Christmas is around the corner, and a lot of ski runs have opened the slopes for a new season. But what should you put under the tree for your ski crazy friend, child or significant other this year?
Here is an Advent calendar with 24 great ideas for Christmas presents this year – from inexpensive last-minute gifts to high-quality gear.
What all the items in this Advent calendar have in common are, that they’re all that I would consider good quality products, that I wouldn’t mind either give as a present or receive as a gift myself.
1. Seirus Innovation Cat Tracks Boot Sole Protectors
Boots are made for walking, but ski boots are not! Even though ski boots seem rugged, if you walk a lot on the sidewalk, road or gravel, when you go to and from your hotel, the lift or the après ski bar, the heel and toe parts of your boots are going to be worn down. This is very bad for a number of reasons.
The most critical reason is, that the boots will no longer fit properly into the ski boot binding. This, in turn, can lead to your binding not releasing in time in case of a fall or collision, or the skis release mid-run. Both
Another reason to consider is, that ski boots aren’t exactly cheap. Don’t let them get worn down, when you can prevent this from happening, with a fairly cheap solution.
The Seirus Cat Tracks are a inexpensive and compact solution (they’ll fit in your pocket), which will extend the life your ski boots.
2. DryGuy Travel Dry DX Boot Dryer and Shoe Dryer
No one wants to get up in the morning and stick our feet into a pair of cold and wet ski boots. Cold and wet ski boots in the morning means cold and wet feet for the rest of the day.
But that’s only half of the story. It’s very important to take care of your ski boots and keep warm and dry when you’re not using them.
After each day on the slopes, you should make an effort to dry your boots. If you don’t make sure to dry your boots completely dry each night, the humidity will enter the liner and shorten its lifespan. Now add to this a few bacteria from your feet or socks, and you’ll have the perfect witch cauldron for mold, mildew and in the end a very bad odor.
You put the DryGuy boot dryers is a par of portable ski boot dryer (you get one for each boot), you put in your boots each night after skiing. The dryers use a combination of heat and air to dry the insides of your ski boot liners and shells, so they are warm and dry the next morning. They are compact, light-weight (907 Grams/1.25 pounds) and even includes an AC/DC power adaptor, so you can dry your boots in the car.
3. GoPro HERO7 Black
I love my GoPro. As a videographer, it has saved me a bunch of times, when I needed some capture some special angel for a client. It’s such a versatile little camera.
Last season I took my HERO6 with me to test it out on the slopes. I tried putting it on the helmet, the chest, the boot, the ski, and holding it in my hand. I got some very cool shots from different angles. You can really get the feeling of speed when you attach it to your skis.
The footage was a bit shaky at times (I didn’t bring a gimbal), and the GoPro HERO7 solves most of this problem with much better built-in image stabilization. The HERO7 is waterproof to 10m without any extra housing – perfect for those dips in the snow.
The GoPro HERO7 can film in 4K with 60 frames per second (fps) and an amazing 240 fps in FullHD. So you can make some super smooth slow-motion shots of those nice carving turns or tricks in the snowpark. And of course, it can also be voice activated. It comes with an SD-card and rechargeable battery.
I recommend you buy original accessories as well. I tested out some different 3rd-party accessories, and in my experience 3rd-party accessories simply can’t take the beating, e.g., the camera shakes loose and suddenly drops and films the ground instead of in the middle of a run. The original chest harness from GoPro did a much better job.
4. Butta Wax Ski and Snowboard PRO Service Kit – Silver
Keep your skis properly waxed! Not only will your skis gliding better, but it will also extend the life of your
You should wax your skis if you ski regularly in powder and if the snow sticks. Apply a thick layer of wax at the end of the season to keep the bases from drying out. Remember to remove any excess wax at the beginning of the next season.
The Butter Wax Ski and Snowboard PRO service kit come with everything you need to treat your skis or snowboard with a nice wax coating – instructions are included.
5. Retrospec Traverse H1 2-in-1 Convertible Ski & Snowboard / Bike & Skate Helmet with 10 vents
You should always wear a helmet when your skiing or riding.
A ski helmet can help reduce the severity of a range of injuries like skull fractures and lacerations. And a helmet might just save your life one day, e.g., if you fall and hit your head on a rock, a tree or on a icy slope.
The Retrospec Traverse H1 2-in-1 is a versatile helmet, which you can also use for activities in the summer. The liner and the earpads are both removable.
The helmet is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it is available in many sizes and color designs (have a look at the wood grain design, which I think is very cool).
6. Hydro Flask Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Sports Water Bottle, Wide Mouth with BPA Free Straw Lid
One thing is for sure: you get thirsty when skiing.
It’s not always you want to pay the sometimes insane prices (up to £6,50 for a 330ml bottle at some *Cough Courchevel Cough* resorts) for a coke at the slopeside restaurants. I know, I don’t!
So it’s always a good idea to a keep a bottle in your backpack.
The Hydro Flask is perfect match for a ski trip. It holds hot drinks up to 6 hours and cold drinks up to 24 hours. So whether you prefer som Glühwein or hot cocoa to keep you warm or some cold water or energy drink to keep you cold, the Hydro Flask has got you covered.
The flask is BPA free, and has a nice coating, to give you a solid grip. The straw lid is easy to use, but you can buy other types of lids if you prefer.
NB: You should buy from the company Tall Ridge, which is the authorized US dealer in order not to get a counterfeit flask. I reached out to Hydro Flask to make sure they were the authorized dealer – which they were.
7. MERIWOOL Men’s Merino Wool Midweight Baselayer Crew
Merino wool is just a gift to skiers. It is warm, highly breathable, and it has a natural ability to pull away moisture from your body. And it is odor-resistant as well.
This MERIWOOL baselayer top is made from 250g/m2 soft merino wool. This is in the mid-category of insulation, which means, that you can wear the top as a single layer (below the ski jacket of course) when it is cold, or use it as a base layer in icy conditions.
8. Minus33 Merino Wool Midweight Balaclava
The problem with a lot of balaclavas which are sold for skiing is, that they aren’t really made for skiing in cold weather. They might protect a bit against the wind at temperatures around the freezing point, but as soon as the temperature goes below -5°C / 23°F, they can’t keep you warm.
Other balaclavas are thicker and warmer but not helmet friendly.
Enter – once again – merino wool. Like the base layer, I mention above, this balaclava is made from merino wool. And like the base layer, this is also in the mid-tier section, when it comes to insulation (with 230g/m2). So even if your ski helmet doesn’t come with a lot of insulation in itself, this balaclava is sure to keep you warm, even in moderate cold weather.
And of course you can use wear it in multiple ways, e.g., pull the top down and use it as a neck gaiter on warmer days.
9. Sorel Women’s Joan Of Arctic Boot
Looking for a women’s aprés ski boot? Well, look no further. The Joan Of Arctic from Sorel is both stylish and practical at the same time.
The boots are waterproof, which means your feet won’t get soaked, even if the snow in the valley has begun to turn into slush.
The 11.5″ shaft (measured from the arch) is tall enough to have fun even in deep snow. So if you’re going for a toboggan run or to a heated outdoor spa in up in the mountains at night, these boots can get you there in style, while keeping your feet warm and dry at the same time.
10. Oakley Canopy Ski Goggles
Oakley is known for quality glasses, whether it’s for running, cycling, snowboarding, and skiing. And the Oakley Canopy is
The goggles come with PRIZM lenses, which offers a wide field-of-view with minimum distortion. The glasses don’t fog unless you’re in a whiteout or the inside get wet. The lenses filter out 100% of the harmful UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation.
You can buy extra interchangeable lenses, which fit different weather conditions. As a quick reminder you would want:
- dark lenses (black, grey, brown, bronze) for sunny bluebird days
- yellow for whiteout days with lots of snow or flat light
- rose/pink and violet lenses for overcast days with low light
- clear lenses for low light and night skiing
- green for all-round
The Oakley Canopy are rather big glasses, so if you have a small head, these might not be for you. They are also too big for kids. But they fit very nicely with your helmet due to the flexible frame. And they’re compatible with most prescription glasses as well.
11. Dynastar Speed Zone 7 with Xpress 11 bindings
It is always difficult to recommend a pair of skis because no ski fits all conditions nor all skiers. Some prefer to make tricks in the snow park, others prefer off-piste skiing, and some prefer to only ski on nicely groomed slopes.
Skis are also highly dependent on your ability level and mindset as a skier (are you a daredevil or the cautious type?).
The skis I’m going to recommend here is the Dynastar Speed Zone 7 with Xpress 11 bindings. These are versatile skis
If you’re a beginner they are very forgiving in nature and will allow you to make mistakes without falling all the time. If you’re intermediate they can help you transition from skid turns to parallel carving turns. If you’re a good skier, they offer a very nice comfortable ride on
In short, the Dynastar Speed Zone 7 is a versatile ski for the recreational skier (beginner to good) who enjoy groomed pistes.
12. Hestra Gloves Jr. Heli Ski Mittens
Swedish company Hestra has been making gloves for 80 years. And their range of ski gloves is trusted by skiers and riders worldwide because of their high quality.
Their Heli Glove series is one of their most popular products and with good reason. It is both elegantly made, warm and highly durable.
I’ve always preferred ski gloves and mittens which were made from a hybrid of polyester (or other synthetic material) and leather because of the leather ads to the warmth and durability of the glove.
The Hestra Heli meets these standards. The leather makes the mittens durable, while the synthetic material ads to their flexibility while being windproof, waterproof, and breathable at the same time. The “downside” to leather is, that you need to apply a leather condition from time to time.
The depicted here is the junior version. I think it is so nice to find a mitten of this standard for kids as well.
Hestra also makes a gauntlet style 5-finger glove, which is not quite as warm, and a 3-finger glove which is a mix of both worlds. They also make a powder version, which is longer and a few other variations.
13. The Bowtie Ski and Pole Carrier / Sling
The Bowtie ski and pole carrier is one of those items, that you think you don’t need – until you got it. Then you’ll wonder how you’ve ever been able to live without it.
It is such a simple solution to a well-known hassle, all skiers know about: carrying your skis and poles when you’re going from you hotel to the gondola (and back) or visiting a bar or supermarket in town on your way home from the slopes.
It can be hard enough to carry your skis and poles without knocking someone down, when you wait in line for the first chair up in the morning. If you’re carrying your ski boots, the kids ski boots and skis, and groceries it only becomes worse.
The Bowtie wrap around your skis and poles and keeps everything snug, so you can carry it all together in a nice bundle. It’s such a simple solution, and it makes life so much easier for everyone.
14. Merino Wool ski socks with deer motif
A stocking for the stocking. I just love these socks, and I think the design is so cute. They’re fun to show off when it’s time for après ski.
The medium weight socks are made from a mix of nylon, acrylic, spandex and merino wool, which will keep your feet warm and odor-free due to the moisture-wicking ability of merino.
The socks are OTC-length (Over the Calf), which means they’ll help protect your shins and calves from discomfort in your ski boot.
15. DJI Osmo Pocket Handheld 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Integrated Camera
Now, this is a brand new product from DJI, which I haven’t had time to get my hands on yet, but it sure does look interesting.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m a videographer (and photographer) by trade. So I’m always keeping my eyes out for the newest photo and video gear. And I’ve flown the DJI Mavic Pro drone a couple of years now, and I love the build quality, user interface, and picture quality, I get from that piece of gear. So I trust DJI when it comes to building quality stuff.
While I love my GoPro for many things, the one thing I don’t love is using it together with a gimbal, especially while skiing, because of the hassle with balancing, and the fear of losing the GoPro in the case of a fall or collision.
The DJI Osmo Pocket solves these problems by integrating the camera into the gimbal instead. And like the GoPro HERO7 it can shoot 4K in 60 frames per second. It also shoots jpeg and raw photos at 12MP, which is fine for posting photos online.
I definitely have to test this interesting piece of gear in the near future.
16. Thule RoundTrip Ski Roller Bag
If you fly when you go on ski holidays, you’re gonna love this bag. I don’t know about you, but I mostly hate carrying a lot of stuff at airports. And skiing usually means carrying lots of extra stuff. So having a bag with wheels for your skis is
The Thule RoundTrip ski roller bag not only comes with sturdy wheels, it is also padded to provide extra protection for your skis and ski poles. And it comes with lockable zippers.
If your skis are a bit on the short end for the bag (which comes in the two sizes 175 cm and 192 cm) the bag is reinforced at the top and bottom, so it doesn’t sack, which is nice.
17. OutdoorMaster Women’s 3-in-1 Ski Jacket
The OutdoorMaster Women’s 3-in-1 ski jacket is basically a combination of a shell and an insulated ski jacket.
The nice thing about a 3-in-1 ski jacket is that you can remove the insulating layer when you get overheated. This is practical if you start out in the morning with windy and snowy conditions, but find that by noon, the wind has died off and the sun has come out. You can choose to wear either the soft shell or the fleece on their own.
A lot of my favorite ski jackets have been 3-in-1.
The OutdoorMaster Women’s 3-in-1 ski jacket is a nice looking, versatile, and inexpensive ski jacket for recreational skiers.
18. Beardski Ski Mask
The Beardski ski mask is sure to make some heads turn, as you ski down the mountain.
I consider this mostly to be a fun gimmick, and not something I would use for an entire week at the time. But it sure looks cool, and it will make for a fun extra gift under the Christmas tree.
19. The North Face Boy’s Freedom Insulated Pant
The North Face is known for quality ski and outdoor wear. I’ve owned several pieces of The North Face clothing through the years, so I trust them to make a good quality product.
The North Face Boy’s Freedom Insulated Pants are a pair of baggy pants, which allow for a lot of freedom of movement on the slopes. They are made from nylon and waterproof and breathable.
The pants also come with sealed seams, which is nice (but expected for this class of products), because it adds to the pants being waterproof. The seams are often the weak link in cheap waterproofing.
20. Zipline Ski Poles Kevlar Graphite Hybrid Composite Podium 14.0 K
Good light-weight ski poles, which doesn’t starts to shake or vibrate, when you set them in the hard-packed snow on the ski runs, can be hard to find. But Zipline have managed to solve this issue with their graphite hybrid 14mm poles, which are both ultralight yet stiff at the same time.
The poles also come with a velcro strap for quick adjustment and a good grip.
When you need to buy a ski pole, this is how you find the right size: 1) turn the ski pole upside down and grab the pole underneath the basket. Your elbow should be at a 90° angle to get the right size. If the angle of your arm is less than 90°, you should get a shorter pole. If the angle of your arm is more than 90°, you should get longer poles.
21. Transpack TRV Pro ski boot bag
A good quality ski boot bag which will also fit in the overhead compartment of a plane is a must have if you often fly to your ski destination.
The Transpack TRV Pro is both flexible and big. This is good, because it can fit in the overhead compartment of planes, and still have enough room for carrying your ski boots, helmet, gloves, shell, socks, balaclava etc.
The bag is water resistant and comes with side boot pockets with air and water drainage grommets, which is very nice if you have to put stove away your boots in a trunk right after your last run.
What I also really like about this bag is, that it is well designed and of great build quality. I’ve seen a lot of examples of cheap boot bags, which can’t really handle the load. E.g., after a few trips, the top handle comes off because of bad seams. This is not the case with this bag in my experience.
22. POC Spine protector VPD 2.0 Vest
I never ski without my spine protector. A back protector absorbs and distributes the energy from the point of impact when you fall. Thus a back protector might just be what saves you from a displaced vertebra or worse.
Another reason why I always ski with a back protector is, that even though I might ski responsible (at least I think I do), the sad truth is that not everyone does. I’ve seen my fair share of nasty encounters with skiers and snowboarders who were riding at speeds above their level, and because of this collided with other people on the pistes.
You never know, who might run you over from behind and at what speed.
The POC Spine VPD 2.0 Vest offers good protection for your spine. The vest consists of a flexible, breathable mesh in the front. I prefer the vest design of body armors over spine protectors which only comes with straps in the front, because it keeps the spine protector in place. The POC Spine VPD 2.0 Vest comes with a fat removable waistband as well, as an extra security to keep the protector in place.
The spine protector shield itself is made from Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough (VPD), which provide excellent protection while being able to adapt to your body at the same time.
23. Après ski Womens Onesie
After a day on the slopes, you probably want to relax in your chalet of choice. And nothing is more comfortable than a onesie.
This onesie from Skylinewears is warm and comfortable. The fabric is made from a hybrid of 50% cotton and 50% polyester. It’s ideal as casual wear, and you can easily wear it if you wan’t to go down to the lobby or bar of the hotel for some refreshments.
It is a bit on the large side, so you might want to consider ordering it a size smaller than you usually do.
24. Arc’teryx Rush Ski Jacket
This is the big one, so it had to be something special.
If you’re not familiar with the Arc’teryx brand, they are known for producing top quality top of the line outdoor equipment with an amazing attention to detail. This is the case with the Arc’teryx Rush jacket as well.
This jacket is of the shell type, and build to withstand most of what Mother Nature will throw at you on your ski trip. while still keeping you dry. The fabric is made from tightly woven mid-weight nylon, which offers excellent durability. The GORE-TEX® Pro membrane is highly breathable, waterproof, and windproof.
As extra protection against wet weather, the fabric is coated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR). This is a coating, which is applied to the face fabric of the shell, so that snow and light rain bead off the jacket.
The Arc’teryx Rush jacket is oriented towards all-mountain and backcountry skiers but can be used on groomers as well. It comes with a powder skirt, watertight front zip, and a helmet compatible hood, which offers excellent protection in wind, snow, and rain. All seams are fully taped as well.
I haven’t seen the Rush jacket produced for women. A great alternative for women is the Sentinel Jacket, which is also a big mountain ski jacket, with a Gore-Tex membrane, helmet compatible hood, and taped seams.
I hope you could get inspired by this Advent calendar. Merry Christmas, happy skiing, and be safe.