The Scarpa F1 Alpine Touring Boot strikes a magical balance between downhill performance and lightweight uphill mobility. This, of course, means that it isn’t the best downhill boot, nor is it the best uphill boot, but it will make the majority of backcountry skiers exceedingly happy due to its sportive responsiveness on the down and its lightweight comfort on the up. While the boot is a bit more fiddly than some other options, its strengths far outweigh any weaknesses.
The Smith Mission Helmet is a lightweight, protective, and ventilated option that is well-suited for those who want to adjust and customize their airflow and color choice, and not break the bank. Despite being less durable than other options and showing wear quicker, this helmet is good for those who prioritize functionality and a comfortable fit at an affordable price.
The Smith Valence Helmet for women is well-suited for those who want a comfortable, secure, and goggle-compatible helmet. Despite taking some time to get used to the opening and closing of the vents, this helmet is user-friendly once you figure out how everything works. The BOA dial at the back is easy to use, the vents can be opened and closed for breathability, and the straps provide a secure fit.
The POC Auric Cut BC Spin Helmet is a lightweight, comfortable, and breathable option that is well-suited for those athletes who want to prevent overheating during use, protect in event of a crash, and easily adjust their helmet. Despite having to size-up to find the correct fit and being more expensive than other options, the functionality and adjustable venting system make this a high-quality helmet that is a great choice for any level of skier or snowboarder.
The La Sportiva Sparkle 2.0 Alpine Touring Boot for women is an adjustable and high-performance boot that performs well in both uphill and downhill mode. Despite having too much flex for some aggressive skiers’ needs, if you want a boot that is easy to use and adjust, provides a great range of motion, and keeps your foot secure during use, then this is a great choice.
The K2 Route Helmet is a lightweight and breathable helmet that receives some widespread complaints. There are some construction issues, goggles are not compatible with the clips, the snow and rain cover isn’t the best, the outer shell might dent, and the internal padding isn’t amazing. Even though the ventilation system works well, the vents aid in temperature regulation, and the BOA system allows for adjustments, the construction issues have resulted in numerous negative reviews.
The G3 Expedition Climbing Skin is a high-grip, long-lasting, and functional skin. The overall reliability and consistent grip make this a good choice for those ski tourers looking for a nylon skin.
The Salomon Guardian MNC 13 Alpine Touring Binding is a technically-simple, versatile, and reliable option that is well-suited for beginners or intermediate backcountry skiers who want a clean and simple binding that is easy to operate. The durability, quick transitions, and sleek look all provide a solid binding. With that said, there is a severe weight penalty to these bindings compared to tech bindings, but for those looking to get into ski touring, this is a great starter option.
The Smith Quantum MIPS Helmet is one of the highest quality helmets on the market, with the attention to detail and technology typical of Smith. Significantly more expensive than other options, you get what you pay for with this helmet not only in terms of safety, but also in features, tech, and warmth. Its best features include the BOA fit adjustment system, warm earpads and adjustable vents that keep air out or let it in when ventilation is needed. For those who spend a lot of time on the mountain and are looking for something that will keep them comfortable and safe in any and all conditions, this helmet will certainly deliver.
The Smith Riot Chromapop Goggles for women are clear, comfortable, and stylish goggles that are well suited for skiers and snowboarders who want to see in bright colors and crisp definition. Those who want to look stylish on the slopes and see everything clearly, this is a great option.