From realtime traffic tracking apps to ‘smart’ bindings, these apps and gadgets are perfect for a day on the slopes. Here are a few top picks for the 2015-2016 snowboard and ski season.
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1) Trace Tracker (mounted GPS tracker and app) $199
To track and improve your riding, Trace measures speed, vertical travel, distance, calories burned, lift time and ride time, as well as air height, air time, and jump distance with inertial and GPS sensors. Download the free Trace Snow app, sync it to Tracker via bluetooth, and you are good to get riding. Bonus: You can sync your GoPro with Trace Video, a Mac desktop app, and the program will clip together your highlights, color-correct video, and overlay your day’s riding stats on top of the video.
2) Avanet (avalanche information sharing community) $Free
Avanet is an app and web platform that shares mountain safety information to help you plan safer trips into the backcountry. The app allows users to share reports of avalanche conditions, photos, routes, and a lot more. The community benefits from sharing information from the field, and you can take part. Learn more at www.avanet.avatech.com.
3) RageLife (location- and activity-based social app) $Free for iOS
With RageLife, scrounging your friends for a carpool ride up to the mountains won’t be an issue. The GPS-based app, launching this November, helps connect adventurers of like mind by allowing users to create, search, and discuss nearby outdoor activities. Connect online through your Facebook account, and get offline for first chair.
4) XON Snow-1 Bindings and App (“smart” bindings) starting at $400
Now even your snowboard bindings are “smart.” With the XON Snow-1 bindings by Cerevo and bluetooth connected app, you can get data about your riding skills. Four sensors on each binding, an accelerometer, and two band sensors on the board measure your center of gravity, shifts in weight balance, acceleration, and distortion or bend of the board.
5) Waze (community-based traffic mapper) $Free for iOS and Android
Traffic heading to the slopes can practically ruin a day, but Waze uses realtime updates and navigation to keep you cruising (or waiting it out at a brewery). Updates include traffic, accidents, closed roads, and speed traps. Use for navigation, and the app will automatically change up your route if traffic or an accident is up ahead. Plus, the app also connects users for carpooling, and saves you money on gas with community-shared gas prices.
6) AVADE Base Layer (heated compression shirt) $140
Avade is an Australian company that makes lightweight heated garments. The compression tops have two wires running up the chest, and one up the back, with a battery pack under the arm (or an extension cord if you’d prefer the battery in a pocket). Somehow the shirt still remains comfortable and wicking. Three heat settings—86, 104, and 122 degrees— keep you cozy warm, but the back panel does shut off if it gets too hot.
7) Zippo Hand Warmer (heat at your fingertips) $21.95
In a stylish matte black, the Zippo Hand Warmer provides up to 12 hours of heat with a protective cover (so you can stash it in your pocket).
Having a permanent, refillable hand warmer might sound a little lush, but on those single digit and negative degree days on the mountain, a continuous warmer that fits in your pocket can get the day back on track.
8) Leatherman Hail + Style PS (a multi-tool made for your board) $45
By partnering with Signal Snowboards, Leatherman has created a near perfect, TSA-approved, durable snowboard tool. The 3.8-inch stainless steel tool has two pliers, wire cutters, scissors, two screw drivers, tweezers, scraper, bottle open, lace assist, nail file, carabiner, a wrench, and a headphone holder.