed.” Haque says the only drawback is the price: the Ultra Watch starts at $1,099, making it double the cost of the Series 8. If you can afford it and will use all the features, it’s worth it.
Disclaimer: Some of these products may have been supplied for testing or part of sponsorships.