Gear

Get Smart (Gloves)

A few months ago I wrote about these cool Manzella gloves for my friend Vera’s blog. Since then I’ve found a bunch more in the same category. Since it’s major sale season, I thought I might do a little round-up here. From this list, the only ones I’ve tried are the Manzellas, but I definitely want to check out some of these others.

These Chaos Adrenaline Heater Gloves ($18.99) are similar, but they’re described as “liners.” For someone like me who prefers mittens, they’re ideal. I can wear them underneath but not freeze my fingers off when I need to use my phone.

These gloves, from 180s, feature little “pods” on the index finger and thumb that allow you to operate the touch screen on your phone or iPod ($50). I like that the cuff comes up  high on the wrist and has a cinch to keep the cold out.

The Pow Transfilmer offers the best of both worlds ($65). The mitten flaps fold back to reveal gloved fingers, with an uncovered index finger. Pretty slick.

The bottom line: there’s a smart glove out there for every preference. Has anyone tried any of these “smart” gloves? Got a favorite you want to share?


Great Deals on Ski/Snowboard Gear are Happening Now

Even though it seems like winter just got going — at least in Tahoe — today is the last day of ski season at a few places, including Mt. Rose, where we ski. I hope we’ll get in another day or two at Squaw or Alpine or Kirkwood but as I put away the ski/snowboard gear today I took note of what we might need for next year. We have our own ski swap going in the garage — there must be a dozen pairs of kids’ ski boots and skis in the garage out there — but this is the time of year when I try to pick up a few things on super sale.

I did a bit of online shopping and here’s a sampling of what I found (even though I went with a B&W theme, there are lots of colors in all this stuff available):

Socks: Icebreaker socks are built to last. They’re also lightweight and super breathable. I love these thin ski socks that have a little bit of compression in the heels.

Helmets: At Skis.com ‘s end of season sale everything is an additional 10% off, including these helmets.

Goggles: REI has good deals on Smith goggles for men, women and kids.

Gloves: A few weeks ago I wrote about my all-time favorite mittens. I just bought another pair because they are now on sale for $22. Unbelievable.

Jackets: At Sierra Trading Post there are great deals on a bunch of my favorite brands, including Obermeyer. I like thisdown “sweater” for  $76:

and this heavy duty Oakley jacket for $126:

Boot bags: I got one of these Transport bags a few years ago as a gift and it makes getting from the car to the lodge while carrying assorted kid gear so much easier. You can score a great deal on Amazon.


Put a lid on it

My husband is one of those people who was a skier but after one day on a rented snowboard bought a board and never went back. No hemming, no hawing. That was about 15 years ago. When I decided to give snowboarding a try, I made the mistake of letting him try to teach me. But I digress. What this post is really about is wearing a helmet.

A few years ago, when I decided to learn to snowboard I had one or two of those head-slamming falls that left me seeing stars. I decided that perhaps wearing a helmet might be a good idea. Once I started wearing one to snowboard — and even though I only ride a couple of times a season — I figured I might as well just wear it all the time.

I can’t remember the last time I fell and smacked my head on skis, but just in case someone runs into me I feel better having one on. The last thing I need is a concussion. Plus, wearing a helmet keeps my head warm (and my hair dry).

Mom skis, Dad Rides

These days I’m wearing a Smith Intrigue (the ivory colored one, above). It’s super warm when it’s cold out and has plenty of vents for when it’s not. Some people I ski with say they don’t like wearing helmets because of the dreaded goggle gap. But I wear goggles that are helmet compatible and I’ve never had brain freeze or developed a weird sun stripe across my forehead.

According to Ski-injury.com, an evidence-based website devoted to….yep, ski and other snow-sports injuries, ski injuries are relatively rare, and head injuries are in the minority. Still, I’m taking the approach that I might as well reduce all the risks I can. 80% of Swiss skiers wear helmets, compared with just about half of American skiers (though 77% of kids in the U.S. under age 9 wear them).

Do you wear a helmet? If not…why not? If you have kids, do they wear helmets?


Smitten with these Mittens

Every once in awhile I find a piece of gear that I will never be able to live without. Ever. Like  these Gordini GTX Down mittens.

I bought them 4 or maybe 5 seasons ago. They were not cheap. $90 for gloves is a lot, especially for someone who  only buys things when they are on sale. But I happened to be on a work-related ski trip and got to Park City only to find I had forgotten my mittens. (Yes kids, even mom forgets stuff sometimes.)  Anyway, it was during Sundance, there was not a sale to be found in all of Park City,  and so I had to pay full price.

These babies are  filled with goose down and also have Gore-Tex to keep moisture out. All these years later, they are still the warmest mittens I’ve ever worn.

Imagine my chagrin when they were stolen midway through last winter. Let me clarify. The gloves have been added to the list of things that Liam has permanently borrowed. My beloved Oakley Plaintiff sunglasses were the first to go, followed by a pair of running shoes.

I scrounged through the box of random gloves and mittens that have accumulated in my garage but nothing else even comes close to keeping finger-numbness at bay, even if I stuff the mittens with Little Hotties.

So imagine how thrilled I was to find my beloved mittens ON SALE!!!

I wore the first pair at least 75 times before Liam adopted them. He’s worn them another 20 so far. They still get the job done. Since frozen fingers can put an end to a day on the hill, these babies are worth every penny.

What is one piece of ski gear that you can’t imagine skiing without?