Best gear from SIA 2014
POC Fornix Communications Beats by Dre Helmet
Purists may disagree, but a soundtrack makes a ride down the hill that much more fun. Built into the ear pads of this award-winning EPS-lined helmet are headphones with the signature sinus-shaking bass engineered by the good doctor. The sound quality far exceeds any similar system on the market and, by way of an easy remote on the cord, you can switch tracks, change volume, and take phone calls.
Shred Slamcap Helmet
Shred, the company owned by Olympic ski racer Ted Ligety, introduced this new helmet which uses EPS and foam designed like a honeycomb in the interior. Upon impact, that honeycomb's second skin crumples first, better absorbing the blow to protect your head. It's an interesting concept that the company claims is safer than previous helmets.
Tecnica Mach 1 Boots
Rather than using the same squishy foam that composes most other ski boot liners, Tecnica uses a denser foam in the Machi One that's then heat molded to create deeper pockets around the ankles and heels. The result is greater comfort and more precise control from a boot that fits well right out of the box.
Oakley Flight Deck Goggles
Big goggles are still in. This frameless pair offers more peripheral vision than you probably need (not that that's a bad thing), while a thicker strap helps keep them in place on your helmet. Outriggers, which connect the strap to the goggle, help accommodate any helmet size.
Dynafit Beast 16 Bindings
All binding manufacturers are now making solid on-piste gear that also releases so that you can trek uphill on your skis. But Dynafit's Beast might be the best of that bunch. It only weighs about two pounds per binding but is beefy enough to inspire plenty of confidence whether you're ripping through moguls or carving up a steep groomer.