In the dog days of summer, snow may still be a long way away (except in the Southern Hemisphere, of course), but new gear is just around the corner.
Ski gear and apparel companies generally put new products in stores in the fall and this year, skiers and boarders have plenty to add to their shopping lists. Here’s a preview of some of the newest gear for the 2014/15 ski season.
These skis make their debut for the ski maker based in Park City, Utah. Measuring 105-mm underfoot, the twin-tip skis ($599) are designed to be versatile and forgiving. As the name suggests, the core of the ski is made of bamboo.
The Mammut Stoney 2L Jacket is a new design for the 2014-15 ski season. The ski jacket ($450) has 20K waterproof and breathability ratings, so it can handle the rigors of backcountry hiking along with typical resort use. The fabric has the soft feel of a softshell, but has the performance of a hard shell. The Swiss apparel company has its roots in climbing and mountaineering, and its products have deserved reputation for durability.
The TREW Beast Jacket is another new jacket offering for the coming season. With 20K waterproof and breathability ratings, the jacket ($499) features pack-friendly side-zip vents and an adjustable, helmet-friendly hood.
This jacket is a mid-layer piece from a new Colorado-based startup, who used the Kickstarter business model to get rolling. The Saddleback ($149) may be used as a mid-layer or even as an outer layer on warm spring days at the resort. TAMAGEAR is taking pre-orders through its website for delivery in the fall.
These sunglasses feature a wraparound design that helps keep out the wind when speeding down the slopes. Guideline Eyegear has traditionally marketed its glasses to fishermen, but the new Alpine model ($70) obviously has skiers and boarders in mind.
FITS Socks are relatively new in the marketplace. The five-year-old brand uses merino wool in most of its American-made, ski-sock line. The Light Ski OTC ($24) and Pro Ski OTC ($23) have received acclaim from Outside Magazine and Backpacker Magazine, respectively. Although both kinds of socks have the same cushion rating on the packaging, the Light Ski OTC actually has more cushioning, particularly around the toes. The better choice is really a matter of personal preference.
According to SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports market tallied $3.6 billion in sales last winter. With new products on the horizon, the industry could see even better sales this coming winter, so get ready to start shopping!