Smart technical gear for a winter trek

This gear will help you get through winter.

snow thaw blossom winter spring
Credit: Pixabay

Technology is not all about iPhones and laptops. I recently tested several products out on an island in the dead of winter to see how the wicking materials worked, whether a pair of snowshoes could withstand icy conditions, and...if I could survive by myself.

1. Ravean Men’s Heated Jacket ($200)

This high-tech down jacket uses a battery pack to heat up the lining (and the gloves, which connect using a wire). The battery pack also doubles as a USB phone charger.

2. Smartwool Men's Anchor Line Shirt Jacket ($180)

This jacket looks like a shirt but is made from a thick Merino wool material -- in my tests, the jacket felt warm enough for everyday use inside but fended off the winter conditions.

3. Toad & Co. Ballard Fleece Jacket ($77)

Another piece of technical clothing, this jacket is made from a woven twill with a densely knit polyester fleece material for extra warmth. On the island it barely noticed the cold.

4. Merrell Moab FST Ice Thermo ($105)

These hiking boots for winter use the new Vibram Arctic Grip. On slick ice, the grip was astounding--they take the fear out of walking across a slick lake.

5. MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes ($200)

Ice and snow are no match for these high-tech snowshoes, which strap in quickly using new quick-latch bindings. The platform sags (in a good way) for a cushioned feel.

6. REI Switchback 3-in-1 Gloves ($79.50)

A big bonus with these winter gloves -- which use an interior liner glove for extra warmth -- is that the fingertips are touchscreen compatible for use with a phone or tablet.

7. Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket ($199)

A water repellant jacket made from a stretchable material (ideal for a brisk walk), the Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket is like an insulation layer for your body.

8. Falke Max Warming 1/4 Zip Top ($125)

Designed for max protection from the cold, this base-layer was essential on the island. It uses muscle compression, wicking technology, and vibration reduction to keep you warm.

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