This week the equinox occurred, meaning—for the Northern Hemisphere—spring ski touring is right around the corner. Having comfortable no-fuss gear is key for an enjoyable trip during the warmer months. Like with all outdoor sports, it’s best to be prepared rather than miss out—or worse, end up in a dire situation. With that in mind, we have selected some of our favorite products for hitting the slopes during spring time.
Incredibly light and breathable but ultimately durable, the Shashka jacket ($649) from Arc’teryx is made of GORE TEX Pro. Weighing in at 430g, it’s comfortable to wear, but also easy to stash and transport. With handy pockets in all the right places and a helmet-friendly hood (which maintains your peripheral vision), it’s the pit zips that make this jacket especially good for warmer months.
Patagonia’s Nano-Air light hybrid jacket can function as a mid-layer in colder conditions, but is also optimal for spring touring, thanks to its lightweight, warm Nano-Air fabric front and breathable waffle-knit backing. While the stretch binding at the hem locks in heat, the aforementioned waffle-knit releases it—especially useful if you’re carrying a backpack, which oftentimes traps sweat and heat.
Wearable a few ways, Rab’s Upslope Pants (available in mustard or black) come with removable suspenders and a comfortable belt but also have an angled larger back panel for extra support. Like with all snow gear, easy on/off is important, and these pants boasts a quick cinching and releasing gaiter that proves to be the most appealing feature.
With safety and functionality at the forefront, the Targhee by Gregory features ski packs in three sizes. The bag’s sturdy construction (complete with abrasion-resistant reinforcements) and snow-shedding fabric means it can take plenty of falls, and the side straps are an easy fit for most skis. (For bigger skis, the straps can be used in various creative, but still safe, ways.) Along with a mesh helmet holder that can be stowed away, there is an all-important rescue and tool compartment that’s easy to access even when wearing the backpack.
The Dynafit Beast might be very, very pink, but it’s also strong, responsive and powerful. Made with a stiff but feather-light Grilamid®, Pebax® fill shell and paired with a super-fitted Pebax® liner, these boots are comfortable and (importantly) easy to put on and pull off. This is in part due to the Precision Lock system that allows the boot to expand much more than other stiff touring boots. The patented buckle system means that making adjustments while on the move is easy, and the Lambda frame gives the boot a dynamic exoskeleton that provides stiffness in desired areas only—using lighter materials in non-crucial areas.
Hero image by Kate Erwin, Beast images by Rafal Andronowski, all others by Peter Baiamonte