1. Twisted Zipper
Arc’teryx Sidewinder (£580)
Yoann says: “It’s a durable Gore-Tex shell that’s probably the cream of the crop of freeride ski jackets. What I love most is the small futuristic-looking tweak they’ve made to the zipper, making it off-centre at the chin. When it gets really cold, zips can become very irritating to your skin. Moving it to the side avoids the nasty feeling when you’re hiding your face from the freeze.”
What it means for you: The threats to your delicate little chinny chin chin have been halved, with only mid-morning molten fondue left to mangle your lower mush.
2. Sci-fi Vision
Oakley Prizm React (coming soon)
Yoann says: “Usually, you need to carry different coloured lenses with your goggles in case the weather changes on the slopes. Problem is, it can be really fiddly to swap them out. With these, you can switch between three different lenses in less than ten seconds, at the touch of a button. And with the battery hidden in the frame instead of hanging out the back, it’s the first time this sort of goggle tech has really worked.”
What it means: Dropping literally every single one of your worldly possessions off the chair lift as you switch from mirrored lenses to orange is a thing of the past, baby!
3. Super Shredding
KORUA Shapes Snowboards (various)
Yoann says: “A very small brand that makes unusually shaped boards that are all about fun. It’s really refreshing to see – the snowboard market is built around deep powder and big jumps, but KORUA has gone against the grain to concentrate on capturing the feeling of a really great turn on the piste. And if that’s where you’re spending the majority of your snow holiday, it makes total sense. The prices are really accessible too, which I like a lot.”
What it means: Your turns will look and feel “hella rad, bro” – despite the irate Italian father chasing you down the piste for flattening his son.
4. Ultimate Brain Bucket
GIRO Nine MIPS (£110)
Yoann says: “You need a helmet, and when you’re buying one, look for MIPS. Brands are making awesome progress in bringing new technology to head protection, but MIPS is the very best. It stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and aims to reduce the amount of impact energy going to the head and rotation of the brain. The GIRO Nine offers the MIPS technology at a price you’d expect from a standard normal helmet.”
What it means: Your brains will stay firmly inside your head, which *checks scientific notes*… is good.
5. Unbeatable Boots
Head NEXO LYT 110 (£350)
Yoann says: “Boots can make the difference between a day of severe pain in your knees, feet and hips, and an epic day on the mountain, so it’s important to get the right ones. What’s impressed me the most this year, in terms of boots, is just how lightweight these ones are. Head has used graphene to strip back the grams, and even saved weight on the buckles, but still managed to retain the stiffness and resistance you need. Oh, and they’re super comfortable too.”
What it means: You won’t set off any more avalanches with the earth-trembling howls that come every time you slide into your dad’s old concrete hand-me-downs.