outdoor apparel reviews

Gear Review: Westcomb Shift LT Hoody Jacket

Westcomb Shift LT Hoody

Rain Jacket
Westcomb Shift LT Hoody
$400, 12 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL
westcomb.com

Hiking the treeless, completely exposed rock and tundra of Besseggen Ridge in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park, we started out in a cold rain in temperatures barely above freezing—but as we gained elevation, the rain changed to horizontal, wind-driven snow. On other days during that eight-day trek, we hiked for hours through spitting to steady rain in temps in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit. When the sun did come out, we still met with strong, chilly winds that had us in jackets, wool hats, and gloves—including on a dawn ascent of the 6,667-foot peak Kyrkja. Almost every day, for several hours a day, I wore this jacket—and in such sustained, severe conditions, I was very happy to have it.

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Gear Review: Outdoor Research and Rab Winter Down Jackets

Outdoor Research Maestro Jacket

Down Jackets for Winter
Outdoor Research Maestro Jacket
$325, 1 lb. 5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL
outdoorresearch.com

On January nights that dipped into the low teens during a four-day yurt trip, this fat, 800+-fill power, hooded down jacket was so warm I could hang around outside for hours in the evenings and early mornings, staying perfectly warm. At a bit under a pound and a half, it’s a burly puffy jacket made for very cold situations: ice-climbing belays, winter camping, or all-day backcountry ski tours on frigid days when you need a super-warm puffy for breaks (or even just inside your pack as an insurance policy in an emergency).

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