2020 Testers’ Choice: Kris Thomas’s Picks

The 17 inches of powder that fell on Powder Mountain, Utah this past March didn’t distract testers at the 2020 Gear Test Week from logging hours on this coming season’s newest skis, splitboards and boots to find the standouts across crud, corduroy and deep blower fresh. From bell to bell, each tester buckled down to […]

Hagan Boost 99 Skis

“For the weight, the Hagan Boost surprised me with its stable, predictable ride,” one tester said, praising the well-rounded prowess of Hagan’s new midfat. “These skis hold an edge well, have a shovel to keep you up in the pow and are light enough to go all day.” “A light, wispy ski that can carve […]

Black Diamond Equipment Helio 95 Skis

Black Diamond overhauled their Helio line of touring-specific skis last season and the widest model, the Helio 116, earned an Editors’ Choice Award for its best-in-class weight-to-width ratio. This season, BD takes a victory lap, with top honors falling on a ski that blew away the mid-90 mm competition—on both the uptrack and the descent. […]

Völkl Mantra V.Werks Skis

With their Mantra V.Werks, Völkl didn’t just create a ski for the masses; they’ve provided the masses with a chance to ski better. “The platform underfoot is stiff and snappy, giving unrelenting edge hold,” one tester observed. “It’s like a one-size-fits all ski,” one Montana-based tester said of the mid-fat Mantra. “Even the Jerriest of […]

Black Crows Camox Freebird Skis

“Best for someone who wants a monogamous relationship with their skis,” one tester quipped of the Black Crows Camox Freebird’s loyalty-inspiring performance that’s now secured this 96 mm-underfoot ski an Editors’ Choice Award two years running. “Best for big days when you know you’re going to be going through variable terrain,” one tester said. Slight […]

Voilé Hyper v6 Skis

Last season, Voilé injected their skis with a special sauce that elevated the line to another level. The new recipe goes by the name Hyper, a fitting moniker given the energy dividends these lightened skis now offer. In the case of the Hyper V6, that’s a 15-percent weight savings—more than enough to take another lap. […]

Voilé HyperDrifter Skis

“Like a five-calorie cocktail with 30-percent ABV,” The Tech: Voilé’s Drifter earned our Editors’ Choice Award a decade ago, back when rocker and carbon construction were more experimental than commonplace. The Salt Lake brand got it then and still does today, updating the Drifter’s heavily rockered shape and overhauling the core and layup to keep […]

Salomon QST Stella 106 Skis

“Responsive, easy-turning and moderately lively, the Stellas manage most terrain and conditions with grace and ease,” The Tech: Salomon’s overhaul of this year’s QST line extends across their women’s offerings, with updates to their Lux, Lumen and Stella, the latter being the lone ski of the female fleet tested at Powder Mountain. The Stella similarly […]

Fjell M1542S Splitboard

The only thing identifying Fjell’s lightweight, directional MT1542s model is a “^” and coordinates for Ålesund, Norway, the home of their showroom—that’s it. This muted marketing left testers unsure of what they were riding, but they were damn sure that they liked it. “This deck feels at home in steep and aggressive terrain, and will […]

Patagonia Snowdrifter Jacket

“exquisite articulation and dreamy man-bod flattery.” The Tech: Patagonia’s new SnowDrifter jacket (and matching bibs) are made from the brand’s proprietary DWR-treated H2No three-layer fabric that’s designed for top-of-the line weatherproofing at a lower price point. A helmet-compatible hood aims to protect against chilly breezes and two bigger torso pockets with one smaller chest pocket—as […]

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