From the best connected goggles with HUD interfaces and the top GPS watches for tracking your runs, to amazing action cams for capturing unforgettable moments, skiing is the ultimate sport for wearable tech. If you’re hitting the slopes this winter, there’s plenty of awesome wearable kit to really up your game.
Essential reading: How to choose the best wearable camera
previous years, discussions on skiing tech have often been focused around new
forms of lightweight clothing fabric, or perhaps new shells that make boots
easier to get on and off. Not anymore. The connected self wearable revolution
is also permeating ski resorts and backcountry treks around the globe.
Here’s a round up of the skiing wearables that’ll keep you
connected from the mountain top to the finish line…
GoPro Hero 4 Black
GoPro shares might be taking a bit of tumble thanks to the emergence of rival action cameras, but the GoPro Hero 4 Black remains one of the best to capture slope sessions.
The rugged, mountable cam features a raft of improvements, including the ability to shoot 4K video at 30fps and extract 8.3MP stills from your recordings, and offers a huge boost in performance over its predecessor the GoPro Hero3+.
While 4K recording at 30fps is indeed impressive, most people still play back at 1080p, which makes the 120fps recording at Full HD even more exciting and you’ll be able to get some great slo-mo action.
Garmin Fenix 3
Like its predecessor the Garmin Fenix 2, the Fenix 3 remains the best ski watch out there. It still automatically tracks your individual runs (rather than an entire
session) while recording speed, distance and vertical drop data. There’s now an automatic run counter with Auto Pause support and as you’re on
the way back up the mountain, you can instantly see how your run compared to
others on that day. Now there’s something to do on the ski lift
other than enjoy the view.
The fabric strap means you can wear it over your
jacket and you can even use it as a remote control for Garmin’s action cameras. While
Garmin prides itself on the Fenix’s multi-sport capabilities, it still manages
to master all of the activities it covers.
Snow 2 HUD
The self-proclaimed “world’s most advanced wearable computer” is a heads-up-display that sits neatly in the corner of your goggles and is
compatible with a host of the leading brands. The display projects what appears
to be a 14-inch image 5 feet away from the eye, which is crucial as it means you
don’t need to refocus your eyes in order to view the display.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled device has a host of sensors that track speed and
distance, your current altitude, vertical drop and accurate airtime data, while
the Snow 2 HUD can also hook up to your phone to display calls, texts and
PIQ ski boot sensor
If you want to show everyone who’s the king of the alpine hill, PIQ has teamed up with equipment company Rossignol for a performance-tracking sensor that straps onto your ski boot.
The waterproof sensor can deliver stats like edge to edge speed, air time, G-force and carving angle. You can view data in real time on your Android or iOS phone if you’re feeling brave and share your best turn or jump to other PIQ users and on social media for ultimate bragging rights.
If you already own a PIQ golf or tennis sensor, you can just pick up the ski strap, which costs £36.
Inmotion smart ski airbag vest
If you think hurtling down slopes is dangerous business, this airbag inflates in less than 100 milliseconds protecting your hips, back and vital organs from serious damage.
Worn under your normal skiing attire, there’s a small add-on around the back packed with sensors including GPS to detect all movements. If you’ve lost your balance, it’ll deploy the vest like the one in your car.
All of the data from eventful ride can be recorded and can be uploaded to the cloud so you can take a closer look at what happened and how to avoid making a mess of it again.
The airbag vest is reserved for professional racers and is set to go on sale from July 2016.
Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Black
The Ambit 3 Peak Black edition GPS watch from Finnish manufacturer
Suunto features a pressure sensor, which serves up weather and altitude data,
while also recording all of the usual activity metrics. All movement data is
synced back to the Suunto Movescout app via Bluetooth and then stored in the cloud.
The mobile app, which
delivers smartwatch notifications like emails and incoming calls, also enables
wearers to take photos with their altitude overlaid or use route data to create
slick overview videos. The Suunto Ambit 3 Peak is also available with or without
a heart-rate sensor accessory.
Oakley Airwave 1.5
Another pioneering set of connected goggles, the Oakley
Airwave offers a heads-up display that shows speed, altitude and jump
analytics (height, airtime, distance) on a small 1-inch display, which the
company claims will never divert your attention from the slope.
There’s integrated GPS so you
can record your routes, while if your buddies are also wearing Airwaves or
using the smartphone app, the display will direct you straight to them. Another neat feature is the ability to pair up the Airwave goggles with a Garmin VIRB action camera.
BearTek Bluetooth and
Camera module gloves
Bluetooth headphones can pump those high-octane tunes from
phone to ear, while a GoPro will capture a daring downhill run in stunningly
stable HD. However, controlling these elements mid-adventure isn’t always easy…
unless you’ve got these BearTek Gloves.
Thanks to a pair of attachable Sync
Modules and easily reachable, touch-sensitive buttons in the digits you can
pair up your devices and control them easily. From there, it’s easy to begin recording, take, photos,
access burst mode or control your musical experience without removing those
bulky extremity warmers.
From $170, beartekgloves.com
POC Receptor Bug
This helmet will protect you from head banging, but also
enable it, if you catch our drift. The POC Receptor BUG Communication lid has
Beats by Dr Dre headphones build directly into the neck roll.
The cans have a remote control that allows users to take calls thanks to
the built in microphone, alter the volume and easily skip tracks without
touching your smartphone. Existing POC helmet owners can also buy the neck roll
as a standalone item. Perfect for pairing with the latest smartwatches.
Not exactly connected but definitely wearable, the Therm-ic PowerSock will keep your toes warm even when the temperature drops below freezing.
The battery powered socks continuously release heat from the tip of the toes to across the entire sole of the foot and the makers claim this means a boost in performance.
From $230, therm-ic.com