Tag Archives: Westcomb apparel reviews
By Michael Lanza
Shop for a rain jacket for the backcountry and you’ll see shells for adults ranging in price from under $100 to over $600, in weight from less than half a pound to over a pound—and just as huge and confusing a range of opinions on them from reviewers and consumers. I’m going to make the choice simple for you. I’ve tested dozens of rain shells over the past two decades, at all price points, from many brands you know and don’t know. Hiking through soaking rains all over the world has shaped what I look for in a jacket.
Here are my picks for the five best rain jackets available today, ranging in price from $275 to $425—with great deals available right now on some of these top-performing shells. I think you’ll find one of them is just right for you. Continue reading →
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 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.
After much testing from the trails to the gym and the mountains year-round, the long-sleeve tops, T-shirts, shorts, and underwear reviewed here are the best I’ve found for dayhiking, backpacking, trail running, climbing, skiing, cycling, and training. Continue reading →
I sweat profusely while hiking. I love winter and fall, but summer kills me. In your opinion, what is the most breathable, light rain shell out there? Money is no object, and I was hoping I could use it for three-season hiking, if possible.
Everett, MA Continue reading →
Ultralight Rain Jacket
Westcomb Focus LT Hoody
$280, 9 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL
Here’s the thing about a rain jacket: Other than a first-aid kit, it’s often the least-used item in my pack, whether backpacking, climbing, or dayhiking. But when I need it, of course, I sure wouldn’t want to be without one. Like a lot of people, I have contradictory desires for a rain shell—I want it to be functional and protective when the weather turns foul, but also super lightweight and compressible. On backpacking trips in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, California’s Sequoia National Park, and Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness, as well as a 28-mile dayhike in Idaho’s White Clouds Mountains, and a hut trek in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the Focus LT was consistently my go-to shell. Why? It delivered protection when I needed it, and virtually disappeared inside my pack when unneeded. Continue reading →
Ultralight Wind Shell
Westcomb Crest Hoody
$140, 5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-L
With the plethora of very similar, five-ounce-or-lighter, nylon wind shells out there to wear on a trail run, ride, or dayhike, it’s hard to choose. But the Crest Hoody stands out in this pack for one reason: the wicking ability of its Pertex Equilibrium fabric. On spring trail and street runs and mountain bike rides, from the Boise Foothills to New England, I was surprised at how well the jacket wicked moisture off my sweaty base layer, even when I had this hoody zipped up to my neck. Continue reading →