Black gold deserves only the finest chalice. PHOTO: Jean-Paul Swae

REI Double Shot Press Mug
MSRP: $29.50

Without the possibility of skiing, the only thing that motivates me during the off-season morning is coffee. Caffeine is what wakes my summer hibernating brain and increases my stoke-hype for the oncoming day. Backcountry or not, summer or winter, I like my morning to start with a strong, hot, black… coffee.

Call me a snob, but I like my java fresh ground, French pressed. And as I'm late to everything, even powder days, I need my coffee on the go and on a ski bum's budget (no daily $5 latte here). So my go-to is the REI Double Shot Press Mug.

Though a little heavy (16oz., empty) for backpacking, and therefore suited more toward car camping and daily use, this double wall, stainless steel mug will love your 12 oz. of coffee, long time. It keeps it hot.

The mug comes with both a French-press lid and a commuter lid (a normal lid, in case you want to use the mug for something other than French pressed coffee). The mug's handle has several places where it can be carabiner-clipped onto something, making travel beyond the car's cup holder easy.

Though the MSRP is a little high at $29.50, it's extra durability makes it worth the price. All my clumsy drops and bangs against rock have amounted to mere scratches in the paint.

My favorite bonus feature is the airtight canister that screws into the base of the mug. This canister can be used to keep extra grounds (or a bit of Bailey's), because one cup is rarely enough.