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The 12 Best Outdoor Products of Winter 2021

Winter is almost here — and so are the best cold-weather outdoor products in the game.

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Cameron Oden

This story is part of the 2021 Winter Gear Awards. To see the full list of winners, click here.


When the temps drop and the world becomes a winter wonderland, picking the right products to get outdoors can make or break an adventure. Great gear is defined by its durability, performance, aesthetics and ability to support you in your wildest (or more tame) endeavors. It's with these traits in mind that we curated the following guide, bringing to your attention the best winter outdoor gear of 2021. Enjoy.

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Best All-Mountain Skis
Black Crows Nocta

A wider ski that still delivers power and precision, the Nocta is an off-piste beast that can also handle hardpack. Full reverse camber and straight edges will have you floating over powder all day long.

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Best Base Layer
Smartwool Intraknit 200 Crew Base Layer Top

Smartwool’s IntraKnit base layers employ 3D knit technology, weaving innovation, comfort and zero-waste sensibilities into one highly technical garment. Mesh ventilation and moisture-wicking ensure you stay high and dry.

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Best Snowboard
Jones Stratos Snowboard 2022

Iconic is a fitting description for Jeremy Jones, and his eponymous brand’s most innovative board lives up to his legacy. Mixing the directional shape of a freerider with the soul of a freestyler never looked or felt so good.

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Best Snow Gloves
Hestra Leather Fall Line
Now 20% off

When the going gets cold, reach for quality. The soft cowhide aniline on these five-fingered beauties will keep frosty temps at bay, while thoughtfully placed outseams enhance dexterity without sacrificing warmth.

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Best Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag
The North Face The One Bag

There are no commitment issues with The One. This 800-fill ProDown sleeping bag is three bags in one, due to the modular zipper system that gives it a range of five degrees Farenheit up to 40. At less than $300, it’s well worth the investment.

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Best Down Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hoody

Flex and move while enjoying classic down jacket features:  convenient pockets and incredible warmth. This 20.45-ounce, 700-fill RDS-certified winner’s unique baffle design will have passersby and friends alike pausing for a closer look.

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Best Snow Goggles
Smith 4D Mag

Tons of innovation… in a streamlined package. A creased ChromaPop lens paired with an exaggerated curvature of the frame boosts your field of vision by 25 percent. A fail-safe lens-swap system that’s easy enough to deploy whilst riding the chair is the cherry on top of this high-visibility victor.

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Best Fleece Jacket
Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody

The masterminds at Patagucci took the brand’s R1 fleece (cousin to the iconic Synchilla) and gave it an upgrade — an innovative weave that enhances breathability and coziness. Throw it on, never take it off.

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Best Pocket Knife
CRKT Pilar III

Danish designer Jesper Voxnaes mixed materials, form and history into this sleek folder. The three-inch blade’s D2 steel minimizes the need for frequent resharpening, a thumb slot allows one-handed opening and a frame lock ensures safety.

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Best Thermos
Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle
Now 50% off

Any outdoors-person recognizes Stanley’s classic thermos, and there’s a reason why. The trailblazer of the vacuum-insulated universe continues to offer good looks, durable construction and superior BPA-free insulation, without any unnecessary frills. 

Best Tactical Backpack
GORUCK GR1

Developed by ex-Special Forces soldier Jason McCarthy, this backpack blends civilian-friendly features like the padded laptop sleeve and tactical details such as the false bottom for extra protection. Silent zippers on the waterproof exterior round out its tough-as-nails character.

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Best Hiking Boots
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

These kicks are a consistent winner for Salomon, thanks to premium features such as the Contagrip rubber sole and Gore-Tex-lined synthetic upper. Sharp albeit technical looks let you pull them off away from the trail.

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