We are huge fans of Icebreaker Pure Merino here at Catskiing Canada. We have been using the ultimate no-stink garments for years and are happy to report that their technology has made our road trips much more pleasant. Over the past few seasons, Icebreaker has been adding more and more fashion pieces into their line up to attract the mainstream shopper, but they haven't gone slack on the technology.
Enter the new nanotechnology Kodiak Hood. That's right, nanotechnology. It makes me think of robots, computers and eventually the Terminator. But Icebreaker has taken nanotechnology and applied it to their RealFleece line of clothing. What nanotechnology does when combined with Icebreaker RealFleece is make a garment that is warm, dry, and now water-resistant. Water-Resistant wool eh? I can't wait to tell my grandma and see the look on her face.
We have only had the Kodiak Hood for a few weeks now and it has been an incredibly warm Fall here in western Canada, but we can tell you this: it is a very striking looking jacket. It has very clean cut lines, a shaped hood, and shaped-sleeved cuffs for better feel around the wrists. Couple the nanotechnology with the RealFleece and Icebreaker's famous quality and you have yourself a jacket you can rely on to be dependable and stylish. It truly is a remarkable piece of clothing.
Sony jumps into the POV camera market with the Sony Action Cam
You might think that GoPro and Contour have the market locked as far as POV action cams go. But then Sony wades onto the scene with the new Sony Action Cam. They are hoping to build on their reputation as a premier consumer camera manufacture with quality builds and lenses to gain a foothold. And they just might get a chunk.
The Sony Action Cam boasts Full 1080p HD video with 4X HD slow motion. It comes complete with its version of a rugged waterproof case (to 197ft apparently). You have to buy all the extra mounts separately just as you do with GoPro and Contour.
Where Sony hopes to differ is with it's Carl Zeiss lens technology. This is one area where GoPro and Contour lags a little. The consistency of the shots and video colours and quality is not quite there. Hopefully the Sony Action Cam can provide consistent output in varying lighting conditions.
Anyways, long story short: The Sony Action Cam is 'Coming Soon', it is going to start at $199 and will no doubt be seen on the slopes this winter. Stay tuned for a full review once we get our hands on one.
Technical Stretch to help you with your reach and keep your temperature regulated
Soft Shells are a great piece of clothing to have in your outerwear arsenal. They can offer so many of the waterproof/breathable options of a hard shell, but in stretchier and often more breathable versions than their hard shell counterparts. Stretchy, breathable, it's like a good pair of underwear, but better.
The Motto Jacket is a descent-inspired soft shell offering maximum weather protection for bitterly cold ski days. The fully waterproof Ventia soft shell fabric sheds snow, while the clean-finished, seam-taped interior slides comfortably over layers. And for those blustery days when a helmet is not enough, a helmet compatible hood can add a second layer to your wind protection to keep your brain thawed out on the coldest of days.
The Mithril Jacket provides ultimate protection when you're trolling about in cold, wet conditions. Also constructed of waterproof Ventia soft shell fabric, but this time with exterior seam tape for a different look, and a great ability for shedding wet snow and preventing soak -through. A great all round jacket that you could wear to work, just as you could while working your way up or down a mountain.
The mountaineering inspired Alibi Jacket is a combination of different materials strategically placed in all the right places ( Ventia Hybrid ). Tough, weatherproof fabric is used on the hood and shoulders where the elements hit hardest, a warm soft shell lower body holds in core warmth while providing breath-ability, and stretch fabric along the torso allows easy, unrestricted movement for the longest reaches. They say the long reach is for climbing, but we think it could also be very useful for those long reaches for a cold beer in the snowbank after a day out with your friends. This is a jacket that will out work you before you are able to outwork it.
sheds snow and water like a hippy vegetarian running from a Burger King
Outdoor Research has been in the outwear business for a long time, and a frontrunner for sure. New to their lineup over the past couple years is the Sidecountry Ski line. Same OR quality and Infinite Guarantee, just with new features like powder skirts, lift ticket holders, music player pockets, and more. The little types of things you would use Catskiing, Heli skiing, or at your local ski hill, as well as doing laps in the backcountry. Just don't ask it to pay the rent, or help you find a used car. That part of the ski bum lifestyle is up to you.
The sidecountry line features a few jackets that have light insulation, but are still highly breathable. Great for those days where you stuck hanging on a frozen chairlift, waiting for the operations guy to get the chairlift running again, and you on the ground. The Igneo Jacket and pants are a mainstay in this line that we can see ourselves using for years to come. Cold weather calls for things like waterproof/breathable 2 layer Pertex Shield fabric and a front zipper with a storm flap. The Pertex outer fabric sheds snow and water like a hippy vegetarian running from a Burger King, while the outer layer also stands up very well to abrasion and tears. We just spent two days brushing through some early season trees, and not one hole or tear was to be found. And if we can't break it, we think you will do just fine with it.
The Igneo Pants, like the jacket, have strategically placed insulation to keep you warm in all the right places, yet adjustable ventilation to help you stay cool when hiking up past the lift for that fresh line. The pants and jacket both feature a relaxed, sidecountry fit, as well as integrated RECCO reflectors for added safety. If you are looking for one set of clothing to take you in many different directions, then the Igneo line is for you.
If you are a person who is always a little on the chilly side when the weather turns winter, we recommend putting this jacket on your Christmas this this season. The Transcendent Hoody from OR is the toastiest jacket we have tried to date. And it's heat to weight ratio is off the charts. When wearing this garment, you have to look down to make sure you are indeed wearing something!
The Transcendent Hoody comes in an array of colours along with the standard Black or Grey. The colours are awesome though. They really make it easy to find a person in a crowd on on a cloudy day. And hey, why not bring a little colour to your collection this winter?
Fashion and warmth this jacket has in spades, but it also is tricked out technically too. Outdoor Research has constructed the Transcend Hoody with a form-fitted and adjustable hood, napoleon stash pocket, super light ripstop shell and a lofty 650 down fill.
So if its a day out on the down, packing for a winter trek or layering under a shell, this jacket is a great gift to put under the tree this winter.
This Christmas you will want underwear on your list!
Underwear, not exactly the kind of thing you put on your Christmas list yet you always inevitability get some. It seems to be the default gift from grandparents, an estranged Aunt or a thoughtful and practical Mother. Well, this year we can help them help you with our Icebreaker Pure Merino GT 260base layer recommendations.
Icebreaker continues to step up their game and innovation every season. Last year we skied in the Bodyfit 260 base layers and loved it. This season Icebreaker has added a little more Lycra (they must have founds some Lycra sheep...) and more contoured stitching. Having a few ski days in already this La Nina season we can say from experience that these garments wear exceptionally well and do not move around on you, instead they move with you. Halfway through the first ski day I had to remind myself I was actually wearing a base layer!
The 2011/2012 GT 260 Icebreaker Pursuit Legless and Pursuit Zip Crew are to perfect choice for undies this Christmas. Not only to they wear better, they are finished with some more detail for those Apres Ski engagements. Featuring finished sleeves and collars along with some detailed styling to add just enough colour, these woolies live up to the test.
Winter is great, you have an excuse to wear a hat!
When your head is cold you are cold. Stop heat loss dead in its tracks. Whether you need a simple toque or a full on face protection system.
Windproof Hat, need I say more? The OR Storm Beanie is a wool/acrylic blend with a Windstopper fleece lining to keep your head toasty on the coldest of days.
The Moto Cap combines urban style in a warm winter cap made of warm 100% Merino wool, with a soft fleece lining and TransAction headband for comfort and moisture management. Stay warm and look stylish, well, we can tell you the hat will.
If you ask a Ninja, we think the Frostline Hat would be his hat of choice. A water-resistant outer fabric keeps out the elements, while fleece provides warm, wicking insulation. A zip-out face mask and fleece-lined earflaps provide adjustable protection from biting wind and snow, and the foam brim snaps up for greater visibility when you're eyeballing the route ahead.
Gloves and hats may be some of the smallest articles of clothing you own, but they make the difference between an awesome ski day, and spending time in the lodge trying to thaw your hands out. Nobody goes inside because they say, "I can't feel my abdomen!" But fingers and ears are a different story.
I love all leather gloves for the comfort and warmth, and the Crave Glove delivers. Even after a long day on the snow, if you're wearing the these gloves, you'll still be pining for powder. Built with the waterproof protection of a Ventia insert and the supple dexterity of all-leather construction, and constructed with FlexAction™ articulation that matches your hand position while skiing, these gloves are the ultimate in under-cuff comfort.
Leather, Gore-Tex, and Primaloft, the only thing that the Warrant glove is missing is a feature that makes you ski better. This is a bombproof glove with a leather palm that ensures a firm grip on your pole, even while wet, and articulated, compression-molded padding protects your digits from impact as you bust through the trees.
The Stormcell will be your best companion on those milder days when you are slogging through the slush, and beg for a glove you don't have to wring out. With quick-dry, synthetic leather Clarino palms and fingers for greater tactility - especially in wet conditions - and stretch woven fabric with a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex insert, the StormCell will keep your hands dry and happy all day long.
Get your Wool on! The Flurry Glove has a wool/nylon exterior that pulls moisture away from the skin, while the soft fleece interior provides the ultimate in cozy, warm comfort. Palm and finger grips also help you hold on to your coffee as you use these comfortable liners to drive to the local hill to catch first chair.
The ultimate tool in versatility in moderately cold conditions is the Stormtracker glove. Low-profile Windstopper Soft Shell fabric deflects biting gusts, and a tricot lining retains valuable heat. We liked the feel of them a lot, although they do fit a bit snug, so you may want to go up a size. If you are looking for a durable, nimble glove that performs well in moderately cold conditions, the StormTracker is for you.
This is just a taste of the OR glove collection. Many of their styles come in both men's and women's versions. You could easily find a pair for everyone on your list.