If you're looking for a multi-functional shovel for apocalyptic zombie slaying, you'll want the Crovel. If, on the other hand, you plan to use the shovel for backcountry skiing, you'll want the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus Ice Axe. The new multi-functional shovel saves weight and space by combining several functions into one tool. Its name gives away two of those functions, but it has a few more.

Like other backcountry avalanche shovels, the K2 Rescue Shovel Plus Ice Axe – we'll go with K2's nickname "Shaxe" from here on out – uses a multi-part design. The handle pulls out of the shovel head and the included ice axe head attaches to the other end, transforming shovel into an axe. Backcountry skiers and mountaineers commonly use ice axes for negotiating steep, slick terrain, so the Shaxe folds two important tools into one.

Like the original K2 Rescue Shovel Plus, which we featured in our list of top ski gadgets for this past winter, the Shaxe includes several other functions. The shovel head can be turned around for use as a hoe for clearing snow. The shovel and included hardware are also designed to be used in conjunction with select K2 skis in building a rescue sled. Such a sled could prove useful in cases of injury and emergency that require self rescue by the other members of the group. Additionally, the Shaxe can serve as a dead man anchor and a flat surface to stand a stove on for cooking.

K2 introduced the Shaxe this Northern Hemisphere winter just gone and it won a fair share of acclaim, including an ISPO Award. It will retail for US$140 when it hits the market for the Northern Hemisphere's 2013/2014 ski season.

Source: K2