I looking for a rugged, water resistant pair of long hiking pants that can be worn in warm weather conditions. What do you recommend? Karl Newton, NJ
Schoeller Dryskin ses to be the material of choice in soft shell pants, followed by Schoeller Dynmic. There is also a stretch-woven polyester used by Patagonia in the Guide Pant (which I believe is now discontinued) and a lighter version of the se material used in the Simple Guide Pant. Can you discuss the pros and cons of the Schoeller vs. the material used in the Patagonia pants? How they perform one vs. the other. And the temperature range in which each can be used comfortably. In short, which do you recommend? Scott Lubbock, TX
Just because you own a fancy soft shell doesn't mean you should wear it all winter
From travel-worthy to office-ready, the latest cords and khakis have got you covered
Brit Eaton is the best of a curious breed of fortune hunters combing old mine shafts and barns across the West for vintage denim. He's discovered $50,000 worth of clothes in a single day, and his clients include Ralph Lauren and Levi's. STEVEN RINELLA joins him on a search for the blues.
A collection of rare and expensive pants.
From hard shells to soft shells, associate editor Justin Nyberg reviews his favorite jackets of 2009.
I ride my bike to class every morning, and as the temperature drops, I have a jacket problem that is two fold. 1) My fleece does little to stop the piercing cold winds. 2) My hard shell retains too much body heat, and I feel like Im in a furnace. What do you recommend? Bary Charlottesville, Virginia
Crush it, roll it, or stuff it in your bag: The Orvis Packable Felt Hat will pop right back into shape ($39; orvis.com). Orvis Packable Felt Hat …
Room for only one jacket in your luggage? Merrell‘s lightly insulated and water-resistant Uniform Parka is the perfect choice ($189; merrell.com). Merrell Uniform Parka Jacket …
Problem: No time to properly clean up before dinner. Solution: A dab of Davidoff Adventure cologne ($48; macys.com). Davidoff Adventure Cologne …
Merrell‘s Gore-Tex Chameleon Trek shoes are understated enough for a night on the town but tough enough for the trail ($145).
Two years ago, Arc’teryx gave lead designer Carl Moriarty a dream mandate: Build the best mountaineering jacket in the world, cost be damned. It needed to be warm enough for nasty conditions, so he stuffed it with the company’s top-of-the-line ThermaTekinsulation, which, in addition to being more hydrophobic than other…
Office-worthy? Yes. Street tough? You bet. You just found your new favorite pair of shoes.
Any suggestions for a travel jacket that can also hack it as a weather-protection piece and meeting wear? It doesn't have to look like a three-piece suit, but it should up the ante on standard backpacking gear. Rick Edmonton, Alberta
Im hiking the John Muir Trail and want to take some super-lightweight raingear. But there are so many options on the market, that it makes the choice confusing. What are your top picks? Janet Charlotte, Vermont
What are the best pants for a hiking trip in Alaska? Im looking for stylish, breathable, stain resistant, crease resistant, and quick drying. Thanks in advance of a helpful response. Jeffery Islington, NSW Australia
The plan: Pair up six of our favorite globe-trotting photographers. Ask them to comb their hair. Subject them to one another's creative visions.
Im headed out to Quetico for little over a week, and I need women's underwear that will last a long time, limit chafing, dry fast, and rinse well. Any suggestions? Nicole Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
What is the best type of sock to wear on a day hike? I a naturally sweaty person and often my socks get so wet that is causes blisters. Not pretty, I know, but thats the truth of it. Nick London, England
Nothing says sophisticated traveler better than a light-colored jacket. Just keep it clean, OK?
What clothing do you recommend for hiking in hot weather? From time to time I've heard that light cotton or hemp clothes are, in fact, the coolest choice for hiking in high temperatures. Ted Great Falls, Montana
Im doing research this summer in Pana, which means hot, humid, and often wet conditions (including wading around in water and mud). Can you recommend the best lightweight, fast drying, and somewhat bug-proof women's clothing? Lot of pockets would be helpful as well. Kristy Gonyer, Portland
I hiking the West Coast Trail this June, which is typically a rainy season for the trail. What would you recommend for a good set of backpacking pants that can fend off at least a couple days worth of rain? Reagen Calgary, Alberta
I get all kinds of different advice on how to care for my gear. Normal detergent, hi-tech fabric cleaners, and spray-on or wash-in waterproofing make my head spin. Can you clarify how to best take care of soft-shell and hard-shell fabrics? Gudni Reykjavik, Iceland
My wife and I will be hiking the Inca Trail in April, and I would appreciate your opinion about appropriate raingear. Wed want something waterproof-breathable, right? Ed Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
I looking for a warm belay jacket for ice climbing and have considered the Patagonia DAS or the Wild Things Belay Jacket. Would the Polarguard 3D (in the DAS) be more durable over time and keep its loft more so than the Primaloft (in the Wild Things jacket)? Rich Athens, Georgia
In terms of rain jackets, which waterproof-breathable fabric is more breathable: eVent, Gore-Tex Pro Shell, H2No (Patagonia), or Dry Light Tec (MontBell)? Chris Mission, Kansas
This winter’s best jeans
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Are there any outfitters that still manufacture their products in the USA? Do any produce items based on the principles of fair trade or with recycle or natural materials? Im trying to find a good winter jacket with these pareters in mind, but it seems that it is not so common. Yoni New York, New York
When Im hiking, I sweat, to put it delicately, with the regularity of Old Faithful and with the intensity of Niagara Falls. What do you recommend in the way of a wicking base layer and a lightweight breathable jacket for fall hiking? Or perhaps you know of a DVD I can watch of someone else hiking (sweat-free). Meir New York, New York
Hint: It's not the toboggan.
I'm looking for the perfect trail running jacket: soft shell to eliminate the noise of nylon, breathable so I don't overheat, and resistant to light rain and wind. I chasing a unicorn, or does such a beast exist? Blake Lexington, Kentucky
Filson Mackinaw Cruiser
My husband and I are going to Peru for our 50th anniversary. We will be adventuring in the Amazon rainforest, and I’m wondering what kind of supportive footwear I can use on the wet, slick trails. Also, what rainwear would protect against torrential rain, yet not be too hot in the jungle? Judy Reeds Spring, Missouri
I looking for an expedition-weight cold-weather jacket for skiing, hiking, and all around wear. I tend to get cold easily. I would also like something with a lot of pockets, and is waterproof and windproof. Oh, and somewhat stylish. Can you suggest a few for me to choose from? Thank you! Joy Tacoma, Washington
If you are like me, when you arrive at your cpsite after a long hike, you want to switch out of your boots and put on something lighter. What shoes are out there that will work well around the cpsite? Something that will protect the toes, has enough sole so you can step on a rock with hobbling yourself, and doesnt make for much extra weight. John New York, New York
My favorite jacket is nearing the end of its life, and Id like to replace it with a similar do-anything version thats comfortable in a range of temperatures. Im looking for a highly breathable piece, and waterproofing isnt that important. Andre San Francisco, California
I looking into purchasing my first soft shell jacket. I will be using it in the fall and winter here in Minnesota and for the occasional ski trip to Montana. What are your thoughts on custom-built soft shells and are they worth it? Eric Maple Grove, Minnesota
On a recent hiking trip, I developed a whopper of a hot spot on my heel. A friend lent me a pair of liner socks, and the rest of the journey was comfy. Im sold! Ive heard that the liner should be made of the se fabric as the outer socks. Whats your opinion on this? Brenda Shoreview, Minnesota
I just discovered your gearness and must say I like your logical mirth. Please enlighten me on Eagle Eyes sunglasses technology. Is its NASA-accepted light-filtering system really unmatched? Salim Loma Linda, California
History repeats itselfand we don't mindwith these seventies-inspired shades
I going trekking in Peru and Bolivia this July and would like to take a soft shell pant that combines around-town style, warmth for alpine hiking, and affordability. What recommendations do you have? Ron San Francisco, California
My dermatologist told me to stay out of the sun, not well received advice by a committed recreational athlete. Does anyone make a summer-weight, long-sleeved cycling jersey with UV protection? I need full coverage, because I tend sweat off sunscreen pretty quickly. Michael San Francisco, California
Mysteries of the mind-body connection: Why does Willie Nelson make me run faster than the White Stripes? And why do both sound so much better coming out of the Thump Pro? I don't have answers, but I do know that after several trail runs I fell shamelessly in love with…
Im looking to replace my old REI 300 fleece jacket. It has served me well as a regular jacket around town and for hiking and snowshoeing. Id like something similar, but that will better resist wind. Any suggestions? Kathy Olympia, Washington
Sustainability meets performance in these eco-friendly products
I'm searching for gloves and a hat for general use in the West Virginia mountains. I need a pair of durable, thin, wind- and water-resistant gloves with excellent grip. I would also like to have something to layer over them that would work well for serious snow. In the hat, I want the warmest hat in existence that can be easily rolled and placed in the pocket of whatever jacket I'm wearing. Whatcha got for me? Carl Morgantown, West Virginia
Here come longer days and better weather. Make the most of the multisport season with the hottest new gear.
With these slip-ons, dressing for summer is just like the season: effortless
I need a rain jacket that can take the abuse of going off-trail. Something that shrugs off thorns, branches, and trunks with nary a RIP to be heard. And it needs to be light to handle the 90-degree, 90-percent-humidity days we enjoy each summer here in Rocksylvania. Any ideas? John Lebanon, Pennsylvania
What color sunglass lens should I use for hiking? From sunrise to sunset, I want just one pair if thats possible. I have tried to look this info up, but I want to get it right. Is polarized the way to go? I'm clueless. Jay Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm headed to the Bob Marshall Wilderness this July. We'll be riding horses in and out of the Bob, and from cp to cp. Any ideas on rain pants that could stand at least some time in the saddle without breaking down? Jeff arillo, Texas
Clean up your closet with fashionably sustainable clothes
Can you recommend a light soft shell with good water repellency for spring/summer hiking and biking? I take it from your past columns that Polartec Power Shield would be a bit warm. Also, should I look for one with a hood? Christopher Brooklyn, New York
Apparel makers embrace wicking coconut shells, beech-wood shirts, and other miracle materials
Im looking to buy a new ski jacket and pantssomething comfortable, warm, and not too bulky. I'm after something unique. Any suggestions? Everett Charlotte, North Carolina
You've mentioned Outdoor Research's Mutant Modular Mitt in the past as a nice compromise between mittens and gloves, but unfortunately OR stopped making them. Do you know of any other similar mitt/glove compromise? I've got a pair of OR shell mitts, but I'd really like the added dexterity. Daniel Halifax, Vermont
I'm heading to Alaskas Brooks Range for a two-week backpacking trip in June. I'm trying to find, with no success so far, a Patagonia Micro Puff or Moonstone Lucid jacket. Any suggestions on a comparable jacket that may do similar (or better) service? Sue Atlanta, Georgia
Why do makers of technical fabrics discourage using fabric softener when drying? And I hear that you should line dry all running and hiking clothing. Whats the word? Brad Colorado
My husband and I are taking a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in May and then driving from Jasper through Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and the Colorado Rockies. Being Aussies from the subtropics, we would welcome your suggestions about what outerwear well need and where to buy it in Vancouver. Margaret Brisbane, Australia
I can't find a pair of gloves suitable for winter hiking. They all seem to suffer from the same problem: In the presence of perspiration, the attached linings stick to my fingers as I pull the gloves off. This makes it difficult to re-align the fingers to get them back on. Is there an answer to this dilemma? Rick Littleton, New Hampshire
Shaun White, style icon? God help us. But thanks to the pinstriped snowboarder, wearing work shirts has never seemed so fashion forward.
In Outside‘s February, 2007 issue, writer Andrew Tilin reported on a new, sustainable outdoor apparel company, Nau (And Nau for Something Completely Different). The Portland, Oregon-based start-up launches their web sales this February, and will open four stores in the spring of 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, Seattle,…
It's chic to buy organic groceries, but all-natural clothes? Consider this: It takes roughly one pound of fertilizer and pesticide to grow the conventional cotton required for one pair of jeans. Eco-smart designers have taken note, introducing up to 100 percent organic denim that simultaneously saves the environment and your shot at a first impression.
From bike lane to corner office, these classy messenger bags carry the day
For decades, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has preached the gospel of sustainable performance apparel, and his company has led the market with its use of recycled and organic fabrics. This fall, the company greens up footwear, too, rolling out an all-new line of shoes. The trail-, water-, and travel-inspired kicks…
I love the look of soft shell jackets instead of typical hard shells. But most soft shells Ive seen are very thin with little or no insulation. Is there one that will keep me warm while I bounce around in Vermont? Eric Randolph, New Jersey
This one will really test your knowledge! I do a lot of sports in cold weather, and all the sports bras I've tried get wet and dont dry. I've even spent the big bucks on Patagonia Capilene. Can you suggest a bra that provides minor support and dries readily? And, out of curiosity, if my Capilene underwear keeps dry, why doesn't my Capilene bra? Killaine Vancouver, BC
What's the best waterproof hiking pant for under $200? A full side zip would be nice and lightweight is ideal, but not at the cost of durability and waterproofing. I'm about five-feet, nine-inches, so hiking pants that aren't ridiculously long would also be helpful. Tim Rochester, New York
Win the seasonal game with the year's hottest gear
Which fabricpolypropylene, Capilene, or merino woolworks better for layering, considering warmth, weight, and price? Bill Spreckels, California
I need to replace my old Moonstone Activent wind shirt that I use for running. Can you direct me to another one, preferably a pullover? Dan St. Louis, Missouri
My hands are always freezing on the mountain when I go skiing (I think I have poor circulation). Do you have any recommendations on the warmest gloves for winter? Leigh Ann Kansas City, MO
Im looking for a fleece-and-shell combo that can be worn separately or together when needed. Ive looked at The North Face Denali fleece but unsure of a shell to go over it. Can you recommend a system that can be used for everything from hiking to skiing without breaking the bank? Ryan Lubbock, Texas
I do light hikes in the hot, humid, muddy Puerto Rican rainforest multiple times a year for work. My coworkers wear rubber wellies, and I usually buy essentially disposable boots (and throw them away after a week). Im sick of wet feet, but most waterproof boots seem made for winter. Any advice? Heather Mountain View, California
What is a good, moderately priced three-season shell for a big, sweaty backpacker? I got soaked to the bone this weekend and need to upgrade. Also, is it safe to wash backpacking clothes in unfiltered water? John Athens, Georgia