Stio’s Hometown vest was one of our six favorite sleeveless wonders in 2017. “The 800-fill down makes this is one of the warmest vests we’ve ever tested,” we wrote. Plus, the helmet-compatible hood and water-repellent down make it just as suitable on the slopes as it is in the bar after.
Three of Our Favorite Skis Are on Sale Right Now
The Völkl Secret is the sister ski to the Gear of the Year–winning M5 Mantra. We featured the Secret in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide, because of its ground-up approach to making these women specific. One of our testers—a former instructor—said: “It’s powerful enough to bite into the hardest snow, but you can back off the gas and ski it easy, too.”
This versatile ski won our Gear of the Year award in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Völkl redesigned the M5 Mantra with a Titanal perimeter that sheds weight but still provides stability and control. “I expected it to carve well, but I was surprised by how well it performed off-trail. Skilled skiers will excel on it. The sweet spot is huge,” said one tester.
Last winter, our contributor Heather Hansman wrote a review of the best all-mountain skis for women. Out of dozens of pairs, she named the Daemon Birdie the best playful freeride ski. “The Daemon Birdie is loose and playful, surfy in softer snow, easy to direct in crud, and well suited to pivoty turns in bumps,” Hansman wrote.
If your hands get obscenely cold in the winter and you’d rather not think about them, these are the mittens you want. “Putting them on feels like taking a bubble bath and eating fresh chocolate-chip cookies and getting a hug from your crush at the same time,” wrote Blair Braverman in her winter glove test.
We love these slim-fitting gloves for outdoor winter workouts. The fleece provides a thin layer for those spring ski days when big gloves feel like overkill. The CloseFit is windproof and water-resistant, and all five fingers are touchscreen compatible.
The Rose has been tester Kassondra Cloos’s favorite base-layer top for the past three years. “I’ve worn it skiing in Colorado and Wyoming, backpacking in rainy conditions in Colombia, working in the office, and while sleeping,” wrote Cloos. The soft merino wool is warm and cozy, while the deep half zip and thinner side panels allow venting.
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 parka a go-to for brutally cold nights on the town,” our tester wrote.
The Evergreen is the hooded version of the jacket we featured in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. The secret sauce is Burton’s Living Lining, which expands and contracts to move moisture away from the body and regulate temperature. Plus, the 650-fill down insulation is lightweight and packs small.
Our Gear Guy has yet to find a koozie that keeps beverages frosty for longer than the Colster. Its vacuum insulation traps cold air, and the stainless-steel wrap protects your brewski—to an extent—if you drop it. That’s why this insulator is our go-to drink accessory for campground kickbacks.
Gear tester Andrew Skurka ran over 300 miles in these shoes and found them best for easy rolling singletrack. “Because of those 4mm lugs,” Skurka wrote, “this shoe has also become my go-to for bike lanes, pea-gravel trails, and dirt roads that are muddy or covered in snow.”
This 36-ounce vacuum bottle seals completely, so you can throw it in your bag without worrying about spillage. It comes with a leakproof lid, but if you prefer easy-drinking access, a straw and chug-cap top are also available.
Our Gear Guy dubbed the Kanken the best backpack for parents because it transitions seamlessly between a diaper bag and an everyday carry pack. “Fjällräven’s Kanken does it better than anything else I’ve tried in the 11 months since my daughter, Jojo, was born,” he wrote.
This 800-fill water-resistant parka packs next-level warmth in a sleek package. The Hometown’s mid-thigh length provides a flattering fit while keeping you toasty on frigid outings around town. We especially like the roomy, adjustable hood.
We reviewed these bottoms in our our roundup of the best women’s base layers. They “pack down almost as small as a pair of pantyhose,” said our tester, “and the poly fabric is exceptionally breathable, wicks well, and is ideal for warmer days and rigorous activities like cross-country skiing or alpine touring.”
We included these shoes in our 2018 Winter Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best winter hikers. “We loved the speed-lacing setup, which was a breeze to cinch and take off, as well as the rubber heel rand, which totally eliminated blisters,” we wrote. The boot’s Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet dry, while mesh uppers help your feet breathe on warmer days.
Patagonia’s Performance Twill is one of our favorite pairs of do-anything jeans. The lightweight cotton-polyester blend is “stretchy but also works to wick moisture away from the inside and repels moisture from the outside,” we wrote. Plus, the pants are sewn using Fair Trade Certified practices.
We included this insulated bottle in our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide. Whether you’re hunkered down waiting for a rescue snowplow or returning from a hot summer day trip, the ChuteMag’s double-wall insulation will ensure your water doesn’t freeze or get too warm.
In our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide, we recommended this pack for light weekend trips. “The Paragon is a sizable pack without the heft you’d expect,” wrote tester Justin Nyberg. We loved the 58-liter pack’s back panel ventilation system, roomy side pockets and sturdy suspension. Plus, the hydration sleeve doubles as a summit pack.