Dear Santa: My Winter Gear List

So in case you haven’t noticed by the strange store hours, reports of Walmart beatings, and the unusual level of parking lot aggressiveness – Black Friday is here. For consumers everywhere, it’s Christmas time.

While I have a few holiday gift guides to come, I’m going to kick things off with what’s on my wish list and why.

1. Polar Buff


I’m admittedly obsessed with winter. I love being out in the snow and as long as I’m properly dressed, the cold is the last thing I’m thinking about. The one thing I tend to forget to dress properly is… well… my face. It seems like such an obvious thing, huh?

That’s where the Polar Buff comes in. Instead of the usual thin wicking summer Buff, the Polar Buff has an additional section of fleece in nearly 30 different designs. It makes for a toasty neck and comfortable face. My ever cold nose will be thankful.

2. EMS Frostfire


Along the same lines of winter obsession, I’m hoping a bright green EMS Frostfire will end up underneath the Christmas tree. A few years ago when I first started this website, I asked a ski patroller for their best piece of advice for solo skiers/snowboarders. His advice? Be visible. Since then I’ve moved to neon blue snowpants, a hot pink snowboard base… and a gray jacket?

Other than the fantastic color options (neon orange, bright green, and black) the Frostfire is a fleece lined, includes pit zips, and a snow skirt. It’s also non-insulated which might seem like a strange decision for me to go with, but I layer so I like the options of shell to totally bundled up.

Check the EMS women’s Frostfire out here and men’s here.

3. Ruffwear Singletrak Pack


When you have dogs, the line between what they want and what you want gets rather blurred. While I’d love to say that Yuri and Kina really want a Ruffwear Singletrak pack, the truth is I want them to have a second slimmer backpack so their human counterpart (me) gets to carry less.

Ruffwear makes three levels of packs for adventurous dogs everywhere ranging from the Palisades (multi-day trips) to the Singletrack (hydration pack), with the Approach back in between as the optimal daytrip design (we have one of those already). The Singletrak is ideal for carrying water with it’s 2 on-board Platypus hydration bladders and a small amount of other necessities (treats, mess bags, etc.), but not much more. It will be a nice addition to the Approach in that we get to swap around which furry kid is carrying more!

Shop for outdoor dog gear at

4. EMS Pandora/Odyssey Pants


In case you weren’t already in the know, New England weather is quite possibly the moodiest thing EVER. It can be snowing with thunder, warm and raining slush, and epically cold while insanely humid. With that being said, versatile clothing with layering capabilities is key. Logically the EMS Pandora (women’s) and Odyssey (men’s) pants made my list… and Rob’s.

These pants are designed with winter snowshoeing and hiking in mind, but I’m thinking they’ll be quite ideal for some of the backcountry snowboarding ascents we have in mind. What makes them perfect? They’re waterproof from the knee down but super breathable above that. Just pair them with your favorite baselayer and voila. Happy winter!

Check out the women’s version here and the men’s version here.

5. CW-X Insulator Stabilyx Tights


Alright, so the name is a mouthful and there’s a good chance you’ve never seen these tights on anyone but a runner. But the Stabilyx tights are designed with all sorts of athletes in mind. Not only are they compression tights (so blood flows better), these tights are designed with a web of support bands to help keep joints in place, strong, and comfortable while allowing your muscles to work together more efficiently.

As for that “insulator” feature – the tights are designed with Warmstretch. Warmstretch is a temperature regulation material that basically ensures you stay warm when you need to. I already got my legs on a pair of the normal Stabilyx tights, but I really want a pair of the insulated ones too. They seem awfully perfect for an always cold snowboarder.

What’s on your holiday list?

3 thoughts on “Dear Santa: My Winter Gear List

  1. I would also love a pair of softshell pants. I read good things about the Cirque pant from Outdoor Research. The ones you listed sound nice as they’re more water resistant, and therefore better for snow – thanks for the tip! And yes – NE weather is very moody!

    1. Definitely check out the Stabilyx Insulator tights then. A friend of mine uses them for winter trail running and snowshoe races, so they must be good. I’m super impressed so far with my pair of regular Stabilyx tights!

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About Jillian Bejtlich

Hey! I'm Jillian Bejtlich. I’m a lifelong New Englander with a serious love of the outdoors, adventure, and a pretty serious inability to sit still. I’m plagued by the travel bug, and it seems I’ll try any relatively sane and safe thing once. My big goal in life: Get people outside!