The 11 Best Cross-Country Skiing Equipment & Snowshoes
Cross-country skiing is already an intense full-body workout, but doing it while towing your kid makes CrossFit look like Sweatin’ To The Oldies. Even if you feel conditioned to handle it, the difference between successfully trekking your child across the tundra and calling for the ski patrol is preparation. Here’s all the gear that you’re going to need to be a human reindeer.
Thule Chariot Cheetah Cross-Country Kit
Biking is the primary reason you should own a Chariot, but did you know you can add skis, like a James Bond car? And even though it takes up more garage space than a Yukon, the ability to bring your kid on winter adventures makes it worthwhile. The skiing and hiking equipment comes with two lightweight skis, a pair of aluminum telescoping tow bars and a hip-hugging waist belt with easy-access water bottle holster. Child-sized whip and reins not included.
Thule Chariot Cheetah ($489)
Madshus Terrasonic Classic Skis
In professional Nordic skiing, applying the right ski wax is part art, part science, and part Scandinavian voodoo. Or you can just skip that part and get the Terrasonic Classic. It has an Intelligrip base made from mohair and nylon, so no wax or prep work is required. A progressive profile provides optimal kick and glide, ensuring a speedy trip back to the lodge in the likely event of a meltdown.
Atlas Access Snowshoes
It’s easy to forget that cross-country skis have no edges and the boots have practically zero support, until you find yourself out of control on an incline. You can either be a YouTube fail video waiting to happen, or just ditch the damn skis. Instead, strap on a pair of Atlas snowshoes. They’re good on uneven terrain, surprisingly lightweight, and thanks to a Wrap Trail Binding, you won’t look like a 3-year-old trying to use a shoe horn when you put them on.
OR Deviator Hoody
Within seven minutes of hitting even the flattest trails, your core temperature will approach somewhere in the unopened microwave popcorn bag range. That’s why you need a lightweight, low profile, and exceedingly breathable layer on top. The Deviatior Hoody from OR weighs a scant 12 ounces, and it’s great at circulating air around your quivering torso.
DryGuy Warm N/Charge
If your kid gets bored or cold, hand him your DryGuy Warm N/Charge to simultaneously hold his attention and keep his fingers toasty. This handy device is a smartphone phone charger and hand-warmer in one, providing a full battery charge or 5 hours of warmth. Because screen time policies don’t apply to whining kids who are 3 miles from the trailhead.
Vuarnet 02 Sunglasses
The Vuarnet 02 model is the definition of elegance and performance on the ski slopes. Even if those terms don’t apply to you as a skier, they’ll still make you look great. Jean Vuarnet won the Downhill gold in these shades during the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Mick Jagger used to wear them around London with Jerry Hall. And now you’re wearing them while towing a toddler. You win!
Osprey Poco AG Child Carrier
If your spouse is cool with you skiing or snowshoeing with your child on your back (and who wouldn’t be?), the Poco Plus is a great alternative to that spendy Thule Chariot. Complete with lightweight aluminum stays and Osprey’s award-winning Anti-Gravity suspension system, this backpack is as trail-friendly as they come. Pro tip: Fall forward.
Salomon Equipe 8 Classic CF Boots
Unlike those cast-like alpine boots, cross-country ski boots allow for a wide range of movement, but they can be blister factories if they don’t fit properly. The Salomon has all the orthopedic bells and whistles: Touring-friendly insole, classic flex, adjustable heel strap, moldable foam, and responsive outsole. Basically, the Equipe 8 fits like a great pair of running shoes, only they’re for running on snow. While wearing cross-country skis.
Hestra Comfort Tracker Gloves
Warm, insulated gloves don’t come more dexterous. They’re flexible enough to form snowballs as well as handoff Cheerios. The back is made of breathable 3-layer interlock polyester which is fully windproof and waterproof. And the neoprene cuffs won’t get snagged on your jacket sleeve. (#first-worldskierproblems.)
Avex Freeflow Water Bottle
Hydration and endurance sports go hand in hand (or more accurately, sweat in hand). The Avex Freeflow bottle is made of double insulated Capacitor Stainless steel and has an AUTOSEAL locking lid, which helps it to keep liquids cold for up to 29 hours (or hot for 10). Leave the snow for the bears.
Swix Classic X-Fit Poles
Alpine skiing with no ski poles looks dumb, but cross-country skiing with no poles is impossible. A pair of lightweight aluminum ones will do. Make sure they’re LONG (like all the way up to your armpits) for maximum push, like these Swix X-Fit. The strap won’t get in the way of your skiing and the price tag won’t get in the way of your après ski budget.
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