Tag Archives: backpacking clothing reviews

May 20, 2016 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 →

Review: 5 Super Versatile Layering Pieces

April 28, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

 

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

By Michael Lanza

The more time I spend in the backcountry—whether climbing peaks, taking an ultra-dayhike or trail run, Nordic or backcountry skiing, or backpacking with my family—the more I value and wear lightweight jackets and vests that pull double duty as middle and outer layers. Unlike with heavier, warmer, and less-breathable jackets, you can often wear this type of garment while on the move—while your body is producing heat, but you still need some warmth. That makes you more comfortable and safer. Plus, you get more bang for your buck from versatile layers like these. Here are five of the very best. Continue reading →

Review: Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody

March 31, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody

Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody

Ultralight Jacket
Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody
$229, 9 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL

Here’s a testament to the versatility of this partly insulated, lightweight wind shell: I’ve probably worn it more than any other layering piece I own over the past several months, for virtually everything I do outdoors, in every season: backpacking in August in Kootenay National Park, in the Canadian Rockies, and in October in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains; scrambling a 10,000-foot peak in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and hiking to the very windy summit of 10,243-foot Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park in September; and numerous times in late winter, skate-skiing for an hour or two in temps from the high 20s to the 30s. Simple and yet uniqueunique—essentially an ultralight wind shell with some strategically placed insulation—it’s one of the smartest pieces of outerwear I’ve seen. Continue reading →

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 →

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