puffy jacket reviews

A backpacker hiking the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

How You Can Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is

By Michael Lanza While sleeping bags have temperature ratings, with down jackets and other insulated jackets, there exists no easy way to determine how warm any specific garment will be. But despite the absence of a precise metric for gauging the warmth of down and synthetic puffy jackets, there are ways to assess a specific jacket’s relative warmth before you …

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A backpacker on the John Muir Trail overlooking the Cathedral Range in Yosemite National Park.

The Best Backpacking Gear for the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza So you’re planning to thru-hike the John Muir Trail and making all of the necessary preparations, and now you’re wondering: What’s the best gear for a JMT hike? Having thru-hiked the JMT as well as taken numerous other backpacking trips all over the High Sierra—mostly between late August and late September, which I consider that the best …

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Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Down Hoody

Review: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Down Hoody

Ultralight Down Jacket Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody $325, 8.8 (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com There’s no getting around a hard truth about most of the products we buy to use outdoors: Their materials come from the petroleum products that are a primary driver of climate change. Increasingly, outdoor brands and consumers are leaning in on …

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Outdoor Research Refuge Air Hooded Jacket

Review: Outdoor Research Refuge Air Hooded Jacket

Breathable Insulated Jacket Outdoor Research Refuge Air Hooded Jacket $229, 15 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com On a ski tour in blowing snow in Idaho’s Boise Mountains, I wore this breathable, insulated jacket climbing uphill for the first hour without overheating. Then, while ski touring along a windy ridge with up-and-down terrain, I stayed warm without …

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Review: Feathered Friends Helios Hooded Jacket

Down Jacket Feathered Friends Helios Hooded Jacket $389, 1 lb. 1 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s XS-XXL featheredfriends.com As I stood outside our yurt on a December evening in the backcountry of Idaho’s Boise Mountains, enjoying an inky-black sky riddled with stars as the temperature plunged into the single digits Fahrenheit, this fat down jacket felt like an impenetrable force …

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