Gear Guy

L.L. Bean Ascent Packaway.     Photo: Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Q:

The Best Insulated Vests: L.L. Bean Ascent Packaway

I’m looking forward to spring skiing—and to staying comfortable without a heavy jacket. What do you recommend for those days when a hardshell is overkill?

A:We found an old L.L. Bean insulated vest at a swap meet last year, and we haven’t taken it off since. This updated version, the Ascent Packaway, uses the synthetic insulator Primaloft One, a 60-gram microfiber that dries fast and stays warm when you sweat. The treated nylon in the shell sheds water and blocks wind, and an elastic cord cinches the hem close to you on blustery days. Use it under another jacket or alone for chilly days on the trail.

WEIGHT: 10 ounces
PRICE: $89

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