Ever since Chanel models toted ice axes down the Paris runways last year, fashionistas have been looking to the REI racks for inspiration. And while this latest crop of haute outerwear may not suffice on a Chugach Range overnighter, it'll certainly keep you sleek and toasty for a brisk stroll this fallwhile giving your fleece a well-deserved rest.
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When sewing up its men’s COATED COTTON CAR COAT, DKNY started with the fabric of your life, coated it with black polyurethane, then added stitching made to resemble heat-pressed, waterproof seams. The end result evokes a vintage diving suit. A fine piece for walking the dog on a late-fall night, but watch the weather: The coat is only water-resistant, not waterproof. ($248; 800-231-0884, www.dkny.com)
Though PRADA‘s SHETLAND INFELTRITO jacket for women might look like it belongs at the dressage championships, its construction makes it adequate for the steeps at Killington. The Infeltrito beats back drizzle with waterproofed wool, polyester-fiberfill insulation, and a nylon lining—plus, gusseted cuffs add extra protection. The overall fit: svelte, not bulky. ($860; 888-977-1900, www.prada.com)
Foresight Designs’ Duel Gemini Array, Pricneton Tec’s Aurora, and Petzl Duobelt
PETZL recently updated its classic 210-gram DUOBELT, dropping the incandescent bulb in favor of a standard three-LED module that offers equivalent light, but a respectable 250-hour burn time. Run the LEDs on the approach, saving the adjacent halogen bulb—which cranks out an intense 100-meter beam—for route finding and belaying. Want even more versatility? Drop $387 on the DUAL GEMINI ARRAY from FORESIGHT DESIGNS (shown), a 48-LED add-on kit that snaps into the Petzl headpiece. It’s bright enough for biking, yet efficient enough to run off standard batteries. Burn time on high: 2.5 hours. (Petzl: $70; 801-327-3805, www.petzl.com. Foresight Designs: 203-426-8251, www.foresight-designs.com.)
The outdoor market is flooded with headband-style three-LED lamps, but PRINCETON TEC‘s 2.8-ounce AURORA stands out from the pack for two reasons. You can pivot the headpiece (and thus the beam of light) on the vertical axis—avoiding that kink in your neck as you, say, stitch your kneecap back into place after a close encounter with some jagged scree. Plus, when you adjust the output to its lowest level, the three AAA’s will hang on for an impressive 160 hours. Burn time on high: 50 hours. ($30; 609-298-9331, www.princetontec.com)