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We pick seven cutting-edge products and technologies to take straight to the ski slopes this season

salomon s lab shift mnc binding op

apex-ski-boot-open-chassis copy.jpgApex Ski Boots | £297

No more envying snowboarders their comfy footwear - these revolutionary, high-performing boots are a joy to wear. 

Sick of waddling around like a duck in your ski boots? Apex aims to solve the problem of stiff, uncomfortable boots by incorporating a detachable soft inner boot into a hard exoskeleton outer. The inner bears more than a passing resemblance in looks and comfort to a snowboard boot, and we think that’s a very good thing. With a warm liner, Boa closure system and full traction outsole, walking around in the Apex is a joy for your feet. When it’s time to hit the slopes again the open-chassis outer provides lightweight stiffness and independent control of fit, flex and closure. If you’ve spent your life being jealous of snowboarder’s cushy kicks, these are the boots for you. 

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Vaude Womens Larice Jacket.jpgVaude Green Shape ski clothing | From £35

Wood. Milk. Castor bean oil. Not materials we immediately associate with wearing for warmth, but the innovative folk at Vaude are, as usual, one step ahead. Leading the drive in environmentally sustainable ski clobber, their new Green Shape Core Collection is all derived from natural and sustainable materials such as cow’s milk, which is processed with wool into felt, giving a soft texture and natural antibacterial properties to the collection’s backpack straps and footwear. We love the smart, futuristic autumn/winter Green Shape ski collection, which is fully waterproof and warm, with a bit of a Star Wars vibe going on. 90% of the final materials used across the range are biologically based, recycled or just purely natural materials. It’s no surprise that the collection has scooped up a fistful of eco awards. 

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Quicksett Binding.jpgQuicksett Snowboard Bindings | £99

If you snowboard you'll know and probably accept some of the difficulties of getting around resort, especially if you snowboard with skiers, who can glide along flats while you unceremoniously unstrap from your bindings and contort yourself into uncomfortable positions to skate yourself to steeper slopes, only to then join your skier friends on the lift and practically have to dislocate your hip to sit on the chair.

French brothers Remi and Sylvian thought this was a problem that could be solved and it looks like they've come up with a simple solution with their binding baseplate replacement, which allows you to swivel your feet at the touch of a wrist mounted button.

 

Picture Earthen Base Layer copy.jpgPicture Organic biodegradable base layer | £TBA 

Introducing the first magically disappearing base layer. The Amni Soul Eco fabric used to make Picture’s brand-new inner layer, launching this winter, takes just three years to decompose in landfill compared to the decades needed for other conventional fibres to break down, making it a highly sustainable clothing option. And don’t worry, it doesn’t degrade when still in use! Being 100% recyclable and reusable gets it some big eco brownie points, but there’s more here than planet-friendliness – the polyamide yarn also provides all of the usual benefits you might expect from a top-quality base layer and has moisture wicking, breathable and fast-drying properties as well as a sumptuously soft feel next to the skin.

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Ski Bro homepage-mockup-phones.jpgSki Bro app | £free

This smart website and app makes finding the perfect ski and snowboard instructor a doddle, bro. SkiBro creates profile videos for each bookable instructor, guide, school and snow experience, so you can check out what (or who!) you’re about to book with, read detailed bios and client reviews and make an informed choice. The app shows availability in real time, so your booking is confirmed immediately. On lesson day the app features live GPS navigation making for easy client-instructor meet-ups. SkiBro is available in select resorts in France including Val d’Isère, Tignes and Chamonix, and in Verbier and Zermatt in Switzerland.

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Blaze Wear Mens Active Gillet.jpgBlaze Wear Active heated gilet | From £144

We can’t think of a better application of wearable technology than Blaze Wear’s brilliant range of heated clothing. Our favourite piece is this versatile gilet - with three heat settings and a long-life lithium battery pack, your core is warm for up to 13 hours between charges to a temperature of up to 55°C. This is no gimmick - the heat technology really works, and can keep you going for longer in the freezing backcountry. Flexible carbon fibre heating elements allow all the garments to be folded and machine washed (just make sure you remove the battery pack first!) and you can even use the battery to charge your phone on the go. 

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Salomon s-lab Shift Bindings on skis.jpgSalomon S/Lab Shift Binding | £399.95

Holy Shift! Salomon have stepped up a gear with their revolutionary new bindings. After spending the last 10 years in research and development with some of the world’s best freeskiers, Salomon have unveiled the new S/Lab Shift MNC, a binding set to transform backcountry touring for a new generation. A hybrid of a frame and pin binding, this nifty new technology gives skiers the holy grail of bindings – ones that let you switch between touring and ski mode with the simple use of a lever. Even more appealing - it works with any normal adult boot, so there’s no need to invest in expensive custom boots just to use the bindings.

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