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Winter Magic

An avalanche of industry firsts improve your snowbound fun.

Winter Magic
  1. Trail running in a wool sweater is like wearing a hair shirt. Can you help?
    Wool is warm, even when wet, and it's nature's best moisture-wicking fabric. But it is itchy against the skin. With that in mind, Timberland teamed up with Malden Mills, the maker of Polartec fleece, to codevelop "Polartec Power Dry with Wool." With wool on the outside and moisture-wicking polyester on the inside, Timberland's Cadion Mountain Sweater Zip ($78) is both warm and soft against the skin, and as appropriate for trail running as it is for sitting at a café.

  2. I love both downhill and slalom. Am I forever resigned to carrying two pairs of skis?
    Rossignol has engineered the world's first ski that can be tuned on a whim for speed or maneuverability. Other skis are saddled with a fixed turning radius and are good for only one style of skiing. The Radical R11 Mutix ($1,299) features interchangeable arms that you attach with a special wrench to the top side of the ski to change the arc and radius of your turn. Use the long Mutix arms to get a shallow arc and a long-radius (15 meter) turn with power and speed for downhill racing. Or put on the short arms for a deeper arc and a tighter, shorter-radius (11 meter) turn for slalom.

  3. How can snowboarding be more like sitting at my desk?
    You need bindings as smart as your Aeron. High-performance snowboard bindings with stiff, high backs can dig into your calves as you lean back to throw yourself into a turn—when the move ought to be as comfortable as reclining in your office chair. So Burton, the snowboarding pioneer, engineered its new CO2 bindings ($300) to mimic Herman Miller's iconic chair. The bindings, like the chair, are constructed with an air-mesh back that conforms to the shape of the boot as you lean into it.

  4. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but they're dorky. Why can't I have really warm gloves that are cool?
    It's true. A mitten keeps your fingers together, warming your whole hand with their collective body heat. Brooks Sports created the HVAC Glove ($34), which uses heat-conducting silver threads knit throughout the inside of the glove in a three-dimensional weave to move heat from warm spots like your sweaty palms to cold spots like your fingers. The result: thermal equilibrium over the entire surface area of your hand.

  5. My snowshoes aren't snug enough. How can I get a better fit?
    Step into Tubbs snowshoes with 3D Fit binding technology, which works in three zones—forefoot, midfoot, and heel—to secure the binding to the boot. Each zone works independently to capture and hold the boot snugly in place without constricting the foot's movement or creating pressure points. 3D Fit bindings are featured on four series of Tubbs snowshoes: Venture ($160), Odyssey ($200), Wilderness ($230), and Ridgeline ($250). There are slight variations in each to account for the intended use. Venture is designed for rolling hills, Odyssey and Wilderness for trail hiking, and Ridgeline for backcountry hiking and mountaineering.

A version of this article appeared in the February 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.