Skullcandy Sesh Evo
$29.99, various stores
Skiing and music are one of those killer combinations, like peanut butter and jelly or Saturday mornings and coffee. Slip a pair of Skullcandy Sesh Evo earbuds under the tree, and you can bet your shred-obsessed loved one will spend the rest of the season pretending they're hotdogging alongside the pros in their favorite ski flick. No fussy tangle of wires here. Just simple Bluetooth-enabled vibes. There's even a built-in microphone — handy for those fleeting moments when the outside world calls to check in.
Hestra Wakayama Mittens
$170, Ski Shack
It's a popular theory in the snowsports world that comfy feet make for happy riders. True as that may be, happiness is hard to hang onto when your hands are blocks of ice. Hestra's made a name for itself among skiers and snowboarders by ensuring that never happens, and the evidence doesn't get much cozier or chic than the Wakayama mitten. An exterior cut from cowhide keeps that frigid winter wind at bay, while interior layers of polyester and terry wool guarantee the fingers of that special powderhound on your holiday shopping list will stay in prime can-clutching shape all season long.
Dermatone Skin Protector
Nothing ruins a day on the slopes faster than a frost-nipped nose. Which is why the folks at Dermatone have been churning out tins of their "frostbite fighter" for years. An ideal stocking stuffer for any snowsports enthusiast, this pocket-sized face balm will keep the cold and wind at bay, and with its SPF 23 ranking, it'll also shield against winter's other familiar foe: the sun.
Midland T51 VP3 Talker
With ski lodges throughout the region operating at reduced capacity (or closed altogether), tracking down wayward riding companions will be trickier. This is exactly the type of season when a set of Midland walkie-talkies could come in handy. One word broadcast over a range of 28 miles can signal that it's time to rally at the car for lunch, and with a built-in weather alert system, that special someone on your gift list can stay on top of any storms that might delay their appearance at dinner.
Fieldsheer Backcountry Heated Vest
$179.95, Spokane Alpine Haus
Even on those gorgeous bluebird days, winter gets darned cold around these parts. And while layering up has been the tried and true way to stay warm for centuries, technology continues to make the battle easier. Fieldsheer's Backcountry vest (available in both men's and women's) includes a 7.4-volt heating system effective enough to keep a skier's core temp up through every chilly lift ride but compact enough to maintain that stylish aprés-ski look. Temperature settings range from 90 to 135 degrees, controlled by either a built-in touch control or Mobile Warming's free smartphone app.
GCI Firepit Rocker Chair
$59.99, Sportsman's Warehouse
Thanks to COVID-19, the aprés-ski scene isn't going to involve a stool in a crowded bar this season. That skier or snowboarder on your holiday gift list will need a new perch, one that can transform a backcountry trailhead or ski area parking lot into a cozy (and socially distanced) hangout. Any camper who has kicked back in a GCI fireside chair knows how portable the lap of luxury can be. And as if the rocker feature wasn't soothing enough, the attached cupholder will keep any mellowing elixir close at hand.
Teva Ember Moc Slippers
Ski boots may not be the pinched plastic prisons they once were, but a daylong shred-fest can still make for some extremely unhappy feet. What riders really need when the lifts stop turning — aside from a beer — is some cozy padded cocoon for their tired tootsies. That's where Teva's Ember Moc Slippers come in. Part sneaker, part wrap-around cloud, a pair of these stashed in the car will make sliding into aprés-ski mode a highlight of any powder day.
GEO single-serve coffee
One thing holds true in every ski season: No matter how deep the snow or blue the sky, every day eventually ends. And when it does, there's that dark drive home to consider. With a couple packets of instant coffee bouncing around the glovebox, though, your beloved powderhound can ride a jolt of caffeine all the way to the front door. Bozeman-based Treeline Coffee Roasters offers an array of handcrafted, single-serve coffee blends in pouches specifically designed with adventure in mind. Just tear, pour and bid the indignity of lukewarm gas station dark roast goodbye. ♦