Cool ski gear has looks, comfort and performance

Skiing is supposed to be all about the powder, the mountain, the chilly thrill of zipping down the run.

So who cares if your gear is retro ski fashion from another era? You know, one-piece, multi-colored fluorescent rompers. Scratchy wool sweaters with snowflake prints. Skis so old you can’t find replacement bindings or boots.

But you should care. The newest gear doesn’t just look better, it makes skiing easier and you more comfortable. A sampling of some of the best of this season’s offerings:

K2 Xplorer

K2 gives a nod to its snow-breaking 1997 ski with the Xplorer, able to handle backcountry conditions and groomed runs. The ski offers a 84mm waist and generous sidecuts. The marketing gurus describe it as the ideal ski for Northwest skiers, designed to “float on powder, manhandle crud, carve on ice and storm down groomers or steeps.” Translation: a versatile ski that can handle soft and hard snow conditions.

Cost: $1,250

More information: www.k2skis.com

Full Tilt Sally Boot

Sally is definitely not the cheapest ski boot on the market. This is a high-­performance boot for a high-­performance woman. The Sally is a lightweight three-piece boot with a form fitting liner designed to fit a woman’s foot. The forward flex design allows precise turns without the binding the ankle. The boot can be heat molded by a shop to the shape of the foot for comfort, performance and warmth.

Cost: $550

More information: www.fulltiltboots.com

Hustle Helmet

Smith Optics draws some of the best features from its earlier helmets and created the Hustle, a helmet that delivers style and noggin protection. The ad whizzes say this helmet eliminates “the paradox of either looking like an (International Ski Federation) racer or not protecting your gray matter.” The helmet features snap-fit ear pads and a removable goggle lock. If you need tunes, the helmet also comes in a version that offers phone-audio or Bluetooth.

Cost: $120 (no audio), $150 (phone-audio), $300 (Bluetooth)

More information: www.smithoptics.com

Women’s HH Warm Ice Crew

A long-sleeve jersey made with Stay Dry technology, a fiber that pulls excess sweat away from the skin for warmth and comfort. The outside of the crew is made with merino wool for extra warmth. Makes for a snuggly base layer.

Cost: $65

More information: www.hellyhansen.com

Slytech Second Skin

Protective back gear designed to protect the spine, tailbone and shoulder blades. It also is designed to be comfortable, lightweight and still flexible enough for daredevils to try that next sick trick. There are no hard plastic components. The belt is made of super elastic material and the gear contains memory foam that contours to the body’s shape as it warms. The soft, pliable material is an effective shock absorber; the company said it immediately hardens on impact.

Cost: $175

More information: slytechprotection.com

Debra Smith

425-339-3197

dsmith@heraldnet.com

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend, enjoy live music by the beach in Mukilteo, see a free movie in Everett or take in short plays in Edmonds.

Pleasant and progressive, Oslo puts its people first

Every time I come to Norway, I’m fascinated by their experiment in big government, and how little people are bothered by high taxes.

Animal Chaplain Shel Graves has her dog Lily pose for a photo in her home office on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is your dog or cat grieving? There’s an animal chaplain for that

Chaplains offer spiritual care for beings of all species: “Absolutely, animals do feel grief and loss.”

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

What do Patti Labelle, John Legend, Mudhoney, Dwight Yoakam have in common? They’re all performing locally this weekend.

Crape Myrtle
Hardiness, hotter summers helping colorful crape myrtles find homes here

Many are hardy enough, but we were never hot enough. In recent summers, however, I’ve seen them blooming in local gardens.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for … glace? Well, in France, yes.

This ice cream vendor toy, which sold for $1,800 at auction, reminds us of France’s role in popularizing the summer treat.

Lily of the Scheherazade variety with red-white flowers from the Oriental-Tubular (OT) hybrids group. Decorative plant in the garden
Great Plant Pick: Scheherazade Orienpet Lily

What: Once mature, this giant lily makes a stunning presence in the… Continue reading

The 2024 Ford F-150 full-size pickup. The Platinum trim is shown here. (Photo provided by Ford)
2024 Ford F-150 is a cornucopia of varieties

2024 Ford F-150 is a cornucopia of varieties

The 2025 Lexus UX 300h is the luxury brand’s smallest and most affordable SUV. (Photo provided by Lexus)
2025 Lexus UX 300h gets more horsepower, keeps great MPG

The luxury brand’s smallest SUV is available only as a hybrid.

The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ hybrid powertrain produces 304 horsepower. (Photo provided by Lexus)
2024 Lexus RX 450h+ has a 37-mile electric drive range

The latest RX hybrid is a plug-in available only in the Luxury trim.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Peak Edition
2024 VW Atlas SEL Peak Edition

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Peak Edition felt familiar and cozy, no… Continue reading

My Apple Vacations voucher doesn’t work! Can I get a refund?

A travel advisor offers Cathy Balsewich an expried $200 credit at a hotel in the Turks and Caicos. Who is responsible?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.