The Best Ski Gear

Published on 12/27/2023 · 10 min readA comprehensive guide to the best skis, boots, bindings, and apparel from the top ski brands utilizing the latest technology, plus a few hidden gems to keep you on the edge of the mountain.
Matthew Geraci, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Matthew Geraci

Photo by Lukas Gojda

The winter season is upon us, and I, for one, can’t wait to hit the slopes. If you’re reading this article, you likely can’t wait either. To maximize fun on the mountain while improving your ski ability, gearing up properly is of the utmost importance.

Why is having the right ski setup so essential to ski success — skicess, if you will? I’ll explain using my experiences as an example. That’s what Curated is all about, after all. You’re here to learn about skiing’s best tools from the people who know them best.

After growing up and learning to ski on the East Coast, I’ll never forget my first chairlift ride to the top of Breckenridge on a powder day. I was ready to shred on the skinny Atomic Nomad Smoke skis I had been rocking for years. Not only were the skis unfit for powder, but my DIN settings were too low for my ability, and my boots popped out of my bindings repeatedly as I tried to ride down the mountain.

After trying all the skis offered by the shop I worked at, I settled on the Black Crows Atris, a sturdy yet playful all-mountain ski that has given me the best imaginable time on the mountain. Additionally, I paired the Atris with the Look Pivot 14 bindings, which many skiers consider the best for high-level performance and knee safety. I completed my new setup with arguably the most important piece: Nordica Speedmachine 120 boots. Skiing is no fun if your feet are killing you, and having quality, well-fitting boots may be the single most important aspect for improving ski ability and comfort

Naturally, you have your unique skiing style. But I mention my story because perfecting my ski setup led me to improve my abilities on the mountain tenfold. From skis, boots, and bindings to base layers, outerwear snow gear, socks, ski goggles, and helmets with MIPS technology, having a full setup can take your ski game to the next level. So, let’s see what new ski gear the best winter sports brands have in store this season.

Oh, and when it comes to properly sizing your gear, be sure to check out some sizing guides, like this piece on ski boot-fitting by Curated Ski Expert Aidan Anderson, and Ski Expert Gunnar O’s article on sizing skis.

Cutting Edge: Tip Top Skis

1. Atomic Bent 90 Skis

Renowned for innovation, Atomic continues to lead the pack with its Bent series. The Bent is offered at underfoots of 85mm, 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm. So, if you like to stick to groomers, the 85 is right up your alley, whereas you’d prefer the 100 or 110 for full-mountain sticks or the 120 for surfing on deep pow pow. The Bent is a standout, offering a flexy freeride option with a light wood core and powder rocker build to help float on fresh snow, although it may be a little choppy at high speeds because of its lightweight build.

Atomic Bent 90 Skis · 2024

$439.96$549.95
20% off
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2. Rossignol Blackops W 92 + Xpress 11 GW Ski Bindings

The Experience line by Rossignol, often offered as a ski rental option, fittingly remains a favorite alpine ski for all-mountain enthusiasts. The Rossignol Experience W 82 Basalt Ski is celebrated for its seamless ability to handle groomed trails and hold a strong edge. For those looking to explore the whole mountain and even get into some off-piste terrain, the men’s Blackops and women’s Rallybird lines are terrific choices. Keep in mind that the turn radius gets bigger the wider the ski is underfoot, but this will also help you have a better time when off the groomers.

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3. Faction Prodigy 1X Skis - Women’s

One of the new ski manufacturing companies in the business is Faction Skis, which continues to stamp its foot as a force in the skiing world. The Prodigy Series, with both men’s and women’s versions, is gaining traction, delivering exceptional performance in powder conditions while maintaining stability at high speeds. The men’s Prodigy 3 is an all-mountain ski meant for most types of snow, and the women’s Prodigy 1X is solid for ripping up the park and riding most of the mountain although not ideal for deep powder.

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4. Black Crows Serpo Skis

I’m a little biased here, seeing as my Black Crows Atris are the best skis I’ve ever ridden, but Black Crows is an awesome company with quality skis and goofy little phrases etched into the sidewalls of their skis. For those who value style and substance, Black Crows' Camox Freebird stands out as a freeride ski excellent for backcountry adventures with supreme balance between weight and performance. And if ripping groomers is your thing, the Black Crows Serpro is for hard-charging downhill skiers.

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Black Crows Serpo Skis · 2024

$629.97$899.95
30% off
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Comfort for Maximal Performance: Ski Boots for Happy Feet

1. K2 Mindbender 120 LV Ski Boots

K2’s Mindbender series continues to be a top choice for those looking to navigate resort skiing and backcountry touring. A high-performance ski at a 120 flex built for intermediate to advanced skiers, this year’s Mindbender has also added a BOA Fit System, something typically found on snowboard boots.

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2. Nordica Speedmachine 3 85 W Ski Boots

Nordica has seemingly perfected the all-mountain boot, and with its 3D Cork Fit Primaloft liner, GripWalk boot sole, and soft flex that doesn’t negate control, this is a fantastic all-around boot.

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3. Salomon Shift Pro 100 AT Ski Boots

Salomon’s Shift Pro series, like K2’s Mindbenders, caters to skiers who value versatility and riding both the backcountry and the resort. The Shift Pro 100 stands out, featuring a custom-fit 3D seamless pro liner with walk mode. This boot is meant for those in the lighter weight range and provides all-day comfort with solid stability.

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Dynamic Connections: Ultimate Ski Bindings

1. Look Pivot 12 GW Ski Bindings

You had to know this was coming after my anecdotes at the top. The Look Pivot series remains a favorite among advanced skiers. Curated offers the Look Pivot 12, 14, and 15 GW, which offer different DIN setting ranges. The Pivot is celebrated for its exceptional power transmission with a Full Action toe piece that allows for maximal toe contact and control in addition to its unique and reliable “turntable” release system to make sure your knees stay intact if your boots ever need to pop out. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better bindings than these bad boys — plus, the Forza is an awesome colorway to add some pop to your skis.

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2. Marker Griffon 13 ID

Marker continues to set the standard with its Griffin series of bindings. The Marker Griffon 13 ID stands out for its reliable performance and compatibility with various boot sole types. Plus, the Griffon includes a clutch toe piece with a subtle metal cleat to help remove snow from your boot toes before stepping in.

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3. Tyrolia Attack 14 GW Ski Bindings

Tyrolia's Attack series caters to freestyle and freeride enthusiasts. The Tyrolia Attack 14 GW is a go-to binding for those who value versatility and performance in diverse conditions. These can be a little on the heavier side of bindings and aren’t necessarily meant for beginners, however.

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Form, Fit, and Functional Apparel & Accessories

So you’ve picked out your boots and one-ski quiver or selected a ski for resort days and one for touring — but you can’t forget proper ski apparel and accessories. From fully loaded ski jackets and snow bibs to balaclavas and helmets with all-important MIPS functionality to moisture-wicking Smartwool merino socks and full-body base-layer ski suits, let’s take a gander at some of the best in the business.

1. Rossignol Men's Controle Ski Jacket

For a ski jacket with multiple colorways and has all the features for prime performance on any part of the mountain, any type of day, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the Rossignol Men’s Controle ski jacket. With a low profile and lightweight Primaloft® synthetic insulation, 20,000/15,000 waterproof/breathable ratings, PFC-Free Durable Water-Repellent (DWR), and a removable hood, this jacket has it all covered.

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2. Norrona Women's Lofoten GORE-TEX Insulated Pants

These snow pants work for skiing or snowboarding. They simply get the job done while keeping your lower half warm, dry, and fully functional. Plus, with body-mapped insulation, a custom-fit waist system that ensures a snug fit, and extra coverage with a high waistband in the back, the Lofoten doesn’t compromise warmth or snow coverage while providing the trendy features of modern ski style.

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3. Mountain Hardwear Men's Firefall Bib Pants

With all the options ski bibs provide, it’s no wonder that many winter sports experts recommend going with bibs over pants. Although Mountain Hardwear’s Men’s Firefall bib pants aren’t exactly ski specific, they are a solid choice for skinning up the backcountry, riding the resort all day, or enjoying the aprés-ski after party.

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4. Burton Men's [ak] Clutch GORE-TEX Leather Mittens

These responsibly sourced leather mittens are fantastic options for keeping your hands warm, dry, and cozy in any conditions of the backcountry or in the resort. With a glove leash, thumb nose wipe, DRYRIDE softshell fabric, and PRIMALOFT Gold, GORE-TEX leather build, these gloves have everything a rider needs to stay happy on the slopes

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5. 686 Women's Hydra Jacket

The 686 Women’s Hydra Jacket is a souped-up, 85% recycled, insulated jacket with all the top ski apparel tech one could need for cold days on the mountain: infiDRY 20K waterproof/breathable fabric, Vader vents with pit zips, phone heater pocket, adjustable helmet-compatible hood, and honeycomb knit fleece lining. This jacket includes today’s most desirable ski wear features specifically tailored from 686’s best-selling men’s version to fit women.

686 Women's Hydra Jacket

$202.97$289.95
30% off
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6. Helly Hansen Women's LIFA Merino Midweight Baselayer Top

Helly Hansen continues to churn out widely acclaimed gear, and the LIFA merino midweight baselayer top follows suit with both women’s and men’s options. This layer features 100% merino wool and proprietary LIFA material, which work together to allow moisture to easily pass through the fibers while keeping you warm and dry even on the snowiest, wettest, coldest days.

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7. Anon M4 Toric Goggles + Bonus Lens + MFI Face Mask

As some of the most high-tech ski goggles on the market, Anon’s M4 Toric Goggles include a bonus lens and MFI (magnetic facemask integration) face mask. With its low-profile, triple-layer foam and polarized lenses, this product offers a wide field of vision for either skiers or snowboard riders. Plus, the M4s work over glasses, and it’s super easy to swap out lenses with its MAGNA-TECH so you don’t find yourself blinded when the conditions suddenly change.

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Find the Best Ski Gear for You

Photo by Stock Studio 4477

As you gear up for the 2023/2024 ski season, remember that there are tons of options catering to every skill level and preference. From the power-packed offerings of established brands to the hidden gems that promise value and performance, the ski gear landscape is as thrilling as the slopes you're destined to conquer. Embrace the technology, authenticate your style, and let the anticipation build for a season filled with exhilarating descents and unforgettable moments.

While this ski gear guide hits many of the big ones, it’s truly impossible to fit all the finest skis, boots, bindings, poles, and winter apparel into one article. So make sure you take a look at Curated’s Ski Gear Shop and link up with a Curated Ski Expert to manifest the proper setup just for you.

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Shop Apparel on Curated

Atomic Bent 90 Skis · 2024
$439.96$549.95
Faction Prodigy 1X Skis · Women's · 2024
$349.30$499.00

Browse more Apparel

Black Crows Serpo Skis · 2024
$629.97$899.95
K2 Mindbender 120 BOA Ski Boots · 2024
$559.97$799.95
Nordica Speedmachine 3 85 W Ski Boots · Women's · 2024
$349.97$499.95
Salomon Shift Pro 100 AT Ski Boots · 2024
$479.96$599.95
Look Pivot 12 GW Ski Bindings · 2024
$329.95
Marker Griffon 13 ID Ski Bindings · 2024
$215.99$269.99
Tyrolia Attack 14 GW Ski Bindings · 2024
$268.95

Browse more Apparel

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