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The X Factor

By Racer X

The X Factor


Being outdoors in winter and being comfortable is a challenge when the mercury starts dropping. Whether you are picking icicles out of your beard on the North Island or sub-zero commuting in Tokyo, keep the extremities warm, your tea hot and enjoy being outside in winter.

North Face E-Tip Gloves
Keep your playlist fresh without taking off your gloves

Originally launched in 2007, the E-tip touch screen-friendly gloves were ahead of their time and did not make much of an impression. This time around, North Face is ready with a grippy and warm three-season glove that has a thumb and index finger with X-static fibers that contain a layer of silver, giving it the electrical conductivity needed to make contact with your favorite touch screen device. The circuit pattern palms have a silicon pattern that provides additional grip, so you don’t drop your beloved i-phone. Recommended for cycling, trekking and back country approach hiking, they can also be used as a liner for ski and snowboard gloves and are especially popular with nature and adventure sports photographers.


Sabre Sunglasses
Cool enough for the “Dude,” definitely cool enough for you

Direct from the back streets, skate parks and taco stands of Southern California, Sabre sunglasses will keep your tired eyes safely hidden from the masses. Perfect for transcontinental flights and brightly lit convenience stores, these fashionable shades come in vibrant colors with maximum protection lenses that are all about style. I wear mine on early morning Shinkansen journeys to the slopes and for cruising town on four wheels. Check out the Sabre Website for an insight into modern day marketing and look for Sabre goggles and apparel in the Spring of 2010.


Sigg Fashion Thermal Water Bottle
Keep your ginger tea warm all day

From the understated Swiss bottle company Sigg comes new colorful designs in a doubled-walled 700-ml. stainless steel thermos. Keep your java piping hot for up to six hours and don’t hesitate to use it for carbonated beverages and acidic fruit juices. No seams in the construction means no leaks, and they are virtually unbreakable. They also feature Sigg’s proprietary non-toxic baked-on inner liner that is taste- and scent-neutral. It is 100 percent recyclable and backed by a lifetime. The only trouble is deciding which fashionable design is for you.


Smart Wool Socks
Buy them for winter, wear them all year

I’ve never been a fan of expensive socks until I was given a gift pair of these wool blend beauties a few years ago. “Smart wool” has established long-term partnerships with New Zealand Merino wool growers who take care of their sheep in style, offering environmental, social and economic sustainability. I like the light- and medium-weight Hiking crew pairs with flat-knit toe seams and stitched in heel brace which keeps the sock in place while you are in motion. I have worn mine for three seasons on the trail, and they are still warm and fit well. Check out their hats and gloves if you like the materials.