Beyond apparel reviews

A backcountry skier in Idaho's Boise Mountains.

The Best Clothing Layers for Winter in the Backcountry

By Michael Lanza

There’s one certainty about the clothing layers we use in winter: We get our money’s worth out of them. While a rain shell or puffy jacket may rarely come out of our pack on a summer hike or climb, we almost invariably wear every article of clothing we carry when backcountry, Nordic, or downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, climbing, or trail running in winter. That’s money spent wisely to make us more comfortable and safer.

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The Beyond Ascent Glide Pant.

Review: Beyond Clothing Ascent Glide Pant

Soft-Shell Hiking Pants
Beyond Clothing Ascent Glide Pant
$135, 9 oz./326g (men’s 30 short)
Sizes: men’s 30-42, short, regular, and long

On the second morning of a three-day hike in early October on the 22-mile Boulder Mail Trail-Death Hollow-Escalante River Loop in southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, we started hiking down Death Hollow in the deep shade of canyon walls, wading in the chilly creek through pools as deep as mid-thigh with air temperatures in the 40s Fahrenheit (around 5° C) and a steady wind blowing. We had to wear pants for the occasional, unavoidable bushwhacking through stands of head-high poison ivy along the creek banks. Inevitably, the legs of my Beyond Clothing Ascent Glide Pants got soaked (as did my boots; I relied on insulated top layers to stay warm).

Several hours later, we reached our campsite with my pant legs still soaked from walking most of the day in water. But in the short time I took unloading my pack and pitching my tent, they dried completely on my body. I never had to remove them and wore them throughout that evening in camp.

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The Outdoor Research ActiveIce Spectrum Sun Hoodie in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Sun Shirts of 2023

By Michael Lanza

Whether backpacking, dayhiking, climbing, trail running, fishing, paddling, or active outdoors in myriad other ways, sun protection becomes critical not only for preventing skin cancer, but also because the hot sun can wear you down and exacerbate the effects of heat, elevation, and dehydration—especially in the mountains and desert.

While there are a variety of styles of sun shirts, for active pursuits in warm to hot temperatures, nothing really beats a lightweight, breathable hoody for maximum protection and keeping you cool—while adding minimal weight and bulk to your kit. This review spotlights the best sun shirt hoodies.

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The Best Base Layers, Shorts and Socks for Hiking and Running

By Michael Lanza

Let’s admit it: We don’t always take our base layers as seriously and we do our outerwear and insulation—or packs, tents, boots and other gear, for that matter. But this under-appreciated first stage in a layering system for the outdoors really sets the table for how comfortable you’ll be. Base layers that don’t perform well probably won’t kill you, but misery isn’t a good companion. This is what we wear against our skin. It matters.

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Beyond Clothing Dasche L3 Jacket with hood up.

Review: Beyond Clothing Dasche L3 Jacket

Breathable Insulated Jacket
Beyond Clothing Dasche L3 Jacket
$190, 14 oz./397g (men’s medium regular)
Sizes: men’s XS-3XL

Over several cold days of ski touring from Utah’s Wasatch Range to Idaho’s Boise Mountains, with temps in the single digits and teens Fahrenheit, snow falling, and a cold wind chill at times, the Dasche L3 Jacket rarely left my body, whether serving as a middle layer skiing downhill or an outer layer skiing uphill—a testament to its breathability and versatility. The fact that it comes in under a pound and under 200 bucks should make a variety of winter adventurers sit up and take notice.

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