Marker’s Alpinist: A new, lighter tack for the alpine-focused brand

The Alpinist is Marker’s new binding, and it debuts with a heavy emphasis on the uphill. And considering that Marker’s Duke once held the heavyweight title among backcountry bindings, this two-pin tech represents a dramatic shift in Marker’s priorities, tipping the scale at a mere 245 grams (8.6 oz.) per foot.

Salomon launches S/LAB Shift MNC binding, targeting freeride tourers who want it all

Annecy, France-based skiing powerhouse Salomon has upped their do-it-all binding game with the December 8 launch of the newly minted S/LAB Shift MNC. Salomon designed this binding in the vein of the freeride-focused Marker Kingpin, but a few notable differences could place the Shift MNC in a category unto itself.

2018 Testers’ Choice: Cat Ambrose’s Picks

Testing skis for the Backcountry Magazine Gear Guide can be a grueling endeavor—with hours upon hours of hot powder laps, edge-to-edge action on groomers, the occasional crud-busting run, and of course, flip cup practice—and our testers for the 2018 Gear Guide found it all at Powder Mountain, Utah. Skis, boots and bindings are all put through the ringer to find the standouts, with each ski tested eight times, three for boots and bindings. To get a sense of who’s putting in the work, we introduce Testers’ Choice profiles and picks, so you can be sure you’re getting the info right from the source. 

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Touring Skis

This year, we’re mixing things up. We’ve historically organized skis solely based on width, but we’ve realized this approach can ignore a ski’s purpose. So for 2018, we dove into the psyche of our testers—who hammered the slopes of Powder Mountain, Utah for a week in March—to hone in on what skis were best suited […]

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Freeride Skis

These skis are all about the descent, prioritizing downhill-focused stability over weight. They target the upper end of width (118 to 98 mm underfoot) and offer varying degrees of rocker and stout construction for confidence in conditions from crud to hardpack. They’ll bring power into the backcountry, but demand muscle going up and down.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Powder Touring Skis

These wide-bodied boards (124 to 104 mm underfoot) balance girth and grams for soft-snow pleasure lap after lap. Rocker is plentiful, as are attributes like playfulness and easy turn initiation. And while the following skis are most at home in deep, consistent conditions, many can hang beyond their comfort zone, too.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Boots

An emergent trend for 2018 wasn’t just easy to pick up on at the outset of late March’s Gear Test Week; it was easy to pick up. This focus on weight was hyper apparent in boots, where nearly half of the 77 pair tested sported two buckles or fewer. And even the stouter options meant to charge have made major strides for the ascent.

From the largest set of boots we’ve ever tested, these are the ultimate standouts, the 2018 Editors’ Choice-winning AT boots.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Splitboards

How do we cram a season’s worth of splitboarding into Board Test Week? It’s an admittedly imperfect science, a chemistry of constant tinkering. But after a week in and around Crested Butte Mountain Resort, these splitboards, boots and bindings won out over the rest.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Apparel and Accessories

When it comes to buying softgoods, there’s a lot to wade through. But we’ve done the work, choosing the half-dozen best, lightest or warmest in every category, from shells and puffies to packs and avalanche gear. Last winter, we seeded the gear with testers and gathering feedback on what really matters—like fit and functional utility. These are the standout Editors’ Choice softgoods.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Bindings

We’re living in a tech-binding boom. In fact, only 14 of nearly 200 skis came to this year’s Powder Mountain Gear Test Week mounted with frame bindings—a small enough set (with no new products) that we’ve exclusively gone tech in the 2018 Gear Guide.

And while we’ve reviewed the dozen best bindings in the issue, these are the ultimate standouts, the 2018 Editors’ Choice winners.

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