This winter’s ski and snowboard gear and apparel is laden with innovative features, from an adjustable, inflatable jacket to skis that adapt on the fly to a neck gaiter that also moisturizes skin.
▪ NuDown Mount Whitney Vest ($450, www.nudown.com): This snug-fitting garment allows you to adjust your warmth level using nature’s most basic insulator — air. The vest, available for men and women, incorporates a series of narrow vertical chambers. When you’re cold, inflate them via a small pump stowed unobtrusively in one of the pockets. About 10 seconds later, you’ll have instant insulation. The pump easily deflates the vest when temperatures rise. The technology also comes in a couple of jacket styles.
▪ Obermeyer Verbier Cashmere Ski Sweater ($349, www.obermeyer.com): Obermeyer spent three years exploring a way to use cashmere so that it would stand up to the demands of athletic use. The resulting blend in this sweater uses a plated construction, which accommodates two yarns in one knit: durable, naturally water-repellent merino wool for the outside, luxe cashmere on the inside. The company founder, Klaus Obermeyer, who just turned 96, skis every day near the brand’s headquarters in Aspen, Colorado. Now that’s product testing.
▪ Giro Range Helmet ($240, www.giro.com): This helmet relies on an adjustable layered shell instead of the usual internal band around the head for a secure but comfortable fit. Rotate a small dial at the rear, and the back of the helmet expands and contracts up to six centimeters. Enhanced protection is provided by MIPS, a technology increasingly used among all helmet makers that absorbs some of the forces generated by angled blows as well as direct impacts. And, social media sharers, rejoice; there’s an integrated mount for a GoPro.