Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts $100-$200
Back with a vengeance, this is the Second Annual Backcountry Skiing Canada Holiday Gift Guide (or SABSCHGG, for short). We know you need all the help you can get when choosing presents for loved (and liked) ones. It is with this in mind that we share these various gifting ideas with you. Note that they are all gear-related—no toasters here, folks.
We’ve broken the items up into four categories this year to make it easier for you to find things that might make sense for your budget and tastes. We’ll be rolling ‘em out over the next week and they include: less than $50, gift $50 - $100, gifts $100 - $200, and gifts $200 and up. First, let us start with gifts under $50.
Best Gifts $100-$200
OK. Now we are getting into the realm of the spendy. This kind of present is not for purchase by the average ski bum. These kind of gifts are for girl/boyfriend, best best bud, etc.
Not quite over-the-top, but oh-so-close. These items will make an impression and undoubtedly gain some affections.
Backcountry Access Link Radio
Communication is the key for any backcountry adventure and the BCA Access Link Radio is one gift that will ensure it's super easy. Never get separated from your group, share weather and snow observations or just tell everyone which line is yours. The built-in Smart Mic makes communicating with this FRS/GMRS radio convenient and easy. It comes with long-lasting rechargeable battery and is ready to use right out of the box. The ideal safety gift for that adventurer in your life.
Price: $199.99CAN / $149.95US
Leki Aergonlite 2V poles
Ultra-light and sturdy poles are a must have for backcountry skiing and the Leki Aergonlite 2V poles are a two-piece adjustable pole that you can rely on. Their Trigger S Vertical grip is an innovative way to grip the pole but also be able to remove yourself from them in a snap, literally. The TÜV-certified Speed Lock 2 adjustment system allows you to adjust their length quickly and easily so side hilling, climbing and storing them are a sinch.
Price: $189CAN / $129US
Outdoor Research Plaza Skirt
Need a warm and cozy gift for that special woman on your list? The Outdoor Research Plaza Skirt uses 700-fill down for warmth while a stretch fabric waistband keeps you comfortable. Fashionable yet functional. The Outdoor Research Plaza line consists of the Plaza Jackette, Hoody, Vest and Skirt. Each piece combines the warmth of down with the comfort of soft fleece. Something she will enjoy the entire winter season.
Price: $130CAN / $110US
Leatherman Signal Multi-tool
No adventurer should go with out a trusty knife, or better yet, a multi-tool. The Leatherman Signal combines all the traditional tools you’d want along with a few innovative ones like the shaped diamond coated sharpener, fire-starting ferro rod, and an emergency whistle. With 19 tools in all, you’ll also have at your finger tips: Needle nose pliers, Regular Pliers, Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters, Wire Stripper, 420HC Combo Knife, Saw, Hammer, Awl w/ Thread loop, and Can Opener.
Price: $124.95CAN / $99.95US
Mammut Aconcagua Pro ML Hooded Jacket
In North America, the Mammut brand enjoys a certain cachet; likely because of the design and cut of their garments. The Aconcagua Pro is typical of Mammut. Sharp, functional and made of the best materials. This is not a “Columbia” jacket here. And if you are a fan of Polartec Power Stretch Pro, as I am, it’ll be difficult to give this one away—but you must. This season is all about giving (and maybe you can ask for it next year). Lucky for whoever you might buy this jacket for, it comes in a funky blue and an even funkier green.
Price: $185CAN / $179US
Osprey Transporter 95 Expedition Duffle
Osprey’s new Transporter Expedition Duffles are designed to carry and store your gear safely. The rugged, weather resistant fabrics will keep your things clean and dry while the stowaway harness gives you the option to carry it like a backpack. The 95-liter version has a huge main compartment, grab handles, an end pocket for those hard to find items and a built-in ID pocket so everyone knows it’s yours. It’s comfortable and rugged and ideally designed for your next backcountry hut adventure or climbing trip.
Price: $190CAN / $160US
Sea To Summit Comfort Light Self Inflating Sleeping Mat
A good night’s sleep is crucial on the trail or in a hut and the new Sea To Summit Comfort Light Self Inflating Sleeping Mat is designed for just that. This 2-inch mattress/pad offers up lots of comfort in a small weight and pack-size thanks to its Delta-Core technology. Available in small, regular, large sizes—ideal for anyone on your holiday gift list.
Price: $119.95 - $149.95CAN / $99.95 – $129.95US
Smartwool Propulsion 60 Jacket
Another ideal gift for that lady in your life or maybe just a selfie-gift for some lucky woman? The Smartwool Propulsion 60 Jacket is the ideal mid layer on pow days and is also fashionable enough to wear around town. Merino wool insulation provides a high warmth-to-weight ratio and even if it gets wet you’re still warm. The DWR-treated panel on front protects against wintery weather while the back is fast-drying merino for moisture management.
Price: $228CAN / $180US
Smith Squad XL Goggle
Smith’s new Squad XL Goggles feature a highly durable molded Carbonic-x lens material with a Fog-X technology coating to withstand aggressive conditions. Their Responsive Fit frame design and ChromaPop lens ensure comfort and crystal clear vision. Look good and see what you are doing out in the backcountry with the new Squad XL’s
Price: $160 CAN / $130US
Patagonia Crosstrek Fleece Jacket
This is another coveted piece from Patagonia. It’s made from Polartec Power Stretch and features a no-nonsense design. It’s a light version of the Polartec wonder-fabric so it works year-round. When it’s warmer than winter, the Crosstrek compliments a tee shirt for round-town wear. The green, blue, or grey option would look really nice under the tree. And remember that, whoever is the happy recipient of the Crosstrek will get some of the good mojo that comes with sporting a Patagonia product. As I type, the company is going to bat to protect National Monuments in the US. A couple years ago, Patagonia rallied against development in our local Jumbo Valley. Thank you, Patagonia people!
Price: $179CAN / $149US
Rab Guide Short Glove
Touring gloves make a great gift and the Rab Guide Short Gloves are an ideal option for that special someone. With a short-cuff, these waterproof gloves are highly durable yet thin enough for rope handling and other details on cold days. The pared down cuff fits snugly under a jacket to reduce obstruction and increase mobility. The reinforced leather palms are tough and the Guide Glove's pre-curved shape and boxwall construction ensure a precise fit with excellent dexterity.
Price: $150CAN / $124US
Weight: 170g / 5.9oz
The North Face Slack Pack 20
While any old pack will get you into the backcountry, one that is specifically designed for ski touring will ensure you are safer and more efficient. The North Face Slack Pack 20 has a dedicated avalanche tool compartment on the front with back panel access on the back to easily get at all your gear. You can comfortably carry your skis or board with multiple ski and board-carry options and not have to worry about damaging the Slack Pack as it has a molded front panel for durability. The slack Packs 20-liter capacity makes it ideal for day tours and resort based slack country trips. Why not set up the backcountry enthusiast on your list with The North Face Slack Pack 20.
Price: $144.99CAN / $119.99
Westcomb Pinnacle Sweater
Westcomb is a master at designing technical gear that can also be worn around town with out looking out of place. The new Pinnacle Sweater has a refined tailored look-and-feel with all-mountain durability. It’s the modern update of the classic zip-up cardigan. The wool/synthetic blend is soft and luxurious but still tough enough to take on the mountains as a mid layer should you chose. Like all Westcomb products, the Pinnacle Sweater is made in Vancouver. Go Canada!
Five Ten Access Mesh Shoes
The Access Mesh Shoes are Five Ten’s latest approach shoe. It uses their sticky Stealth S1 outsole with a dedicated climbing zone for added durability, technical edging and smearing performance. Their lightweight EVA midsole uses a high rubber content for increased shock absorption and strength. A reinforced toe cap provides added protection and a rubberized exoskeleton lacing system ensures a supportive fit. This is a shoe for everyday wear that's also at home on the trail and in the mountains. Get one for the hiker/climber on your list.
Price: $160CAN / $130US
Mont Bell Thermawrap Vest
Active insulation is the new way to stay warm while moving with out over heating and the Mont Bell Thermawrap Vest is an excellent example of this. With hydro-phobic Exceloft insulation for warmth and impressive packability, the Thermawrap Vest is a midlayer which is ideally suited to backcountry skiers, snowshoers and fat bikers alike. The stretch side panels provide a nice trim cut so that you can layer the Thermawrap Vest under or over, depending on your activity. A gift anyone on your list would be happy to receive.
Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
Colours: Black, Light Blue
Weight: 208g / 7.3oz
(Women's also available)
For gifts on a slightly leaner budget, check out our recommendations for the best holiday gifts priced $50-$100 and if that’s not economical enough then there are our top gift picks under $50 as well.