At their best, sports in the snow can be exhilarating: the cold whip of wind on your cheeks, the moment of silence as you catch the perfect jump, and lobbing snowballs at your friends by the lodge. At their worst, winter adventure sports can mean wet socks, icy fingertips, and cold-chapped skin.
The difference between the two is the right gear. Here are some of our favorite brands, made right here in the Pacific Northwest, that will ensure you stay warm, dry, and happy out on the slopes.
This versatile bib (pictured above) suits both backcountry adventurers and lodge-goers, with a relaxed but slim leg that is snug and easy to move in. Born in Hood River but now based in Portland, you can snag this and more at TREW Gear's one and only brick-and-mortar location on 1145 SE 2nd Avenue. $479
Hailing from Seattle’s SoDo district (that’s south of downtown for the uninitiated), Outdoor Research offers crowd pleasers like this three-fabric waterproof jacket, which is perfect for layering. Plus, it’s so durable, you won’t even need that lifetime warranty, although it’s nice to have anyways. $299
For the one who would rather unwind by the fire with a mug of piping hot cider, this shacket is a bona fide classic. While the rest of the fashion world is just getting hip to the sturdy, clean lines of the shirt-jacket combo, Filson has been creating the industry standard for heavy work shirts since the Progressive Era. $185
Nestled near the summit of Mount Baker in Glacier, Washington, POW designs its gloves to keep your mitts dry and fingers free of frostbite. These goatskin gloves have Gore-Tex insulation and fur-lined cuffs that’ll keep you cozy no matter what kind of weather Oregon throws at you. $120
You can’t get pitted if you’re suffering from snow blindness, but thankfully Salt Lake City-based company Pit Vipers has you covered. In lieu of bulky goggles, these polarized, psychedelic sunglasses are for the thrashers out on the slopes. $99
Ditch the synthetic fabrics and make an investment in a good wool beanie; your ears will thank you later. And, while you’re at it, why not get it from one of the country’s best-known wool textile manufacturer, based right here in Oregon? Plus, nothing screams cozy winter vibes more than a chunky knit hat with a pom-pom on top. $50
Offering a variety of handmade skis and snowboards made from local lumber and decorated with limited edition artwork, Deviation Works is best known for their custom models. With the help of in-house designers and artists, customers can choose everything from shape, size, flex, graphics, top sheet, and base. Plus, all skis and boards are designed and made in Deviation’s lab right here in Portland. Starting at $349
These packs are for the dedicated alpine traveler. With a range of sizes from 26 to 45 liters, Cilo’s ski packs were designed to carry all the gear an experienced backcountry adventurer could need. Plus, all packs are manufactured in Cilo Gear’s Portland factory. Starting at $219
Unlike traditional petroleum-based wax, mountainFLOW’s wax is biodegradable and totally plant based, so you can leave no trace out on the mountain. Plus, it’s easy to use for all the newbies out there. $16
After a long day out in the cold, thaw yourself out in front of a crackling fire with a generous pour of whiskey. This fruity and robust single malt from Portland-based Westward Whiskey is the second release from its exclusive Whiskey Club and the first to be available outside of Oregon. Brewed in casks that once held Pinot Noir Dessert Rosé from the Dobbes Family Estate, this whiskey tastes of dark rip cherry, currants, and vanilla cream with finishing notes of carmelized sugar, cedar, and slight mint. $90