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CNET doesn't usually write up ski equipment, but with more winter sports gear going high-tech -- and mingling with the high-tech gear we carry day-to-day -- we thought we'd have some fun rounding up some of the more innovative gear as we head into the peak ski season.

While most of the gear in the roundup is battery-powered, not everything has a power component to it. In some cases, we've included items that have high-tech materials or cutting-edge designs.

We'll be updating this feature with new products as we hear about them and test them out (it was originally published in 2015).

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GoPro Hero8 Black

We recently awarded an Editors' Choice award to GoPro's new top-of-the-line GoPro cam, the Hero8 Black ($350). Here's what CNET editor Josh Goldman had to say about it:

"So what's the big new feature for the Hero 8 Black that makes it so great? Well, I'm not sure there is one. Instead there are a lot of feature tweaks and updates that make it generally easier to use and a better camera regardless of what you're shooting. Also, the camera was redesigned to get rid of the frame that was required to mount the camera. What you'll see instead is that GoPro actually built its mounting fingers into the camera. This is fantastic for me since I hated that frame -- I would occasionally forget it and then couldn't mount the camera. It also blocked the battery and microSD card slot, which is now on the right side with a USB-C port. That means even when it's mounted you can easily swap batteries and cards as well as charge it. And it's still waterproof to 10 meters (33 feet)."

Read: Best action cams of 2019

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Glade Adapt goggles with photochromatic lens

If you don't want to pay upward of $200 for a set of Smith I/O goggles, there are plenty of more affordable alternatives, including those from Colorado-based Glade, which prides itself on making goggles that offer similar or better performance than high-end models from other companies for a lot less.

The big deal is its Adapt goggle include a Photochromatic Flux lens for $109. For those who don't know what a photochromatic lens is, it's one that changes colors according to the lighting conditions you experience. In other words, it's the chameleon of lenses and typically photochromatic goggles cost a lot more.

See Adapt goggle with Photochromatic Flux Lens at Glade.

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GoPro Hero7 Black

With the new GoPro Her8 out, GoPro's former top-of-the-line Hero7 Black is down to $300 with a memory card and extra battery. Still an excellent action cam (and we think it's the better deal), it has all the features of its predecessor, the Hero6 Black, but adds things to make it better for social networks. Those include vertical shooting for photos and videos, livestreaming straight from the camera, clip length limits of 15 or 30 seconds and a self-timer for photos.

Alongside the Black, GoPro has the Hero7 Silver and White models priced at $299 and $199, respectively. We're more partial to the Hero7 Black, however.

If you're having trouble deciding which model to get, check out editor Josh Goldman's best action cams of 2019.

$229 at Amazon
Read First Take
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GoPro Hero6 Black

The GoPro Hero6 Black has been discontinued, but it's still kicking around and you can get it at a nice discount in "renewed" form (around $180 on Amazon). The former top-of-the-line model remains a good action cam, with custom-designed processor, the GP1, that delivers faster frame rates at higher resolutions. The Hero6 Black can record 4K 2,160-pixel resolution clips at 60 frames per second, which can give fast action a smoother look. And if you're into slow-motion clips, you can record in 2.7K at 120fps and 1080p at 240fps.

Read more: Best action cams of 2019

$309 at Amazon
Read Full Review
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Smith 4D MAG goggles

Smith 4D MAG ($280) are the company's current top-of-the-line goggles. They feature a wider field of view (25% wider compared to the I/O Mag, according to Smith) and a 5x antifog inner lens with AirEvac Integration Technology that helps reduce fogging. Changing the lenses is easy -- one low-light and one bright light lens are included -- with the MAG system. Two levers release the lens, which adheres magnetically to the goggle.

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Smith I​/O MAG XL

If you wear glasses, the $240 I/O MAG XL is a good choice, albeit a fairly expensive one.

The MAG XL is the new MAG lens change system which features -- you guessed it -- magnets to easily swap out lenses, as well as a 5x antifog inner lens with AirEvac Integration Technology that helps reduce fogging.

The goggle comes in several different flavors (by flavors I mean ChromoPop lens colors) and you get two lenses with the goggle.

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Abom antifog goggles

Some ski goggles uses little fans to help circulate the air inside them and keep them from fogging up. But that doesn't always work. Enter Abom, which works more like the defroster in the rear window of your car.

The goggle has an invisible heat-conductive film between a two-part lens. Touch a button and a rechargeable battery sends a current through the film to heat the lens and keep it from fogging up. "It's the most powerful, comfortable, effective technology ever put in a goggle," Abom says.

The Carl Zeiss lens comes in several color options for different weather conditions (the versatile gray lens is in our sample unit) and the goggle itself is also available in different accent colors.

Battery life is rated at around 6 hours in "active mode." But there's also a boost mode that just gives you a quick antifogging for 10 minutes and then the battery shuts down until you want to activate the current again.

Abom sells the original Abom One (around $250) and the newer Abom Heet ($279). Sometimes you'll find a sale at

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Seirus HeatTouch Hellfire

Seirus' flagship HeatTouch Hellfire glove is available for $425 for men or women. The glove hasn't changed for the 2019 to 2020 season, but the battery was upgraded last year to a more slimmed-down version with increased battery life.

At the low-heat setting you can get up to 12 hours of battery life, with medium pegged at around 8 hours and high at 4 hours.

See it at Seirus.

It's also available in a mitten for $425.

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Spy Legacy goggles

Another goggle with a wide field of view is the Spy Legacy ($230), which is something of a throwback for the company (it says it's returning to its roots with the retro strap, thus the name). The goggles use the new color and contrast enhancing Happy Lens, which makes "bluebird days bluer, bumps bumpier, and your sightline crisper and clearer than ever." Two lenses are included, one for flat light.

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Smith Level helmet

Smith's Level helmet is one of the company's newer models, and at $200, it's more affordable than the company's top-of-the-line Quantum. It doesn't have quite as much protection as that model, but it's lighter at 19 ounces (550 grams) and is equipped with the MIPS brain-protection system and many of Smith's high-tech helmet features such as its Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd (a honeycomb-like, eco-friendly polymer) and its XT2 antibacterial performance lining. I found it to be a very comfortable helmet that's easily adjustable and has good ventilation. It's available in multiple color options.

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Jabra Elite 75t

The Jabra Elite 75t ($180), the more compact successor to the popular Elite 65t, is a top-rated set of water-resistant true wireless earphones that I've worn underneath my helmet. Like with the 65t, the microphones are sensitive enough that I was able to take calls with them even though they were covered by my helmet. (I can't say this will work with every helmet, but I have tried it with a few helmets without a problem.)

Battery life is boosted to 7.5 hours with this new model, which should get you through the day. You can always charge up at lunch, of course. Read the full CNET review .

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Spyder Hokkaido GTX Jacket

Spyder makes plenty of jackets and other outerwear but one of my favorite resort jackets is the Hokkaido ($800), named for Japan's deep powder skiing capital. It's relatively lightweight and very comfortable while managing to be quite warm. It's equipped with four-way Gore-Tex stretch fabric and Primaloft Gold Eco technologies along with a core ventilation system and the RECCO Advanced Rescue system to help locate you in the event of an avalanche. I like it best in blue but it comes in other color options.

The closest jacket to it for women is probably the Brava GTX ($600).

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Smith Code helmet

In the past, I've highlighted Smith's Vantage helmet, which has a visor. The Code orients more toward snowboarders and free riders, but a lot of mainstream skiers like its streamlined look.

Smith didn't change anything in this year's model from last year's -- except for the color options. It packs in most of Smith's latest technologies (they're in the Vantage as well). On the inside, instead of hard foam you'll find Koroyd inserts that, from the top, look like a honeycomb with circular (not hexagonal) cylinders. The high-tech material is made of lightweight, eco-friendly polymer extruded tubes that are thermally welded together to form a strong layer of protection that also allows for good air flow. (Smith has added other materials and design elements to the helmet and is marketing the whole protection package as "Aerocore construction.")

Beyond the fancy padding, there's the BOA FS360 fit system (with a 360-degree halo design), which helps you get a snug, "custom" fit. And new this year: a Wayfinder strap system featuring Fidlock that's basically a quick-release magnetic system that makes it easier to open and close the strap.

The helmet only comes in a MIPS version, which offers increased protection. In a MIPS Brain Protection System, the shell and liner are separated by a low-friction layer that "allows the helmet to slide relative to the head."

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Zeal Optics goggles

Zeal goggles have excellent optics and a wide field of view, and many feature the company's Rail Lock System (RLS) that makes the lenses easy to change and the goggles easy to vent when you're in hiking mode.

The base models with standard lenses are pretty affordable, ranging from $129 to $159. Things get more expensive when you move to the Automatic Plus GB lens, which is photochromic and changes quickly with the lighting and works in any condition. Add that Automatic Plus lens and the price goes up to $279.

A lot of people like the Hatchet (on the left in the photo above), which is available for $159 with the Optimum lens (nonphotochromic) of your choice along with a complimentary Sky Blue Mirror lens. 

I like the Portal XL (on right), which also starts at $159 for the standard two-lens option. It has the widest field of view and is an OTG goggle that allows you to wear glasses.

The new Hemisphere, starting at $130, has a spherical frame that's designed with upper and lower ventilation, triple-layer face foam and is available in a variety of lens options. It doesn't have the RLS system but the lens quality is quite good for the price. 

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Giro Range MIPS

GoPro cameras come with helmet-mount accessories, but it's also nice to have a helmet like the $250 Giro Range MIPS that has a GoPro mount integrated right into it (the GoPro Hero Session in the picture is not included). The camera attaches right to the front of the helmet, instead of the top, which allows you to avoid the Teletubby look. Of course, if you have the camera on the front of your helmet, you can't rest your goggles there.

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Phoozy thermal case

When your phone gets too cold its battery drains faster and if it's really cold, it might even shut off. That's where the Phoozy ($30) comes in.

A simple sleeve or "capsule" for smartphones, the Phoozy has a Chromium Thermal Barrier Shell and SpaceTech Penetration Layer, as well as a bit of velcro to keep it closed at the top. That will help keep your phone warm on extra cold days and help preserve battery life. It will also keep your phone from overheating.

Phoozy pouches now come in a few different versions and sizes. I personally like the original, which starts at $30 and fits most phones up to 6.1 inches. The newer XP3 ($50) is larger and designed for 6.5-inch or larger phones.

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Helly Jackson Jacket

Helly Hansen's Jackson jacket for men and women has a "denim" look that's inspired by Wyoming's cowboys and cowgirls. It's a higher-end resort parka ($700) that's relatively lightweight (for a parka) and is very comfortable to wear. It incorporates four-way stretch Helly Tech Professional waterproof and breathable outer fabric, PrimaLoft insulation and Helly's H2Flow system, which helps keeps you dry, warm or cool, depending on the conditions.

This jacket features Helly's updated Life Pocket Plus with Aerogel Insulation. It's a fancy way of saying the jacket has a special insulated pocket to keep your phone from getting cold, which leads to diminished battery life.

It's also got plenty of interior pockets for your electronics and goggles and like Helly's other higher-end ski jackets, has the Recco Advanced Rescue system to help locate you in the event of an avalanche.

The woman's version is cut differently (of course!) and comes in different color options from the men's version, including white, but has the same general look and features.

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Developed by a Swiss startup, Snowcookie is a smart ski tracking system that captures your speed and technique and sends all the data to an app on your iPhone (an Android app in the works). The app breaks down the numbers and gives you feedback on your stamina, turn quality, engagement, style and body position, and gives you feedback on whether you're improving and leveling up.

Starting at $350, the system is actually made up of three sensors, two of which dock on your skis (you remove them to charge them but the mount stays on your ski) and another that you wear on your chest that makes you look a tad like Iron Man. I got a walkthrough of the system but haven't tried it on the slopes yet.

You can check out Snowcookie's promo video here.

Published:Caption:Photo:David Carnoy/CNET
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GoPro Max

From CNET Editor Josh Goldman:

GoPro took everything it learned from users of its Fusion 360 camera and created the Max ($500), a smaller, lighter and all-around better version of a 360 camera. Not only can the Max's dual cameras capture 360-degree videos and photos, but more importantly, you can use its app to turn that 360-degree video into standard widescreen clips while also easily reframing to whatever subject you want to focus on. Since you're capturing the whole scene, you can basically create the look of multiple camera angles without moving the Max from a single position. Read CNET's first take.

Read more: Best action cams of 2019

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Elevenate Ski M Fusion jacket and pants

Elevenate Ski is a Swedish brand-new to the US market. It makes lots of ski apparel, including some high-end technical jackets and shells, but its M Fusion is one of the more eye-catching mid-layer jacket and pant combos you'll find. The company describes them as a "hybrid of a mid-layer and an insulation jacket [or pants], making it a really warm and technical mid-layer for cold days." 

The jacket fits snuggly and is equipped with Pontetorto Tecnostretch fabric (made with recycled polyester) in the sleeves and side panels. Also, the synthetic insulation is Bluesign-certified (Bluesign-certified textiles are produced under an eco-friendly manufacturing system).

The jacket is $230 and the pants are $200. They are also available in black.

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North Face Futurelight Freethinker shell

North Face's Freethinker jacket ($500) in its Steep Series uses the company's new high-tech Futurelight material, which is waterproof, breathable and keeps you remarkably warm considering how thin it is. This is a shell, so you'll want to wear another layer underneath it, and it does run a little large (a medium feels like a large). Good for skiers and snowboarders, it's available in a few different color options.

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Hyperice Hypervolt

After a day of shredding, this is just what you need.

Hyperice calls its Hypervolt ($350) "a cordless state-of-the-art vibration massage device that helps relax sore and stiff muscles to improve mobility." It has its competitors, including the Theragun and DYI versions that are based on a jigsaw design. But the Hypervolt is arguably the best massage gun at this price point, partially because it's relatively quiet.

With three different vibration speeds, it's shockingly powerful (top speed is 3,200 percussions per minute) and it's great for breaking down lactic acid and loosening up sore muscles -- or just warming them up.

You get four head attachments and up to 3 hours of battery life from the built-in rechargeable battery. While it may seem expensive, it's definitely a well-designed therapeutic device that's not just for serious athletes.

The newer step-up Hypervolt Plus ($450) is also available and sometimes is on sale for $50 less. It comes with an extra head attachment and is 30% more powerful but just as quiet as the standard Hypervolt. 

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Rylo 360-degree action cam

Rylo is one of a handful of 360-degree cameras that shows promise (for this type of video camera), with a November (2018) software update improving the camera's 360-degree video capture from 4K to 5.8K resolution.

As editor Josh Goldman wrote, "The small dual-lens camera shoots stable immersive spherical video, but it's what you can do after you shoot that's awesome."

Once $500, you can find the Rylo for closer to $250 with a 16GB microSD card for storage and a protective pouch. An optional protective waterproof housing is also available. You'd need that for skiing.

Read the article
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MagneMask Bandit Combo Hinged Headliner

Seirus' Magnemask Bandit Combo Hinged Headliner is a fleece ski mask that has magnetic seams so you can easily pull the mask off your face and slip it back on again when you need it. Comes in multiple size options and lists for $50. The company also sells a Magnemask Combo Clava that has slightly thicker material (Neofleece) to cover your face. I found the MagneMask Bandit Combo Hinged Headliner more comfortable.

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Garmin Fenix 6 Series

What's the best ski watch? Well, Garmin's Fenix 6 is arguably the one to beat. With features that include a three-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter, it automatically tracks your individual runs along with your speed, distance and vertical drop data. New in this model: Preloaded maps for 2,000 resorts -- and the maps are optimized to show run names with difficulty.

Besides skiing, the watch has a wide variety of other sport profiles, including running, biking, swimming, hiking, triathlons, climbing, rowing and paddle boarding. It comes in a few different versions, including a high-end model with solar charging. It starts around $600 but the Sapphire version pictured here goes for closer to $800.

$300 at Amazon
Read First Take
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Sena Latitude SX helmet (with speakers and microphone)

Sena's Latitude SX helmet has built-in Bluetooth speakers and a microphone. It's a little heavier than I like my helmets to be, but the prominent buttons are well-placed for adjusting volume levels, controlling music playback and answering/ending calls. I found that the helmet ran slightly big. The sound is decent, not great -- the quality does improve with a proper, snug fit where the speakers are close to your ears and there's good sound isolation in the helmet. 

The helmet also offers walkie-talkie functionality with a four-way intercom that allows you to communicate with up to three other users (who also must own Sena helmets) within a range of 900m. The helmet does work well for making calls and there's a companion app for iOS and Android.

While not as comfortable as, say, the higher-end Smith helmets in this roundup, the Latitude is fairly affordable at $120.  

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Yi 4K Plus Action Camera

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to a GoPro camera, the Yi 4K Plus Action Cam is as good as the GoPro Hero 7 Black as far as features and video quality go, but it's just $220 with a waterproof dive housing included. CNET's action cam reviewer Josh Goldman says its electronic image stabilization isn't quite as good as GoPro's HyperSmooth, but it's definitely better than nothing.

You also get shooting options like 4K video at 60 fps (with image stabilization at 30 fps), 1080p slow-motion video at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps, time-lapse photos and videos, livestreaming and raw photo capture. You don't get anything more than the camera, a battery, the housing, and charging and external mic cables, but if your main concern is getting good photos and video for less than a GoPro, this is a safe bet. Read more about the Yi 4K Plus.

Read: Best action cams of 2019

$200 at Amazon
Read Full Review
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Chaval SuperNova heated mitts

I tried Chaval's earlier (now discontinued) Response-XRT heated gloves and thought they performed well in bitter cold East Coast ski conditions, though the gloves weren't quite as comfortable as the Seirus gloves I tried.

Its new SuperNova heated mitts are quite comfortable and feature Chaval's AlphaHeat 3.1 technology, which "thinks for you, automatically adjusting through infinite levels of heat to keep your hands perfectly warm."

Like other heated gloves, Chavals are expensive. They'll run you $425. And overall battery life is similar to that of other heated gloves -- between 4 and 6 hours.

My only gripe is that I couldn't wear a watch or fitness band with the gloves. The electronics in the gloves are embedded in the gloves right around wrist level and pressed against the Samsung Galaxy Watch I was wearing on one wrist and a Garmin fitness band on my other wrist. That wasn't comfortable.

It's also worth mentioning that heated gloves are heavier than standard gloves and typically come with a bulky charger like the one seen in the picture (it's a shame they don't charge via USB-C). That means they take up more room (and more weight) in your luggage should you be traveling with them.

It also is available in a glove version called the SuperNova Glove for $425.

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Oros Endeavour Gloves

The claim to fame of Oros' new Endeavor gloves ($90) is they're equipped with a patented flexible Aerogel composite, made up of Aerogel and closed cell foam that it calls Solarcore. The company says it's "the best insulation in the universe" after being industry-standard tested (ASTM C518) against more than 250 other insulations -- everything from goose down to all the major synthetics out there. Available in black or teak (pictured), they're very comfortable gloves and kept my hands warm in 20-degree temps on the east coast.

Oros also makes an Endeavor Mitten (also $90). For really cold temps I'd go with that.

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Seirus Heatwave Sock Liner

You've heard of glove liners. Well, these are sock liners, designed to lock in the heat from your foot. They're not cheap but they do help with the cold. You just have to have the right sock to fit over them (and the double sock situation can impact the fit of your boot).

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K2 Recon 120 MV Heat Ski Boots

K2 has two ski boots with USB-rechargeable Thermic heat technology built right into the liners. The Recon 120 MV Heat ($650), the higher-end of the two models (the other is the wider B.F.C. 100), is now lighter and more comfortable to wear. It's geared to more advanced skiers. The 2020 model is available for preorder and should ship soon. I've used an earlier version and while the heat doesn't necessarily make your feet toasty, it does keep your toes from freezing on very cold days.

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Carv Digital Ski Instructor

Private lessons have gotten really expensive, so why not get a virtual one?

Carv is a digital ski coach that combines some hardware that you attach to your boots with an iOS app (Android coming soon) that delivers real time feedback about how you're skiing.

I'm still waiting to try this out but initial reviews have been positive and the software has recently been updated to version 2.0 with some small hardware enhancements, including a more compact battery with the same battery life.

Carv lists for $300. That's less than what a single full-day private lesson would cost you at most resorts -- at least in the US.

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Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm jacket

The first thing you'll notice about Eddie Bauer's BC EverTherm jacket is that while it's a lot lighter than many higher-end resort jackets, it manages to keep you warm in pretty chilly conditions.

That lighter feel is due the company's new Thindown fabric, which the folks at Eddie Bauer say "replaces traditional, high-loft down clusters with ultrathin down sheets, eliminating the need for quilting or channels." It also creates "maximum thermal efficiency without bulk, and since the down is uniform throughout, there are no cold spots."

The jacket comes in black or red (which is really nice) and lists for $500 but can be had on sale for less. It's currently $250.

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Hitcase Pro

The iPhone shoots good video, but only the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have wide-angle lenses like the GoPro and other action cams. That's where an accessory company like Hitcase comes in. It, along with a few other companies, makes waterproof cases that have built-in wide-angle lenses that turn your iPhone into an action camera (the Hitcase lens is all glass and has a 170-degree angle of view).

The Hitcase Pro has a railslide mount system that's GoPro mount-compatible. That said, the optional chest mount -- the $50 ChestR -- is really the way to go. What's nice is that the swivel mechanism on the mount allows you to tilt your phone down in front of you to use the touch screen. You can then tilt it back when you're ready to start shooting again. It also detaches from the mount pretty easily, allowing you to talk into your phone as you normally would.

Click here for more info on Hitcase products.

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Celestron Elements Hand Warmer and Charger

If you're looking for an external battery to carry around to charge your phone on the slopes, you might as well get one that also warms your hands. Available in three models, the Celestron Elements ThermoCharge heats up quickly to reach a maximum of 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). The larger model can deliver up to 10 hours of continuous heat. One model includes a flashlight.

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North Face Steep Patrol gloves

North Face's Steep Patrol gloves ($140) have a waterproof cowhide leather exterior and something that North Face calls "The Future" on the inside (it incorporates the company's Futurelight material). Designed to mold to your hands over time, they have a snug fit with "Radiametric Articulation" that's supposed to keep your hands in their natural relaxed position.

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Smith Wildcat Sunglasses

This is Smith's goggle-sunglass hybrid, the Wildcat ($200). Constructed with the same materials used in Smith goggles, the Wildcat provides lots of eye coverage and good airflow but has the comfort of a more lightweight pair of sunglasses. The Wildcat comes with a bright light ChromaPop lens and a secondary clear lens for flat-light overcast days. It's available in three color options.

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Hyperice Hypersphere

Here's one for après-ski: A vibrating massage ball. What's that? Exactly what it sounds like.

Five inches in diameter, the Hyperice Hypersphere is a supercharged ball that vibrates at high speeds -- there are three settings -- and is designed to release tension in your muscles. For those who use a ball or foam roller during stretching sessions, the Hypersphere (and other Hyperice products) add a high-tech element to trigger point therapy.

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Hyperice Hypersphere Mini

Hyperice's original Hypersphere massage ball ($150) is quite powerful but a bit on the large side and requires its own power adapter to charge it. Meanwhile, the new smaller Hypersphere Mini ($99) -- about the size of a softball (3-inch diameter) -- charges with a Micro-USB cable and actually works better for rolling out your muscles, with three speeds to choose from. It also travels better.

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MyCharge Adventure Series chargers

MyCharge's rugged external battery chargers come in a few different capacities and start at around $25. With a water-resistant design, the line is pretty ideal for skiers, although you have to bring your own charging cables.

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Hyperice Venom

The final "sports therapy" product worth considering from Hyperice is the Venom, a $250 portable heat and vibration back device. It's a bit noisy but has a variety of vibration types and speeds, as well as a strong heat element, that does provide some lower back relief.

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Seirus Heatwave Ascent Mitt

The Seirus Heatwave Ascent Mitt doesn't feature battery-powered heat. But it costs a lot less ($120) and is still a warm mitten that employs the company's Heatwave technology to "reflect personal body heat back into the mitt for cozy comfort."

It's also available as a glove for $109.

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Hydra Pack Stow Bottles

Looking for a way to stay hydrated while you ski? The collapsible and resuable Hydra Pack Stow bottles come in various sizes and colors. Made of abrasive-resistant TPU, they BPA and PVC free so they don't make water taste funky. Prices start around $14.

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Anker PowerCore 13000

Having your phone die on the mountain isn't a good thing, which is why I decided to throw in an external battery pack into this roundup. Anker's $30 PowerCore 13000, which is built around a whopping 13,000-mAh battery, can charge both tablets and phones. It's not small, but it's smaller than a lot of external batteries this size and provides enough juice for a family's worth of phones. Oh, and it's affordable, too, so if you somehow lose it, it's not the end of the world.

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Outdoor Technology Chips 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth Helmet Audio

You'd think that more companies would have made Bluetooth headphones that slip inside your helmet, but Outdoor Technology is one of the few that does. Their appeal has waned now that true wireless earbuds have come along, but they're still available.

How it works is you charge up the Chips and slide them into the earflaps on your helmet (they should work with most helmets). You want to make sure that no excess padding in your helmet is covering the Chips or else they'll get muffled and you'll lose some volume; you want them as close to your ears as possible.

The Chips 2.0 have a walkie-talkie feature that allows you to communicate with friends who are also using Chips 2.0 headphones. You create a group using the ODT Walkie-Talkie app and talk over the cell network, which means the only limit on distance is whether you're getting a phone signal. Up to 99 people can be in your private group.

The Chips 2.0 have a single button on each earpiece, which you can access through the earflap. In other words, you can answer or end a call or pause and play music by touching the earflap firmly. What's also nice is that you can access Siri (without taking out your phone) and use voice commands to call people or launch a playlist of music.

I thought the sound quality was decent for Bluetooth but not great. You can find headphones that sound better for $130, but it's nice to be able to stick your helmet on and have the headphones built-in with no wires to worry about. Battery life is rated at 10 hours, and the Chips are sweat- and water-resistant but not waterproof.

Outdoor Technology also sells the Chips Ultra, a true wireless version of the Chips that costs significantly more ($220). I don't think the Ultras are worth the money.

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You never know when you might need to hang up some gear, which is where the Heroclip comes in. Available in a few different sizes and colors, this souped up rotating carabiner hook clip costs around $20.

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Trew's Trewth Bib Pant

If you're looking for a highly technical ski pant, Trew, the company that made a name for itself with its bib pants, which give you "tits-to-toes coverage," has a few different models to choose from. The latest version of its classic Trewth ($399) pant features reinforced lowers and the enhanced breathability of Dermizax NX, which Trew bills as the most breathable stormproof membrane in the world.

The women's version of this pant is the Chariot Bib ($399).

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Trew Capow Jacket

Trew's Capow jacket was designed with feedback from Capow Guiding of Revelstoke, British Columbia, where serious powder skiers go to ski serious powder.

Often shell jackets can be a little stiff, but this one isn't, with high-stretch laminate fabrics. It's designed to be both comfortable and protective, whether you're "on the skin track or boot back" or going up against some high, biting winds or driving snow. It's available in two "high-visibility colors," another node to its backcountry pedigree.

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Hotronic FootWarmer S4

To keep my kids' feet warm while skiing, I go the low-tech route and buy a box of toe-warmers on Amazon and stick them to their feet before they step into their boots. But if you want to get more serious about keeping your feet warm in your boots, there's the battery-powered variety from Hotronic, which features a heated footbed for $200.

Apparently it works well for most people (but not everybody). Just keep in mind that these do require a custom install, so count on paying some extra money for that. Most stores won't charge all that much (the store I was in charged $25), but you will pay retail price for the product.

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Opedix Dual Tec 2

Not as young as you once were? Opedix makes high-tech tights that'll give your muscles and knees some added support while keeping you warm.

Its top-end Dual-Tec 2.0 ($225) integrates the company's "torque reform technology from the knee to the lower lumbar" and "represents the latest innovation in kinetic health."

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Dakine Poacher RAS 26L Pack

The Dakine Poacher RAS 26L Pack is one of the most affordable backcountry skiing packs at around $200. It's been upgraded with a new rolltop airbag compatible compartment allowing a simplified bag deployment design that is "faster, more reliable and reusable," according to Dakine.

Other new updates include: two-way radio compatibility, glove-friendly buckles, added A-Frame carry system for skis, an easier to access backpanel, larger goggle pocket and snow saw sleeve within the front tool pocket.

It's also available in a 42L size ($250), 36L size ($225), women's specific 32L size ($220) and 18L size ($160). All are compatible with the Mammut Removable Airbag 3.0 system (sold separately).

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Satellite phones are not only expensive to buy but expensive to use. If you're headed somewhere remote where there's no cell service, Bivystick is a relatively affordable way to send texts and share your location via satellite.

Once you buy the Bivystick ($350), you can activate it any time for a month for $18, which includes 10 credits. One credit equals one message or one location share or one weather report or one hour of tracking.

If you use all 10 credits, you'll be charged $0.50 per additional credit used. You can also buy additional credits beforehand and at a cheaper rate. Should you not use the credits over 30 days, they roll over to the next month if your account remains active. (You can turn off service at any time.)

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Renoun skis

Renoun says its skis are the most versatile ever. The reason? The secret sauce is a special Hyper Damping Technology that adapts to the snow conditions -- and your skiing style -- and can change the stability of the ski as you ski harder.

Renoun says the backbone of HDT is a material classified as a "non-Newtonian polymer" (it looks gooey) and "doesn't follow the laws defined by Sir Isaac Newton because its molecular structure responds to rapid changes in vibration."

The ski comes in three models, an on-piste carver (Z-Line) with a 77mm waist width, an all-mountain ski (Endurance), which comes in 98mm and 104mm waist widths and the new full-carbon Citadel. Prices start at $1,100.

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Black Diamond Guide BT Avalanche Beacon

Black Diamond bills its Guide BT ($450) as the first ever avalanche beacon on the market to offer Bluetooth capabilities. That Bluetooth connection allows you to manage settings, software updates and battery optimization from your smartphone via the Pieps mobile app, while the housing features soft-touch contact points for improved handling.

From a core feature standpoint, it's got a 60-meter circular range, mark and scan function for multiple burials, and an auto antenna switch that automatically adjusts to send the best signal. There's also a self-check function for always-accurate antennas and Digital Signal Processing to account for wayward beacon signals. A harness-style carrying pouch is included.

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Atomic Hawx Ultra Connected Ski Boot

Chalk this one up in the "coming soon" category: Atomic has announced that its popular Hawx Ultra boot line will come in a Connected version with a built-in tracker that delivers "state-of-the-art digital tracking and analysis capabilities through Atomic's free mobile Connected App for instant on-slope feedback and enhanced skiing experience."

The upcoming boot will feature Suunto's Movesense technology and embedded force sensors inside the liner. Based on the feedback the app gives you, you'll be able to adjust your skiing technique for higher performance by refining your balance, pressure control and edging skills.

Hopefully we'll see this in stores for the 2020 season. No word yet on pricing.

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