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.
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Cotopaxi has a penchant for making performance outdoor apparel that stands out in a crowd. The Rayo Down is no exception. It’s stuffed with 650-fill goose down that’s resilient enough to bounce back when it gets wet. The nylon fabric sheds water and protects against stains.
This hoodie isn’t flashy, and we like it that way. While maintaining extreme packability, the Phantom keeps us warm on winter climbing trips, thanks to its water-resistant 800-fill down and ultralight face fabric. We tested this hoodie in 2019, and it hasn’t let us down since.
This is the fleece-puffy hybrid we’re taking into shoulder season. The Vigor has low-loft fill across the chest, upper back, and hips that provides just-right warmth during sustained climbs. Our testers also noted the jacket’s impressive breathability, thanks to fleece across the back and arms.
In our review of the best shells, the Lofoten was our favorite for arctic conditions. We appreciated the balance between features and packability. “To cut down on weight, Norrøna skipped insulation in the hood and below the powder skirt but didn’t bypass niceties like wrist gaiters and pockets,” we wrote.
Send it for decades in a jacket that’s built to last. Patagonia updated the original version of the PowSlayer by sealing seams and reducing the number of pockets. For this, and because it's made with recycled Gore-Tex, we gave this shell the Gear of the Show award at Outdoor Retailer in 2017.
We included the women’s version of this parka in our roundup of the best wool apparel for its heavy-hitting warmth. “Its long hem, flannel lining, and glove-friendly cuffs are made for hard winters, while a blend of Swedish wool and biodegradable cornstarch fibers provide the sustainable insulation,” our tester wrote.
The Stretchdown is a staff favorite. "This puffy is made with a nylon-elastane face fabric that's super stretchy, so it's great for increased range of motion for climbing, hiking, and skiing," said gear editor Ariella Gintzler.
Our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, tested five different fleeces for three weeks, and the Tekno Ridge was the most versatile. The women’s version has all the same high-performance features as the men’s, with a slimmer fit and longer back length. The fabric “easily fended off 15-mile-per-hour headwinds during a trail run,” Jackson wrote.
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.