In our roundup of the best puffies of 2019, the Thorium was our favorite for its durability. This jacket is sheathed with a stout face fabric and a DWR finish, so it can take a beating. Plus, it has water-resistant insulation at the spots most likely to get wet.
The Half-Off Gear You Should Snag Before the Year Ends
This set was one of our favorite pieces of summer car-camping gear in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide. The two nesting pots have a nonstick ceramic coating that make cleanup easy. Weighing in at one pound, they aren’t crazy lightweight, but their packability makes them ideal for stashing in the car.
This vest is inspired by a 1996 design that looks cool, but keeps you seriously warm. It's built with a water-repellent finish and 700-fill goose down. When it gets too toasty, the vest packs down into the chest pocket for easy transport.
These aren’t the sleekest boots, and we're perfectly fine with that. One of our testers covered thousands of miles in these kicks and she loved the nylon shanks in the outsole as well as the stiff rubber over the toe.
Block the wind and beat the heat with this ultra-light shell. The Featherlight has ventilation panels to dump heat on tough climbs and a wind-protective panel in the front. And the jacket has a water-repellent finish, so you can stay on the saddle no matter the weather.
In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, we picked the Signal 20 as the best daypack for travel. It has five exterior pockets along with the main compartment and an easy-access laptop sleeve. Plus, the main chute has an additional organizer panel to store pens, passport, keys, and snacks.
The Masao is one of our favorite waterproof jackets because it's both lightweight and packed with features. The pockets in the front are compatible with a harness and your helmet will fit snug under the hood. Plus, there are zippers built into the armpits of this jacket—ideal for high-output days.
These boots have two millimeters of neoprene-like insulation, so they’re ideal for yard work on a cold, wet day. The undersides of your feet will stay protected from sharp, surprise objects, thanks to the wide steel shank built into the sole.
These gloves raised nearly $225,000 when they debuted on Kickstarter in 2016. Contributor Jakob Schiller is a big fan. "With a waxed and baked leather outer, waterproof-breathable membrane, and Thinsulate insulation, they're great for frigid resort ski days while being breathable enough for long backcountry missions," he writes.
We reviewed the best all-mountain women’s skis and Atomic’s Vantage 97 C received an honorable mention. While this popular ski wasn’t our favorite, “it reliably busts through crud and consistently makes every turn shape,” wrote tester Heather Hansman. Plus, the Vantage is one of the most budget-friendly pair of skis we’ve reviewed.
In his roundup of winter home upgrades, tester Jakob Schiller wrote: “This Upstate set is like a warm hug that will keep you cozy all night.” The velvety organic cotton sheets are made in Portugal by a company with four decades of expertise, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product.
Contributor Graham Averill highlighted the Heritage briefs in his roundup of the best men’s performance underwear. These boxers emphasize comfort with a mix of organic cotton and elastane to give you a snug fit. Plus, they’re made in the U.S.
During our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide test, the Hemispheres bib was the least flashy of the bunch but offered the best ski-specific fit. We love the “stretchy panels that lend them an ‘Am I even wearing pants?’ feel.” The strategically placed zippers also make going to the bathroom quick and easy.
We included this jacket in our roundup of the best winter jackets for the coldest days. The Camosun combines a waterproof outer layer with a mix of 750-fill goose down and synthetic insulation inside. “The understated styling and streamlined cut make this jacket a go-to for brutally cold nights on the town,” our tester wrote.
Our editor was strictly anti-vest before he was converted by the Atom SL. "Wrapping my torso in the Atom’s combination of light Coreloft polyester insulation, on the front and back, and stretchy polyester panels, on the sides, puts me right in that sweet spot of comfortable, sweatless warmth," he wrote.
Gear editor Ariella Gintzler wasn’t thrilled about this über-pared-down design at first, but after several days of testing, it won her over. “I came to appreciate the pack’s simplicity, which made for an easier and more comfortable carry, thanks to the absence of dangly straps and overstuffed side pockets,” she wrote.
We included the Hemispheres bib in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best ski pants. Testers noted the superb fit that allowed them to move unrestricted. Plus, the three-layer Gore-Tex waterproofing will help keep you dry in slushy conditions.
Packability is the Zeta SL’s calling card: it features Gore-Tex’s two-layer Paclite construction, and no lining fabric. It also has excellent breathability, a feature which our testers appreciated while hiking up steep Rocky Mountain passes. For these reasons, this shell is our choice for peak-bagging and backpacking.