Ski warm, safe and green

  • Article by: STEPHEN REGENOLD , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 7, 2009 - 9:33 PM

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HELLY HANSEN ATLAS FLOW DOWN

Luxuriously warm but technically suited for skiing and snowboarding, the Atlas Flow boasts the insulating warmth of goose down with the protection of a hard shell jacket. It has a waterproof outer shell fabric. But 800-fill goose-down "pillows" throughout the interior add extraordinary insulation. The company says the pillows are separated by a "precise series of venting channels" that help excess heat and moisture to escape.

$700, www.hellyhansen.com

SCOTT STUNT SKI

Touted to track well in any snow condition -- from groomed trails to back-country crud -- Scott's Stunt ski has an exclusive design that increases airflow from the tip of the ski to the tail, according to the company. Low-profile ski tips and tails are said to allow the ski to "track with less pressure" and improve turning ability and turning radius. It comes in 176-, 186- and 196-centimeter lengths.

$800, www.scottusa.com

TECNICA AGENT 130 BOOT

Shock-absorbing inserts come standard on the Tecnica Agent 130, a top-end ski boot made for free skiing as well as jumps and cliff-drops in the back country. The boots' insole, tongue and rear spoiler are made to absorb and lessen the blow when you land hard. Tecnica touts a low-volume, precise fit. The Agent 130s have a fur-fleece lining and a neoprene toe box for comfort and warmth.

$835, www.tecnicausa.com

JULBO REVOLUTION GOGGLE

Shield your vision and adapt to changing light with the Revolution, which has a photochromatic lens that changes tint in seconds. When it's bright, the goggle lens provides a darkened, sun-filtering view. On overcast days, the tint shifts in less than 30 seconds to almost clear.

An anti-fog coating is integrated into the lens via laser, so it will never scratch off, according to the company.

$150, www.julbousa.com

The world's warmest balaclava. A $700 down jacket. A ski goggle that changes tint with available light. These are the products

to look for while gearing up for the slopes this season.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

COLDAVENGER EXPEDITION

Designed by a physician and worn by Himalayan mountaineers, the ColdAvenger Expedition Balaclava is in the running for the warmest head covering ever made. It protects you from cold, sun and wind. The unique ventilator, a filter made of "medical-grade" plastic, fits over your mouth to mix inhaled cold air with exhaled warm air, keeping your body better regulated, the company says.

$79.95, www.coldavenger.com

BLACK DIAMOND AGENT AVALUNG PACK

A snorkel-like breathing tube on the Agent AvaLung Pack helps a skier buried in an avalanche breathe when submerged in packed snow. That's the promise from Black Diamond, which makes a line of AvaLung-equipped packs for skiers and boarders. The Agent is a lightweight model with 20 liters of carrying capacity. It has a diagonal ski-carry cable for fast and secure attachment of skis on the pack. There's a tuck-away helmet-carrying sling and a dedicated avalanche-tool organizer pocket.

$199.95, www.blackdiamondequipment.com

ROSSIGNOL ATTRAXION ECHO

Touted as the most environmentally friendly ski on the market, the top-end Attraxion Echo model was designed for expert female skiers who also want to make an eco statement. Rossignol cuts waste with this ski and uses recycled and environmentally friendly materials in its construction, including a poplar wood core from sustainable forests and natural linen fibers to bind parts inside. Suggested retail price includes bindings.

$950, www.rossignol.com

All photos provided by manufacturers or vendors

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