Tired of hibernating this winter? Here are several cool new devices to keep you challenged, warm, hydrated and safe in Southern California’s snowy mountains and beyond.
Smart ski helmet
What we like: Two of the best features are the built-in walkie-talkies that allow you to chat with other helmet users, and single-click Bluetooth phone calling that works in subzero temperatures. That means you don’t have to take out your phone and use headphones/AirPods to make a call. The helmet uses GPS positioning and fall-detection software to put out an SOS signal to emergency contacts if you crash into something. The Livall app also can record mileage, duration, speed, altitude and slope.
Info: livall.com; $159
Walking on the white stuff
What we like: These snowshoes offer the same superb exercise as higher-priced snowshoes. The EVO attaches with ratcheted straps and has a hard plastic decking. Aggressive toe crampons and side rails give these snowshoes great traction. For better flotation on softer snow, optional 6-inch tails can be attached to the 23-inch shoes. Recommended for beginners to intermediate users.
Info: msrgear.com; $139
What we like: This three-wheeled snow “tricycle” offers a different, exhilarating downhill experience that will be a thrill for skiers and snowboarders. Using the same motion as the street Trikke, you carve S-turns down the mountain. Not all ski areas allow you to use these; they’re currently allowed locally only at Mt. Baldy and Mountain High ski resorts.
Contact: Trikke.com; $1,100
Hydration pack perfect for cold
What we like: This hydration backpack with 3-liter reservoir and 9 liters of storage space has many features to help you fight dehydration on the slopes. An insulated suck-hose sleeve keeps water warm and the valve from freezing. The low-profile shape lies flat against your back for a more comfortable ride on the lift. The “snow-shed” back panel keeps snow from sticking. It has lots of pockets, all with large zipper tabs that are easy to grab while wearing gloves. External straps allow carrying skis diagonally.
Info: camelbak.com; $105
High-tech hand warmers
Zanier Heat STX gloves and Hot STX mittens
What we like: Both models are made of waterproof Sympatex material with thermal insulation.
That helps keep your hands warm in the deep freeze with a built-in heating element, electronic control system and lightweight (60-gram) lithium ion batteries concealed in the cuffs.
A switch lets you select three different warmth levels, which show up as a flame-shaped red, orange or yellow light. Both recharge overnight with a USB port.
Info: zanier.com; 299.99 euros/$349