What’s the best way to dress for ski touring when it’s sunny and hot? Alpine climbing in mixed conditions? Lift-accessed skiing in the dead of winter? There are a zillion new baselayers, midlayers, and shells out there, so we’ve put together a guide to help you sort out what makes certain types better / worse at certain things, and outlined how we think about layering for various cold-weather outdoor activities.
We compare the Wildcat Tour 108 to the Moment Wildcat 108, Moment Deathwish Tour, WNDR Alpine Intention 110, Atomic Backland 107, Blizzard Zero G 105, K2 Wayback 106, Black Diamond Helio 105, Line Vision 108, Amplid Facelift 108, 4FRNT Raven, Renoun Citadel 106, Faction Agent 3.0, & Folsom Cash 106 Carbon.
Mystery Ranch has a long history of working with and making packs for the US military, fire departments, and law enforcement. They also make everything from backpacks for everyday use, to packs for backcountry skiing, and the company has quite a unique culture. So we sat down with product designer, Alex Rich, to discuss what it’s like to design packs for US special forces; how their military designs trickle down to outdoor packs (and vice versa); how their design ethos reflects their sustainability culture; and more.
Bison Wool? Bison Down? That’s a thing? Well it’s being used by United By Blue, who started salvaging otherwise wasted bison fibers, and is now incorporating them into a growing range of products. So we talked with Brendan Raugh at United By Blue about how the company was founded as a waterway cleanup company; how they went on to develop an entire line of apparel around salvaged bison coat fibers; how bison fibers compare to sheep’s wool and goose down; and more.
Picture Organic Clothing is going way beyond common sustainability practices with things like castor bean oil waterproof membranes and sugar cane waste-derived polyester, and they are attempting to eliminate polybags from their entire supply chain. So we talked to Picture’s co-founder, Julien Durant, and their sustainability manager, Florian Palluel about these ambitious projects — including their new air-permeable membrane, Xpore, that they are putting in direction competition with Gore Pro and TNF Futurelight.
We talk with Graham Lonetto, the Alpine Director for the USA at Swix — the company that invented color-coded waxes, and one of the largest manufacturers of ski wax in the world — about different types of waxes and application methods; the most common mistake made when ski waxing; the FIS’s ban on fluorocarbons in waxes; and more.
We compare the Ranger 99 Ti to the Fischer Ranger 102 FR, Salomon QST 99, K2 Mindbender 99 Ti, Volkl Mantra M5, Volkl Mantra 102, Blizzard Bonafide, Nordica Enforcer 100, J Skis Masterblaster, Blizzard Rustler 9 & 10, ON3P Wrenegade 96, Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, Liberty Origin 96, Renoun Endurance 98, Moment Commander 98, and Dynastar Legend X96.
In part 2 of our conversation with SCARPA CEO, Kim Miller, Kim offers his predictions for the ski industry and how SCARPA is positioning itself for the future; discusses which materials they use in their boots and why; shares the lessons learned from the Maestrale 2017 recall; and unveils a brand-new boot, the F1 LT.
Thankfully, “sustainability” is a word that more and more companies are thinking about when it comes to the products they make and sell. So from technical outerwear, to food storage, to everyday items you might not even think about, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite items that represent a step in this more sustainable / less environmentally harmful direction. Check them out here.