You're bombing down Beaver Creek's Golden Eagle, surfing through thigh-deep powder in whiteout conditions. Within minutes, your legs are burning, your head is sweating and fogging your goggles, while the spandex balaclava you're wearing isn't just frozen--making it difficult to breathe--it's creating a plume of steam that's coating those fogged gogs with a sheen of ice. Putting a damper on an otherwise idyllic late-season powder day.
How so? We've tested the perfect helmet + goggle + face mask combo to vent all that hot air.
For the head: Obex Spin, POC's new top-of-the-line resort helmet. $200, pocsports.com
Not just one of the best-fitting helmets we've ever tried, and one of the industry's safest (with POC's patented Shearing Pad Inside SPIN noggin-protecting technology), it's also one of the coolest for skiers with hot heads, thanks to adjustable vents that regulate air flow, including vents in front of the helmet that funnel air downward toward goggles to virtually eliminate fogging.
For the eyes: POC's Fovea Clarity goggle. $220, pocsports.com
Poc's Fovea Clarity google, which integrates perfectly with the Obex Spin to maximize the anti-fogging feature of the helmet, ships with a Carl Zeiss lens with a Spektris mirror coating to cut the glare from bluebird skies, and a non-mirrored lens for maximizing contrast when the light is flat, and the flakes are flying.
For the face: North45's Merino Anti-Fog Balaclava. $42, north45.ca
Designed by a group of skiers and snowboarders from Montreal, this two-piece face mask is made of merino wool (not only warm, it breathes and defies freezing), consisting of a balaclava and a tented nose mask that attaches to the nosepiece of your goggle (via magnets), and like POC's helmet, channels breath down and away from goggle lenses to avoid fogging, or creating an exhaust cloud that freezes on the exterior of the lens.
Tested on that same run, under similar conditions, this combo delivered a fog-free day of perfect skiing.
Looking for an alternative well-vented helmet?
We also tested: Swagtron's Snowtide smart helmet. $150, swagtron.com
The South Bend, Indiana, hoverboard manufacturer's initial foray into the snowsports market, which features no fewer than 15 adjustable vents, doesn't just look Buck Rogers, it is, with an integrated push-to-talk bluetooth communications system that doesn't just pair to your smartphone, it also functions a walkie talkie that allows you to keep in constant contact with your (Swagtron-wearing) best buds, and will even send out an SOS. Editor's note: If bluetooth is a must, POC also has you covered with its $280 Obex Spin Communication.