Winter tech: gadgets to conquer the slopes and have more fun outdoors

The Winter Olympics 2018 are almost here, and if you’re like many, then watching the Games gives you an itch that can only be scratched by hitting the ski slopes, going out on a skating rinks or trekking cross-country trails. With the Winter Olympics opening ceremony happening on February 9, that itch is going to need scratching soon.

Whether you plan to train like you’re an Olympic athlete or just want to go out and have some fun in the snow, there are tech gadgets ready to improve your experience. Here, we’ll take a look at devices that can record your sickest moves, keep track of your best runs or just keep you connected and entertained while you’re skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, curling or even going out for your own biathlon.

 GoPro Hero6 Black

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

If you’re looking to get wild on the slopes or on the ice, the GoPro Hero6 Black is a great choice for documenting your mind-blowing tricks and hilarious wipeouts. 

This powerful action camera is rugged and waterproof up to 33 feet, and it can be mounted to your helmet or body with additional accessories to record your experiences from your perspective. Ever wanted to get the perspective of a curling stone? With the right accessories, the GoPro Hero6 Black can be mounted on all sorts of things.

The camera can record 4K video at 60fps, so your footage will be crisp and smooth. But, it can also record slow-motion footage, going as fast as 240fps at Full HD, in case you want to capture everyone’s stunned face when you pull off a double axel at your local skating rink. 

 Olympus Tough! TG-5

For a camera that’s a bit more traditional, the Olympus Tough! TG-5 is a great choice for the winter athlete in you. It features a rugged build that’s shockproof up to 7 feet and waterproof up to 50 feet. It’s not afraid of the cold, either, with a freeze-proof rating for 14 degree Fahrenheit. 

It trades blows with the GoPro Hero6 Black, offering a bigger display so you can better see what you’re shooting, but it records 4K video at 30fps and slow-motion Full HD video 120fps. Another perk is the included 4x optical zoom, which will make capturing distant scenes easier. On top of that, it can shoot 20 photos per second in RAW format.

Casio WSD-F20

Having footage of your winter activities is one thing, but having data showing how far you’ve gone and how much work you’ve done is a whole other beast. 

The Casio WSD-F20 is a rugged-built smartwatch that’s ready and able for your adventures. Running Android Wear 2.0, its a smartwatch capable of what you’d expect, and will let you see notifications without needing to pull out your phone and risk it getting too much winter exposure. 

What will really help while you carve up the slopes or go on a long cross-country skiing journey is the built-in GPS and offline maps. These will help you find where you are, plan where you’re going and keep track of where you've been. Though we haven’t had a chance to test it ourselves, the watch supports the skiing app Ski Tracks to log your max speeds, total distance and much more. So, if you’re looking to set high scores for yourself, the Casio WSD-F20 is ready.

Oakley Airwave 1.5

If you want to go really high-tech in your winter escapades, you can check out the Oakley Airwave 1.5 goggles. On top of just being quality goggles that will keep your eyes from freezing over from the cold or frying from the sun (thanks to polarized lenses), the Oakley Airwave 1.5 have a built-in display at the bottom of the lenses, which is where the smart features show up.

A quick glance downward can show you how fast you’re going, so you can challenge yourself to go even faster. You can keep track of how high your jumps are while skiing and snowboarding. It can also display information from your phone, whether you have an Android or iOS device. If you’re looking for friends on the slopes who also have a pair of these lenses, it can guide you to one another.

Chips 2.0 Bluetooth headphones

The sound of the wind rushing past as you cruise along in the snow is great and all, but if you’re going to be spending a lot of time out in the cold, a bit of music can help keep you chugging along. That’s where the Chips 2.0 Bluetooth headphones come in. These headphones fit into a wide variety of helmets from more than half a dozen manufacturers, so you don’t have to compromise safety or comfort to add them to you outdoor winter gear.

Because they’re wireless, you also don’t have to worry about a cool move yanking out a headphone jack. And, with a 10-hour battery, you also don’t have to worry about them dying on you during a long trek. Controls are build into the headphones and used with a simple press, and a built-in microphone allows you to take calls while you’re on the go as well. 

Amazon Tap

If you’re doing a sport like curling or your winter fun involves plenty of chilling out on the side of the slope, the Amazon Tap can make for a perfect tech sidekick. Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker and Alexa-enabled device in one. Pump the tunes while you ride up a long ski lift, or keep the music going to give you and your friends your own theme music while you cruise along.

With Alexa, you can get information on the go as well. So, when you’re outside taking part in your own winter games, you can stay up to date on who’s taking home the gold in the actual 2018 Winter Olympics. Unlike all the other devices on this list, just try to keep this one dry.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.