Smart brands are innovating with nature’s performance fiber.



Voormi AN/FO Pants 

Backcountry skiers, meet your new outerwear. Made from thick, four-way-stretch wool that’s reinforced with nylon thread and lined with a waterproof membrane, the AN/FO’s breathe significantly better than your typical synthetic waterproof ski pants. Durability isn’t an issue: they were none the worse for wear after a season’s worth of encounters with ski edges, trees, and rocks.

Price $499

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Cotopaxi Kusa Blanket

Cotopaxi stuffed llama-poly insulation inside a DWR-coated ripstop-nylon wrapper to create this utilitarian blanket. We kept it in the trunk all season long, pulling it out for chilly après parking-lot parties or as an extra layer when crashing in the car before a powder day. Come summer, it works just as well for music festivals and picnics.   

Price $90


Filson Mackinaw Cap

Beanies? Meh. On cold days, this is your new jam. With a 100 percent wool outer, nylon lining, and drop-down earflaps, you’ll look like a hipster lumberjack, and your noggin will be warm even on below-freezing days. The solid colors are classy, but we personally like standing out in classic red and black check. 

Price $75

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Patagonia Recycled Down Shirt Jacket

This is a study in eco-friendly gearmaking. Everything—from the burly wool face fabric to the 600-fill down to the interior lining—is made from recycled materials. Heck, even the buttons contain reclaimed polyester. It performs great, too: we wore it instead of a puffy while hanging around town. 

Price $199

Mission Workship
(Mission Workshop)

Mission Workshop Renan Shirt

It’s not all about the sheep. This alpaca-wool midlayer is ridiculously plush—more akin to thick-pile synthetic fleece than merino. And like all of Mission Workshop’s pieces, it’s beautifully crafted and athletically cut. We wore it under a shell during resort ski days and by itself while running around town.  

Price $265


Woolrich Fully Woolly Slip Boots

Live in a mountain town? Like to ski? You’ll wear these easy-on, easy-off boots almost every day this winter. Underneath the water­proof suede upper, a thin layer of felted wool keeps the bulk down but still protects your feet to minus 25 degrees. There’s also a high-traction sole so you don’t wipe out when the pavement is coated in black ice.

Price $140

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The Best Resort Jackets of 2017

Superior protection for all kinds of conditions. (Patagonia) Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm  Gear of the Year In 2014, Patagonia sparked an arms race with the Nano-Air puffy, a versatile insulator that won our Gear of the Year award. The following winter, just about every outdoor brand had a version. Now Patagonia does it again with the Stretch Nano Storm. Think of it as a Nano-Air on steroids: a proprietary stretchy, waterproof-breathable fabric wraps the synthetic fill, while the interior is made from the same plush liner as the original. Add pit zips and you have a bombproof jacket that wears and

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The Best Backcountry Jackets of 2017

For all your fast-and-light pursuits.  (Black Diamond) Black Diamond Helio Best For: Going fast and light.  The Test: Even if it remains stashed in your pack all day, a lightweight shell to shed squalls and seal in critical warmth should be part of every backcountry adventurer’s kit. And the Helio is a top-shelf choice. Cut from Gore’s supple three-layer C-Knit fabric, it’s softer, lighter, and quieter than most hard shells on the market but still totally waterproof. The sharp design suffers no excess: zippers and cuff tabs are light and lean, and the cordlocks are embedded in the fabric. Yet

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The Best Puffies of 2017

Run cold? You'll want one of these insulated beasts.  (Adidas) Adidas Terrex Climaheat Techrock Best For: Instant warmth.  The Test: Heading into the backcountry? Pack a big puffy to snuggle into during rest breaks, while on belay, or as emergency insul­ation. With 800-fill goose down wrapped in Pertex fabric, the 1.1-pound Techrock (the lightest jacket on this page) has a top-notch warmth-to-weight ratio. We give it even bigger props for its smart design: the baffles overlap to stop cold air from seeping through the seams. Add well-articulated arms, a high collar to seal in heat, and durable fabric in heavy-wear areas, and

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The Best Women's Jackets of 2017

Reliable protection to keep you out from bell to bell.  (Marmot) Marmot Jumpturn Gotta love the attitude. The loud colors are backed up with bona fide performance chops, including two-layer Gore-Tex face fabric and Marmot’s proprietary synthetic insulation. We especially appreciated the long cut, oversize hood, and structured cuffs that tucked inside the sleeve on warm days. Price $450 (Fjällräven) Fjällräven Ovik Eco-Shell Fjällräven’s Eco-Shell fabric—made from stretchy recycled polyester and coated in  a PFC-free water-repellent treatment—kept us dry in light snow. But it isn’t a high-octane mountain piece. Instead we grabbed this sleek urban parka, with its trench-coat cut and clean

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The Best Women's Après Gear of 2017

When you’re off the mountain, comfort wins. (Avex) Avex Freeflow Autoseal Stainless Water Bottle  Brew tea in this 24-ounce bottle, stay out for ten hours, and rest assured it will still be piping hot when you return.   Price $30 Buy Now (Buff) Buff Savva Hat  Combining the charm of a cap knitted by your granny with modern touches like wicking acrylic and a fleece band, the Savva is comfort food for your head. Price $33 Buy Now (Pladra) Pladra Peregrine Shirt   The wild child of cotton flannels, this wardrobe staple has a spirit animal (in this case, a wolf) peeking

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The Best Shackets of 2017

Somewhere between a shirt and a jacket is amazing versatility. (Toad&Co) Toad&Co Kodiak Quilted Pull on the Kodiak and you feel like you’re wrapped in a supersoft blanket. The material makes you feel good in other ways, too: it blends recycled cotton with polyester from reclaimed plastic bottles, and the tag encourages buyers to “wear more, wash less, wear it out or pass it on.” Price $130 Buy Now (Edgevale) Edgevale North Coast This fleece-lined classic marries a stylish polyester-wool outer with soft-shell technology. Result? It buffers against wind and water, warms, and stretches while also being breathable and office appropriate.

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The Best Tailgating Gear of 2017

A good party makes the whole day better.  (Flylow) Flylow Sinclair Insulated Flannel This is our favorite mid­winter morning top, with just enough fill for brushing off the car and driving to the mountain. By March, you’ll be skiing corn in it, too. Price$150 Buy Now (Art 4 All) Art 4 All Trucker Hat Sure, you can rock the same mesh cap as everyone else. Or you can nab one from Jackson Hole artist Abby Paffrath, who paints 12 unique prints each winter and puts them on high-quality lids. Price$30 Buy Now (Smith) Smith X Howler Founder Sunglasses Two classic brands

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The Best Streetwear of 2017

Après layers that pull double duty on the trails and slopes. (Fjallraven) Fjällräven Singi Down With a thick layer of traceable down stuffed into bomber, old-school waxed canvas, this four-pound (!) jacket will keep you toasty on frigid days walking around Vail or snowshoeing through the forest. Note: no varmints were harmed in the making of the removable synthetic-fur hood lining.   Price $600 Buy Now (Smartwool ) Smartwool Double Corbet 120 The Double Corbet emphasizes comfort and breathability without giving an inch in performance. It pieces together warm, wool-insulated body panels with merino sleeves and side panels that facilitate movement

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The Best Base and Midlayers of 2016

Underwear just keeps getting better. (Icebreaker) Icebreaker Helix Long-Sleeve Zip Jacket  If you need a do-it-all midlayer this winter, go with the Helix. Despite the svelte profile, it’s warmer than any other top on this page, thanks to its wool insulation and wind-blocking poly exterior. That face fabric also shrugs off light snow. We happily wore it skiing, hiking, running, and sledding all season.  Price $250 Buy Now (Trew) Trew Lightweight NuYarn Merino Bottoms These aren’t your granny’s woolen knickers. Trew partnered with NuYarn, which developed a way to spin natural fibers over a nylon core without twisting the plushness out of the merino.

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