Long gone are the days when you took to the slopes with nothing more than sunglasses, a helmet and your skis. Today, you can arm yourself with a dizzying array of gadgetry for skiing and snowboarding, giving you a head-start on everything from your vision to your temperature.
So if you’re heading off on a ski holiday in the next few months, here are three incredible gadgets you might want to consider taking with you:
- Oakley Airwave 1.5 with HUD
Augmented reality (AR) has become big business in recent years, and it’s now made its way into these high-tech Oakley goggles, which have a HUD (heads-up display) built into them.
Not only do these goggles give you excellent field of view, visual clarity and glare protection, but they give you real-time information on your speed, distance, altitude, GPS location, temperature and a whole lot more, all delivered to the inside of your goggles on what appears as a 14-inch screen viewed from a distance of five feet.
The HUD can even track your friends (assuming they’re also wearing the goggles), and direct you down a mountain if you manage to get lost. They also allow you to view messages via smartphone connectivity, and even control your all-important playlists.
- Outdoor Research Captsone Heated Gloves
Tired of not being able to feel your fingers when you’re out on the slopes? Then you might like these 90% nylon gloves with a water-resistant goat lather palm, Gore-Tex insert, PrimaLoft insulation and smartphone-compatible sensor leather on the fingertips.
Oh, and did I mentioned they have heating elements running through the fingers and the backs of the hands, that can be controlled via fully customisable dials? They’re not cheap (retailing at $500 in the US), but they’re your best bet for keeping your digits comfortable and pain-free during a full day in the snow.
- Arcteryx Voltair Avalanche Air Bag
Air bags have grown in popularity over recent years, and for very good reason. Research has shown that airbags increase the survival rate of those caught in an avalanche dramatically, by keeping them at the top of the snow drift.
This airbag from Canadian firm Arcteryx is among the best of the bunch, doing away with traditional gas canisters and instead using a 22.2v lithium-ion polymer (rechargeable) battery to inflate the all-important bag.
It will set you back $1650 and it’s not the most glamourous, ‘show-off’ piece of tech you’ll find, but it might just save your life one day, and that’s easily worth the money in my book.