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.
These Bargain Jackets Will Last You for Years
The Little Black Dress of fleeces, the Denali is as essential as it is simple. The fleece is inspired by the 1988 design, but it's been updated in a few ways in the sustainability department: the Denali is now made with recycled material, and you can track the fleece's journey from factory to gear shop.
The Micro Puff was our favorite jacket of 2018 because there’s a lot to love about this warm, super-light piece. “The PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of ten-denier nylon fabric in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots,” our tester wrote.
Last spring, our Gear Guy tested five different fleeces and the Tekno Ridge came out on top. “It excelled during every activity and looks so good that my wife stole it from me,” he wrote. This hoodie is close-fitting for easy movement, sturdy enough to fend off 15-mile-per-hour headwinds, and has side-seam zips to dump heat.
Throw this vest on as an outer layer before a hike, or layer a puffy over it before hitting the slopes. Either way, the Ghost Shadow will keep you toasty thanks to its synthetic PrimaLoft insulation. Plus, the vest packs down easily and weighs 7.3 ounces.
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.
The Ghost Whisperer is our Gear Guy’s favorite lightweight down jacket. The 800-fill-power down is toasty, and the feather treatment helps it stay dry longer, even in wet environments. If you’re concerned about weight, this is the jacket you want—it weighs less than eight ounces.
This jacket provides serious warmth in a lightweight package. The DWR finish sheds water and the elastic cuffs lock in heat. And, when you’re ready to stow away the jacket for the season, it packs into the hand pocket.
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.