This year, Engearment launched the first ever Best in Snow Awards for innovative and groundbreaking products at the 2016 SIA Snow Show in Denver. We scoured the show for things that we think are going to change how we enjoy our favorite winter sports over the next few years. Here are the winners!
Arc’teryx Procline Boot
Available in six flavors – Carbon Lite, Carbon Support, Men’s Lite, Men’s Support, Women’s Lite, and Women’s Support – the Arc’teryx Procline boot series is the first, tech-compatible ski/mountaineering boot to offer both longitudinal and lateral range of motion in walk mode. This is a complete game changer for mixed ascents with ski descents. We’re looking forward to this technology spreading and changing how we view hard boots across all sports. Weight ranges from 1,060g in the Women’s Lite to 1,260g in the Men’s Support and they’ll retail for between $700-1000.
G3 Scala Climbing Skins
We’ve looked at plenty of climbing skins from G3, but this year they stepped it up. The Scala combines G3’s proven Alpinist plush with a scaled, TPU tip that covers the entire shovel (20%) of your ski. It reduces glop, lowers resistance as you break trail, and increases sidehilling traction with the U-shaped orientation of the scales. G3 has also changed the tail clip system so each size covers more ski lengths. The Scala will be available in 100, 115, and 130 widths. We’re looking forward to getting a pair in house for full testing.
We’ll admit it, we’re total fans. But in addition to being a pioneering badass for snowboarding mountaineering, Jeremy Jones devotes a ton of his time to making sure all of us can continue to get out into the mountains for years to come through Protect Our Winters. In a nutshell, no one has done more for winter sport in recent years and no one has pushed deeper, further, or higher into the mountains.
Karakoram Ultra Clips
Karakoram is at the forefront of splitboard engineering. This season, they introduce the new Ultra Clip. The UltraClip creates a solid, positive lock between the two halves of your splitboard so it feels like you’re riding a snowboard instead of a pair of skis strapped together. These tiny clips will allow splitboarders to ride ballsier lines without worrying about board flex.
K2 won our soon-to-be-coveted Best in Snow award for the Pep Fujas pro model – the Marksman. Pep created asymmetrical tips and tails on his skis because he wanted differential control while he was buttering. K2 gave him what he wanted – they took the outside edge from the Pinnacle 105 and the inside edge from the Petitor. K2 included what they call the Double Barrel Core – high density fir on the outside edges and lighter aspen in the center for pop – in a 106mm waist. We’re hoping this will push the larger manufacturers to explore asymmetry in more skis, creating shapes that suit how people actually ski.
Patagonia Stormfront Pack
Patagonia turned the waterproof pack upside down with this one. Rather than putting a pair of shoulder straps on a drybag and calling it a day, they started with the excellent harness system from the Snow Drifter pack and built a waterproof pack onto it. They had to use two different types of fabric welding to do it. Also cool is the certified-waterproof TIZIP main zipper. We heard that one of their testers filled it with towels, zipped it up, and used it as a body-surfing board in Hawaii without any leakage. We’re equally excited about the roll-top version and the duffel.
Yes Snowboards 2020
Yes took the inverted spoon tip of the 420 board and created a true twin snowboard. The tip/tail shape of the 2020 means that in powder, the tip rises and the tail sinks just like a set-back, directional board. But, the 146 or 150 length board behaves like a short, wide, true twin on hardpack. It’s truly amazing.