Gear gifts are the way to go in mountain towns because anyone who hits the slopes or plays outside in the winter months has a legit need for the right gear. So we headed over to Wilson Mountain Sports in the town of Lake Louise to get staff recommendations for the best his and hers gear gift ideas at various price points. Here are the top picks:
‘His’ Gear Gift Ideas
Big Ticket Item: The Rossignol Super 7 are the perfect addition to his growing quiver of skis. It’s a powder slaying freeride ski known for its manoeuvrability. He’ll Google it and see you know what’s up because he’ll find nothing but glowing reviews. Pick it up for $699.
Gear Geek Gift: Atomic Skintec Cross Country Skis are a waxless cross country model that come with two interchangeable sets of skins allowing him to choose the level of grip and glide he prefers. A waxless ski that can be adjusted to different conditions is finally here! A full kit of skis, bindings, skins and installation runs about $599 at Wilson’.
Mountain Sexy: A Wilson employee made such an impassioned sales pitch for Saxx Underwear – promising the definitive end of chafing and discomfort – that a friend who self-identifies as cheap, dropped the required $25-40 for a pair. These fitted briefs seem to live up to their reputation as the most comfortable product around and if that doesn’t sell you, they are a great pieced of Canadiana to take home. Denied a deal on the TV show Dragon’s Den, Saxx Underwear owner Trent Kitsch proved the Dragons wrong with his now booming B.C.-based business.
Budget Stocking Stuffer: The Spanky goggle wipe is not only a practical gift but also qualifies as a great souvenir from your ski holiday. This microfiber lens cloth not only keeps your goggles clean and scratch-free, but is printed with maps of either Lake Louise Ski Resort or Sunshine Village so you can use them to navigate the slopes as well. Cost is $9.95
‘Her’ Gift Ideas
Big Ticket Item: Ideal for powder, park or groomers, the Salomon Wonder Snowboard has been slaying the competition when it comes to all-mountain performance. She will be sure to enjoy not only the buttery ride it provides but let’s face it: graphics are important and this top sheet is wall-hang worthy. Cost is $469.
Gear Geek Gift: Women generally have poor circulation compared to their male counterparts so why not show some empathy for her cold toes and set her up with a set of Lenz Heated Socks. These battery-powered Merino wool socks will keep her toes toasty even on the coldest day. Who knows, this may even translate to fewer warm-up visits to the lodge. These run $299.
Mountain Sexy: If she’s a mountain girl, she’s probably already a fan of Icebreaker, if not it’s just a matter of time, so pick her up a pair of their Merino wool underwear. If she already has some – well, a girl can never have too many pairs! If she doesn’t, within a week she will be selling her friends on how comfortable they are and how thoughtful you are turning out to be. Underwear run $35 – $50.
Budget Stocking Stuffer: Buffs are where practical and fashion meet because it combines both keeping her warm as well as hiding helmet hair. With a plethora of colors and patterns, pick something that won’t clash with her jacket and you can be sure she will be sporting it on your next ski day. Buffs run from $35 to $50.
Where to Shop:
If you make it to Lake Louise, head to Wilson Mountain Sports in the village. Wilson’ may be a bit smaller than its Banff counterparts but carries a great selection of the best gear with a crew of gear heads on staff that are the definition of knowledgeable.
In Banff, Monod Sports is your best bet for a one-stop shop of gear gifts though Patagonia, North Face and Atmosphere all have locations within a two block span of Banff Avenue. Alternately, The Ski Hub on 119 Banff Avenue is your best bet for all accessories and can sort you out with gear rentals if you aren’t traveling with your own gear.