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Spyder’s Heli GORE-tex Jacket and Chopper GORE-tex Pant

are top-shelf backcountry ski outerwear pieces, made—as the name

portends—for the helicopter-skiing crowd and other deep-powder

connoisseurs. This setup includes nearly every micro and macro feature

an intrepid alpine explorer could want or need in a shell system. Or

maybe you’ve got cash to burn and simply want the coolest of the cool.


Either way, this combo ski suit, available for the 2008/09 season, will

cost a hot $2,000—that’s $1,200 for the top, $800 for the bottoms. But,

behold! Neat features for comfort, safety and performance abound,




  • A backpack-compatible jacket design, which has “waist belt portals”
               to let you pass-through the pack’s belt and secure it inside your
               GORE-tex suit of armor.

  • “Origami-inspired” design, with hood, pockets, and joints
               that articulate and fold neatly back in place via “geometric
               three-dimensional expansion” functionality.

  • GORE-tex Pro-Shell fabric (waterproof, breathable, stretchy) and 3M’s lightweight Thinsulate Supreme Insulation (warm)

  • A removable powder skirt.

  • RECCO avalanche-transceiver reflectors stitched on to the jacket.

  • An “ear-splitting” U.S. Coast Guard-certified whistle that’s audible at 1,000 meters.


For safety, Spyder includes an SOS safety lining that

features the international distress symbol of a white cross on a red

background in case you get lost or need help out there in the BC.

Further, there’s universal safety information, including body rescue

signals, international cell phone information, and distress Morse code

printed on the jacket’s interior lining.








Available: Summer 2008


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Pricing: Heli GORE-tex Jacket, $1200; Chopper GORE-tex Pant MSRP, $800


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Colors: Pants and jacket come in black or green


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(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)



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