Gear Reviews

Apres Ski Must Haves

Each month, we do an Outdoorsy Must Have’s with a collection of some of the best products for a particular theme. This month, the theme is après ski.

Après is an enjoyable time, but it’s even better when you have the right stuff!

Pakems Pakems - $60-70 After a long day on the slopes, you're gonna want to switch out those painful boots with a comfy pair of shoes, or better yet, warm water resistant sandals. These winter flip flops are super lightweight (about 13 oz. for a pair), and super packable - hence the name. They take up about as much room as a Nalgene, but with way less weight. The outer rip stop nylon layer is coated with a water resistant DWR and in between your foot and the rubber sole is a cushy layer of EVA. Pakems are definitely a must have item for any skier's pack.
HillsoundsHillsound Trail Crampons - $59 You've enjoyed your apres ski - now it's to hike back to your home for the night. You'll want some extra traction with all that heavy gear slinging over your shoulders. THe Hillsound Trail Crampons will turn your once - tame shoes - into ice munching machines. While these crampons are perfectly capable of short walks on ice, they're designed to handle much sketchier conditions - pretty much everything except ice climbing. The spikes are made of carbon steel making them near impossible to break, and are rated to handle temperatures that no one should be in (-76 F). A definite must-have to accompany a ski pack, especially if you ever have plans to walk on ice.
Outdoor Technology CHIPS - Universal Bluetooth Wireless Helmet Audi0 - $129.95 One of the most annoying experiences while on the slopes is trying to answer the phone with gloves on. Now, with a single click of a giant button, your sausage fingers can turn these bluetooth headphones turn into a phone receiver. After your call, they go back to cranking 120db of mind crushing sound (about as loud as a jet engine). They're compatible with just about every helmet on the market - simply slip them into the liners of your helmet. When (if) the battery goes out (9 hours of playback time), pop them into your headphone jack and work just as good.
Marmot Variant Jacket - $170 The breathing Polartec Power Stretch on the back and toasty Thermal R on the front makes this jacket the ideal midlayer. No one wants the same amount of heat on their core as under their pits which is why this design is so unique. After it has done the job of keeping you dry and warm on the slopes, toss the shell and wear this as your outer layer while partying the night away.
Honey StingerHoney Stinger Caffeinated Dark Chocolate Mocha Cerry Protein Bar After a hard day of pushing turns, oftentimes, your body doesn't want to wait another hour for a warm meal; it needs fuel/protein/caffeine asap. What better way to get that all at the same time with say, Honeystinger's new Caffeinated Dark Chocolate Mocha Cerry Protein Bar. With 10 grams of protein and 30 mg of caffeine, this emergency pick-me-up is a definite must have the moment your apres time begins.
Osprey Kode 42 - $169 Items like the glove friendly buckles, the top helmet carry pocket, and backpanel access makes the Kode 42 about as well thought out as backcountry packs get. Skis are carried diagonally and snowboard is strapped straight up or sideways - whichever you like better. There's a slot for an ice tool, pouches for a shovel/beacon, underlid for a rope, and the list goes on. But let's talk about apres. In the front panel (between the pouches for shovel and beacon) is a mesh lining that is the exact size of a bottle of wine. In the main compartment is another mesh pouch, perfect for slipping in a couple beers. Main compartment - TONS of spaces (like 40 liters) to put whatever you want making it an excellent choice for the backcountry, and a must have for apres.
Mountain Khakis Canyon Cord Pants - $89 Dubbed the dos equis of pants, the Mountain Khakis Canyon Cords are the most comfortable corduroys in the world. On the outside, they are more classic than a fighter pilot wearing raybans and a leather jacket - but don't let their good looks fool you - these stretchy leg huggers can easily double at night as pajamas or yoga pants. They are the only pant in the world that can hold two beers in one pocket (comfortably) and are constantly sold out online in Truffle. I personally own five pairs - one in each color and two in the Retro Khaki, in case one gets dirty.
Silvia Cellars 2011 Silvia Cellars, Dry Creek, Sonoma, Zinfandel - $15 Give this wine about 10 minutes to breathe and you'll experience years of barrel aging from American and French oak. This zin is soft and accessible - fitting for a palate that just experienced a physically strenuous day. You can get to harsher stuff as the night progresses but early on, kick off of your apres with a touch of the tart cherry and cranberry flavors that made Dry Creek famous.
Hillsound Armadillo Gaiters - $65 These gaiters easily zip up to separate your legs from all that wet nasty debris that wants to make love to your legs. Simply strap them onto the bottom of your shoe and zip up. The Cordura 1000D fabric that surrounds the shoe is the toughest material possible (the same stuff at the bottom of snow pants that prevent your skis from shredding up the pantlegs). The upper portion is waterproof and breathable Flexia 3.0 so your shins don't get all swampy. They're stretchy so it'll form fit your legs and they come with an extra strap in just in case.
Bike2PowerBike2Power Power Plus Mount - $79.95 It's no secret that cold temps and moisture kill battery life; even worse is when your phone is going in and out of reception as is the case with many resorts. Solution: put your phone in a waterproof shockproof extra battery case. The Bike2Power Power Plus Mount, while originally meant to be mounted on a bike, pops off easily and can be used as an extra 2800 mAh to 3000 mAh depending on the version. This doubles or triples your battery life (double if Galaxy S4 and triple is iPhone 5) plus keeps all the sweaty humidity away from your phone, while giving you full access from within the case.