The travel kit list: innovative skiing equipment for winter 2021

Versatile ski boots and jackets for all-mountain wear, plus the best helmet, backpack, gloves and more.

By Rob Stewart
Published 11 Dec 2021, 12:00 GMT
From left to right: Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS; Black Diamond, Recon Stretch Shell Jacket; Armada Declivity 88C ...

From left to right: Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS; Black Diamond, Recon Stretch Shell Jacket; Armada Declivity 88C skis.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS

This one-helmet solution is certified for mountain biking, skating and skiing, with interchangeable liners for both winter and summer. Unlike many Bern helmets, the Macon 2.0 MIPS doesn’t have the classic freestyle visor the brand is known for. The resulting look feels equally at home on the piste or in the park, while the MIPS technology (designed to reduce rotational forces on impact) provides extra protection in the event of an accident. £90. 

2. Black Diamond, Recon Stretch Shell Jacket

Mountaineering brand Black Diamond has launched a new version of the Recon Shell jacket for men and women, with the all-mountain skier in mind. The versatile, lightweight, breathable and waterproof outer layer is made with a four-way stretch fabric and works just as well when carving groomed slopes in the sun or ski touring in heavy snowfall. The understated look should attract admiring nods. £330. 

3. Armada Declivity 88C skis

The new Declivity range from Armada includes the 88C all-mountain model, the ideal all-rounder for piste and powder. Carbon stringers strengthen the lightweight poplar core, helping turn speeds in tight spots, while keeping torsional strength for carving at high speed. Wide enough for explorations into backcountry, at 88mm under foot they feel at home on the groomed pistes, too. The Reliance 82C is the equivalent model designed for women. £399.99. 

From left to right: Dalbello DS 120 GW; Fjällräven Expedition X-Lätt Jacket; Osprey Soelden/Sopris 22 backpack.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

4. Dalbello DS 120 GW

A ski boot designed for recreational piste aficionados keen for a high level of performance plus comfort for long days on the slopes. This customisable Dalbello offering, which comes with a GripWalk sole for easy movement out of skis, is lightweight for a traditional alpine boot (a tad over 2kg). You can expect a solid power transmission from boot to ski with the 120 flex (level of resistance as the ankle bends forwards); women’s models available in 105 and 90 flex. £440. 

5. Fjällräven Expedition X-Lätt Jacket

Having a mid-layer option is a must for any winter sports trip, whether it’s used under a shell layer in the day or during the evening when strolling around. This smart-looking top from Swedish brand Fjällräven is made with recycled polyamide and insulated with synthetic materials. On mild spring days, it works as an outer layer, and it’ll perform nicely on colder days back home, too. £185. 

6. Osprey Soelden/Sopris 22 backpack

Backpacks have become a common sight on skiers both on and off piste, and with better, lighter and more comfortable designs evolving, why not enjoy the convenience the extra space gives? The Soelden (men’s) and Sopris (women’s) packs from Osprey are designed with backcountry skiers in mind, but the 22-litre version is small enough to be used to carry a spare fleece and lunchtime snack. If twin ice axe loops are needed, they’re available, too. £100. 

From left to right: Salomon Radium Pro Sigma goggles; Shred All MTN Protective Glove D-Lux; To Heaven’s Heights; Dolomite Move Road Low GTX.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

7. Salomon Radium Pro Sigma goggles

When Salomon developed the Sigma lens technology, it looked at how our eyes registered light and colour and made adjustments specifically for the whiteness of snow. The new Radium Pro is a top-of-the-range ski goggle with a wide-angle Sigma lens that helps skiers handle bright sunshine, as well as white-out powder days. The design can fit over most eyewear, too. £160.

8. Shred All MTN Protective Glove D-Lux

US slalom giant Ted ‘The Shred’ Ligety’s eponymous brand develops protective gear for skiers and the latest offering is the All MTN D-Lux glove. Shred’s SLYTECH system keeps fingers, thumbs and knuckles heavily cushioned on any impact and the PrimaLoft insulation does the job of keeping them warm. For skiers who like to explore off-piste, slalom, park and piste, that extra protection seems like a handy option. £139

9. To Heaven’s Heights

If you can’t get enough of the slopes — even while tucked up in bed with a book — then try this new collection of ski stories from authors including Bill Bryson and Ian Fleming. The book was compiled by former British team skier Ingrid Christophersen, and proceeds go to snowsports charity Snow-Camp. £30.

10. Dolomite Move Road Low GTX

The Dolomite Move Road is low cut, but the Gore-Tex material is waterproof and the Michelin sole grips exceptionally well. This one-shoe-does-it-all solution is equally as comfortable on the aeroplane, in a restaurant or around the resort. For tobogganing in deep snow, a full-on boot is best, but otherwise, this stylish option is more than adequate for most activities. £150. 

Published in the National Geographic Traveller (UK) Winter Sports 2021 guide

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