Tag Archives: L.L. Bean Ultralite 850 down jacket review
By Michael Lanza
Other than my home page, the page viewed most often at The Big Outside is my Gear Reviews category—and individual gear reviews consistently rank among the most-viewed pages at my blog. This made me wonder: Which reviews are the most popular with you, The Big Outside’s readers? After going through my blog’s analytics data, I produced this top 10 list of the most-read gear reviews at this website, listed in ascending order (with the product name linked to my original review). I think you’ll find this list helpful whether you’re shopping for a gift for someone, or just looking for specific items and wondering what’s popular with your fellow outdoor enthusiasts and fans of The Big Outside.
By Michael Lanza
Looking for a gift idea for a hiker, backpacker, climber, skier… or maybe something special to suggest to someone shopping for you? I test a lot of adult and children’s outdoor gear and apparel every year for Backpacker Magazine and to review in this blog, and friends and readers ask me regularly for advice on buying gear.
So here’s my annual list of my top 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel—with links to my original reviews of these packs, boots, tents, jackets, and other gear—plus a new backcountry food my entire family loves, and a terrific book for traveling families. If you’re dreaming of big adventures in 2014, get busy prepping your gear for it.
L.L. Bean Ultralite 850
$179, 1 lb. 1 oz. (men’s medium), $189 tall
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, tall M-XXL, women’s XS-XL, petite XS-XL
In heavily falling snow at around 9,000 feet on Copper Mountain in Idaho’s Boise National Forest, I felt the cold touch my bones. We had been climbing uphill on skis, breaking trail, for about 90 minutes; I was wet, and now the wind on the exposed ridge where we had stopped for a bite hit us. I pulled this down jacket on over my shell jacket and kept it on while skiing back downhill—I was that cold—realizing the snow could saturate the feathers and thinking, “Well, we’ll see if this water-resistant down works.” Continue reading →