Departmentofgoods.com Newsletter Articles
Employee Gear Closet – Justin Mool
by Justin Mool
After spending a few seasons as a snowboard bum in Austria and Utah, Justin Mool landed a job as a copywriter for Backcountry.com. One of his main motivations for working here was the fact that our offices are mere minutes away from some of the country's best backcountry snowboarding. Justin regularly makes dawn-patrol tours before work and comes into the office dripping with snow and sweat, with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. Check out Justin's favorite gear for riding in the amazing backcountry terrain of the Wasatch Front.
A few years ago I bit the bullet and threw down the cash for the Split Decision—it was the best decision I've made in years. It climbs like a champ, has smooth touring action, and switches from touring to downhill mode in a snap. It rides like a Cadillac—super cruisy, incredible float, and fast on edge. It's pretty flexy, but that's OK for me since I'm a small guy—5' 7'' and 130lb. I'd recommend Voile's Big Gun or Burton's S-Series
if you're a bigger rider, or even making your own
if you're a female powder hound (since many splits tend to be too wide for women’s feet).
The Blade has been my go-to pack for the last four years. I use it on the mountain and I shouldered it around Asia for four months. It's big enough so I can throw my helmet in there for the ascent, but compacts nicely when it's pow-time. I like the horizontal board carry option—it's nice to have your board directly against your back. It's a good, simple pack at a reasonable price.
These things are great. They're über comfy, have a low-profile design, and are super lightweight. With a mid-stiff flex, they give me enough responsiveness for the backcountry, but the forgiveness for cruising around the park. Despite its stiffish flex, the outsole is really soft and forgiving, which gives you great board feel. I also really like the F22's lacing system, which actually tightens around my toothpick ankles.
I just got this baby, but I'm stoked to use it as my everyday touring/snowboarding jacket. I took it out during a recent cold snap—it's super comfortable, breathes well, and is waterproof. I really like the full-time hood, soft fleece interior, and low-key look.
If you've been paying attention to the Employee Gear Closet, you would've noticed that these things just keep popping up. The FlickLocks are lightweight, small, and easy to strap to my pack. I dig the simple design—if they get loose, just tighten the screw and you're good to go. You can't lose with these babies.
Luckily—knock on wood—I haven't had to use this thing and hope to never have to. It has a fairly simple design and display. Just like any other beacon, however, it takes a while to get used to—the key is to practice, practice, practice. Do searches around your house, in the snow at night, or at a resort's test fields. While I feel safe with the X1, after checking out our Goat Test on beacons
, I'm thinking about upgrading to the Pieps DSP