We gave this jacket a Gear of the Year award in 2017. “Think of it as a Nano-Air on steroids: a 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 breathes like a sweatshirt,” wrote our tester.
The Best Deals at Patagonia's Winter Clearance Sale
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.
The Storm is a perfect example of how far headlamps have come. It’s moderately priced but pumps out 370 lumens from a proximity beam—ideal for working in close quarters or as a spotlight when you’re on the trail. We really like the battery meter, which shows how much juice you have left in your AAAs. Oh, and it’s fully waterproof.
“The MIPS liner is separate from the shell, allowing the helmet to rotate, which can reduce the chance of a concussion in the event of an angled impact,” wrote our Buyer’s Guide tester. “We didn’t go out of our way to take a header, but we were able to confirm that the Wall Rider vents well for the coverage it provides.”
The TC Pro is the best shoe for big walls and cracks, hands down. “The toe box is pointier than a lot of trad shoes, so it not only fits into small splitters but also holds onto some overhung features, making it uniquely versatile,” wrote our testers. (20 percent off with the code 20CLIMBSALE)
We included this rope in our roundup of the best gym climbing gear of 2020. “The Gym Cuts offers Trango’s trademark light weight and durability, but in 30- and 40-meter lengths—perfect for indoor lead walls. No more dragging a full-length rope across the pads,” wrote tester Jenny Earnest.
We have yet to find a better starter climbing kit at this price. Mad Rock’s package has the all the essentials for a session at the climbing gym or crag: an adjustable harness with four gear loops, a chalk ball, chalk bag, Wingman belay device, and a locking carabiner.
Our Gear Guy tested five lightweight soft shells, and the Keele was his favorite. “I was most impressed with how [it] almost completely repelled water during the shower test, leaving very little moisture on the interior after 30 seconds,” he wrote. This is the jacket you should grab for chilly runs.
The First Light’s stretchy face fabric adds durability and breathability while a DWR treatment repels water, dirt, and oil. Testers like what’s inside: PrimaLoft Silver synthetic insulation provides consistent warmth, even through the start and stop cycle of alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. When the snow begins to fall, pull the adjustable hood over your helmet for extra weather protection.
Contributor Jakob Schiller included these pants in his holiday style guide. Schiller found the slim fit flattering and said the spandex-cotton blend “means they’re great on the bike if you commute to work.” They’re also stylish enough to wear at both the office and dinner parties.
These rock rings are a solid budget option for training at home. In our roundup of the best fitness accessories of 2018, we wrote, “These portable climbing holds take [pull-ups] to the next level, turning the standard move into a feat of grip strength.” (20 percent off with the code 20CLIMBSALE)