SPLUGE: Team riders Wille Yli-Luoma and Robbie Walker give the double thumbs up to this all-mountain offering from K2. The Turbo Dream is made to ride on everything from deep powder and backcountry conditions to hard-packed, high-speed groomed terrain. K2's patented Tweekened design gives the board superior surface contact, stability, and floatation in deep snow and power to stick those landings. Proprietary vibration damping near the binding inserts helps reduce icy-condition chatter and offset leg burn whenever you ride. Sizes: 153, 156, 159, 161, 165 cm
PAIR WITH: K2 Cinch CTX Bindings - $300 and Maysis Boot - $270
SAVE: K2 Brigade Snowboard - $300
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SPLURGE: The Enzo jacket and pant combo is part of The North Face's Summit Series, which means it's the company's best-in-class gear. The waterproof, breathable, fully seam-sealed outer layers keep heat in and cold out, while letting perspiration evaporate away from your body. Zippered pit vents provide extra cooling power when things heat up and a litany of pockets store everything from goggles to phones to media and GPS devices. The hood is helmet friendly for blustery days and a built-in powder skirt keeps snow at bay when it's steep and deep.
FOR HER: The North Face Free Thinker jacket and pant ($449/$349) bring all of the technical features of the Enzo collection in a cut and color options designed for women.
SAVE: The North Face Kannon Shell Jacket and Insulated Pants - $370/$240
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SPLURGE: The stylish and lightweight Edition helmet has all the requisite features of a top-end helmet including multiple vents to keep air out, a sleek carbon weave outer shell, and an easy-to-access custom-fit dial. The Onset goggles have the widest field of vision in Giro's goggle line thanks to a minimalist frame design. It pairs well with the Edition helmet, leaving no gaps between the two pieces to keep cold air out.
SAVE: Giro Montane Helmet and Station Goggle - $130/$65
Workout when you travel with nothing more than a suitcase or carry on with the No Gym Needed Workout.
SPLURGE: Stop hauling multiple bags to the hill. Burton's Wheelie Locker easily stores multiple boards, boots, bindings, a helmet, goggles, socks, and more. Plus, the wheels and telescoping handle mean you won't have to strain your back lugging the giant pack from the car to the lodge.
SAVE: Burton Board Sack - $65
SPLURGE: Boards made by Denver-based Never Summer Industries are a popular choice with seasoned Rocky Mountain locals, and the Cobra is one of the company's best-selling and most popular. Its drawn out nose helps cut effortlessly through powder and crud, while the generous sidecut provides a super-stable edge on groomed runs and in the terrain park. The board also comes in a wide version to prevent toe drag for riders with bigger feet. Sizes: 153, 155, 158, 161, 164 cm
SAVE: Never Summer SL - $500
SPLURGE: Dakine makes its first foray into the ski and snowboard outerwear market in 2013 with the Drift down jacket and RPM snowpant. The Drift's insulation and warmth come from a premium goose down fill interior. Both the jacket and the pants keep out the wind, water and cold with 100 percent recycled polyester shells. Bells and whistles like goggle and media pockets and a zip-off powder skirt on the jacket and adjustable waistbands and zippered vents on the pants help customize fit and complete these cold-weather companions for the slopes.
FOR HER: Dakine's Sapphire Jacket and Jade Pant - $249/$249
SAVE: Dakine Elevation Jacket and Sentry Pant - $199/$189
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SPLURGE: The Z3 is a revolutionary new goggle from Zeal Optics that sits at the crossroads of high tech and superior lens performance. GPS is built into the goggle allowing skiers and snowboarders to see speed, total vertical feet, run count and more in real time through a small screen in the lower right portion of the frame. All of this information can be downloaded and analyzed at the end of the day on your laptop or tablet. The polarized, photochromatic lens automatically adjusts to light conditions and has anti-fog material infused during the lens making process. The Z3 has some of the best optical lens clarity of any goggle on the market. Connect the GPS function to your smart phone and get caller I.D., text messages, trail maps and buddy tracking as you ride.
SAVE: Zeal Optics Slate Goggles - $120
New Year, New You! It's not too late to get your fitness regimen on track for 2013. Your Fittest Year Ever Starts Here!
SPLURGE: The only thing worse than cold hands are cold, wet hands. Avoid both with the three-in-one Alti. Between the waterproof shell and the removable liner, these super durable gloves provide nearly 300g of microfiber insulation. Not enough? Hide a heat pack in the liner pocket for added warmth.
SAVE: Outdoor Research Revolution Gloves - $65
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SPLURGE: Whether you're heading to the lifts or the lodge, Teva's Chair Five (his) and Jordanelle (hers) boots help you do it in comfort and style. Both models feature a removable 3M Thinsulate liner and a White Spider Rubber sole that keep feet away from the ground and won't harden in colder temps. The result: warmer feet and better traction. Traveling? These cold-weather kicks compress down to the size of a normal shoe to help save room in your bag for other mountain vacation essentials.
SAVE: Teva Collins (men) and Zermatt (women) - $130
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SPLURGE: If wool sounds like the last fabric you'd want next to your nether regions, you've never experienced Icebreaker thermal underwear. Not only are these mid-weight pants soft and stretchy, but their merino wool/lycra blend also stops stink and dries fast. It's a perfect base layer for bombing down hills or toughing it out on a drafty lift.
SAVE: Icebreaker Sprite Leggings - $70
Are short, cold days, the siren song of the snooze button, and a propensity to hibernate already ruining your best-laid plans for 2013? Here's how to Weather the Winter Doldrums.
SPLURGE: This extra-wide ski from K2 will perform for skiers who ride the lifts all day, but it really thrives in the deep powder of the backcountry where its namesake Seth Morrison spends most of his time. K2 uses its Powder Rocker technology on this ski for enhanced flotation and a "surflike" feel in deep snow. Sizes: 174, 181, 188 cm
SAVE: K2 Photon - $469
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SPLURGE: The worst thing about skiing is the boots. Even the comfortable ones feel uncomfortable by the end of the day, and they're all impossible to walk in. Apex boots give your feet a break by marrying the comfort and walkability of a soft-shell boot with the performance of a hard shell boot. The system has two main components: a lightweight shell and a softer snowboard-like boot with a Boa closure system. Slip the boots on before you go skiing and pack the lightweight shell. At the lifts, slip the boots into the shell, tighten the Boa closure on the boots, and buckle the shell down like a normal ski boot. You're skiing. At lunch or the end of the day, remove the soft boots from the shell and enjoy a level of comfort and maneuverability that's impossible to find in a traditional ski boot.
SAVE: Apex MC-1 Ski Boots - $795
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SPLURGE: Slip these insoles into your favorite boots for up to 2,500 hours of toasty toes. Unlike other warmers on the market, ThermaCELL's rechargeable batteries are embedded into the insole and activated via a wireless remote control--in other words, no annoying cords, straps or brackets to deal with. Best of all, you can choose your level of comfort with "medium" and "high" temperature settings.
SAVE: Grabber Full Insole Foot Warmers - $61
Info: ThermaCELL.com; Warmers.com
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SPLURGE: Ski and snowboard vacations aren't all about riding the lifts. There's a lifestyle component to any good mountain vacation that includes après-ski, shopping and eating out. The full-length Triple C speaks to that lifestyle and still comes with all the technical functionality you'd expect from The North Face. A soft, water-repellent nylon exterior is packed with lofty 700-fill down for superior warmth. Fleece hand warmer pockets, a brushed lining chin guard to prevent chafe, and a removable hood round out this off-the-slopes companion.
SAVE: The North Face Gotham Jacket - $230
SPLURGE: Stay warm without heavy clothes: this ultra-thin base layer sports strategically placed Gore panels to provide extra protection where the wind hits first. The fabric is slightly rigid, but because it sits independently on top of the soft, micro-polyester shirt, it doesn't restrict movement.
SAVE: Craft Pro Warm Crewneck - $80
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SPLURGE: Look great as you transition from the slopes to the ski lodge with this trendy mid layer. The luxurious Sherpa fleece locks in heat to amp up the warmth of your winter jacket, while the high collar and removable hood add flair to an already stylish piece.
SAVE: Roxy Nightfall Full Zip - $50
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SPLURGE: Rock a retro hat without foregoing the comforts of technology. This old-school, knit cap houses two thin, adjustable disc speakers that can be worn directly over your ears, or slightly behind for added safety. (Search: Toughest Ski Runs) The unobtrusive wires, which have a built-in microphone, hang down the back. Simply plug them into an mp3 player or your smartphone and enjoy shredding to a personalized soundtrack.
SAVE: Aerial7 Sound Disk Sports Beanie - $45
SPLURGE: Safety for your head and eyes comes first with this ultimate helmet and goggle combo. The Vantage has everything we look for in an all-mountain helmet, namely removable ear-flaps and 22 vents with a sliding AirEvac 2 ventilation system to control airflow. An adjustable Boa fit system keeps the helmet snug on your head, and for those who like to ski and ride with music, the Vantage is compatible with Skullcandy audio systems (sold separately). Lock in a pair of Smith's flagship I/OX goggles and you're ready for anything Mother Nature throws at you. The I/OX comes with two interchangeable lenses for varying light conditions and the company's patented anti-fog features help keep your field of vision clear as your body temperature rises and falls.
SAVE: Smith Aspect Helmet and Virtue Goggle - $100/$140
SPLURGE: Versatility and a featherweight feel are the key components in this dual-purpose pullover from Scott. The jacket can be worn as a mid-layer under a shell on extra chilly days or on its own when the temperature warms. Packed with light heft Primaloft insulation, the Komati packs its warming punch without the bulky look and feel of down. The color choices, like tile blue and flash green, add a nice bling factor making this an ideal piece for a night out as well.
SAVE: Scott Centric Jacket - $140
Get fit for your trip. Download our Free Motivational Posters and and you'll be ready to ski and snowboard thousands of vertical feet.
SPLURGE: Designed specifically for women based on the input of super-pro Gretchen Bleiler, this high-end board boasts a twin-tip, making it perfect for a variety of conditions. The "Hybrilight" construction gives female riders K2's patented stiff responsive ride in a lightweight package. Like all of its high-end models, the Eco Lite has built in vibration-damping properties to smooth out chatter and keep your legs and feet feeling fresh all day. A 3/4" setback stance offers up a little extra nose for riding powder. Sizes: 145, 148, 152, 155 cm
PAIR WITH: K2 Haven boots - $200 and Agogo bindings - $200
SAVE: K2 First Lite Snowboard - $300
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SPLURGE: Spy's all-new Colt model sports sleek lines, polarized lenses and snap-in-place temple arms that give the shades a locked in feeling on your face. These sunnies are at home on the mountain or kicking it on the deck for a post ski-day beverage. The lenses are made with Spy's new Happy Lens technology, which, the manufacturer claims lets in the sun's mood-boosting, feel-good rays while keeping harmful UV rays out.
SAVE: Spy Dirk Sunglasses - $75
SPLURGE: Keep the cold from irritating your airways with this innovative facemask. The removable medical-grade ventilator humidifies inhaled air, raising the temperature inside the mask by 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't expect the extra warmth to turn the mask into a wet rag, though. Its wind- and water-resistant fleece wicks superbly, keeping your face dry and your goggles fog free.
SAVE: ColdAvenger Classic Fleece - $50
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SPLURGE: The Enigma combines the protective properties of a hard-shell jacket with the warmth, lightness and comfort that comes from down insulation. It features Helly Hansen's innovative venting system to keep you dry, warm or cool, depending on the conditions, plus front, chest and back zippers for extreme temperature fluctuation. Four-way stretch fabric, insulation and lining offers great range of motion and breathability for everything including severe conditions and high activity. A zip-away powder skirt keeps snow out on the deep powder days and stows on those unfortunate days you don't need it.
SAVE: Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket - $175
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SPLURGE: This street-smart pair of sunglasses from Smith will take you from the beach to the slopes and back again. The Collective is part of Smith's Evolve series, which uses renewable, non-genetically modified castor plants to make frames that are 53 percent bio-based, lightweight, and durable. The polarized lens on the Collective offer up perfect clarity and UV protection in a wide-range of light conditions. Like all Smith products, this sunglass is also backed by a lifetime warranty.
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