Best Gear In 2014… Outdoor Retailer ‘Best In Show’ Awards (part II)

Extra-Light Hard Hat — K2 cites its Route as the “lightest snow-certified helmet” ever made. With the bright lid you get 59 vent holes, ear warmers, and a Boa closure to tighten it on. It’s tested to keep you protected in a fall but the weight is just 320 grams.

We liked it for potential multisport use — K2 notes it can be used for biking as well as snowsports. For backcountry skiing, the Route offers a lighter, more-breathable alternative to standard ski helmets, which can be too hot when heading uphill on a peak. $150; available fall 2014.

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.