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GEAR & GADGETS

'Snow problem to cope with those frigid conditions

January 05, 2003|Judi Dash | Special to The Times

Cold-weather adventures can be safe and toasty with these new products. Items may be available in area stores. Prices do not include shipping.

Under cover

Extend long underwear: Mountain Hardwear's Extend long underwear is stylish enough to lounge in. Made of a new Polartec polyester material called Power Dry, the midweight fabric consists of two bonded layers: The outer layer wicks moisture away from the skin, while the soft inner layer stays relatively dry. The fabric also contains a silver fiber that inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi and controls odors. Flat-stitch construction keeps seams away from high-abrasion areas and adds a contoured high-tech look to the clothing. Colors are snazzy too, especially the periwinkle for women and midnight for men.

Details: Mountain Hardwear Extend crew top is $52 in sizes for men (688431) and women (688432); tights are $48 for men (676231) and women (676232). From REI; (800) 426-4840, www.rei.com.

Ski and seek

TrailFinder ski map: The next time you're on the slopes and not sure which way the trail goes, a glance at your arm could set you straight -- if you're wearing a TrailFinder ski map. The maps -- available for 180 U.S. ski resorts and areas -- are printed on waterproof paper and show the trails of the resort. Beginner, intermediate and advanced trails are color coded; lifts, food stations and first-aid places also are marked. The trail finder straps to your arm with a flexible plastic coil. Metal clips at each end hold the map in place.

Details: Wearable ski map is $9.99 from TrailFinder; (888) 242-7743, www.trailfind.com.

Ear warmers

Arctic Ear Muffs: Earmuffs are not the most attractive accessories, but the cleverly designed Arctic Ear Muffs are efficient and relatively inconspicuous. They won't mess up your hair or interfere with a hat. The adjustable muffs, which are covered in black fleece, wrap around the back of the head, hugging the ears firmly but gently from behind. They are hardly noticeable under long hair. Built-in pockets on each muff can accommodate stereo ear buds.

Details: Arctic Ear Muffs (10382) are $19.95 from AJ Prindle; (866) 774-8278, www.ajprindle.com.

Timeless talkie

Motorola Talkabout T7200: Before there were cell phones, there were two-way radios. These lower-tech devices still serve a function over short distances (usually less than five miles) and are great for communicating on ski slopes. Transmitting mainly over General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) channels, they incur no monthly carrier or air time usage fees, though the Federal Communications Commission requires a license to use the GMRS. One of the best of the lot is the rugged new Motorola Talkabout T7200, which offers 22 channels and 38 subcodes to reduce interference. A unique Eavesdrop Reducer makes the user's transmissions sound garbled to anyone listening without the same code. The T7200 has a weather reception feature that provides weather broadcasts and audible weather alerts. The water-resistant phone comes in an AA alkaline-battery model or one with a rechargeable NiMH battery and charger. Both have belt clips and three interchangeable breastplates.

Details: Talkabout T7200 two-way radio is $139.99 (AA alkaline battery model) or $164.99 (with rechargeable NiMH battery) per unit from Motorola; (866) 289-6686, www.motorola.com.

Hot property

Bionaire console heater: Bionaire's new electric console heater is nothing like the space heaters of yesteryear. A remote control sensor device lets you set the base unit to the temperature you want from your bed or easy chair, and the heater measures the temperature where the remote sensor and you are (up to 30 feet away), not where the base unit is. The unit automatically turns off and on to maintain the set temperature. Measuring 22 1/2 inches wide, 25 inches high and 7 1/2 inches deep, the heater weighs 16 1/2 pounds and rolls easily from room to room. Stash it in the car trunk for use at a ski retreat or in a drafty room.

Details: Bionaire console heater (BB506) is $159.95 from the Sharper Image; (800) 344-4444, www.sharperimage.com.

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Gear & Gadgets appears once a month.

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