Editors' Choice

Editors' Choice: The Best Gear of Winter 2018

Our top picks for fall and winter camping and adventuring.

For months, we toiled to find the best new winter gear. And after a season of chasing storms, harvesting powder, and pushing equipment beyond its limits, we took our favorites along with us for a final shakedown in Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains. There, the following 16 products emerged as undisputed champions of the fourth season.  

Ortovox Swisswool Tec Stretch Zebru Jacket


The Zebru isn’t the first jacket to use Swisswool, but it employs an even lighter, airier version of the fill, paired with a soft, polyamide fabric; the combo makes it the best wool midlayer we’ve ever tested. Read The Full Review

Buy Ortovox Swisswool Tec Stretch Zebru Jacket Now

Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Storm


The hat, which folds down to the size of a checkbook, is made of a wispy nylon/ polyester material that belies its properties: It’s 100 percent waterproof and boasts the maximum 50 UPF sun protection. Read The Full Review

Buy Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Storm Now

Therm-A-Rest Polar Ranger -20°F


When you’re camping in temps below zero, there’s a big difference between getting by and getting comfortable. This bag ensures you experience the latter, thanks to a slew of features designed to take the sting out of winter. And the whole package weighs just a few feathers over 3 pounds. Read The Full Review

Buy Therm-A-Rest Polar Ranger -20°F Now

Sierra Designs Nitro 800 0°F


The Nitro’s specs tell the whole story: a 0°F down bag that weighs 2.5 pounds and costs less than $400. There has to be a catch, right?

Nope. The Nitro is priced just right, and its 800-fill, PFC-free, hydrophobic down isn’t a compromise at all. Read The Full Review

Buy Sierra Designs Nitro 800 0˚F Now

G3 Zed


The ZED builds on G3’s ION, a tester favorite for its fuss- free design and forward heel pressure. Like the ION, the ZED has a wide-jawed toepiece that’s not only easier to get into than other tech bindings, but also absorbs more energy before releasing—meaning you’re less likely to pop out prematurely on a sketchy slope. Read The Full Review

Buy G3 Zed Now

Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour


Dynafit combined the cuff, spoiler, and shell into a static-locking system—it cams into itself, instead of using a latch which might get filled with ice or debris—that’s controlled by the lever; when it’s released, the three pieces separate, offering 55 degrees of ankle articulation. Read The Full Review 

Buy Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour Now

DPS Phantom Permanent Base Glide Treatment


Never wax again. Skiers, let that sink in—much the way that Phantom, a permanent base treatment, seeps into your ski. Apply it, and it makes your ski stronger and faster, while forever eliminating the need to wax. It’s an up-front investment for years of return performance. Read The Full Review

Buy DPS Phantom Permanent Base Glide Treatment Now

Outdoor Research Bitterblaze Gloves / Ouray Ice Gloves


Pick one: Warm hands or nimble fingers. That’s usually the choice with gloves, but not with the BitterBlaze (the women’s version is the Ouray Ice). The secret weapon here is PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel. Read The Full Review 

Buy Outdoor Research Bitterblaze Gloves / Ouray Ice Gloves Now

Merrell Thermo Rogue Tall Gore-Tex


If you were resigned to clunky winter boots for the sake of warm toes, there’s no longer a reason to settle. The Thermo Rogue has a slim profile that would look at home on a summer dayhike, but doesn’t skimp on warmth or features. Read The Full Review

Buy Merrell Thermo Rogue Tall Gore-Tex Now

Thule Roundtrip Snowsport Duffel 90L


Finding everything you need, realizing it won’t all fit in your duffel, making concessions, then shuffling to the car or (heaven forbid) through the airport with all your bags is a pattern we don’t love. Thankfully, the RoundTrip makes the whole rigmarole easier. Read The Full Review

Buy Thule Roundtrip Snowsport Duffel 90L Now

Decathlon Trek 100


When we first saw the price of this lightweight puffy, we thought it was a typo. A warm, packable jacket for $45? Believe it. Read The Full Review 

Buy Decathlon Trek 100 Now

Outdoor Research Crocodile


For three decades, from Mt. Rainier to Mt. Washington, the Crocodiles have kept our feet dry when we’ve postholed through snow, slush, or muddy sludge.Read The Full Review

Buy Outdoor Research Crocodile Now



The one and only. We’ve been throwing a Snickers (or several) into our food bags for decades now, and adding them to the shopping cart is as much a part of a backpacking trip as getting a permit. Read The Full Review

Buy Snickers Now

Kahtoola Microspikes


It’s been just over a decade since the MICROspikes debuted, and we’ve used them so often since then, it’s hard to remember what we did before. They solve a longtime dilemma: what to pack when crampons are overkill, but you need legit traction for steep, snowy terrain. Read The Full Review

Buy Kahtoola Microspikes Now

Gear Aid Seam Grip WP


“Like duct tape in a tube,” says one tester of this fix-anything substance. It is the literal glue that holds some of our most cherished gear together. Read The Full Review

Buy Gear Aid Seam Grip WP Now

Black Diamond Whippet Ski Pole


Put an ice axe pick on a ski pole and you get a Whippet—a niche winter tool favored by alpinists who want an extra measure of safety. Read The Full Review

Buy Black Diamond Whippet Ski Pole Now 

Check out the rest of the 2018 Winter Gear Guide