Travel gear: Sidecountry skiing

This season, gear makers have come up with all kinds of gadgets to get us ready to venture out into the sidecountry.

The ski industry’s got a new buzzword: sidecountry. It refers to all that good stuff that’s off to the side of a ski mountain—glades, moguls, powder—that’s never groomed, is still inbounds and is still totally accessible by chairlift. Here are some of our favourites for it.

Nordica Hell&Back HikePro ski boot

These boots were made for… sidecountry skiing. Nordica’s new boot offers nifty options that include a rubber sole for gripping on rocks and stumps, shock absorbers for walking and a quick-release button that switches the boot between “hike” and “ski” modes. ($765)

Columbia Snow Hottie jacket


Combine this jacket's thermal reflective lining and waterproof, breathable construction with a battery-powered heater and you’ll be toasty and primed for sidecountry action.


Merrell Peak Waterproof boot


These women’s boots will keep your feet warm with 300-grams of fleece thermo lining and a 200-gram Opti-warm insulation. Plus, we love its trendy knee-high design and sumptuous fur trim. ($170)

SmartWool Lightweight baselayers

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These undies employ Body Enhancing Fit technology, meaning they're not only comfy, breathable and warm, but they bring out a body’s best shape and are designed differently for men and women. (Starting at $105)

Little Nutty Snow & Bike helmet


This all-season helmet is made with an ABS shell and a durable EPS protective-foam lining. The helmet comes with nine vents, perfect for cooling down when sidecountry terrain heats up. ($90)

Salomon BBR ski


The new BBR’s weird-looking graphics and wacky shape are ideal for sidecountry surfing thanks to an oversized tip and pintail profile. Indeed, the Salomon BBR was inspired by, what else, surf culture. (Starting at $800)


Related links:

Ultimate Ski Guide Survey

Ultimate Ski Guide: Top 10 ski resorts in Canada