The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, connected skis and action cams

A growing range of wearable tech is bolstering life on the slopes for skiers
The best skiing wearables

Skiing might be the ultimate sport for wearable tech. There are amazing action cams to capture your most unforgettable moments. There are airbag vests that can keep track of how you crashed so that you can fix it later. There are ski trackers that keep track of your performance. From beginning to end, there are just a whole bunch of connected and wearable technology, like GPS watches, to up your ski game.

Essential reading: How to choose the best wearable camera

Sure, in previous years most of the talk in the world of skiing has revolved around lighter materials that allow you to ski faster than ever before. Or more adaptable skis. Or even goggles that are slightly heated so that they don't fog, or even heated gloves and socks. But not anymore, now the connected self wearable revolution is permeating ski resorts all over the world.

Here's a round up of the skiing wearables that'll keep you connected from the mountain top to the finish line...

GoPro Hero5 Black

The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, HUD goggles and action cams

We called the Hero5 Black "the best action camera ever made." High praise, but entirely earned. It adds onto previous cameras by bringing GPS and video stabilisation to an already impressive 4K offering. There's also a 2-inch touchscreen on the back.

If you're the type to get paranoid, you also won't have to ever worry about melted snow messing this thing up because it doesn't need one of those waterproof cases. It's rugged, it can mount on a whole bunch of different things thanks to all those crazy GoPro accessories.

$399, gopro.com | Amazon

Garmin Fenix 5

The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, HUD goggles and action cams

It probably should be no surprise that, like the Fenix 3 before it, the Fenix 5 is the best ski watch out there. It automatically tracks your individual runs while recording speed, distance and vertical drop data.

It can easily do both cross country skiing and regular skiing, and there's an automatic run counter with Auto Pause support when you're headed back up the mountain. That way you can instantly see how your run is doing compared to others on that day. Something to gloat about while on that ski lift.

Explained: How does GPS actually work?

There's also an optional fabric strap that lets you wear the watch over your jacket. You can also use the Fenix 5 as a remote control for Garmin's action cameras. So while Garmin prides itself on the Fenix's multi-sport capabilities, it still manages to master all of the activities it covers. 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.

From: $599, garmin.com | Amazon

TomTom Adventurer

The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, connected skis and action cams

The TomTom Adventurer is a more affordable ski-friendly watch that takes all the great features from the TomTom Spark running watch and throws in some nifty outdoor extras.

Read this: Best altimeter watches

There's dedicated modes for skiing and snowboarding with a lift detection mode that recognises when you're jumping on a lift giving you a summary of your recently completed snow session.

It also lets you upload GPX routes to make sure you know where you're going and a decent 24 hours of battery life in continuous use means it's got you covered for a day out on the slopes.

$349.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

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.

$198, PIQ.com | Amazon

In&motion smart ski airbag vest

Hurtling down slopes can be dangerous business, if you hit something you're going to be a world of pain. This airbag, however, will inflate in less than 100 milliseconds to protect your hips, back and vital organs from serious damage.

You can wear it under your normal skiing attire, and 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 in the same way an airbag springs into action after a car accident. All of the data from the ride can be recorded and uploaded to the cloud, so if you mess up you can go back and see how it happened. That way you can avoid such mistakes in the future.

The vest has thus far been used for two seasons by professional skiers, but partner Rossignol will start selling it for everyone else in June 2017.

€1,200, inemotion.com

Suunto Ambit 3 Peak Black

best ski tech

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.

$399, suunto.com | Amazon

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 action camera.

$550, oakley.com | Amazon

POC Fornix Communication

The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, HUD goggles and action cams

POC took its award-winning Fornix helmet and turned it into a communication powerhouse. With built in Beats by Dre headphones in the neck roll, you can listen to all the bass-heavy music you want.

But, more importantly, you can use the built in remote control and microphone to take calls, alter the volume and skip tracks without touching your smartphone. And when you're making your way down a dangerous slope, avoiding trees and poles and need that one specific jam that'll put you in the zone, there's nothing more you need than safe convenience.

$175, pocsports.com |Amazon

Madshus Empower skis

The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, HUD goggles and action cams

Madshus, which has been making skis for over 100 years, isn't just making skis that are connected after you use them. They're making skis that are connected from before you even buy them.

It works like this: Using their Empower system, which places RFID chips in each and every one of their skis, they digitize and store the unique capabilities of each ski. So when you're ready to buy, you give them your information, stuff like your height and weight, and they'll match you to a ski perfectly fit for you digitally.

Once you do that, you can customize your performance via the Empower app. You can also rank and rate your ski performances, compare how you do with different sets of skis and more.

From $335, madshus.com


Shop for recommended action cameras on Amazon

GoPro Hero5 Black
GoPro Hero5 Black
$399.99
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker
$319
Garmin Virb Ultra 30
Garmin Virb Ultra 30
$399.99
TomTom Bandit
TomTom Bandit
$169.95

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1 Comment

  • Brodie3 says:

    the Recon 2 is the tech used in the Oakley Airwaves. Recon don't make the googles, only the HUD. Some other ones worth looking into for sure: TRACEup - on sale and gets good reviews, Rideon Vision - shipping this month supposedly and looks ready from the videos posted,  and Gogglepal - supposed to ship this month but they have not been as active with updates and footage as Rideon has. 

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