Our Favorite Gear from the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Demo
At Outdoor Retailer’s All Mountain Demo Day at Solitude Mountain Resort, the latest trend for snow-sport manufacturers pointed towards durable, lightweight construction for versatile ski and boot makers.
Shannon drove in all the way from Jackson. Yoon flew in from Arkansas, and Michael walked from Seattle (not really. He also flew). But we did it so we could bring you the latest in 2016 ski gear. Yes, we love you that much and if it were up to us, we’d do it everyday.
Here were some of our favorite pieces of gear.
Voile Women’s Revelator 154 (demoed by Yoon Kim)
Sure this is women’s board but that didn’t stop me from demoing it. I originally wanted to demo an Artisan, which I had demoed at SIA last year, but after waiting in line for half an hour, I said ‘f- it. I’m gonna demo that women’s board.’ It was soft, responsive and charged through ice and crust with ease. Because it was a little smaller than my 158, I found that I was sliding in and out of moguls without clipping my backside into the snow. While I’m hesitant to say I’d take it into deep snow, for a front-side board, this was a dream. I’m considering buying this board and spray painting it blue or something. Or maybe just keeping it purple and rockin it.
DPS Zelda 106 Women’s Ski (demoed by Shannon Sollitt)
These skis do it all. I geared up for a day of touring but ended up a chairlift. Dear ole Zelda loved me anyway. I could hardly feel them underneath me but they charged through groomers and an inch of freshies. I did notice that they chattered a bit on my very first few turns, but that’s because they’re meant for touring. I’m used to a little more board underfoot but these were easy to manage and turned whenever I wanted them to.
Scarpa Intuition AT Boots (demoed by Shannon Sollitt)
I loved them — except that they cut off the circulation in my feet. BUT after my feet were numb, I was obsessed. These boots are so light and flexible in walk mode that I could dribble a soccer ball in them. Despite their light weight, I was still able to be aggressive and charge (although I was, admittedly, charging on groomers). Ladies with slightly narrower feet could spend all day in these boots and then some. I, however, have a wider foot and may have shed a tear or two when I got to take them off and feel the blood return to my feet. Perfect for someone, just not for me (a line I’ve also used in break ups, but I mean it every time).
Arc’teryx Voltair Avalanche Airbag
We hope the only time we have to use this is at demo day. The bag comes in 20L and 30L, which is plenty of room for shovel and probe and a bunch of other shit that you hopefully never need. The airbag itself has an estimated 15 uses of per lithium-ion battery charge and can withstand -30 F conditions. Not that’d you’d use it fifteen times in the cold, but it’ll work if you do. This is the third fan-powered bag we’ve seen (originally brought to market by Black Diamond, later Mammut and now Arc’teryx) but we were most impressed by the ripstop fabric of the bag that feels almost like PVC. The claim is that the bag won’t rip when strained through trees, which we could also clearly see by feeling the toughness of the outer layer.
Black Diamond Helio (demoed by Michael Restivo)
The Helio is Black Diamond’s new collection for fast and light ski mountaineering touring and racing. Built around a carbon fiber frame, the quick turning skis come in a range from 88 to 116 underfoot, and are built for every backcountry condition and environment. Featuring a 105-mm rockered tip and tail; the Helio is an exceptionally balanced powder charger with excellent edge control and lightness.
Scarpa F1 Evo Touring Boot (demoed by Michael Restivo)
Built around a carbon core, the F1 Evo touring boot features a 62-degree range of motion, allowing flexibility and ease of movement during long tours. The boots feature a Boa quick-release enclosure, two straps for secure uphill and downhill support, and a heat-moldable Intuition liner backed up by a durable Pebax tongue, offering protection from extreme weather. For recreational ski tourers who look for a lightweight, flexible, and long lasting boot, the F1 Evo ensures hard charging turns, easy walkability and comfortable all-day fit.
4FRNT Devastator (demoed by Michael Restivo)
From the park to the back bowls, the 105-mm Devastator is the ultimate one-ski quiver. Staying true to its name, the devastator crushes powder, moguls and ice, yet remains just delicate enough to float through trees and carve groomers. The secret of the Devastator’s exceptional handling is credited to Reflect Tech, which fully engages the sidecut and matches the radius, ensuring smooth turns and full control with less chatter. The Devastator is built for confidently charging powder and turning heads in the lift line.
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