EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Travel & Outdoor
Outside

Outside 2020 Winter Buyer's Guide

Outside readers are passionately committed to leading an active lifestyle. Outside not only motivates readers to uncover and define their own personal day-to-day adventures, but also provides them with the tools, products and information to fulfill them.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Mariah Media
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
if you ain’t first, you’re still sorta first

Let’s be honest, no single piece of gear is perfect. Even the best stuff has some feature or shortcoming that annoys us every time we use it. (My personal pet peeve: zippers on the left. Sorry, southpaws and Euros.) But some things come pretty damn close, and these end up winning our Gear of the Year awards. They’re the cream of the crop. And while only the season’s best products get a shiny badge on the page, every item in this issue is a winner, one way or another, with the potential to make the time you spend outdoors measurably better. I can attest that I loved Prana’s Axiom jeans (page 111) so much that I wore holes in them. Yes, a little more durability would have been nice to extend…

7 min.
drop the hammer

Nordica Enforcer 104 Free $850 Technically, the Enforcer 104 Free is only four millimeters wider than Nordica’s much loved Enforcer 100—a negligible difference on paper, and often enough on snow. But even as skis between 104 and 106 millimeters underfoot have become our favorite daily drivers out west, there’s way more to the new Enforcer 104 than its middle spec. Typically, skis at this width are either burly planks that excel on firm snow or slashers better suited to off-trail riding in dry powder. Versatility is hard to come by. That’s not the case with this Enforcer. For Nordica’s designers, it was all about boosting playfulness without sacrificing power. To give the 104 a lighter, looser feel, Nordica added wood at the tip and tail. A combination of beech and poplar,…

1 min.
hot rods

a. Line Pollard’s Paintbrush $90 Eric Pollard’s pro model features creative details inspired by the skier’s art, like wave patterning on the straps and baskets. The price is great for a telescoping ski pole, and the grips have small tabs to make flipping your risers a breeze. b. Dynafit New Speed Vario 2 $150 If you’re the fast and light type, opt for this 100 percent carbon model from Dynafit, which weighs just seven ounces. Adjustable from 105 to 145 centimeters (a wider range than other telescoping poles offer), it’s designed for quick transitions, with an easy-to-use tab to change the length. c. Soul Poles Torched Soul Custom $169 This indie Park City, Utah, brand makes its shafts out of bamboo, which bends when aluminum or carbon might snap. The result is sustainably sourced and…

1 min.
you’ll fit right in

Lange LX 100 $500 (pictured) The 100-flex LX brings Lange’s race-bred technology to intermediate skiers. Its 102-millimeter last is generous, but nothing is dumbed down about the Dual Core shell, which sandwiches soft plastic in rigid materials to let the boot compress and rebound. Nordica Speedmachine Elite $1,000 With infrared rays and small suction cups, retailers can sculpt the women’s 115-flex Speedmachine Elite’s light Grilamid and polyurethane shell with surgical precision. (The men’s version has a flex of 130.) Pair that with the insulated liner and you have a comfy boot that’s quick and agile edge to edge. Head Nexo RS $825 At a feathery three pounds seven ounces, the Nexo had us doubting it would deliver on its promise of a stiff 130 flex. But even 200-pound skiers enjoyed ample control during maneuvers in…

2 min.
hot laps, here we come

a. Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 $725 The Shift wowed testers last year by morphing from an uphill tech touring binding into a full-bore alpine stalwart on descent. This year’s iteration is unchanged (except for a $75 price jump). It’s still the only model that blends the confidence to stomp huge lines with the kind of weight savings that lets you skin up and do it again (and again). 1.9 lbs b. G3 Zed 12 $499 G3 put its 2018 tester-favorite Ion on a diet. The resulting Zed is lighter and retains the category-leading spring-loaded tech jaws for unrivaled hold. At the heel, the stock Zed sheds weight by forgoing brakes (add them for $84; they’re rattly but functional) and allows for 30 millimeters of adjustment to accommodate a range of boot sizes.…

2 min.
deep six

a. Dynafit TLT8 Expedition $750 The TLT7 was so different from its predecessor that it bombed on shelves, despite expert accolades and exceptional performance. So the brand took the best parts of versions six and seven and merged them in the new TLT8. With a lighter fiberglass cuff, easy switching between ski and walk mode, 110 flex, and 60 degrees of walking range, the TLT8 does it all. 2.2 lbs b. La Sportiva Skorpius CR $799 Drawn up from the Italian brand’s winning skimo-racing line, the Scorpius CR carves out a new sweet spot between price and weight. With its easy-to-operate closure system and a walk-mode lever activated with the brush of a hand, it switches gears in a flash. Testers felt the CR could drive far bigger skis than its svelte looks…