Tag Archives: Mountain Hardwear product reviews

December 1, 2018 A backcountry skier in the High Sierra above Lake Tahoe.

Review: The Best Winter Hats of 2018

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By Michael Lanza

Do you love getting outdoors in winter? If so, then you know that, just like the rest of your body, your noggin needs protection from cold temperatures, wind, and precipitation at this time of year. But just as with your body core and extremities, how much insulation your head needs depends on ambient conditions like temperature and wind as well as your activity level—how much heat your body is producing. And it sometimes seems there are as many choices in head wear out there as there are heads.

Look no further. This review covers the best winter hats for all kinds of outdoor recreationists, including Nordic, backcountry, and downhill skiers, runners, snowshoers, fitness walkers, climbers, bike commuters, and others who stay active outdoors in the cold months. And if you’re simply looking for a warm hat at a good price, you’ll find those in this article, too. Continue reading →

Review: Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket

March 9, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket.

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket.

Down Jacket
Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket
$250, 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
moosejaw.com

From backcountry skiing in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains in a below-zero wind chill, to resort skiing on a sunny but frosty day with temperatures in the teens Fahrenheit, this puffy jacket stood out for three reasons. First and foremost, it kept me warm whether as my only insulating layer over one base layer and under a shell (while resort skiing) or when I simply pulled it on over other layers in the backcountry. Second, it felt noticeably more comfortable than some bulky, stiff puffy jackets, because both the fabric and the down-filled chambers actually stretch. And third, after I got its lining wet with sweat or its shell damp from falling snow, it still kept me warm. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry Climbing Pack

July 13, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry

Climbing Pack
Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry
$300, 70L/4,270 c.i., 3 lbs. 13 oz. (S/M)
Sizes: S/M & M/L (75L/4,575 c.i.)
backcountry.com

On a four-day, April ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney with my 15-year-old son, I carried this pack with over 40 pounds inside for the two-day hike to our 12,000-foot high camp, and then stripped it down to carry much less weight on our nine-hour summit day. I call it the Transformer of climbing packs. Its minimalist weight, modularity, and feature set make it, in many ways, ideal for multi-day, technical climbs. There are also compromises with a pack this light, which some climbers will find acceptable, others maybe not. Continue reading →

May 26, 2016 Near high base camp below Mount Whitney's East Face.

Review: Gear For Climbing Mount Whitney

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By Michael Lanza

For our spring ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—highest peak in the Lower 48—my 15-year-old son (in lead photo, above, approaching our high camp below Whitney’s East Face) and I used technical gear that you would use on many classic snow and glacier routes up peaks from Cascade Range volcanoes like Shasta, Hood, and Rainier to Mount Olympus, the Tetons, and the Alps. Here are my from-the-mountain observations about the gear that got us up and down Whitney, including backpacks, a mountaineering tent and boots, climbing hardware, super warm sleeping systems, and technical apparel. Continue reading →