Tag Archives: puffy jacket reviews

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

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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 →

December 6, 2015 Boston Charlies Camp on the Catwalk, Olympic National Park.

10 Smarter Ways to Think About Your Layering System

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Think of your layering system of clothing for outdoor activities as a musical instrument. When you’re first learning how to play, you practice one chord or note at a time. But you only begin to produce music once you can link chords in a way that sounds good—because they work together. Similarly, we tend to acquire the parts of a layering system piecemeal, regardless of how well they work together. In this article, I’ll give you 10 specific tips for thinking about your layering system in ways that make it work better for you—and ultimately help you spend your money more wisely. Continue reading →

November 16, 2015 Hiking Thompson Peak, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Gift Guide: My Top 25 Picks In New Outdoor Gear and Apparel

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By Michael Lanza

It’s that time of year again, when you’re looking for the right gift for a special person—or maybe you want to give a special someone the right suggestions for a gift for you. Either way, check out my annual list of 25 favorite new pieces of outdoor gear and apparel, with links to my original reviews of these jackets, packs, boots, tents, and other gear. Continue reading →

Review: Patagonia Nano-Air Vest

October 16, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Patagonia Nano-Air Vest

Patagonia Nano-Air Vest

Breathable Insulated Vest
Patagonia Nano-Air Vest
$199, 8 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL
patagonia.com

If I had a buck for every day I’ve worn a vest outdoors over the years, well, I might not have to rely on a blog as the source of my wealth. But with the recent advent of breathable insulation, the classic vest, in its various iterations, faces serious competition. Curious to see whether a new-tech vest with breathable insulation could still measure up among today’s diverse array of versatile insulation pieces, I wore the Nano-Air Vest on Idaho adventures from July through October, including dayhikes and backpacking trips in the Sawtooth and White Cloud mountains and a five-day whitewater rafting and kayaking trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. It may speak volumes about this vest to say that I wore it a lot. 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

Michael,

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.

Thanks.

Bruce
Virginia

Continue reading →

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