Snow sports are heavily gear oriented and ski gadgets are part of every self-respecting snow-bum’s kit list. You can even convince yourself that a ski holiday is completely impossible without the latest NASA spec technical equipment. Nevermind that people have been getting about on planks of wood without bluetooth-piste-side-manufacturer-support for centuries.
There is one thing for sure – snow sports are considerably more comfortable now than they were even 10 years ago. The advent of super hi-tech fabrics, lightweight skis and boots and the heated chairlift with wifi, has gone some way to making life on the slopes more bearable but it’s the completely unnecessary thingimies that have made ALL the difference!
Here’s our pick of timeless ski gadgets you’ll wonder how you ever survived without.
1) Drysure boot dryers
Boot heaters are a no-no in our opinion. Unless your boots are bone dry to begin with, all that’s going to happen when you stick a heated element in them is that you’re going to get an outbreak of some sort of toe-munching bacteria. At the very least, they will end up smelling like wet Labrador and that’s not ok. Drysure is made of fancy reusable silica oxide bead sack and a plastic case – no electricity required. It sucks up the moisture and then you leave them out or stick them in a warm oven to dry out again. Perfect for #vanlife bums like us. Very clever, no-nonsense, British invention. There are also shorter versions for shoes.
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2) Massive solid state hard drive
No snow sports enthusiast can go on a ski holiday without an action camera, a 360 camera, a drone and an SLR with a wide-angle lens. One day of collecting footage will consume a colossal amount of your laptop hard drive so take a solid-state drive with you to download your content each night. Our pick is the LaCie rugged – they come in loads of sizes but this 4 terabyte is more than enough for most ski trips and it’s USB-C so comparable with all our gear.
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3)EDZ Merino Socks
If there’s one thing that people from Cumbria know about it’s cold, wet feet. That’s why we chose EDZ. This is one place where a bit of old fashioned sheep’s wool is the undisputed solution to combating foot related misery. They’ve lasted two seasons now without thinning or reduced performance and they are, as merino, scentless – even after more wear than is technically hygienic!
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4)Point 65 BoblBee – backpack and spine protector
In lieu of a ski-sherpa to carry our bits and bobs, a backpack is a good alternative. I resisted a backpack for years, offloading lip balm and wallets on other people. I gave in this year and have concluded that carrying a backpack is awesome. You don’t have to justify every little thing you want to take and if you’re traveling in a motorhome like we are, being able to take valuables is really important. The Boblbee is our choice – designed exclusively to protect baguettes from crush injuries (and spines too), it also doubles as a bench/ sledge and has loads of accessories you can customise to your particular needs. Not cheap but James’s is still going strong after 10 years. More than can be said for anything else he owns.
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5) Heated Gloves
There are tonnes of hand warming products on the market but the Outdoor Research (OR) Stormtracker heated gloves and mittens get our vote. OR products are serious and so they should be when it comes to mixing wet conditions with electric stuff! There’s a really good video on their YouTube channel that you can check out here where you can see just how they went about making something this game changing.
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There you have it. Fail safe ways to make your ski holiday infinitely more enjoyable.
If you want to check out more of our reviews and tests on various motorhome, campervan and skiing related gear, you can find a wide range of stuff from the best deep freeze screen wash and generators to ski helmets and snowshoes at TESTED BY WINTERIZED.