The Best Stocking Stuffers for Skiers & Snowboarders
Looking to fill out their stocking? Expert Gabe S. offers this guide to delighting the skier or snowboarder in your life this holiday season.
The holidays are right around the corner, and while you may not be excited by the prospect of scraping ice off windshields, cold toes, and shorter days, the skier in your life is impatiently waiting for that first snow, marking the start of a long and overdue season. Put your disdain for harsh winters aside, and help bring joy to the skiers you love by hooking them up with some of this winter’s must have winter sports gear. This year, instead of chocolate and underwear, stuff their stockings with some of the newest and coolest gear on the market to have your skier or snowboarder looking and feeling the best on the mountain.
The Big Small Stuff
Big things come in small packages. Just because it’s small enough to fit into a stocking, doesn’t mean the gift is small in value. Some of the best gear ideas are no bigger than a pair of goggles! Below we will go over the more expensive gear ideas that could complete a skier or boarder's outfit, or give them the extra edge on the mountain.
Whether you're floating down fresh powder in the big mountains out west, or digging your edges into icy hardpack of the Northeast, you will want a goggle that suits your environment. If there is one common mistake I see on the mountain it is that most people do not have the right lens for the conditions they are skiing or snowboarding in. While yes, this does sound extra, and even a bit snobby, the right tint on your goggles could be the difference between a big wipeout, and a smooth line down the mountain. With the wrong tint, you won’t be able to see the definition of the snow and could end up crashing over a mogul you didn’t even know was there. (This has happened to me.)
When choosing the right goggle, make sure you aren’t just picking out the sickest lens color; you want to keep the conditions in mind. Lighter colored goggles have a higher visible light transmission (VLT), meaning they allow more light to pass through the lens and reach your eye. These lighter colors (yellow, gold, amber, green, or rose-colored), are best suited for cloudy, overcast, or even snowy days on the mountain. Darker tints (Brown, gray and copper-colored), have a lower VLT, and allow less light to reach your eyes. These colors perform the best on bright sunny, blue sky days.
Expert Picks Smith I/O MAG Goggles
The Smith I/O Mag Goggles offer the best of both worlds. The new 2020 version of the I/O Mag sports a rimless design, with eight magnetic contact points and two locking levers, making the process of switching lenses mid day almost seamless. The goggles come with two lenses of different tints, so you can feel confident in your vision no matter what conditions you find yourself shredding in. When the snow starts falling, and you can’t tell if the patch ahead is ice or snow, all you have to do is open the levers on both sides and the lens will pop right off. This model also features a fantastic field of view, the “Spherical Carbonic anti-fog X-lens,” which is one of the largest spherical lenses Smith offers. Smith finishes this goggle off with a three layer, DriWix face foam to seal out any excess wind, and wick away excess moisture if you start to sweat. These are top-of-the line goggles, from a leader in the goggle industry. They won’t fog, ever, you can adjust the lenses to match your weather. Plus, you will barely notice them on your face with great cushion
Oakley Fall Line XM Goggles
A slightly cheaper option than the Smith I/O Mags, the Fall Line XM Goggles are the latest addition to Oakley’s “Line Series.” In ski lingo, the “fall line” refers to the line that is most downhill the mountain, and these goggles are meant to handle tough conditions to keep your vision clear even in the gnarliest environments. Featuring cylindrical lenses, these Oakleys give the skier a wide field of vision, comparable to that of the I/O Mags. Similar to Smith’s magnetized lenses, the Fall Lines flaunt Oakleys’s ridgelock technology, a quick and slightly simplified version of the Smith I/O lens replacement. You can feel confident in these goggles, the ridgelock tech secures your lenses in place, keeping your eyes sealed from harsh conditions you will surely be skiing in this winter.
The Smaller Stuff
Here, we get back to the more traditional idea of “Stocking Stuffers”. In this list of “smaller stuff,” we’ll look at some of the coolest gear and accessories under $100. While waking up to $240 goggles as your stocking stuffer is great, there are plenty of smaller gift ideas that are sure to bring a smile to your skier or snowboader's face. After all, some of the cheapest ski accessories are the most essential. Let's look at some of the gear that everyone needs, but that won’t break the bank.
Gloves & Mittens
It’s 11 am and you’ve been skiing since 9. The conditions are perfect—in fact, it’s snowing and you're expected to see four to five inches of fresh powder by 12:30. You wonder if there is anything that could ruin such a prime snow day.
Allow me to speak from personal experience; there is nothing worse than having the momentum of a great day killed because all you can think about is your cold fingers, which are starting to sting because you're wearing the wrong pair of gloves. Now, instead of skiing straight into the next lift to get to that fresh pow at the summit, you’re taking your skis off and headed into to warm your hands in the claustrophobic cesspool of people that is the ski lodge. Please, don’t ruin your own day by wearing a subpar pair of gloves. Let’s look at some of the best gloves that are sure to keep your fingers warm in the coldest of days.
Expert Picks The North Face Powdercloud GTX Etip Glove
The North Face is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to ski apparel. With 200 grams of insulation, these gloves will keep your mitts warm no matter the weather. They’re designed with a GORE-TEX shell across the back of the hand that offers superior waterproofing so your hands stay dry even in rain or sleet. You know you are in trouble if you feel your hands starting to get wet inside your glove, so you can have peace of mind knowing your hands will stay dry when you wear the Powderclouds. The palm of the glove is finished with extremely durable goat leather, ensuring that this pair of gloves will last. Finally, this glove features E-Tips which are compatible with most phones, so you don’t have to worry about losing a glove on the lift when you're texting your friends.
Burton Men's Work Horse Leather Mitt
Dial in your inner backcountry mountain man look with this awesome pair of Burton mittens. Sporting a durable work-wear leather shell and palm, quick drying fleece lining, and a removable wrist leash, these bad boys will keep your hands extra warm when you're high up in the mountains on a cold snowy day. Extremely warm and comfortable, the Workhorse leather mitt can be worn for more than just skiing—take them camping, hiking, or out to your backyard for chopping wood. They’re not as waterproof as the North Face gloves, but the quick-drying fleece lining will stay warm even if wet.
BRR! Winter Balm
Hate chapped lips and windburned faces? Look no further, Winter Balm from BRR! Is the product you’ve been waiting for. Made with 100% all natural ingredients, (Sunflower Seed Oil, Neroli Oil, Clary Sage Oil, Geranium Oil, and Candelilla Wax), this balm is not only for your lips, but safe for your face as well, and it’s vegan! Essential for any skier or boarder who is tired of the burning, red, itchy cold rashes.
Ski season is here, and just like our inventory at curated.com, it doesn’t last long enough. Don’t miss out on top of the line ski equipment at remarkably low prices. Make sure you get your loved ones what they need during the holiday season! Not sure about sizing? Need help picking out the perfect gift? Talk to one of our experts—they'll help you navigate through the best selection of ski gear out there!