Enter the Backcountry November 2017 Giveaway!

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.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: All-Mountain Skis

These are the happy-medium skis; the one-quiver boards; the jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none. They’re neither the widest nor the narrowest (106 to 93 mm underfoot), forgoing deep-snow flotation and svelte touring weights for well-rounded, all-conditions prowess—inbounds and out, uphill in down, in sickness and in health.

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