Tag Archives: outdoor apparel reviews

Review: Winter Jackets, Pants, Gloves & Mittens For Kids

January 27, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Backcountry skiing Galena Summit area, Idaho.

My son, Nate, backcountry skiing near Galena Summit, Idaho.

By Michael Lanza

Winter’s cold temperatures, snow, and propensity for getting us wet makes outerwear and insulation critically important for everyone, including kids—especially if your family spends a lot of time outdoors. We have taken our kids on multi-day ski trips to backcountry yurts since they were little, and now my oldest joins me backcountry skiing. Whether we’re miles from civilization, or downhill or Nordic skiing at a resort, I outfit my kids with good-quality winter jackets, pants, gloves and mittens so they’ll be comfortable and safe and enjoy the experience. Because they’ll outgrow it within a couple of years, I look for well-made clothing that delivers high dollar value and could get used by a younger child. I review here the stuff my kids are wearing now. Continue reading →

Review: Marmot Zion Jacket

January 20, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Marmot Zion Jacket

Marmot Zion Jacket

Winter Shell
Marmot Zion Jacket
$400, 1 lb. 4 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL
marmot.com

Backcountry skiing at around 9,000 feet around Galena Summit, which separates Idaho’s Smoky Mountains and Boulder Mountains (with views north to the better-known Sawtooths and White Cloud Mountains), on a day with lightly falling snow, wind on exposed ridgelines, and temperatures in the 20s Fahrenheit, I needed a shell jacket that could keep me comfortable and dry as my body cycled frequently between overheating and feeling chilled. The Zion Jacket did just that. Waterproof-breathable like a hard shell, it looks, feels, and behaves in some ways more like a soft shell—and offers more seasonal range and weather versatility. Continue reading →

Review: Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

January 15, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

Breathable Insulated Jacket
Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket
$299, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
outdoorresearch.com

The explosion in breathable-insulation garments has changed the way we think about insulation in the backcountry. But in an increasingly crowded field, some jackets still rise above. I wore OR’s new Uberlayer Hooded Jacket for numerous days of backcountry skiing—including, at times, as an outer layer while skinning uphill—and as a middle layer skiing downhill both in the backcountry and for hours at a resort And I wore it in temperatures ranging from around freezing to wind chills below zero Fahrenheit, and came away convinced this is a jacket you could legitimately use into the backcountry every month of the year. Continue reading →

Review: Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody

January 8, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody

Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody

Hybrid Jacket
Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody
$249, 16 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL
patagonia.com

What if you could find one jacket that serves as on-the-go insulation in cool to cold temperatures, functions as both a middle layer and an outer layer that sheds snow and light rain like a soft-shell jacket, but breathes better than most soft shells, so that you rarely take it off? Patagonia’s Dual Aspect Hoody does all of that—and this hybrid jacket has design elements that raise it above even many of the cutting-edge, breathable-insulation apparel pieces out there, I decided after numerous days of backcountry skiing in it. Continue reading →

January 7, 2016 Dana Glacier from White Rock Lakes area, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness.

A Preview of This Year’s Best New Gear, Part 2

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Thinking about buying a new tent, boots, or a shell jacket or insulation for the outdoors? Last August, I spent a couple of days exploring the Outdoor Retailer Show, checking out the best of the new products for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and other outdoor activities that will hit the market this winter and spring. In this story, I cover some of the most interesting new apparel, shoes, and boots, plus a sleeping bag and pad for this spring, many of which I’ll test and review later at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

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