We are always looking for ways to save money on skiing. Exhibit A, check out these classic Braveskimom posts:
- How to Save Money on Skiing (Travel)
- How to Save Money on Skiing: Bring Your Lunch (Ski Day Veggie Burritos and more)
- How to Save Money on Family Skiing: Tickets, Lessons and Rentals
- How to Save Money On Family Skiing, Part Two: Lodging and Vacations
Obviously saving money is both a hot topic and a good thing. Think of it this way: the more you save, the more you can ski.
Outdoor Master’s entire MO is offering good gear at good prices. In the snowsports space, they sell ski, board and boot bags, myriad models of goggles, helmets, socks, and the random adult glove and kid mitts, helmet drop-in headphones, and a women’s fleece.
After perusing their site and and liking the pricing, I asked Outdoor Masters to send me a variety of products to review. Today, my impressions, pro and con, of the gear I received from Outdoor Masters. As always, what you’ll read is exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
Boot and Ski Bags
This is the product category that sucked me in, primarily because I truly believe the ski world would be a kinder, happier place if everyone — from age 5 and up — carries their own gear in an organized ski boot backpack. Not only do backpacks help keep everything in one place, at the ready, good to go, but by staying organized, moms and dads won’t go crazy looking for lost goggles and random mittens (their own or their children’s).
Over the years, I have done a lot of reviews from two premium ski boot and bag companies: Transpack and Kulkea. I appreciate the high-quality, roominess, and smart design these two companies exhibit. They offer distinctly different takes on this ski day basic, and both are worth checking out.
Outdoor Master Polar Bear Boots Bag
For value however, I think it’s hard to beat Outdoor Master’s Polar Bear Boots Bag, which comes in at $49.99 before bundling discounts (buy a variety of products and save between 15-20%). It’s available in White, Black, Gray, and Blue.
Made of sturdy fabric, including a waterproof bottom panel, and heavy-duty fastenings, the Polar Bear bag features standard side pockets for boots and a large central compartment for a helmet, goggles, gloves, aprés-skirt, beanie, socks, and so on (these are the items currently in my bag).
Two additional side pockets expand to hold smaller essentials (passes, sunscreen, more socks, and so on), while there also small external and internal top pockets. Bungee straps help carry larger items like a jacket. The shoulder straps adjust easily and can be detached and stuffed into a back pocket to protect them during travel. The back is padded and, in my opinion, quite comfortable.
Those are the pros. As for cons, this is a smaller bag than some of the larger, travel-friendly boot backpacks out there. If you’re planning a long trip or if you have very large ski boots, it might not be for you. I found my ski boots and helmet pretty much maxed out the width of the bag. But truly, everything I had in my other bag fit in easily. Compared to other brands, the Polar Bear is also missing a waist strap (more important for heavy bags and tramping through airports).
All-in-all, it’s a solid choice for skis and riders ages 10 and up with all the features you need for 99% of ski days.
Outdoor Master Ski Bag and Boots Bag Combo
This combo features two extremely basic bags at one incredibly affordable price of $45.99. Made of heavy-duty waterproof nylon, these bags are not padded and won’t protect your gear from drops, bumps, and spills. The ski bag is adjustable by rolling down one end and cinching it, and there are side straps to tighten down and snug up the bag once your skis and poles are packed in it. If I were using this, I’d also pack my jacket, pants, and base layers around my skis to keep them safe and fill the bag.
As for the boot bag (or as Outdoor Master calls it, a boots bag), it’s even more basic: a ski boot-size rectangular bag with a stiff bottom and two very basic nylon handles. Outdoor Master calls these ergonomic handles, but they are not. I wouldn’t want to carry my boots very far with them.
Still, if you’re flying somewhere this combo meets a very basic need: most US airlines will let you check a ski boot bag and ski bag as one piece of luggage rather than two. If you show up with your ski boots in your suitcase and your skis in a bag, they will actually charge you more than if you show up with two dedicated, purpose-built ski and boot bags. And at this price, you’ll have money left over for beer.
So many goggles in every color combination you can imagine. That’s pretty much how I sum up the Outdoor Master eyewear offerings. I’m pretty much enamored with magnetic lenses that offer quick versatility, so I went for the PRO XM goggles. As promised, they’ve got a nice wide strap and they fit my face well. The magnetic lens works perfectly and they came with a sturdy, hard-sided zipper case, and a soft bag, which I really appreciate.
Outdoor Master also sells an “eco-friendly” version of their XM goggles, in which the lenses are made of cotton extract and the strap is made of bamboo fibers. This eliminates at least some of the plastic and utilizes more sustainable materials than found in traditional goggles.
All of Outdoor Masters magnetic lens goggles are available in different colors with different amounts of visible light transmission (VLT), so you can find lenses suitable for super-sunny days, gray, cloudy days and everything in between. The PRO model is actually Outdoor Masters least expensive model, at just $46.99 for one lens. The Vision goggles and Ultra goggles are more expensive and come with an additional lens at $74.99 and $99.99 respectively. Kids goggles are also available beginning at $26.99, although they do not have magnetic lenses.
While I haven’t yet skied with these googles, I can’t comment on how they fit and work with my helmet. But, so far, so good.
As I opened the two-pack of adult ski socks from Outdoor Master, my husband immediately began commenting on the thickness and softness of the socks. It was clear immediately that he’d be claiming them.
These socks are certainly soft and thick, and if you like your ski socks that way (I do not), you’ll love these. Made of a blend of wool, acrylic, nylon, polyester, elastane and rubber (3%?!), these attractively patterned socks have a stretchy cuff, reinforced heel and a reinforced toe. The thickness is uniform throughout the sock, except for the cuff which is made of a thinner fabric. At two pair for $35.99, they offer a value which is hard to beat, if they meet your needs.
A children’s ski sock is available in sizes extra small (7 – 11.5) and small (12-4). Crafted from the same wool-blend fabric, with the same features and available in several colorful patterns, they are another good value.
As with the goggles, the proof of these socks will be in the skiing: do they wick away moisture and keep our feet warm? Stay tuned.
I am having a hard time thinking of drawbacks to any of the products I received from Outdoor Master. They aren’t fancy, but they are ski day “basics.” You may not need or desire anything more specialized or expensive.
While I didn’t try a helmet, Outdoor Master sells a lot of them. And across all products, the website reviews are pretty darn good.
Finally, when it comes to saving money on skiing, Outdoor Master’s pricing is hard to beat, especially as the discounts increase, as you purchase additional products. With a Black Friday Sale going on now, it’s an especially good time to stock up on the gear your family needs and wants.
To facilitate this post, I received ski bags, goggles, and socks to try and review. As always, my opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
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