Colorado backcountry spring skiing gear must-haves (sponsored) |

Colorado backcountry spring skiing gear must-haves (sponsored)

by Leo Wolfson, brought to you by Pioneer Sports

Spring is here in Colorado and with it come longer days and warmer temperatures, yet also some of the biggest storms and deepest snow of the season. With this odd combination of weather, it’s important that your gear be multi-functional and usable in a variety of conditions. Here we take a look at a pant-backpack combo perfect for the winter enthusiast — The North Face NFZ snow pant and the Dakine Heli Pro DLX backpack.

The North Face NFZ Snow Pant

Skiing, snowboarding or any activity in snow during the spring can be a wet proposition. What’s important to remember is that when preparing for an outdoor adventure, not only will you come in contact with moisture from snow, but you are also likely to produce it yourself in the form of sweat. Many spring days in Summit feature low temperatures around 0°, with highs over 40° and even sometimes 50°. If planning an all-day excursion, it’s important to have snow pants that can function in a variety of temperatures and conditions. For these scenarios, Jonathan Enns, from Pioneer Sports in Frisco, recommends The North Face NFZ pant.

“It’s waterproof, but breathable. Lightweight, but made with Gore-Tex, so you get all the good stuff that comes with that,” said Enns.

All of that ‘good stuff’ is a versatility that will keep you comfortable no matter the endeavor. Gore-Tex material is able to repel liquid water, while allowing water vapor to pass through. That means it will keep you cool, but not cold. Functionally, the NFZ doesn’t slack either, with dual thigh and cargo pockets for extra storage, reinforced cuffs, clip integrated belt hooks, boot hooks built into the gaiter and Chimney Venting™ technology that assists with air flow.

Do keep in mind that these pants are just a shell, so if looking for a furry pair of snow pants whose only function is warmth, the NFZ is not your answer. What the NFZ does provide is an exceptional ability to perform in a variety of conditions.

Dakine Heli Pro DLX 24L Backpack

The DLX Heli Pro has been a mainstay in the Dakine line for a number of years, as their bread-and-butter backcountry pack. This season, the pack got a makeover to its color scheme, but is still as versatile and reliable as ever.

With a dimension build featuring over 1,400 inches of cubic space, a plethora of storing options and a variety of pocket and attachment options, the DLX is the ultimate backcountry storage facility.

In addition to the main storage capacity at the back of the pack, the DLX also boasts a snow tool/shovel pocket in the front, a fleece-lined (prevents lens scratching) goggle pocket and a zippered vertical side pocket, which serves as a great spot for water bottles. When hiking or in the backcountry, you’re likely to find yourself in adverse conditions or terrain, so tools must be easily accessible.. The DLX provides that ability, with front helmet attachment loops, an insulated hydro sleeve (great for a water reservoir) and even a rescue whistle built into the sternum strap. It also features vertical and horizontal carrying straps that eliminate the need to carry your skis or snowboard when hiking. Just buckle the straps across your skis or board and you’re good to go.

I have been a DLX owner for the past three years, and whether using it in the backcountry or for more casual purposes, it has always exceeded my expectations. The fact that the pack still looks almost new, after the hell and high water I’ve put it through, is a testament to its high level design.

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842 N. Summit Boulevard

Frisco, CO (Next to Walmart in Frisco)

(970) 668-7105

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