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. Here are a few of our picks from top Vermont brands.
CONCEPT2 Ski Erg
Since its humble beginnings, Concept2 has been making world-class training products here in Vermont for rowing and now skiing and biking. Brothers Dick and Peter Dreissigacker started building rowing oars in a Morrisville dairy barn in 1976 and since then, have expanded the product line to include the Concept2 Indoor Rower, the SkiErg and the new BikeErg. Plain and simple, they love what they do, and work hard every day to design and manufacture innovative, high-quality products. The Concept2 SkiErg provides a quality aerobic workout while building ski-specific strength and endurance. Whether you’re an elite cross-country skier looking to improve your poling power, a weekend enthusiast wanting to get into shape for the ski season, or just someone looking for a great workout, the SkiErg can help you achieve your goals. $770 SkiErg (wall mount option), additional $180 SkiErg Floor Stand (shown). Morrisville, VT — 800-245-5676 — concept2.com/ski
Darn Tough Socks
One family. One mill. One mission. For almost 40 years the Cabot family has been knitting socks in Northfield, VT. They know how to make socks—ot’s what they do.. Darn Tough is dedicated to creating the world’s best socks, and prove it by standing behind them unconditionally with a lifetime guarantee. Their endurance socks have been forged on a platform of performance and protection, designed to withstand any element and every obstacle. President Ric Cabot has taken the company to new heights in recent years, as it has expanded its reach across North America and beyond. Shown here: Mountain Over-The-Calf Light. $24 Northfield, VT — (877) 327-6883 — darntough.com
Designed, built and used by experienced snowshoe racers and hikers, these tough, lightweight snowshoes from Dion in North Bennington are comfortable to wear and can adapt to a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions. What makes Dion Snowshoes unique is that they are sold as separate components. They offer several different frame sizes, bindings and cleats that are interchangeable depending on your needs. Dion’s exclusive blend of performance, durability, and comfort is found in every snowshoe model they offer. By combining an innovative design with quality materials and craftsmanship, they offer a “custom” snowshoe at a “pre-fab” price. Model 121 Frame with QuickFit Binding and Deep Cleat shown. Starting at $230; Model 122 starts at $195. North Bennington, VT — (802) 753-1174 — dionsnowshoes.com
Dodge Ski Boots
At Dodge Ski Boots, they love skiing. That passion drives local owners David Dodge, a former racer, and Bill Doble to make products that make skiing more fun: notably, the best ski boot in the world. The first hand-crafted carbon graphite ski boot, every pair of Dodge Ski Boots is custom-fit and hand crafted at their Essex facility to be light and responsive. Whether you’re a beginner or a racer, Dodge promises their boots will be the best performing and most comfortable you’ve ever skied. Exclusive Free 3D Fitting Assessment and Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee. Available direct from Dodge Ski Boots online or factory fitting center, your boots are custom fit by the people who make them. $995. Essex, VT — (802) 662-2102 — dodgeskiboots.com
Mad River Rocket Sleds
The Mad River Rocket, designed by well-known Waitsfield architect Dave Sellers back in the 1980s, keeps revolutionizing sledding with design characteristics that make these sleds among the best in the world. By kneeling on the sled, you steer by leaning or weighting an edge, using your hands for stabilization. The design of the sled’s hull makes it easy to execute sharp turns, which is essential for dodging trees on forested hillsides in Vermont and everywhere else. The plush kneepads soften big-air landings, and the knee strap ensures that you and your sled stay together. Go to the website to watch videos on how the experts do it and you’ll want to get a sled and head out yourself. Model Killer B. $179.99 Warren, VT — (802) 232-2555 — madriverrocket.com
Turtle Fur Headwear
Since 1982 Turtle Fur has been a leading headwear and accessories brand in the outdoor, snow sports, hunting/fishing, and lifestyle markets. Located in the shadows of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, the company knows tough weather and creates comfortable, quality products. These cozy little garments help you stay outside longer to enjoy the things you love to do. Turtle Fur prides themselves on holding true to their roots of quality, comfort, creativity and community… all while having fun. Kids Double-Layer Shellaclava Curly Fur Fleece. $29.99. Morristown, VT — (802) 888-6400 — turtlefur.com
WhiteRoom Skis ”Upslope”
WhiteRoom Skis, handcrafted by Vin Faraci at his Hyde Park, Vt. home, are known for their sheer beauty. He uses locally sourced hardwoods, and adds beautiful wo0d veneers and inlaid semi-precious stones to create his designs. His custom skis are also top performers. The new UpSlope ski has won rnational recognition by ski testers who rated it among the best in class, recently. It excels in powder, trees, crud, corn and carves a solid GS turn at high speeds, they said, but also makes shorter turns without excessive effort. All-in-all this is a great ski for advanced and hard-charging experts, who enjoy a responsive yet damp ride that doesn’t get tossed around in mixed conditions.
The UpSlope features a 30cm rocker tip with slight reverse sidecut, with 4mm of camber and sidecut underfoot transitioning to a slightly up-turned tail and a skin notch. The flex of this ski was designed with medium-plus flex, but can easily be customized to fit the preference of any customer. These weigh in at 4.5 pounds per ski, which makes them respectable on the uphill and still a high performer on the downhill. Standard dimensions are: 180cm, 137/106/122, but it’s all custom-made and be designed to suit your taste. $950. Hyde Park, VT — (802) 371-7871 — whiteroomcustomskis.com