We like to shop locally all year round. But when it comes time to pick out holiday gifts, we make an extra effort to find the best of what Vermont has to offer. This year, we discovered a number of companies—some new, some old—in the 802 with things we’d love to give (and get).
A FAMILY-SIZE TOBOGGAN
We’re dreaming of a white Christmas so we can fly down a hill with a few buddies on one of these swanky memory-makers. Norton’s Vermont Toboggans ($200, pictured above) are so eye-catching you almost want to hang them on your wall. But it’s much more fun to pile the family on one of the larger sleds (the family sizes range from 6 to 12 feet in length) and barrel down the hill.
Glen Norton and his family use a combination of ash and oak (the custom sled pictured has an added note of walnut for pizazz), stainless steel screws on the sled’s bottom and 3/8-inch skids that won’t easily wear down. The painstaking process (the entirety of which takes place in the Norton’s family basement in Barre, Vermont) lasts four days from start to finish, and involves carefully bending the toboggan’s nose to avoid splitting the wood. Toboggans are available in children’s sizes and family sizes, and for the summertime, the company makes children’s wagons.
And in case you seriously can’t resist hanging one on your wall, (we understand), there’s the Miniature Toboggans ($85), designed specifically for decoration. vttoboggans.com.
MITTS MADE FOR LINEMEN
We fell in love with Green Mountain Glove’s Chopper Mitt ($56) at first sight (and touch). From the reinforced padding between the thumb and hand to the careful double- stitching, these mitts not only show o some quintessential Vermont craftsmanship, but they will withstand heavy wear and abrasion to last you a lifetime.
Don’t be fooled by the name—they can be used for much more than chopping. They’re also ideal for shoveling, hiking and even skiing and riding, provided you’ve got the right liners.
Founded by Richard Haupt in 1920, Green Mountain Glove is based in Randolph and has been family-run for over 65 years. The manufacturing process for each patented design is labor-intensive. Linemen who use the gloves on a daily basis (such as those who work for Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electric Co-Op, NS Central Vermont Public Service, to name a few) attest to the product’s durability.
Kurt R. Haupt and Kurt A. Haupt, Richard’s son and grandson, respectively, also make custom women’s designs for driving and gardening on request. greenmountainglove.com.
A DAY-TO-NIGHT PACK
Reign Vermont’s Vagabond Pack ($52) might look like more of a purse than a day- pack, and that’s because it is. But we can vouch for the fact that it’s the most durable purse around, and it’s the only purse you’ll want to take anywhere near the woods.
This lightweight nylon bag is perfect for hands-free travel. With three zippers (one under the flap, one to the main compartment and one on the inside), a buckle to secure the front flap and a key tether, you can stay organized and have peace-of-mind that your cell phone and wallet haven’t moved since you last touched them.
Small enough to store in a bigger pack at the lodge, the Vagabond pack can easily handle the nightshift, and the diverse array of available fabrics will match whatever outerwear you’ve chosen for the season.
Adjustable straps fit over any winter coat, no matter how puffy, and you can order a custom-made bag with wider straps. Company owner Bridget LaMell (based in Waits eld) named her company “Reign” because she liked what it stands for: “to be prevalent and strong, to persist.” Her bags certainly fit the bill. reignvermont.com.
FLANNEL FOR EVERYONE
You can’t be caught dead in the Green Mountain State without flannel. While we invite you to get overzealous with Vermont Flannel’s pants, shorts, leggings, sleepwear, scarves, scrunchies and blankets, we thought we’d go with a classic: the flannel button-down, except this one doesn’t button all the way down. The Vermont Flannel Henley ($47.80) has the classic flannel feel, but it’s easier to slip it over your head on a chilly morning than it is to fumble with all those fussy buttons.
Tucked into pants, you can pull this one o as Vermont-style formal. But no matter how you wear it, you’ll feel the flannel’s double-brushed softness, and you’ll bene t from the sturdiness of a tightly-weaved shirt that won’t shrink in the wash. Stitched and sewn in Barre, Vt., this product brings all the comfort of a locally-sourced product
made by the people who know flannel better than anyone else: Vermonters. vermontflannel.com.
A NATURAL SOLUTION
Maybe it’s just us, but for some reason the words “yoga” and “chemicals” don’t go together. Sometimes, de-toxifying our minds, bodies and spirits can be a sweaty mess, but there’s a Vermont Soap Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner ($19.99) that will clean up the residue and ensure that our mats don’t get sticky. Vermont Soap made the first all-natural yoga mat cleaner in the country, and its gentle formula uses coconut, olive and jojoba oil, natural rosemary extract and organic aloe vera to clean everything from exercise balls to foam blocks. To use, just spray directly onto the soiled surface, wipe down and air-dry. vermontsoap.com
THE HOME WORKOUT
Indoor rowing is a great, low-impact workout for the entire body, and Concept2’s Model E ($1,100) is one of the best indoor rowers you can find. This sleek machine comes in light grey and now black, with a finish that protects against scratches and a nickel-plated chain that requires little oiling. Only slightly different from Concept2’s popular Model D, used in indoor rowing competitions and in training by Olympic rowers worldwide, the Model E sits slightly higher o the ground, which allows for easier on-and-o system for those with compromised joints.
Burn calories fast as you work through rowing’s four positions: the catch, which works your triceps and abs, the drive, (which works your glutes and hamstrings along with almost all the muscles in your upper body), the finish (which contracts your glutes, quads, back muscles and biceps), and the recovery (which enacts your triceps, abs, hamstrings and calves). Concept2’s eco friendly manufacturing facility is located in Morrisville. concept2.com
THE ORIGINAL SNOWBOARD?
In the 1960s, Sherman Poppen conceived of something that would provide all the fun of snow sliding, but without the cost of a lift ticket. With a wooden board and handle on a string, Poppen invented “snow surfing,” (which was arguably the beginning of snowboarding—though the birth of the sport is a contentious topic). The folks at Vew-Do in Manchester are now bringing it back. For the past few years they’ve been replicating the original Snurfer design, making the Snurfer Classic Racer ($119.95) available in your backyard. The Racer features the same V-tail concavity and 60/40 design of the original Snurfers, which make these boards equally great for kids and their parents. With a slightly wider cut than the original and EVA (ethylene- vinyl acetate) foam replacing plastic pads, this new rendition has improved stability and better grip. Grip that rope and explore your backyard hills. snurferboards.com
A BREAKFAST POWER PACK
Here’s a perfect stocking stuffer for an athlete: a breakfast that packs a punch. Good Mix
Blend 11 ($9.99) is a mix of 11 certified organic superfoods including chia seeds, Goji berries, raw cacao nibs, coconut and almonds, to name a few. The blend is high in protein, omega-3s, antioxidants and prebiotic fiber, making it a perfect start to a day on the slopes or trails.
“Activate” the ingredients in Blend 11 by sprinkling a few tablespoons of water over half a cup of mix, then sticking it in the fridge overnight. The water triggers a germination process, activating the enzymes in the seeds, which enables you to get the most out of the nutrients.
Blend 11 tastes great mixed with berries or yogurt, or add a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. If you’re looking to get creative, the website lists sweet and savory recipes for carrot cake quinoa porridge, cauliflower, pumpkin, pine nut and paprika salad, nutty bliss bombs and more.
Good Mix didn’t start as a local company—in fact, it started on the other side of the world, on the Gold Coast of Australia. But ever since founder Jeanie McClymont’s brother, Andrew, moved to Waits eld, Vt., it’s been produced right in the Mad River Valley and available in farmers’ markets and co-ops around the state. goodmixfoods.com
HATS FOR SKIERS
Worried about losing track of your loved ones on a winter run or Nordic ski? Not if they are wearing Skida’s color-popping hats.
The snuggly eece-lined Alpine Hat ($36) will keep you warm during days on the slopes or nights on the town, and you can rock the same line of patterns in its lighter cousin, the Nordic Hat ($30). Originally designed for cross-country skiers, the poly- blend hats wick moisture, keeping you dry and adding the perfect layer of comfort for a winter trot or ride. They have a high convenience factor, too— ting perfectly under a helmet and slipping easily into the pocket of your winter coat.
Unless you’re knitting your own hats and scarves, (power to ya), this Burlington- based company is as local as it gets, with their main line of accessories sewn by seamstresses in the Northeast Kingdom. Founded by skier Corinne Prevot, an alumna of both Burke Mountain Academy and Middlebury College, the company is started with outdoor-lovers who know what they’re doing when it comes to ski and snow gear. skida.com
THE LIGHTEST E-BIKE
Think how much you spend a year on a car, or on gas. And then consider this alternative: the new Budnitz Model E electric bike, $3,950. Designed by Burlington artist and inventor Paul Budnitz, the bike has a titanium frame (it also comes in Cro-Moly steel), a Gates carbon belt drive and a Zehus Bike+ 250W electric rear hub from Italy. And with all that, the bike weighs in at 29 lbs., making it (according to Budnitz) the lightest electric bike on the market. The all-in-one drivetrain is sleek, minimalist and grease-free and can power you along at 15 mph for a range of 20 to 100 miles. You
can choose to pedal or not, use Bluetooth to control the power output and when you get to work or your destination, turn on the automatic hub lock so it can’t be stolen. budnitzbicycles.com
AFFORDABLE PERFORMANCE SKIWEAR
Stratton skier and Dartmouth alumna Sara Segall and her husband are putting southern Vermont back on the winter apparel map with their new line of Orsden jackets ($330). “We wanted to create affordable, functional and stylish skiwear,” says Segall, who has worked for such fashion brands as Hermés and Jones New York.
We’ve tried two of her micro-twill jackets and you know what? She’s done it. The insulated jackets fit beautifully (the women’s has an asymmetrical diagonal zipper that keeps it from bunching up when you lean over), are warm, stretchy and have all the bells and whistles you’d want in a serious piece of skiwear: pit zips, a powder skirt, gusseted zippers, thumbholes in the sleeves, a helmet-compatible hood and a high collar.
Best yet, at just $330 the jackets perform as well and are as well-made as ones twice the price. For now, there are just two models (men’s and women’s) that come in a variety of muted colors, but watch for more from this start-up. orsden.com
GIVE A COWE
There are few things more Vermont than a cow. And few snowboards that say Vermont the way Powe. Snowboard’s Cowe ($399.98) does. The Vermontiness goes beyond the graphics—which feature the classic cow and farm scene with Camel’s Hump in the background. Artist Adam Vindigni started the business with his older brother Eric shortly after he graduated from UVM in 2015.
Powe. bills itself as an “environmentally conscious” company and it lives up to this by hosting clean-ups at ski resorts around Vermont and by using sustainable materials. Boards are made using poplar and bamboo cores, biodegradable resins, hemp and volcanic basalt. The Cowe uses a “crocker” camrock camber with a 3 mm rise between the feet and a -3 mm rocker on the nose and tail. The Cowe was released this past August and only 40 are being made so jump on this if you want one. powesnowboards.com