Backcountry snowboarding isn’t the most affordable activity. A splitboard alone can cost as much as a solid board with bindings and boots. Tack on all the other splitboarding gear and avalanche safety equipment, and you’ll easily spend more than $1,500 for a new setup. When building a backcountry quiver, shop wisely. Gear needs to be more reliable out of bounds than anywhere else, so we’ve taken the liberty of pointing you in the right direction. These six items should help your search for the perfect presents for backcountry enthusiasts.
K2 Split Bean ($850) – The wide, tapered shape of this splitboard combined with camber throughout, until the early-rise nose, gives it the perfect blend of surfy in powder and traction on hardpack without sacrificing maneuverability. For an additional $250, get the Split Bean Package ready to ride with K2's Split Track mounting system and Z-clip climbing skins.
The North Face Desolation ThermoBall ($199) – When it's blowing in the backcountry, this midlayer with four-way stretch makes the perfect insulator. It offers a loop on the shoulder to clip an avalanche beacon, and also works on its own when you're walking to happy hour. PrimaLoft ThermoBall insulation is like down, except it insulates when wet.
BCA Link ($150 each) – This two-way radio with a USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to four days in cold weather and is compatible with FRS/GMRS radios. Controls are easy to handle with gloves on, the radio and base unit are fully sealed to keep moisture out, and the system can be carried as two separate parts: base unit in your pack, speaker/microphone in jacket or clipped to shoulder strap.
Osprey Kamber 32 ($170) & Kresta 30 ($170) – Once Osprey beefed up the snowboard straps on their men's Kamber and women's Kresta packs, they found their way into our sights. Avalanche safety gear stores in one compartment, a helmet stashes securely on the outside, and the main compartment–meant for dry gear–is accessible via back panel. Carry up to 30 pounds comfortably in these packs for backcountry day tours.
Leatherman Signal ($99) – A multi-tool for the backcountry enthusiast, it features the top-quality tools you've come to expect from Leatherman–straight blade, wire-cutter pliers, serrated blade, Phillips head and can opener–plus a diamond-coated sharpener, fire starter, and emergency whistle. Prepare for the worst and live to ride another day.
Remind Insoles: Bjorn Leines Edition ($30) – Support your feet, which support your legs, which support your hips and back. Ride harder, longer. Insoles aren't just a marketing gimmick. This trim-to-fit pair is soft underfoot but rigid enough to provide the support and stabilization needed when you sack up and send it, and will add comfort underfoot for the longest backcountry treks.