[Note: To see the 15/16 edition of the Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards, download our 15/16 Winter Buyer’s Guide.]
If you’re familiar with how we operate at Blister, you’ll probably understand why awards like these make us nervous.
“Best” can be a very arbitrary term. Some piece of gear might be great, but it typically isn’t the best at everything, and it may not be the best option for you.
That’s exactly why our regular reviews aren’t short. The devil is in the details, and the sum of those details is what determines whether a product will be terrible for you, okay for you, or perfect for you. Without specific, accurate details, reviews are pretty useless.
Still, we do like to acknowledge great work. And the Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards point to those products that have really stood out.
We’ll also then direct you to our full reviews, where you can do further research to decide if these selections are the best fit for you, or whether you should spend more time in our Ski Review Index, or our One-Ski Quiver, Two-Ski Quiver, or Three-Ski Quiver Selections, etc.
1) We are not assigning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place rankings within a particular category.
If a product is listed here, it means that we believe it ranks among the very top of its class.
2) We’ve only considered products that we’ve spent real time with.
This should, of course, be obvious, but the review world is a funny place. Some review outlets give awards to stuff that they’ve hardly tested (or haven’t at all). We don’t. If you want to brush up on how we do things, check out the Blister Manifesto.
3) Selections must be of current products.
However, products that have undergone minor tweaks and are currently available are fair game.
4) No company has paid to get their product on this list.
Blister is different. We don’t accept any money from any of the manufacturers we review. We don’t allow them to buy advertising on our site. We’ve created a truly level playing field so that you can be certain that our selections are based on merit, not marketing budgets.
Ok, enough rules and caveats. On to the Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards:
• Anon M2
There are a number of good goggles on the market, but there is nothing this good. In fact, the Anon M2 goggle might be the best product in the entire snow sports industry.
• Anon WM1
The WM1 has the same interchangeable lens technology as the Anon M1 and M2, but has a smaller frame designed for narrower, female faces. The WM1 is the simplest and fastest google for women when it comes to changing lenses, and has great optics and a stylish, clean look.
Best Ski Jackets
The Caden is an excellent, fully-featured hard shell that can guarantee you’ll stay dry in sustained rain or snowfall.
The FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 has our favorite freeride fit, is also fully featured, and while it wouldn’t be our first choice for sustained, severe weather (see the Caden above) it breathes better than the Caden, while still offering very good weather protection.
• Westcomb Apoc
While both the Arc’teryx Caden and the Lab Coat 2.0 can be used for resort riding and backcountry touring, the Westcomb Apoc gets our award for Best “50/50” jacket, and Best Touring Jacket. It doesn’t have all of the pockets of the Caden or Lab Coat 2.0, but it is also quite a bit lighter and more packable than them. If you spend equal or more time touring than skiing between the ropes, this is our top pick. (Full review coming soon.)
Super breathable, super comfortable, and super versatile for a broad range of activities.
The Radium isn’t a standard fleece jacket; it’s made from Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft, a very low density, relatively thick fleece fabric with a great warmth-to-weight ratio. It doesn’t block wind well as an outer layer, but the Radium is our benchmark for warm, highly breathable midlayers.
The Arc’teryx Cerium LT provides a whole lot of warmth in a relatively light package.
Next: Ski Boots