PlanetSKI Gear Reviews #4: Winter 22/23


In the fourth of a sporadic series of gear reviews over the winter, our gear editor Alf Alderson reviews more kit for skiers. NEW


With spring on the way, a good hydration pack is pretty essential, since not only does it provide essential drinking water for your day on the slopes it also allows you to carry those extra layers you may end up shedding as the day warms up.

Camelbak’s Snoblast fits the bill perfectly, it’s 20-litre capacity being plenty big enough for anything other than full-on ski touring.

The two-litre Crux reservoir is more than adequate for a full day out and it apparently even delivers 20 per cent more water per sip, as well as coming with an ergonomic handle for easier refilling, and an on/off lever that makes it easy to prevent leaks.

A three-zipper opening allows you to unzip the side of the pack for quick access to all your gear, and there’s a zippered expansion panel for when you need to squeeze a few extra bits and pieces in.

Your drinking water will be less likely to freeze in the drinking tube as it slots into an insulated, zippered sleeve in the harness and also comes with a neoprene sleeve for the tube itself.

If the snow starts to come down heavily the ‘Snowshed’ material that the pack is made from will do what the name suggests – shed snow, effectively.

Additional features include zippered inner and outer pockets in the lid for storing essential stuff like sunglasses and sun cream, an adjustable sternum strap and side straps for carrying skis, snowshoes and the like.

VERDICT: Good looking, functional hydration pack that’s ideal for spring skiing.

Camelbak Snoblast Winter Hydration Pack 20L with 2L Reservoir £120 – Imge © Camelback  –


The Multibev is a cleverly designed flask that offers you both a water bottle and a detachable travel cup.

Its double-walled vacuum insulated stainless steel construction allows it to keep liquids hot or cold for several hours (14 hours hot, 20 hours cold for the bottle and three hours hot, six hours cold for the cup).

It also comes with a rubber ‘Roll and Fold’ lid which tucks inside the cap of the bottle and can be attached to the drinking cup to prevent spillage when, for instance, you’re driving.

Build quality is excellent, with a powder coat finish and non-slip silicone base creating a highly durable exterior, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe and BPA, BPS & BPF free.

VERDICT: Versatile bottle and cup combo that you can use all year round.

Camelbak Multibev Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle 500ML with 350ML cup £40 – Imge © Camelback  –


This superb garment is pretty much Jottnar’s flagship item – if you’re looking to stay warm, the Fjorm’s 275g of hydrophobic 850 Fill Power ethically-sourced goose down will do the job in the foulest of weather.

I’ve been wearing one of Jottnar’s original Fjorm jackets for the last ten years, and it’s been excellent, but the latest version is a great improvement on what was already a top-notch piece of outdoor clothing.

The Fjorm’s water-repellent down stays dry ten-times longer than untreated down, meaning continued insulation even when damp, and the water repellency won’t wash out and is free from harmful fluorocarbons.

The outer fabric is windproof, 30 denier micro rip-stop nylon outer with a durable water repellent finish.

The jacket feels snug and warm the instant you slip it on, and I’ve been amazed at just how much insulation the Fjorm provides.

I happily wore it to ski in sub-zero temperatures with just a lightweight base and mid-layer underneath the jacket, and the combination of warmth, light weight and windproofing meant not only was I snug and warm but I wasn’t weighed down with several heavy, insulated layers.

The hood in particular does a great job with excellent visibility and adjustability, and it is, of course, helmet compatible, and a scoop drop back hem helps to keep your bum warm on cold chairlifts.

The collar provides good protection for your lower face, whilst three zippered outer pockets – one chest, two handwarmer – provide external storage space.

There are also two large internal mesh dump pockets for hat, gloves, goggles or even ski skins and a zippered internal pocket which contains a separate stuff sac for the jacket.

Little details like the stretch cuffs lined with sueded tricot and glove compatible anti-snag hem draw cords add to the overall feeling of quality of the Fjorm, which is everything you’re likely to need in a down jacket.

VERDICT: Great looking, superbly engineered down jacket that will keep you warm and dry in the most miserable of conditions.

Jottnar Fjorm Hudrophobic Down Jacket £495 Imge © Jottnar  –


A fleece mid-layer is an essential piece of ski clothing, particularly in spring when it can act as an effective insulator on cold days and a lightweight outer layer on warm, sunny days (especially when ski touring).

Jottnar’s Hemming is a top-of-the-range option, featuring exceptional build quality which should see it last many seasons.

It’s made from Polartec Powerstretch Pro, which offers breathable  four-way stretch, giving a very comfortable (if rather snug) fit, and it comes with an abrasion-resistant finish.

Features include a stand up collar, a generously-sized chest zip for effective cooling on warmer days, a zipped chest pocket, a scoop back hem for lower back protection and thumb loops. It also looks great.

VERDICT: A stylish, functional and versatile mid-layer.

Jottnar Hemming Fleece Mid-Lay £125 Imge © Jottnar –


Although they’re designed for cycling, POC’s Propel sunglasses actually work very well for spring skiing, when goggles can be rather hot and sweaty.

The provide an exceptional field of view, with no frame to obstruct your vision, and keep you much cooler than goggles, especially when skinning.

They’re also considerably lighter than goggles, featuring a super-lightweight biogrilamid frame which is also strong and durable and made mainly from renewable sources.

They Propel is available with a variety of lens tints and comes with a spare clear lens, with easy changing of lenses when required, and all lenses feature anti-scratch treatment plus POC’s Ri-Pel’ technology, which protects from dirt, water, sweat, salt, oil and dust, and makes the lenses easier to keep clean.

The frames have adjustable temples and you’re also provided with three changeable nose pieces, which ensures you can find a snug and comfortable fit.

The Propels are not cheap, mind, but one of the reasons for the high price tag is that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used in the development of the glasses, to give a distinct ‘trailing edge’ at each end of the lens which directs air away from the ears and over the shoulders for improved aerodynamics – more important for techno-weenie cyclists, of course, but who knows, it may help you go that bit faster downhill on your skis…

VERDICT: A super light, rugged alternative to goggles for spring skiing, albeit at a price.

POC Propel Sunglasses £230 Imge © POC –

* Read PlanetSKI Gear Review #1: Winter 22/23 

* Read PlanetSKI Gear Review #2: Winter 22/23

* Read PlanetSKI Gear Review #3: Winter 22/23

Essential ski gear selected by Alf Alderson

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