Gear Buzz: Product Picks from SIA

February 3 2012, 9:46 AM

Last week, thousands of snowsports enthusiasts and outdoor gear companies descended on Denver to showcase the latest products and trends at the annual SIA Snow Show. Amidst a maze (one could easily get lost—as I did—in the overwhelming rows) of booths, I caught up with some locally based companies to see what's on their docket for next season. My top picks:

Last month, HEAD announced that it was moving its winter division from Connecticut to Boulder. Now you can support a quasi-local company by carving on the same skis (pictured right) Simon Dumont rocked during X Games. Plus, HEAD's skis and snowboards incorporate some cool technology to make for a better on-mountain experience. I won't go into details; you can read all about it here.

Spyder (which has a base in Boulder) has created high-end outerwear for 40 years. Their new men's Rocket Down Jacket is a skiable down with separated sections that prevent feathers from breaking loose or gathering all in one spot—and help keep the jacket waterproof, a necessity on the slopes. (A similar version, the Aphrodite Down Jacket, is available for women.)  But my favorite accessory was this too-cool-for-school kids beanie (pictured) with a fleece lining. I might just buy one for my niece.

For backcountry-minded folks, almost nothing is better than Boulder-based Dynafit. Most ski boots are heavy and cramped, but Dynafit's are light enough for hiking fresh, untracked powder.

One of the beauties of living in Colorado is getting to ride fresh pow on sunny, bluebird days. And that also makes good eyewear even more important. Vail's Optic Nerve is a family-owned business churning out unique but functional goggles and sunglasses. Most come with interchangeable lenses (to go from sun to overcast), and the sunglasses have adjustable bridges and temples so they fit better and stay on your face even on the gnarliest mountain bike trails.