Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment

The family by Lago Chamolé in Pila, Aosta Valley. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.

Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment

Now is the time to start dreaming of the great outdoors. Travel will not be as usual for the time being, but we still can get out. Trends are showing that people will prefer staycations or driving rather than flying. You can drive from home for your holidays. We can use this time to prepare our kit for this trip. This made me think of putting together a shopping list for your next hiking trip. Here it is:

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Too tired to hike. Going up to see the Monte Cervino in Cervinia. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.
Too tired to hike. Going up to see the Monte Cervino in Cervinia. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.

Hiking shoes:

You need shoes to be comfortable. The shoes have a denser footbed and a harder tip than normal shoes to avoid hurting your toes. Shoes need to hug your feet well and leave space for your toes to wiggle. I have bought some low ankle hiking shoes but realised afterwards that a higher boot is better. I have weak ankles that tend to twist a lot, and the high ankle boot avoids me doing that. Here are my suggestion for hiking boots for male, women and kids:

Hiking shoes


Hiking socks:

You want to have a good pair of socks when going hiking. Do not go hiking with some socks with holes- your feet will be sorry for it! I like merino socks, they are a bit more expensive but worth it in any climate. Merino is a great fabric that is very soft and lightweight, wickers moisture fast and keep your feet dry. Merino keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer and is breathable and antimicrobial. This allows your feet odours to be at bay. Here are my suggestion of hiking socks.

Hiking socks – Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking pants:

Pants need to be lightweight, breathable and of a quick-drying material. This prevents you staying wet if you cross a stream or get drench after a shower. You have the options of pants with zip that can convert into shorts. I prefer pants if walking through a wood with high grass, as you never know what you might encounter. Depending the climate, it might be snakes, ticks and all kind of bugs. You don’t want your hike to ruin your day because of this! I have learnt my lesson of long pants when growing up in Argentina and going horseback riding. When you go to ranches, you see the ‘gauchos’ always with what we call ‘bombachas de campo’. These are some sort of pantaloon that is wider at the tights and skinnier by the ankle. They allow freedom of movement when mounting horses. Plus they avoid anything creeping from the ankle up. When horseback riding, sometimes you go through tall grass. Thistles could catch and prickle your skin. This is the same concept with hiking pants, you don’t want your skin exposed!
 

Hiking pants: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking shorts

Sometimes it is too hot for pants and you will walk in rocky paths, with the absence of long grass. Shorts would be a great option for those hot days. On top, while you hike you can gain a tan! The same principle applies here: to be of a light material that dries fast and wickers moisture out.
 

Hiking shorts: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

Hiking tops

 
If you can afford purchasing Merino, go for it! You will not stink to the rest of the group! If not get any light material that wicks moisture out and dries fast if wet!
 

Hiking tops: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking fleece

It is good to take one, at least in your backpack, as you never know how weather will pan out. I like having some light fleeces. They dry if they get wet very fast.
 

Hiking fleeces: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking Jackets

 
Always take a light raincoat. You can fold it into a small pouch and take it out if it rains. Some new materials are pretty good and allow moisture to evaporate.
 

Hiking Jackets: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.



Water bottle/carrier

 
Always carry some water for everyone. If you are going with kids, make them carry water and snacks in a small backpack. I used to have a camelback, that was useful while skiing or hiking. It is a small backpack with a pouch of water inside and a pipe for you to sip when needed. Lots of people love it and I loved the idea and used them a lot. I only find the water has taste and nowadays I prefer to have my own water bottle. There are some nice stainless steel bottles in the market. Beware if they fall, they do squash, and even I had one that got perforated! So you need to handle with care.

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Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.

Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.

Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Just after returning from Courmayeur, I had a late ‘Christmas gift’ delivered home. It was a brand-new Panda Optics goggles. I was just thinking that I wanted to upgrade from my Oakley goggles, that are not bad at all, but I find them to have a small lens for my face.

Trying the goggles to Ozzy. Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.
Trying the goggles to Ozzy. Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.

Also, my eldest has a pair of goggles with a wide lens which you could exchange using a magnetic system, which I love…so I wanted one something like that for me! I tend to use goggles mostly when light is flat, but I like the versatility of maybe using them all the time instead of sunglasses.

I’ve packed my Panda goggles with my helmet on my suitcase for last week’s trip to Morzine with some mum’s friends. We had four days skiing in Morzine, three with lovely weather and one with a bit of foul weather, snow on top and lots of rain on the lower pistes!

Continue reading “Review of the new RS1 Panda Optics goggles.”

Gear Review: The new TOYSHADES collection

My pooch with the TOYSHADES Corbs. Looking good!

Gear Review: The new TOYSHADES collection

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

I had the chance to get not one, but two pair of TOYSHADES lenses for using year-round and during this coming ski season. First of all, price is so cheap, that I was a bit sceptical how they would compare to my Oakleys or Raybans – the brands of choice since I was a young adult.

The TOYSHADES Hillwoods model, extremely light and with a lovely design.
The TOYSHADES Hillwoods model, extremely light and with a lovely design.

I bought some lenses on the mountain two years ago in Pila, as my Oakleys were all scratched, and I was suffering then of conjunctivitis. The optician that see me at a ski resort, told me that I needed to purchase a new good pair of lenses. These were some cheap lenses bought at the ski school in Pila which were pretty decent, but not comparable to a more renown brand.

Two years ago, after the Mountain Travel Symposium, I’ve bought in San Francisco airport my last pair of Oakleys, which I love, and they are in very good nick. So, when I’ve got these two pairs of shades, I thought that they were not going to compare to my Oakleys. But I was surprised!

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Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.

Arc'teryx- Gear Review- Base Layers Women and Men.

Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Now that the weather is finally changing, for those of you that love being in the outdoors, same in the lowlands or in the mountains, nothing better than being prepared with some good top layers. I do love them, and I have purchased lots of different brands over the years. I like for example Orthovox, Icebreaker, and also Arc’teryx.

I will focus this post on what Arc’teryx has to offer for the season. I love all what I see of this brand for all kind of seasons, even their casual wear. It is not cheap, but it is highly technical, and I do prefer to have less things but better quality- as I realise that I always use the same! So, I invest in fewer pieces of better quality. I like their minimalist lines and their design is top notch.

Shop Women’s Base Layers

  • Vertices Hoody – this is designed for cold weather and has specific snow sport features, such as the balaclava style hood that can easily go over the head and under a helmet or used as a neck warmer.
Detail of the hoody of the Vertices Hoody top- Arc'teryx. Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.
Detail of the hoody of the Vertices Hoody top- Arc’teryx. Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.
The Vertices Hoody for Women. Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.
The Vertices Hoody for Women. Gear Review: Arc’teryx’s base layers for the season.

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The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.

Gear Tests- the new Howell 800 Pro ACL Friendly. The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.

The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.

We all know how important ski bindings to skis are. You don’t want them to pre-release, making it dangerous while coming fast down the mountain.  On the same way, you don’t want them not to release, as this implicates potential damage to your limbs.

Howell Ski Bindings 800 Pro. The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.
Howell Ski Bindings 800 Pro. The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.

The typical binding has a lateral toe release and upward heel release. The Howell 880 Pro has both characteristics, PLUS a lateral heel release.

These bindings will be releasing end of October 2020 and you can pre-reserve with a USD 80 deposit here.

Rick Howell, owner of Howell SkiBindings has been in the business of creating bindings for over 4 decades. He was involved in the release of the Salomon 555, what became the number 1 selling alpine throughout the mid-1970’s. He has a fascinating story about his life – it did grip me and read it all – you can check it here.

He was involved with a group of technicians from Stuttgart on what is now called the ‘‘DIN’ System’, used worldwide for 37 years, by 20 million skiers, including today. Rick worked many years for Geze ski binding company and received the ‘Glass Award’ for successful business accomplishments that caused ‘over 100,000 pair of bindings to be sold in a single year. ‘

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SKI TEST – SKI REVIEW #2 – Nordica Enforcer 100

Gear Tests- the new Howell 800 Pro ACL Friendly. The new Future of Ski Bindings is here: Howell 880 Pro ACL friendly ski binding.

SKI TEST – SKI REVIEW #2 – Nordica Enforcer 100

SKI REVIEWSFAT OR NOT FAT- WHAT TO BUY?

by Chino Martinez
Professional skier

On our first review we explained how to choose the best skis for you.

We have to remember a couple of things that will help how to identify and choose the right model for your best ski day.

1-Dimensions

2-Underfoot

3-Radius

4.Length

SKI TEST - SKI REVIEW #2 – Nordica Enforcer 100 SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT - WHAT TO BUY?
SKI TEST – SKI REVIEW #2 – Nordica Enforcer 100 SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT – WHAT TO BUY?

With all these thoughts we are going to review the top #2 ski of our list for Men All-Mountain-Wide Skis:

#2: NORDICA ENFORCER 100

Before starting with this review, I’m going to talk about the ski factories.

Today, the ski factories must work together with ski brands because factories are manufacturing several brands under the same roof.

Back on the day, mostly in Europe, each brand had its own factory to develop its own skis.

Today things are different, and this is not a secret. One factory can manufacture several skis for different brands. This is not a problem nor a bad thing. In this case, the Nordica Enforcer 100 shares the same factory with the top #1 ski of our review, the Blizzard Bonafide 98.

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SKI TEST -SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT? What Ski to Buy?

Photo: Blizzard .SKI TEST -SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT? What Ski to Buy?

SKI TEST -SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT? What Ski to Buy?

by Chino Martinez
Professional skier

Introduction to different types of skis

Review of #1 Male All Mountain Skis – Blizzard Bonafide 98.

These days the options when walking into a ski shop at the beginning of the ski season are too many!

Blizzard Bonafide skis. SKI TEST -SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT? What Ski to Buy?
Blizzard Bonafide skis. SKI TEST -SKI REVIEWS -FAT OR NOT FAT? What Ski to Buy?

This article is to inform skiers how to choose the best skis for your best ski day or ski season.

What do we have to look to choose the right skis?

A-What type of skier are you?
1-aggressive/expert 2-intermediate 3-beginner.

B-What kind of terrain do you ski the most? Off piste, all mountain, groomers (piste), racing?
C-How many skis do you have? or are you willing to have? 

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Picture Ski Clothing for Kids – Grows with them!

Picture Ski Clothing for Kids – Grows with them!

Picture Ski Clothing for Kids – Grows with them!

You know how much it costs skiing and all you need to purchase to get your family kitted to going skiing. Now, you can get some cheap brands that are good enough, or maybe you want to splash out on a good brand. But then your kids grow up too quickly and you have made an investment that is not recovered– unless you have younger siblings to pass the clothes to and take advantage of it!

Slope jacket. Picture Ski Clothing for Kids – Grows with them!
Slope jacket. Picture Ski Clothing for Kids – Grows with them!

And it is great if you can find some decent brand for your kids, as you want your kid to be warm on the pistes. If you have very cold temperatures and your kid is wet and cold, he can ruin all the family’s day out. Skiing is very costly as to let this happen!

I was the other day visiting the dry slope at Chatham Snowsports Center and I pop into the  ski shop, and these jackets from Picture caught my eye.

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Review on the Head Nexo Lyt 100 W G Ski Boots 2019

Review on the Head Nexo Lyt 100 W G Ski Boots 2019

Review on the Head Nexo Lyt 100 W G Ski Boots 2019

I have been suffering with my last pair of boots for the last five years. I went to buy them in one of the mainstream shops in the UK and did so with my two boys when they were little. The kid that did the fitting had not too much experience, and I wanted to believe him when he told me I had thin feet – Thin feet is something I really don’t have. And to be fair, with age, my feet are deforming a lot – getting wider with bunions and having lost my top arches. So, I have been suffering with my boots, trying to widen the shell in numerous trips to the ski shop.

Last weekend I went to Sudtirol and took my boots on my backpack on the plane. First day and I almost die skiing with them. This was in Kronplatz and by midday we went to visit a museum on the mountain (Lumen, Museum of Photography) and then I could not bear even being standing around on them. A friend that is local there now, offered me her hiking boots and took my ski boots. She asked me why I have bought Lange when Lange are the thinner boots in the market… and I was thinking she was right, why have I done that?

Review on the Head Nexo Lyt 100 W G Ski Boots 2019
Review on the Head Nexo Lyt 100 W G Ski Boots 2019. A back adjustment is good if you need more space for your calves.

The next day I had to get some rental boots to keep on skiing – I really feel uncomfortable with rental boots as they tend to let my ankle slip up and is hard to find a snug fit for me that do not squeeze my toes. Talking to my husband on the phone he told me that I should go and get new boots, that he has heard me for very long that I could not bear my boots even though I’ve tried to mould them over the years – if he says so, that he never incentivises my expenditure, I’ve thought I should do that!

So as soon as I’ve landed back from Verona airport, my husband took me to our local ski shop: Finches Ski Emporium. What I like about it is that it is a family owned shop, and the guys there know what they sell, plus they are passionate about skiing. Being a skiing tech geek myself, I just like to go and see what they have, plus I trust them that they are looking for something that will be good for me, not trying to get me off quickly to get another client.

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A glance into the future: First ski and snowboard helmet with Augmented Reality is being tested in Schladming-Dachstein

On the visor of the Mohawk helmet, the user can call up various visual data such as speed, altitude and a navigation system. A glance into the future: First ski and snowboard helmet with Augmented Reality is being tested in Schladming-Dachstein.

A glance into the future:  First ski and snowboard helmet with Augmented Reality is being tested in Schladming-Dachstein

– The new “Mohawk” helmet is equipped with a miniature camera, a headset, GPS and a navigation system

– Various stats can be called up on the visor and the helmet enables live communication with friends via test messaging, audio and video

 

– Free trial for skiers and snowboarders in Schladming Planai resort

Ski helmets too are becoming “smart”. In a worldwide exclusive, visitors to the Austrian holiday region of Schladming-Dachstein are currently being offered the opportunity of trying out the ski and snowboard helmet “Mohawk”, which is equipped with the latest Augmented Reality (AR) technology. A built-in miniature camera scans the surroundings on the piste, and on the visor the user can call up various visual data such as speed, altitude and a navigation system. Built-in headphones and a microphone enable live communication with friends by text messaging, audio or video. Particularly useful: an SOS button that may save your life in an emergency situation.

You will find all the details online at www.schladming-dachstein.at/mohawk

Continue reading “A glance into the future: First ski and snowboard helmet with Augmented Reality is being tested in Schladming-Dachstein”