We named this jacket the best uphill layer in our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide. “It’s as comfy as a cotton sweatshirt and treated with an interesting heat-regulating technology called ActiveTemp, made from a non-Newtonian polymer that becomes a liquid when cold, helping to block transmission of warm vapor,” we wrote.
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The 900-denier ripstop polyester body is water-resistant and boasts a padded bottom panel for added structure. Daisy chains make lashing a breeze, the shoulder straps are comfy and removable, and there are side-grab handles for extra convenience. We dig the U-shaped lid, which makes for quick packing, and the two mesh pockets on the lid for storing small items.
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.
The Down Sweater delivers ultralight, compressible warmth for your cold-weather fun outside while everyone else is languishing at the gym or huddled by the fireplace. It's stuffed with sustainably sourced 800-fill down and covered in a recycled ripstop nylon shell with a DWR coating.
We take the Better Sweater almost everywhere because it hits the sweet spot between warmth, comfort, and style. It's made from a polyester knitted fleece that is soft on the skin. Plus, the fabric is bluesign approved and the sewing is Fair Trade Certified, so you can feel good about wearing it.
This superlight jacket is filled with the company’s brand-new PlumaFill insulation, made of hydrophobic polyester fibers that mimic the structure of down—gossamer tendrils radiating from a central spine. Rather than being blown into baffles like other synthetic down, the PlumaFill is tacked between sheets of ten-denier nylon fabric in long strands, so it won’t shift and create cold spots.
The Nano Puff hoodie is one of professional hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis’s go-to pieces of gear. “Its weight-versus-warmth ratio is really awesome, and it makes a great pillow when I’m tucked into my sleeping bag at night,” she says.
Iterations of the R1 have been on the market for years, but it’s still the ideal layering piece for a variety of activities, and it’s our favorite overall fleece. The R1 uses Polartec’s Power Grid fabric—tiny squares of thicker fleece arranged in a grid pattern and separated by thinner fleece fabric. The pattern is meant to increase air transfer and reduce the material’s overall weight.
With a cavernous 28-liter main compartment and a dedicated sleeve big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, the Refugio can easily carry the essentials for work, the gym, or extra layers on long day hikes.
In our roundup of the best sports bras, this number was one of our runners-up for “small-chested women who hate sports bras.” Made from a featherweight recycled polyester-spandex blend, the bra wicks sweat and dries quickly to keep you comfortable on high-intensity workouts.
Our testers hailed the Stretchdown as one of their favorite winter puffies. “Mountain Hardwear developed a loom that weaves the face fabric and lining simultaneously and creates the baffles without stitching,” one tester wrote. “A snug hood and 800-fill down retained warmth on 20-degree mornings.”
In our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide, we featured this jacket as one of our favorite midlayers. “The Wolverine Cirque is for those of us who can’t decide what kind of midlayer to wear,” we wrote. This clever piece has the warm synthetic fill of a puffy, and the stretchy, quick-drying qualities of a fleece.
Packed with premium 850-fill down in the torso and synthetic insulation elsewhere, the Cerium LT is constructed to retain warmth where you need it (around your core) and manage moisture everywhere else. You’ll barely notice it in your pack: it weighs just 9.7 ounces.
The Tufly received big praise in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide test of the best tents: “Might be the best tent I’ve ever used,” wrote one tester. It’s built to withstand three-season temperatures and has two doors and vestibules for easy access. That’s why we called it “a tent with every creature comfort you’d want at a drive-in campsite.”
We love the Klettersack for its beautiful, high-quality design. Our tester praised the bag's bomber construction: “The 22-liter pack features 1,000-denier Cordura fabric and heavy duty hardware so it'll put up with years of day-hike abuse.”
The Coleman Classic is one of our Gear Guy’s top choices for car camping. “The two 10,000-BTU burners take a little while to heat things up, but no one should be in a rush when out camping,” he wrote. “If anything ever breaks on a Classic—which rarely happens—replacement parts are easy to find, and the fixes are easy to make.”
In our Gear Guy’s roundup of backcountry ski packs, he wrote: “If I were to choose a pack for a winter worthy of Game of Thrones, this would be it.” The Bergtagen is a lightweight, high-volume option that’s ideal for trips in the mountains. We especially liked the hip belt and wooden frame.(20 percent off with the code 20CLIMBSALE)
One of our female editors’ favorite layers to cozy up in after a long day of skiing, the Better Sweater can also be dressed up thanks to the heathered knit face. We also like the zippered pocket on the sleeve, which is handy for keys and cards.
We included this rain jacket in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “The exterior nylon is tough, wind-resistant, and stretchy, while the interior is lined with a buttery knit that adds warmth for alpine starts and windy ridge walks,” our tester wrote. The lining does make the jacket less breathable, so it’s best for slower-paced activities.
The Snap-T Pullover is one of those iconic pieces of outerwear that we think will last you a lifetime. “Chances are you’ll be wearing the same one 30 years from now,” we wrote. Plus, it’s built with recycled materials.