Gear Review: Smith Nexus Mips Helmet and 4D MAG Goggles for Winter 2023-2024

Embarking on the Slopes with the Smith Nexus Mips Helmet

Selecting the striking Matte Pacific color, the Smith Nexus Mips Helmet immediately stood out for its head-turning aesthetics. Beyond its visual appeal, the lightweight, low-profile design elevated my skiing experience to new heights. The hybrid shell construction, balancing durability with a sleek in-molded shell, made it feel like I wasn’t wearing a helmet at all, without compromising on essential safety features.

A Weightless Guardian

Wearing the Nexus felt like a liberation rather than a burden. The advanced KOROYD® technology provided a level of lightweight, energy-absorbing protection that traditional foam helmets couldn’t match. Navigating the mountain felt agile, with the helmet adapting seamlessly to my movements. The impact-resistant exoskeleton and Mips® Brain Protection System offered peace of mind, knowing that I was well-protected in every descent.

Comfort Redefined: The BOA® 360 Fit System

The micro-adjustable BOA® 360 Fit System was a game-changer. The helmet adapted to my entire head, offering a level of comfort that allowed me to focus solely on the thrill of the ride. The sweat-wicking, odor-fighting liner kept me warm, and the front and rear adjustable 24-vent design allowed me to regulate airflow based on the changing conditions.

User-Friendly Features: From Fidlock® to Fit

The Fidlock® strap buckle showcased thoughtful design. Its easy one-hand operation was a welcome feature, especially when gearing up with gloves on. The helmet’s form-fitting comfort was accentuated by removable ear pads, offering a personalized touch to the overall experience. It’s these small yet impactful details that set the Nexus apart.

Navigating the Terrain with the Smith 4D MAG Goggles

Donning the AC | Sage Cattabriga-Alosa + ChromaPop™ Sun Black Gold Mirror 4D MAG Goggles, I entered a new dimension of vision on the mountain.

ChromaPop™ Brilliance: Seeing is Believing

The ChromaPop™ lens technology lived up to its promise, enhancing color, clarity, and definition. The world around me became a vivid panorama, and every detail popped with unparalleled brilliance. Whether in bright sunlight or overcast conditions, the ChromaPop™ lenses proved their versatility.

Magnetic Mastery: Smith MAG Lens Change System

Changing lenses mid-descent has never been smoother. The Smith MAG lens change system, employing magnets for quick changes, became a game-changer. The magnetic clasp securely held the lenses in place while allowing for swift changes, even with gloves on. It was a testament to Smith’s commitment to adaptability in the ever-changing mountain environment.

Expanding Horizons: BirdsEye Vision

BirdsEye Vision, offering a 25% increase in the field of view, was transformative. I wasn’t just aware of my line but also of fellow riders in my periphery. It enhanced safety and situational awareness, crucial elements when navigating crowded slopes.

Seamless Integration: Fit, Comfort, and Fog-Free Performance

The 4D MAG Goggles seamlessly integrated with my Smith helmet. The QuickFit strap adjustment system, ultra-wide silicone-backed strap, and three-layer DriWix face foam ensured a snug fit that stayed in place even during high-speed descents. The AirEvac ventilation system, designed for fog-free lenses, was a welcomed assurance in varied weather conditions.

Personal Experience: A Weightless Journey

The lightweight construction of the Nexus helmet made it feel like a natural extension of my skiing experience. The magnet clasp, securing the helmet under my chin, struck a perfect balance between security and convenience. It provided a snug fit that stayed put, even during the most exhilarating runs. Taking off the helmet with gloves on was a breeze, thanks to the user-friendly design—a testament to the thoughtful engineering that defines Smith gear.

Elevate Your Winter Adventure with Smith Gear

As winter approaches and the snow-covered mountains beckon, elevate your skiing experience with the Smith Nexus Mips Helmet and 4D MAG Goggles. The perfect blend of style, safety, and innovation awaits you. Explore the lightweight prowess of the Nexus and the optical brilliance of the 4D MAG Goggles. Now is the time to gear up for unforgettable winter moments.

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Backcountry Skiing With 57Hours Guided Adventures

Something that had been on my Colorado bucket list was backcountry skiing.

I got the itch a couple years back when I went snowshoeing with a friend that opted to be on his skis instead. Every time I looked at him, it was obvious that he was having a much better time than me traversing the snow.

And a much easier time. There was a fairly long stretch where we had lost the trail and I was post-holing constantly—sinking up to my hip—while he skied past me with ease.

The second time backcountry skiing wormed its way into my brain was while driving through Loveland Pass. We kept passing parked cars on the side of the road and realized that they were skiers and snowboarders that were traversing the backcountry instead of the nearby Keystone Resort.

And when I saw those skiers and snowboarders, they looked like they were having a blast!

But backcountry skiing was a lot to bite off.

Where do I start?

How do I start?

Who could I go out with?

Enter: 57Hours

57Hours is a new site and app that connects people with guides for outdoor adventures. The goal of their platform is to provide a seamless experience for freelance guides and adventure seekers.

57Hours Homepage
57Hours Homepage

For clients, it eliminates the hassle of calling around to different guides and companies to find the appropriate scaled adventure, a guide that fits your need, and then all the craziness of coordinating dates.

57Hours matches adventurers with the best-fit guide based on need and skill level. Plus, choosing a day for your adventure is as easy as booking an Airbnb.

For guides, the app provides another avenue for acquiring new clients. Plus, they only take a small percentage of your guide fee.

Because of our own mission to connect people with the outdoors, we were beyond thrilled when 57Hours reached out for us to review their guide service.

The User Experience

Navigating the 57Hours website and app was a breeze.

When you first land on their site, you can select your ideal adventure type and location. You can also browse through all adventure types and locations to see the scale of their platform. You can choose to do something locally or all the way across the world.

For myself, I chose backcountry skiing and selected locations in Colorado.

The closest adventure opportunity to me was in Rocky Mountain National Park, so I chose that.

57Hours Trip Booking User Interface
57Hours Trip Booking User Interface

As mentioned before, the user interface was very similar to Airbnb.

I selected dates that would work best and added a note for the guide about what I was hoping to get out of the experience.

Once I hit “continue,” I was taken through a checkout portal and had follow-up emails confirming my adventure and notified me that a guide would be in touch.

Pairing with a Guide

Based on my adventure, availability, and level 57Hours paired me up with a guide and pretty soon we began trading emails to lay out the details of the trip.

57Hours goes through a vetting process for their guides, so when they paired me with Max Lurie from Alpine to the Max, I knew I was in good hands.

Max was great at communicating and making sure that I felt comfortable going into this adventure.

I had a lot of questions about equipment and he was there, ready to answer every single one.

As we laid out details for the backcountry trip, he made sure that I knew exactly where we’d meet up, confirmed that I had all the equipment I needed, and helped me rent additional equipment.

Since we were heading into the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park, it was important that I rented appropriate skis, skins, poles, boots, and avalanche gear that included a shovel, probe, and tracker.

So far, the experience had been great.

As a newbie to backcountry skiing, I felt that I was at a place with my guide that I trusted him and I trusted myself and my ability to go out, have a good time, and not die.

The Day Of

Finally, the day had come. Time to go out into the backcountry.

I met Max at the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and we drove in. After about 15 minutes we reached our destination: the Hidden Valley trailhead.

We spent some time at our cars making sure the gear worked. Max walked me through how to use my tracker and showed me how to put the skins on my skis.

Backcountry Skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park

The trailhead, at the very base, was flat, so we spent some time familiarizing me with the motion of backcountry skiing, which took a while to catch on. It’s very different from regular skiing and you can’t use the same motion as snowshoeing or hiking.

“Pick up your heel and glide,” I kept telling myself.

Once I had enough confidence in the movement, we started up on the trail.

When we reached switchbacks, Max paused again and showed me how to turn while on a vertical incline.

And we continued on.

Soon we reached the top of a small hill and after removing the skins, Max used that opportunity to check to make sure I could ski well enough.

It was at that point I realized that my ski boot rentals weren’t going to cut it. If there is one lesson here, it is to make sure your equipment is the right fit before you get out to the slopes. My boots were too tight and when I tightened them for downhill skiing my foot would cramp. For this test slope, it wasn’t so bad though. My foot was relieved when I made it down and loosened the boot for backcountry skiing.

Putting skins on

Once skins were back on, we continued on, going up about a mile until we reached the snow covered Trail Ridge Road.

We hydrated and refueled and it was time to ski down.

Throughout the entire process, Max was extremely knowledgeable and patient.

When we made it back down to the cars, we had some time left and Max took the opportunity to do some basic backcountry avalanche training. He familiarized me with my rental equipment and we practiced beacon retrieval.


Overall, this was a great experience.

Getting the experience in the backcountry and avalanche training is something I’ll be able to carry with me and use during my next adventure.

And I know that I wouldn’t have done this without having someone like Max to guide me.

57Hours made is easy to find a guide and an adventure that was a good fit. If you’re wanting to get outdoors for an adventure, but not sure where to start, checkout 57Hours. You won’t be disappointed.

Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit Review

Outdoor Research sent our team their Skytour AscentShell Bib and Jacket to test. It was perfect timing because ski season had just started.

Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit
Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit

The Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit uses a proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane to provide top-of-the-line weather resistance. The Bib and Jacket combo is the most breathable water-resistant hardshell we have tested. It is comfortable to wear and stretchy. It has a lot of features, making it a great choice for backcountry skiers.


Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit
Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit

The Skytour AscentShell Bib and Jacket provides little warmth. The shell is thin and allows air to pass through the fabric, so that as you’re moving up through the backcountry and working up a decent sweat, warm air can escape easily. This kit needs to be paired with insulating mid- and base-layers (such as the recently reviewed Ibex Baselayers). The warmth of this bib and jacket is comparable to a pair of hiking pants or a heavy rain jacket. But this lack of warmth is ideal for anyone that is wanting to ski hard and elevate their heart rate.

It also has several vents that were easy to unzip and zip with gloves on. This provided additional breathability and didn’t compromise the waterproofness.


When we tested how waterproof this product was, it held up over our half-day excursion in the backcountry. Outdoor Research’s proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane is called “AscentShell” and is built in the bib and jacket. Both products are fully seam-sealed and the zippers are waterproof. The hood on the jacket provides good coverage, but it didn’t fully cover my ski helmet. Additionally, the bib’s legs are wide enough to fully cover my ski boots while providing enough coverage so snow didn’t pack inside the leg openings.

The Fit

Many of the hardshell jacket and bibs we tested were stiff and didn’t allow for a lot of movement. During testing, we found that the Skytour AscentShell Kit didn’t have that problem. The material is soft and stretchy and the brushed interior fabric is light on the skin. On the jacket, there is a fleece-lined chin guard, which provided an extra layer of comfort.

Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit
Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit

The fit is straight-cut which was perfect for my body-size and accommodated my mid- and base-layers.

I also found that the jacket and bib weren’t noisy. When I’m out in the backcountry, I enjoy the stillness the snow brings, and crinkly and noising hardshells can easily ruin that serenity.

Skytour AscentShell Kit comes with a lot of pickets that were easy to access and use. On the jacket, the two hand pockets and two external chest pockets provided tons of storage. The jacket’s left sleeve pass pocket was useful for accessing RFID turnstiles without stalling. On the inside, it has a mesh stash pocket and another zippered chest pocket. I was able to easily store and access snacks and my iPhone.


Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit
Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Kit

If you’re looking for hardshell jacket or bib or both, the Skytour AscentShell Kit is a great value. It provides terrific weather and water resistance at a much lower price. Plus, it has some amazing features and storage. If you’re heading into the backcountry, this jacket and bib will be the perfect companion for you.

The Skytour AscentShell Kit is available in Men’s and Women’s sizes. I am 5’11” and 185 pounds and I wore a large in both the bib and jacket comfortably.

Skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken

On the train from Interlaken, to Grindelwald, Switzerland to ski the Swiss Alps.

As I spent the past four months traveling around Europe, I have developed a profound interest in exploring the world Untraveled, the most memorable travel experience being skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken. Living in Spain and spending my weekends in surrounding countries, my appreciation for the outdoors has expanded immensely.

The beginning of our journey

It was our third weekend trip in Europe, and everything had gone pretty smoothly up until this point. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland from Barcelona, Spain, arriving at around 11:30 pm on January 31, 2019. This being one of our first trips, inevitably left us missing our connecting train from Zurich to Interlaken. This forced us to get a hotel at the Zurich Marriott Hotel for the night. Our original intentions were to catch a train once we landed, but our lack of knowledge regarding how to speak the German/French language left us stumped trying to purchase the tickets at the self-checkout.

On the first day, half of the people we met up with intended to go skydiving, while the other half had planned to go paragliding. These types of extreme sports are activities that are typically done here, due to the breathtaking views that the country has to offer. Due to the weather, midst-of-winter, both excursions were cancelled for safety reasons and pushed to a further date.

After day 1

Spending our night hanging out at a local hostel, we were able to retrieve second opinions regarding skiing in Switzerland close to Interlaken. We received nothing but good connotations regarding how unreal the experience was. This made us think how mindless of us it would be, for us to pass up the opportunity. Initially, we had planned on paragliding the second day, but ended up reversing our decision. We ended up contacting the paragliding company last minute, to switch out reservation to Sunday so we could shred Saturday.

The first few runs

Growing up in Colorado, skiing on the weekends was something that I had grown up doing. Prior to this experience, I was convinced I had seen it all. I was beyond wrong. A mixture between the mountains, fog and powder was like nothing I had ever seen nor experienced before. The mountains made Colorados look like hills, and all I could think about was how lucky I was to be there.

On the very first run at Jungfrau Ski Resort, I lost the two people I was with, taking the trail all the way to the other side of the mountain. I am convinced the sole reason behind this was due how distracting the views were. It felt as though I was looking at a green screen and that it almost did not seem real. It was soon recognizable, that I was on the completely opposite side of the mountain, but ensured the friend I was with that I would find my way back to meet up with her. At this point my phone was on 18%, but remained calm, as there could not possibly be a better place to traverse. All that mattered at the time was fresh powder, good music and the world at large.

The last few runs

Eventually, I made my way back to the people in my party, but we soon after found ourselves separated again. This time I was with two others, but had gotten separated from the remaining six. Naturally, we found ourselves at the wrong side of the mountain. This raised concern considering we were already cutting it close to the departure time.

Distracted by what this world has to offer, we found ourselves resting by a creek. We were able to drink the freshest water I firmly believe I will ever have the opportunity to taste. Using Chris’ flask, we passed around the numbing liquid, in disbelief at the chilling temperature and refreshing savor. This, all organic, was the best water I have yet to taste. Distracted by mother nature, we eventually made the executive decision that it was time to make our way back to where our train was departing from, to avoid spending another night in the wrong city.

We skied as fast as we could across the mountain in attempt to make it to the last lift that could transport us to where we were supposed to be. Fortunately, we were able to navigate back just in time, with the common event of me taking a hard fall. All-embracing, I wouldn’t have preferred this day to go any other way. A day spent in the Swiss Alps, is a day that can not go wrong. What a life it is, experiencing this world one day at a time.