The Best New Winter Sports Tech of 2015

Including the one thing you need to survive an avalanche

By The Editors
December 18, 2015 9:00 am

If you’re a man with surgically reconstructed knees and/or a bad concussion history, this probably doesn’t concern you.

If you’re not yet that man, listen up so you don’t become him.

Ski season 2015 is upon us. Are you still wearing a helmet you got last millennium? Stop that. A lot has changed for the better in the world of ski and snowboard gear in recent years. Case in point: these five pieces of forward-thinking winter sports tech for smarter, steezier and safer powder days.

A-bom Goggles

Foggy goggles can seriously mess up a run. Until now, the only solution was goggles with a built-in, audible fan. Pretty archaic. And obtrusive. Enter Abom, whose brand new gogs are the first to feature an invisible heat-conductive film between a two-part lens that eliminates fog at the push of a button. Use it in short bursts to kill fog when it appears, or leave it on all day to prevent fog it from ever condensing in the first place. $249.99

Range MIPS Helmet

Can’t find a helmet that fits just right? Try the Range MIPS from Giro, new for the 2015/16 season. First, it’s got a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) integrated. You want that. And its sleek, ultra-low profile will help you actually look cool wearing it. But the main draw: a first-of-its-kind, two-piece shell construction that ensures an ideal fit. Just turn a dial and the Range will expand and contract to create a perfectly snug, adaptive fit. $240

Duel-Tec 2.0 3/4 Length Tights

Like other bottom base layers, the Opedix Duel-Tech 2.0 3/4 length tights will keep you warm. But that’s where the comparisons end. Designed to act like an external muscular system, Opedix tights provide extra support, promote enhanced stability and help keep your joints aligned. At the end of the day, that means less wear and tear on your joints and muscles. Which in turn means decreased fatigue, less soreness and quicker recovery times. $225

Black Diamond
Pilot 11 JetForce Avalanche Airbag Pack

Intended to bring the wearer to the surface of the snow in an avalanche, airbag packs have used compressed air or nitrogen canisters to inflate since they were invented. Neither can be brought on a plane and both need to be replaced or professionally refilled after each deployment. But new this year is Black Diamond and PIEPS’ pioneering JetForce Technology, which uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery and jet-fan inflation system. It can be inflated as many times as you’d like and deflates after three minutes (a feature intended to create an air pocket for the wearer if buried in snow). $1,399.95

Avatech, Inc
Avanet Mobile and Desktop Backcountry App

Being prepared for the winter wilderness isn’t just about the best gear, it’s also about having the best resources at your disposal. Like Avanet, a brand new mobile and desktop app and the first platform for crowdsourced mountain safety information. The app aggregates real time, user-reported snow conditions, avalanche observations and weather reports to help users plan the best and safest routes (this video explains more). For serious off-piste skiers, boarders and other mountain explorers, Avanet is about to become a must-have. Free

– Trevor Morrow

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