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Two Timely Products: The Skull Liner and the Dry Case

Both can be the right pieces of equipment at the right times.

Maybe I should let the referee call the plays more often.

He was certainly spot-on with this one.

OK, on Super Bowl Sunday, we met Mike Carey, a longtime National Football League official and co-founder of Seirus Innovation. His snow sports products include gloves, hats, face protection, gadgets and liners.

In my case, the innovation was with a particular liner.

A few years ago, I started wearing a thin, synthetic balaclava under my helmet on colder days and was immediately hooked on it. It was comfortable, and the wicking aspect kept my head dry and preserved the inside of the helmet.

On cold days, I had a Seirus face mask to put over the liner.

And when I say hooked, I mean attached. The balaclava became so much a part of the equipment bag that it felt weird to put the helmet on without it. It would always drive me crazy during the spring because it became just a little too warm, but I felt funny not wearing it.

I knew Mike would have something in his arsenal, so I began browsing through the Seirus Web site for something a little lighter.

Poof. There was the Seirus Thermax Skull Liner.

It is basically what the company describes — an ultra-thin skull cap that combines wicking technology with a flat-seam construction that makes it really comfortable to wear while knowing you'll get the performance you want — or are paranoid about. It fits right under a helmet or can be used to layer-up with a hat.

For skiing and snowboarding, your head feels right when it's inside the helmet, but there is nothing around your neck and chin. It's perfect for bouncing through the mashed potato snow with the sun beating down on your head in March and April and those warmer days early in the season.  

It seemed to be the right fit for more days this season than ever. 

The Skull Liner is a serious product that carries a minimal investment — the suggested retail price is $15.99. I think it is a must for the snowsports bag.

Oh, one more little secret. At lunch, you can take the helmet off wearing the Skull Liner and you already have a hat on for those moments on the patio.

Serius is featured in most stores that feature snow sports equipment. A store locator is available on the Web site.

• • •

Another popular topic this season has been what to do with the smart phones, which, because of their really good cameras and capability to call up trail maps, have become almost as common as gloves these days.

But with phone usage comes the risk of dropping the thing in the snow and getting it water-logged. Especially in the spring.

It happens all the time. You are trying to find that double-black hidden glade and just can't remember where it is. You are at a section of the mountain with no large posted map.

So, you tuck the gloves under your legs, take out the smart phone, call up the mountain's Web site, but just when the trail map loads, the dude next to you gets all nerved-up about the safety bar being left down near the top and he grabs it and raises it way too early.

The bar bumps the leg, which makes the knee bump the phone, which falls and lands with a splat in the wet snow below. After finding the phone, you discover it is way too wet to be usable.
 
That's where the Dry Case comes in.

The Dry Case is a vacuum-sealed, fully waterproof case for the iPhone or other smart electronic device you may have.

It's kind of wild how it works. You unclip the top seal, plug the external headphone jack into the phone, slide it into the case and clip the seal back on.

Then, you take the portable pump and suck the air out of the case. The case then fits so tightly around the device that you can use the touch pad while it's in there. Check out the attached instructional video.

Before you frown, it really is touch-pad sensitive. And I trust the work-issued phone in the case.

A buoyant neoprene arm band (yes, you can use it diving because it was tested to 100 feet), lets you fasten it to just about anything.

The phone size Dry Case retails for $39.99 and a tablet-size case retails for $59.99.

Dealers can be located on the Dry Case Web site.

Chris Dehnel April 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
@Kristen, here is the link to the Swany smart glove review - http://patch.com/A-q2fn. I know Seirus and Burton makes them as well, to name three. The gloves kind of remind me of a hopped-up park and pipe glove.
Chris Dehnel April 06, 2012 at 05:39 PM
@Kristen - pro snowboarder Danny Kass just told me Grenade makes the smart phone gloves too.

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