Backcountry gear, equipment on display at annual snow sports show | SierraSun.com

Backcountry gear, equipment on display at annual snow sports show

Arn Menconi
Special to the Sun

DENVER and#8212; Day two of the SIA Snow Show dawned with a welcome snow storm in Denver and#8212; and reports of lots of fresh snow across Colorado and#8212; fitting in line of the increased emphasis on the backcountry at this year’s show.

More and more manufacturers are introducing or featuring their backcountry equipment, gear and outerwear. Traditional and#8220;outdoorand#8221; brands are also working their way into the ski and snowboard industry.

Familiar ski and snowboard brands and#8212; from Helly Hansen to Burton to The North Face and#8212; are emphasizing their backcountry offerings. And it seems as though every snowboard manufacturer is featuring a split board and#8212; a snowboard that splits into two pieces for skinning up slopes in the backcountry.

Not surprisingly, some manufacturers are combining the cool factor of streetwear designs with the functionality of ski and snowboard outerwear that include wicking fabrics and moisture repellant finishes and coatings.

It was inevitable that snowboard styles would continue to evolve, and it’s safe to say that more and more companies are increasing their more fitted options. Not that we’re returning to the days of stretch pants, but more modest relaxed fit options are gaining on the baggy set.

Some manufacturers are also touting the ‘sustainability’ of their clothing lines, utilizing recycled materials in their clothing, or manufacturing clothing that breaks down easily and safely in the environment.

New technology continues to feature strongly at the show. 686 has introduced its “Death Grip” system, cuff system that keeps sleeves in place. And The North Face has introduced an airbag system, woven into a vest, designed to bring a skier or snowboarder to the surface of an avalanche.

Seirus Innovation is introducing six models of a heated glove in their Heattouch line (I didn’t want to take this glove off!) Each has three settings, takes just two hours to charge and lasts for six hours. and#8220;Our new technology includes a micro technology heating element and super featherweight batteries that allow us to heat any glove for up to six hours to keep the consumer warm throughout the ski day. We have six models from full leather insulated and an all-weather, form fitting hyperlight glovesand#8221; said Mike Carey of Seirus Innovation.

Seirus is also introducing a glove with a conductive material on the index finger that allows you to operate a touch screen without taking off your gloves.

and#8212; Arn Menconi, executive director of Avon, Colo.-based youth nonprofit SOS Outreach, is on the road attending various ski and snowboard industry trade shows and conferences. He’ll be sending periodic dispatches from the events, telling readers what’s new and interesting in the world of snow sports. This dispatch comes from the SnowSports Industries America Snow Show in Denver.