Just like the catwalks of London, Milan, and Paris, snow sports designers know that their clientele want tolook right on trend, with colours, shapes, and fabrics which turn heads from the top of the chair lift right the way down to the après-ski bars. They have the added challenge of creating clothing and accessories that are durable, agile, and tick the safety box, but year on year we’re truly spoilt for choice with funky new designs. At TNT our reviewers are itching for the arrival of the northern hemisphere’s first serious snows, heeding the call of the mountains from Breckenridge to the Three Valleys, Grandvalira to Gudauri. Before they dust off their skis and we lose them until the snow melts in April, however, we asked them for their picks of the best clothing and kit for winter 2017/18. Here’s what they had to say.
The Sandbox Legend Snow Helmet has been around for several years now, but it’s endured because of its quality, adjustability, and comfort. The team have brought out several new colour variations for the 2017/18 season, including a striking metallic double-dip finish. The helmet’s shape is inspired by a skateboard helmet, but with better ear protection and a narrow brim to accommodate goggles underneath. You can colour coordinate your helmet to your outfit, but most importantly of all, it’ll protect your head in the event that you take a tumble. All the cool kids know that safety comes first on the slopes.
Brand new for 2017/18 are the low-profile Sandbox Kingpin Goggles, compatible with all Sandbox helmets and plenty of other brands as well. The dual-layer lens is high impact scratch resistant, offers 100% UV protection, and won’t fog upwhen you step inside from the cold. The lenses are interchangeable (the Kingpin comes with a coloured ion lens and a bonus black out lens), and there’s are polarising options as well.
We know that not everyone is a fan of goggles, so we want to flag up the (almost) unbreakable SunGod PaceBreakers sunglasses from Buy Me Once as well. They’re sleek, lightweight, offer 100% UV protection and have a clever feature whereby they actually get more grippy when you sweat. If you’re a little accident prone, onor off the slopes, SunGod willbe your new best friend asthey will also repair or replace your glasses whatever the circumstances of the damage. These glasses have a lifetime guarantee.
Schöffel produces some of the best looking skiwear on the planet, catering in particular to fashion savvy Europeans in the Alps. The Obertauern1 ski jacket for men is water and windproof, quilted for warmth, and has bonded seams and water repelling zips so you won’t start leaking melting snow if you’ve nose dived into a bank of snow. The hood is detachable — a great touch for warmer days — there are pockets for goggles and ski passes, and the cuff and hem are fully adjustable. The Obertauern1 is available in three colour combinations this season: burgundy with contrasting red zips; bright blue; and a more muted charcoal grey.
Schöffel’s best jacket for women is the Montpellier1, elegant and functional in equal measure. The hood is detachable, as per the men’s jacket, but it also has faux fur trim which will keep the biting wind off your face. Thumb holes in the cuffs will keep your hands warm even without gloves, and the jacket’s shape is carefully cut soit doesn’t look too bulky, regardless of how many layers you need to pile on beneath.
The number of layers you need beneath your jacket will depend on the air temperature and how hard you’re planning to push yourself. Layering multiple items is always a good betas then you can strip at least one thing off mid dayif you do become too warm. We’re big fans of the Jack Wolfskin Hydropore T, which works as both a base layer and a regular t-shirt, and also Rohan Merino Union Crew 150 if you want something with longer sleeves. The Mountain Warehouse Camber Fleece, a light-weight, cheap and cheerful mid layer. The latter comes in pretty much every colour of the rainbow, so let your bright side shine.
Down below, it’s all about freedom of movement. Stay cosy (and with everything in place) with OEX’s Barneo Base leggings, which are incredibly breathable thanks to their blend of bamboo and synthetic fibres. They’re quick drying, lightweight, and natural deodorising. Women arguably have even more need for high performance underwear, and Rohan has a great line-up of different styles, including the Ultra Silver Camisoleand even merino wool knickers.
Over the top, we’llbe wearing Jack Wolfskin’s Exolight pants (which come in both men’s and women’s versions). These ski trousers are waterproof, windproof, and warmly insulated, as well asbeing breathable. The fabric is designed to stretch as you move — even if you’re pulling stunts inthe snow park —and they have integrated gaiters and reinforced scuff guards to protect the fabric against ski blades and other sharp objects which would otherwise cause damage.
Don’t forget that you’ll need a day pack for your wallet, keys, suncream, water, and other bits and pieces you can’t do without. You want a bag which is pretty small and fits closely to your body so itdoesn’t throw your balance on a turn or get in the way when you’re riding on the chairlift. Our back pack of choice is the Jack Wolfskin Ham Rock, which comes in12 and 16 litre versions, has plenty of room, and will adjust to fit comfortably over any choice of ski jacket.