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Backcountry Skis, Shells, Boots at Outdoor Retailer

by Alicia MacLeay
January 8, 2016

Skiers in search of backcountry gear will find an abundance of new and updated equipment at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show. To get started, check out these ski and ski-mountaineering gear highlights from Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Gregory, and Osprey.

Arc'teryx Alpha SV Shell

Introduced in 1988 for alpinists and expedition climbers, the Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket (above) has been completely redesigned with N100p-X face fabric laminated to waterproof-breathable, three-layer Gore-Tex Pro. Arc'teryx says the Alpha SV is now lighter weight (men's 475 g, women's 435 g) and twice as durable as its award-winning predecessor. It also features RS Zipper Sliders, an exclusive Arc'teryx self-sealing zipper technology that eliminates zipper covers. 

The newest Alpha SV will be available fall 2016 (MSRP $749).

Arc'teryx Procline Ski/Alpine Boots

Skiing into an ice climb? Combining a mixed ice/rock ascent with a technical ski descent? You'll only need one pair of boots with the hybrid Procline boot from Arc'teryx.

The company’s first ski alpinism boot claims all the features of a classic alpine climbing boot, including crampon compatibility, with those of a lightweight ski mountaineering boot. The Procline features a two-piece carbon fiber upper cuff system that rotates vertically (75º) and laterally (23º / 12º) and comes equipped with Dynafit certified pin inserts.

The Procline will be available in fall 2016 in men's and women's models ($750), plus a unisex Procline Carbon model ($1,000).


Black Diamond Helio Collection

Ski mountaineers looking for a curated gear collection will want to check out Black Diamond's Helio Collection. The Helio Shell is Black Diamond’s lightest Gore-tex jacket to date and features Gore-Tex C-Knit backer for packability and soft-to-touch construction.

The Helio Ski line includes models in 116, 105, 95, and 88 mm widths. All models feature a pre-preg carbon fiber layup that Black Diamond says "makes it extremely light with a balanced flex and supreme edge control" for backcountry skiers who want "technical precision and soft snow performance." The incredibly light, inflation-molded, carbon fiber Helio Poles weigh just 265 grams per pair and come in several fixed lengths.

The Cirque 30 and 35 ski packs feature a clean and simple design and come in AvaLung-ready versions. The Couloir mountaineering harness has been upgraded with compact Fusion Comfort Construction and a Speed buckle to drop 16 grams.

La Sportiva Vapor Float Skis

La Sportiva introduced the Vapor Float (above left), a touring powder ski. It's 117mm underfoot and weighs only 1,500 grams, thanks to Carbon Nanotube technology. The Vapor Float will come in three lengths—166, 178, and 189 cm (MSRP $1,299). 


La Sportiva Spectre and Sparkle 2.0 Ski Boots

Also underfoot, La Sportiva updated its Spectre 2.0 (above left) and Sparkle 2.0 (above right), "the lightest four-buckle ski boots on the market," according to the brand. The Spectre 2.0 and Sparkle 2.0 went through months of testing by labs in Italy to identify deformation points, resulting in a five percent stiffer boot.

Both boots are compatible with all tech, step-in, and SkiTrab TR2 bindings, and are the first ski boots to do so (MSRP $679).


Osprey Backcountry Ski Packs

for fall/winter 2016 Osprey is introducing a series of backcountry ski and snowboard packs, including its first women’s-specific backcountry model. The Kresta (women's) and Kamber (men's) packs feature gender-specific fits, avalanche safety kit pockets, dry pocket access, diagonal ski carry, vertical front panel and horizontal backpanel snowboard carry, and helmet carry.

The packs will be available as the Kamber 22 or Kresta 20 ($150), Kamber 32 or Kresta 30 ($170), and Kamber 42 or Kresta 40 ($190). Additionally, Osprey's Kamber ABS Compatible Series integrates with ABS Vario airbag avalanche systems.


Gregory Targhee Updated

Gregory has updated its Targhee ski packs for winter 2016. The updated Targhees will come in three sizes—26L32L, and 45L. It feature Gregory’s Verteflex suspension for load transfer, torsional flexibility and range of motion while skiing, and increased abrasion resistance.

“We’ve worked with athletes across several continents to simplify and lighten the ski-carry systems, while maintaining the versatility and the reliability we expect in the backcountry,” says John Sears, VP of Product Development & Design at Gregory ($169 to $209).


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