Tag Archives: outdoor apparel reviews

Review: REI Motility Rain Jacket

September 30, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
REI Motility Jacket

REI Motility Jacket

Rain Jacket
REI Motility Jacket
$169, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL

There are, quite literally, few environments in the world wetter than New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park: It receives upwards of 400 inches of rain a year. (Fun fact: That’s 10 times more than Seattle.) To me, that means there are few places on the planet better for testing a rain jacket. I took the Motility Jacket on a four-day trek of Fiordland’s famously wet, muddy, and rugged Dusky Track, and a dayhike to Gertrude Saddle above Milford Sound, where plenty of rain mixed with lots of exertion on my part provided an excellent measure of this well-priced, waterproof-breathable rain jacket. Continue reading →

September 23, 2015 Campsite, Dome Glacier, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades.

Ask Me: How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment


With sleeping bags, we have temperature ratings. But with down/insulated/puffy jackets, what is best way to determine if a jacket will be warm or warmer or hot? Is it the amount of fill? Some but not all jackets indicate the amount of fill.



Continue reading →

September 9, 2015 Campsite at Precipice Lake in Sequoia National Park.

Looking For Reviews of the Best Gear? Look Here

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By Michael Lanza

Readers like my gear reviews. Other than my home page, the Gear Reviews link in the main menu bar at the top of every page at The Big Outside gets more clicks than anything else at this website and blog. So I’ve created a new page, linked from the Gear Reviews button in the main menu, that organizes all of my reviews by category, so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for among the hundreds of reviews at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

September 8, 2015 Michael Lanza on the summit of Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Like The Big Outside? Please Support My Work

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

A little over five years ago, I started this blog and website with a simple goal: to offer stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families—based on my on-the-ground, first-hand knowledge from having done all of the trips myself. Since then, it has grown larger than I expected, into a popular online source for gear reviews and my tips on outdoor skills. Perhaps most gratifyingly for me, The Big Outside has inspired families and others to get outdoors.

Now I’m asking you to help support my work on this blog. Continue reading →

Review: Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s PreCip Jacket

August 28, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Marmot Girl's PreCip Jacket

Marmot Girl’s PreCip Jacket

Kid’s Rain Jacket
Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s PreCip Jacket
$65, 9 oz. (girls large)
Sizes: boys and girls XS (4-5) to XL (13-15)

When the first thunderstorm dumped rain less than an hour into our eight-mile, family dayhike on the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park, in the Canadian Rockies, we just pulled on our rain shells and kept on hiking uphill. The second thunderstorm rolled in later, while we were descending but still above treeline, fully exposed to the effects of the wind, steady rain, and temperatures in the 50s. My 12-year-old daughter has less body fat than a pika, but she stayed comfortable and dry through those tempests in her Girl’s PreCip Jacket. Continue reading →

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