Backcountry Skiers Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Looking for some ideas on what to get that avid backcountry skier on your list? We’ve got you covered! While in past we’ve only issued Christmas gift guides for climbers. This year we decided to include some ideas on what to get the avid skier on your list as well. So, in no particular order, here are 5 great gift ideas followed by a bonus catch-all for that really hard to shop for person.

  1. G3 Love Glove:

First, it’s not what you’re thinking! The G3 Love Glove is purchased at the ski shop, not the adult store. An interesting name choice by G3 though it does make some sense when you feel the Gloves. So, what is it then? Basically an ingenious way to manage ski touring skins. Made up of two spandex bags the Love Glove system utilizes the same theory as the old mesh skin savers: stop glue-on-glue contact. Now it’s hard to explain exactly how they work but easy to show so check out this short clip from the G3 website. The Love Gloves have several benefits. Like the old mesh skin savers, they ensure the skins come apart easily saving time and energy. The fabric of the glove wicks water away from the skins so they work a bit better. They also make packing up skins on a windy ridge a lot less frustrating. This inexpensive and easy to use product makes a great gift or stocking stuffer.

  1. La Sportiva Skimo Gloves:

Ski gloves, especially the lighter ones, always seem to be wearing out. Of course this means that they can make an excellent Christmas gift. La Sportiva’s Skimo Glove is a great mid-weight option that works well for ski touring and ski mountaineering. Polartec Alpha insulation is used to keep the gloves warm and while they might not be very wind resistant they’re very breathable. Leather is used sparingly in high-wear areas to make the gloves durable while still keeping them light. But the nicest thing about the gloves is the next-to-skin feel when they’re worn. The lining is make up of a soft merino terry-cloth type fabric that wicks moisture away while preventing the gloves, and the wearers hands, from stinking over time. If you’re thinking a new pair of gloves would make a good present you’ll want to check out La Sportiva’s Skimo gloves.

  1. Petzl RIDE Axe:

The new RIDE axe from Petzl has been designed specifically for the backcountry skier/rider. This ultra-light axe is a compact 45cm long and features a curved shaft, a beveled aluminum spike and steel pick and adze. The ideal tool for ski mountaineering or ski touring in alpine, glaciated terrain where portability and weight are critical. Or if you’re looking for something that’s more multi-season the new Gully makes a great axe for both summer and winter.

  1. Terrex Climaheat Agravic Down Hooded Jacket:

While not yet widely known for technical backcountry skiing or mountaineering clothing, Adidas sure knows what they’re doing. They make some of the nicest fitting and feeling technical layers available on the market utilizing top-of-the-line fabrics and insulation. The Terrex Climaheat Agravic Down Hooded jacket is just such a garment. It’s made with a light and strong Pertex Quantum GL fabric and filled with responsibly sourced, bluesign approved, water resistant down. This midweight jacket is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone lucky enough to find it under the tree this Christmas.

  1. Exped Winter Mat:

Now if the skier on your list likes traverses and other multi-day ski trips then this is an ideal gift. When it comes to sleeping mats Exped makes the best in the business. They’re extremely comfortable, warm, soft, light and packable. For winter camping I would recommend one of the down-filled, winter specific mats like the DownMat HL Winter or the DownMat UL Winter. These mats are filled with a responsibly sourced 700 fill down making them amazingly warm but still very compressible and pack-able. The facing fabric is soft to the touch and quiet and they even come with a sill bag that’s used to inflate the mat quickly and easily. Once someone uses an Exped mat there’s no going back!

Bonus: Smartwool PhD Ski Socks:

Well if none of the above ideas are working for you this one will. Socks are one of those magical gifts that please just about everyone. Who doesn’t like putting on a fresh pair for a special occasion be it a big game, a new job or a trip into the mountains. But of course the key here is to get the right socks, not any old socks will do! So what are the right socks? Well for a skier the Smartwool PhD ski socks are fantastic. These technical socks feature extra material at the shin, heel and toes and a thin mesh-like fabric over the top of the foot. This pads the shin, protects the heel, keeps the toes warm and allows for good blood flow and moisture management. Made of a durable and comfortable merino/nylon blend they come in 3 different thicknesses and a multitude of colors and patterns. You just can’t go wrong with this gift so if none of the above options work this one definitely will.

I hope this helped give you a few ideas for the backcountry skier in the family! Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: I was supplied with many of the above items for testing but of course this did not influence my review in any way. If I don’t like a product I simply don’t review it. Also, special thanks for Kyle Skidmore for the photo of the Adidas Terrex Climaheat Agravic Down Hoodie.