This Ski Gear Adapts— So You Don’t Have To

Take your favorite winter sport to the next level

Ski Gear

PSC0115_NowRalph Smith

Skiing isn’t a static sport: On any given day, weather can whip from clear and sunny to stormy and overcast, and skiers might toggle between front-country groomers and out-of-bounds powder runs. Companies design gear for every condition, but that makes for a crowded garage. New gear easily readjusts to changing environments, so days on the mountain are more fluid. Plus, you’ll have more room to park your car.

1. Uvex Snowstrike

VT Goggles Used by fighter pilots, the technology behind Uvex's variotronic lens can change the goggles' tint in a tenth of a second. A photocell sensor gauges ambient light and sends a signal to the goggles' LCD layer, which is sandwiched between two lenses. The electrical impulse automatically triggers the crystals to turn purple, blue, red, or clear—or the wearer can assume control manually. The Snowstrike works for up to four days on an eight-hour charge. $500

2. Black Diamond Hot Forge Hoody

This jacket is one of the first to use Primaloft's Gold Down Blend, a combination of lightweight, warm down and quick-drying synthetic insu­lation so enmeshed that the two are indistinguishable under a microscope. To achieve this integration, Primaloft wedged ultrafine synthetic fibers into the spaces between tendrils of gray goose down. This construction props the down clusters open so they can trap air when wet, and dry faster when you work up a sweat. $349

3. Marker Kingpin 13 Binding

Touring bindings let skiers unlock their heels to skin up a moun​tain and lock in when it's time to rip down. The trouble is, the pins that hold the heel of most touring bindings prevent skis from releasing predictably during falls, causing injuries. Marker's is one of the first touring bindings certified by TÜV, a German standards group, to release reliably. In a wipeout, rollers (not pins) that hold the boot heel in place release, and an underfoot antifriction plate slides out. $650

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science.