As the new winter starts to kick in, Rob Stewart features some of the new items of kit we’ve got hold of for this new 2020-21 winter for anyone lucky enough to get out on the slopes this season.
Note: we have tested and looked at all of this kit as extensively as possible but due to Covid restrictions this autumn / early winter, we have not had the chance to fully test the products out in the mountain environment. Keep a look out for extensive kit reviews later on in the winter.
Honor – GS Pro Watch
I’ve been testing this new smart watch from Honor now for several weeks and whilst it has ski functionality, it can also be used for hiking, cycling and tennis (as well as many other activities). Whilst I haven’t had the opportunity yet to test it on the slopes – the GS Pro gives your average speed, heart rate, biggest slope, climbed distance and calories burnt – I have used it for cycling and tennis. It’s simple to use, highly accurate and provides a wealth of information on the phone app. It’s lightweight and you hardly feel you’re wearing it. The looks is sleek and modern, it’s smart and doesn’t feel like a sports watch in many ways. Really looking forward to testing it on the mountain later this winter. The battery life is very good.
RRP: £179, hihonor.com
Maier Sports – Mattun P3 ski Jacket
New top of the range ski jacket from Maier Sports aimed at backcountry skiers and tourers looking for top quality gear at a highly competitive price. A technical 3 layer construction with mTEX 20.000 waterproof and breathable 2 way stretch material with plenty of ventilation zips for when things start to heat up. For anyone looking for a high-quality jacket at a very good price point then the Mattun is a great option.
RRP: £269.95, www.maier-sports.com
Peak Performance – Vertical Pro Jacket
Always innovating, Peak Performance has once again come up with the goods for anyone looking at top-of-the-range ski apparel for this winter. The GoreTex® Pro and GoreTex® Stretch fabric feels tough but also light enough – making this jacket an ideal freeride touring option for active, adventurous skiers. There’s even a face shield for added protection that might even double up as a Covid suitable face mask (we are not sure about this yet).
RRP: £695, www.peakperformance.com
Helly Hansen – Odin Mountain Infinity Pro Shell
This new jacket from Helly Hansen has really caught the headlines this winter. The LIFA Infinity Pro™ material is built with a three-layer fabric construction using Helly Hansen’s own LIFA® technology, which offers inherent durable water repellence without the use of chemicals. The Odin is designed for backcountry – freetouring, but it looks smart enough to wear around town too.
RRP: £600, www.hellyhansen.com
Patagonia – Stormstride Jacket
Patagonia continue to make classic looking, high-end, sustainable jackets for ski enthusiasts who want to push the boundaries. The Stormstride is a soft shell stretch 3 layer, fully waterproof and breathable ski touring jacket with Patagonia’s own H2No™Performance fabric, 68% of the fabric is made by using recycled materials. The bright, bold colours really stand out.
RRP: £450, eu.patagonia.com
Maier Sports – Mattun P3 ski pants
New top of the range ski pants from Maier Sports aimed at backcountry skiers and tourers looking for performance ski wear at sensible price points. A technical 3 layer construction with mTEX 20.000 waterproof and breathable material and side ventilation zips, makes these ski pants ideal for off-piste skiing and day ski tours.
RRP: £ 229.95, www.maier-sports.com
Peak Performance – Vertical Pro Pants
These Peak Performance pants match with the Vertical jacket above and for anyone looking at top-of-the-range ski apparel for this winter, these are really worth considering. The GoreTex® Pro and GoreTex® Stretch fabric feels tough but also light enough – making them an ideal freeride touring option for active, adventurous skiers. Features include a high-profile bib, zip vents and bubble pockets. Made using recycled fibres.
RRP: £610, www.peakperformance.com
Arc’teryx – Atom LT Hoody
This is the classic mid layer hoody that has been redesigned for 2020 with increased performance and lighter materials. The Atom LT (Atom stands for synthetic materials, LT means lightweight) is exceptionally versatile and can be worn as a mid-layer on the mountain or an outer around town. Comfortable and smart looking.
RRP: £220, arcteryx.com
Down Insulated Jacket
Spyder – Timeless Hoody
Super warm goose down insulated (700-fill) jacket with hood and water resistant ripstop polyester outer. This is a great jacket for walking around ski resorts during the winter, with its stylish looks and lightweight feel – warning: do not wear indoors, because you’ll start heating up pretty fast! US ski brand Spyder have truly made a great all-round versatile resort / city coat for sporty people.
RRP: £300, eu.spyder.com
Hanwag – Banks Winter GTX
Smart, super warm and incredibly comfortable winter walking boots, the Banks Winter GTX (Gore-Tex) hiking boots are ideal for stomping around ski resorts in deep snow or ice. The waterproof Gore-Tex Partelana lining means that not only will they keep you dry from the outside, but also wick moisture away from inside too. This really helps when indoors because they are warm (will keep your feet warm and cosy down to -15 degrees). The Vibram Icetrek sole will help you grip on any slippery surface you might fine, plus they look smart enough to wear around the city too.
RRP: €250, hanwag.com
Salomon – Shift Pro 120
I’ve got hold of the new Salomon Shift Pro 120 for this winter and got fitted out at Ellis Brigham, Bristol to ensure the boots were right for my feet. This is really so important, even more so with touring boots. Designed for freeride – touring, those days when that little extra hike is needed to reach that un-skied terrain. This season I might only get the chance to test them on the closest ‘ski slopes’ to where I live, The Brecon Beacons, but you never know I might make it to Scotland. Perfect to go with my Salomon QST 99 skis with the Shift Bindings, the 120 version suits confident skiers looking for a freeride boot with touring capabilities.
RRP: £460. ellis-brigham.com
Ultimate Skiing Adventures – Alf Alderson
Our good friend Alf Alderson, one of the most experienced ski journalists out there, has written a new book titled ‘Ultimate Skiing Adventures’. The book features 100 destinations where Alf has had ‘epic adventures in the snow’, although he suggests that there’s the odd one or two places that he’s yet to get to. There’s a really good spread of global ski areas, including of course the Alps and North America, but also the more unusual such as Kamchatka in Eastern Russia and the Caucuses Mountains of Georgia, where I have had the pleasure of joining the author for some epic adventures together. Available at all good book sellers.
RRP: £20, waterstones.com