Top winter gear picks for skiing, hiking and more
Regardless of how you explore this winter, you'll want to make sure you bring the right gear.
What to know: As our resident gear junkie who works on the side in the outdoor retail industry — her are top winter picks for newcomers and experienced explorers.
For newcomers: The first two purchases I made upon moving to Colorado were key to extending the hiking season: Snow spikes and snowshoes.
- I recommend Kahtoola microspikes, which are strong and make you feel invincible on ice and snow, and MSR's indestructible and lightweight snowshoes. I'm still wearing my original pairs after eight seasons.
Pro tip: If you're new to skiing or riding, between sizes, or not quite sure what gear to buy, get a season-long rental package. It's the most cost-efficient way to play, and often comes with free tuning and waxing.
- Christy Sports is such a popular seasonal rental location, they often sell out. Packages start at $159 for kids and $229 for adults.
- At Larson's Ski and Sport in Wheat Ridge, season-long rentals range from $95-$220 for kids and $150-$340 for adults, depending on the package.
- Other season rentals are available at Vail-owned Epic sports, Outabounds in Centennial and Evo in Denver.
Here are four more top gear picks:
Rumpl mat: Drape this over your tailgate or back bumper to avoid getting covered in road grime while you put on boots and gear. (Doubles as a picnic blanket in the summer, too.)
- Pro tip: Pair it with a Boulder-based Adventure Mat for your feet.
Weston Mission series: The Skyline skis and Ridgeline boards from this Colorado company (with home bases in Minturn and Lakewood) are beautiful in their bold colors, inspired by red-tailed hawks and designed by Vernan Kee, a member of the Navajo Nation.
Lenz heated gear: Being cold is no longer an excuse for not wanting to go outside in the winter. Start with Lenz heated socks — because no one likes cold toes — and then move to heated gloves.
Goodr sunglasses: In Colorado, it snows and then turns sunny. The combo of brightness means you'll need a pair of glasses that won't fall off your face when adventuring.
- The rubber coating on Goodr glasses — along with the affordable price point — makes them the best pick.
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