The Best Multipurpose Ski & Snowboard Gear

Published on 01/04/2024 · 8 min readGear up for the slopes! Discover the best multipurpose ski and snowboard gear, designed for versatility, durability, and peak performance.
Sean Corliss, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Sean Corliss

Photo by Dmitry Molchanov

As winter enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the arrival of snow-covered slopes, the search for versatile ski and snowboard gear becomes paramount. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice hitting the mountains for the first time, having the right equipment can make all the difference.

As someone who has been skiing and snowboarding for almost 27 years now, I know the importance of having gear that serves more than one purpose. Being able to travel the hill without being bogged down by endless amounts of gear can really improve your experience on the slopes. Believe me, you don't want to be buying gear last minute at the resort. It is NOT cheap and can turn the best day into a bad day. I once bought a pair of low visibility goggles last minute at the lodge store, and it cost me a lot more than it would have if I had just originally bought a pair with magnetic lens capabilities and a low light lens to swap out on the fly.

In this guide, we'll explore the best multipurpose ski and snowboard gear that caters to both performance and versatility, ensuring you make the most of your winter adventures.

All-In-One Jacket:

At the core of every snowsports enthusiast's wardrobe lies the indispensable all-in-one jacket, a true game-changer in the world of winter apparel. Seek out jackets crafted from high-quality materials that boast both waterproof and breathable properties, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable regardless of the weather's whims. These jackets go beyond mere functionality, incorporating insulation to keep you warm amidst the snowy landscapes while seamlessly transitioning in style from the exhilarating slopes to the laid-back atmosphere of après-ski activities. I know personally, I wear my jacket more often than just on the slopes, so having a casual style to wear at the lodge bar is just as important to me as looking good on the slopes!

When on the lookout for the perfect all-in-one jacket, consider additional features that elevate your overall experience on the mountain. Look for designs with strategically placed extra pockets, catering to the practical needs of skiers and boarders by providing convenient storage for lift tickets, keys, and smartphones. This thoughtful touch not only adds a layer of convenience but also enhances the jacket's functionality. Some jackets even have built-in whistles in case you get stuck in the backcountry and need help getting rescued. Brands such as 686, Patagonia, The North Face, and Arc'teryx have established themselves as leaders in crafting multipurpose winter jackets, embodying a perfect blend of performance, style, and versatility for the modern snowsports enthusiast.

Expert’s Pick: 686 SMARTY 3-in-1 Form Jacket

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Bib Pants: Elevated Protection and Style

For those seeking an extra layer of protection against frigid wind and snow, bib pants are an excellent option for staying warm and dry. Bibs extend beyond the traditional waistline, providing coverage for the chest and back. This added shield is not only practical for safeguarding against the elements but also offers a stylish departure from conventional ski pants.

Bib pants can also be a game-changer during warmer weather. Picture this: a bluebird day on the mountain, and the temperatures rise, making it too warm for a jacket. Instead of sweating all day in that jacket, simply ditch it and rely on your bib pants and hoodie to keep you comfortable. It's a versatile solution that seamlessly blends protection and adaptability.

The Ventilation Advantage: Crotch Vents for Dynamic Comfort

Ventilation is a crucial factor in maintaining comfort during intense physical activity on the slopes. Ski pants equipped with crotch vents are a game-changer for any skier or rider. When the legs start pumping, and the body generates heat, these vents allow for efficient air circulation, preventing overheating and ensuring you stay cool and collected.

When it comes to ski pants, adaptability reigns supreme. Whether you opt for the transformative nature of convertible pants or the extended coverage provided by bibs, ensuring your gear can keep up with the unpredictable mountain weather is paramount. And, of course, don't overlook the small but mighty crotch vents – a subtle yet indispensable feature that turns a good day on the slopes into an exceptional one. Embrace the versatility, conquer the mountains, and make every descent a memorable adventure.

Expert’s Pick: The North Face Freedom Bib Pants

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Multi-Functional Goggles:

Enhancing your trail experience goes beyond mere eye protection – it's about finding goggles that elevate your entire journey on the snow. Seek out goggles equipped with interchangeable lenses, ensuring optimal visibility in varying light conditions or offering a quick solution when one lens is scratched or damaged. Beyond their basic function, some models are equipped with cutting-edge technology, featuring electric ventilation systems and heads-up displays that provide real-time data, including speed and altitude, adding a high-tech dimension to your skiing or snowboarding adventure. Since the unfortunate situation I mentioned earlier in this article, I have purchased a pair with magnetic lenses that I can switch out depending on the light and visibility conditions on the slopes. I’ve never been happier with a gear purchase than that one.

Innovations in snow goggle design are revolutionizing the way we approach winter sports, and choosing a pair with advanced features can significantly enhance both safety and enjoyment on the slopes. Find the perfect balance of functionality and technology in your goggles, ensuring a clear vision and an immersive experience as you navigate the exhilarating trails of the snow-covered mountains.

Expert’s pick: Smith I/O MAG Goggles

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Adjustable Bindings:

This piece of equipment is probably not for beginners. For those who switch between skiing and snowboarding, split boarding, touring, or even among different skiing styles, adjustable bindings are a must. These bindings can be easily customized to fit various boot sizes and provide the flexibility needed to transition seamlessly between activities.

Expert’s Pick: Union Explorer Splitboard Bindings

Versatile Helmets:

Ensuring your safety on the slopes is paramount, so investing in a quality and versatile helmet that protects your head and enhances your overall safety on the slopes is a wise decision. Seek out helmets equipped with removable padding and adjustable ventilation features, providing the flexibility to tailor your comfort levels according to the specific demands of each activity and prevailing weather conditions. For those who crave a touch of technological convenience, explore high-end helmet options that come with built-in Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to enjoy music or make calls without compromising safety. Alternatively, consider helmets with speaker-compatible ear pads, offering a designated space for helmet speakers to enhance your auditory experience while navigating the mountain terrain.

Despite the allure of additional features, always prioritize safety when selecting a helmet. Opt for helmets with MIPS certification, a gold standard in head protection technology. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology ensures an extra layer of safeguarding for your noggin, minimizing rotational forces during impacts. Remember, while style and convenience are important, a helmet's primary function is to protect, making MIPS-certified helmets a solid and reliable choice for the ultimate blend of safety and performance on the slopes.

Expert’s Choice: POC Obex MIPS Communication Helmet

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Multi-Use Backpacks:

A multipurpose backpack is essential for carrying all your gear while on the mountain. Seek options with designated compartments for ski or snowboard equipment like boots, hydration reservoir compatibility, and additional storage for essentials like snacks, extra layers, and a first aid kit.

Expert’s Pick: Dakine Boot Locker DLX 70L

Adaptable Gloves:

Cold hands can quickly ruin a day on the slopes. Opt for gloves that are both waterproof and breathable, with touchscreen compatibility for convenience. Some gloves even have removable liners, providing the versatility needed for different weather conditions. A really fancy pair might even boast a battery-operated hand-warming system. Other features include wrist leashes, which are handy for those times you need to remove your glove on the lift but are afraid to drop it. Face wipers are commonly found on gloves for when you need to wipe your nose, or goggle squeegees are sometimes found for those days when the snow is coming down hard and piles up on your lenses. Lastly, a pair that has a pocket for your pass or other belongings can be useful for additional gear storage. Take a look at the pair of 686 Gore-Tex Smarty gloves below that I personally endorse as an excellent option. These are the pair I rely on to keep my fingers warm and store my Ikon pass in for easy scanning.

Expert’s Pick: 686 GORE-TEX SMARTY 3-in-1 Gauntlet Gloves

Connect with an Expert to Find the Best Gear for You

The beauty of versatile gear lies in its ability to seamlessly transition between skiing and snowboarding, in addition to providing features that are usually provided by multiple and bulky pieces of equipment. Having some “do it all” pieces ensures you're well-equipped for the unpredictability of the mountain terrain while not being weighed down by a ton of gear. Beyond mere functionality, investing in such adaptable gear enhances your overall winter sports experience, promising a season filled with excitement and comfort.

So, gear up for the snowy slopes and embark on a winter escapade with equipment that works as hard as you do. Whether you're navigating challenging trails or relishing in après-ski festivities, multipurpose gear is your reliable companion. To further tailor your gear selection to your specific needs, don't hesitate to consult with your Curated Winter Sports Expert. They can provide insights into their favorite pieces of versatile and functional equipment, guiding you toward a winter season filled with thrilling adventures and unforgettable moments in the snow-covered mountains.

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Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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