The Black Diamond UltraLite Mix STS Climbing Skin is supposed to make your days on the mountain easier – unfortunately, this product does not always deliver. There are many reports of the skins peeling off the skis after only minimal use, the skins not being as sticky as other options, and many issues with durability, glide, and glue performance. Even though the skins are lightweight and transport easily, you should make sure you are comfortable with the reported downsides before purchasing.
The Scarpa F1 Alpine Touring Boot for women is a versatile, lightweight, and stable option for those looking to hit the sweet spot between minimal uphill weight and sufficient downhill power. Despite some reports of the liner being not rigid enough and lacking in support, the proficient uphill and downhill performance, heat-moldable liner, and easy transitions make this a great option for backcountry skiers.
The Alpina BC 1550 Cross Country Backcountry Boot for women is a warm and stylish option. There are some questions about it not being fully waterproof, not having enough structure, and some reviews of rubbing at the toe-box which should be considered.
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.