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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.