Insulated

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Buy More Passes With its subtle herringbone-like weave, square buttons, and asymmetrical front pockets, the Mohave is stylish in a low-key way. So when we saw the reasonable price tag, we figured Scott blew the budget on flair. Wrong. This insulated hard shell is brimming with smart touches, like wrist…

This lightly insulated, water-resistant soft shell is perfect for nordic skiing or snowshoeing on winter’s coldest days. It’s got a plethora of pockets, activity-friendly four-way stretch, and a helmet-compatible hood. Why we didn’t want to take it off: The quilted lining is like wearing your softest sleeping bag all…

Hot Deal With top-shelf synthetic insulation (PrimaLoft Eco), a tough, waterproof outer fabric, and all the creature comforts you could want (including nine pockets, pit zips, a powder skirt, and a goggle chamois), the 4 Pines has all the ingredients of a high-performance, full-featured resort parka. Normally, all this adds…

Aigle Shems – Midweight Jackets: Reviews   With a soft fleece interior and warm, durable merino wool/nylon exterior, this jacket combines our favorite fabrics in one versatile top. 1.9 lbs; aigleusa.com         Patagonia Pau – Footwear: Reviews (Terry Heffernan) The coolest mocs we’ve ever laid eyes…

Puff Daddy We were impressed by how well the Mission’s pit zips regulated temperature on a mild midwinter trip to British Columbia, but there was plenty of stuffing (500-fill down) for the most frigid test days, too. So if single-digit readings are commonplace at your home resort, check out this…

Backcountry Staple If you don’t already have a jacket like the Atom LT Hoody in your quiver, it’s time to add one. What’s so great about it? Because it’s lightly insulated with a highly compressible synthetic fill, it’s impressively warm for such a light and packable jacket. Plus its stretchy…

Luxury Comes Cheap Pata-Gucci? Not in this case. The Snowshot was one of the least expensive jackets in our test but also a tester favorite. Like the Cloudveil, it’s an ideal everyday, all-season jacket for Rocky Mountain resorts. It’s stuffed with the perfect amount of synthetic insulation. It’s waterproof. You…

Packable Half-Zip “It’s as packable as it is practical,” observed one tester. That pretty much sums up the Zephyrus. While it has roughly the same amount of synthetic insulation as the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody, it was better at shedding light rain and snow, due to its more windproof (and…

Twofer The big selling point here is obvious: You get both a warm, burly ski shell plus a thick, synthetically insulated sweater that can be zipped in to boost the warmth. Both jackets are constructed with Columbia’s new Omni-Heat lining, a matrix of metallic dots that reflect heat back to…

Technical The synthetically insulated and DWR-coated Igniter is slim enough to slip beneath a shell on cold mornings at the resort. Worn alone, it held its own into the mid-twenties, and it packs down smaller than a volleyball. 1.4 lbs; TAGS: synthetic, great midlayer…

Soft Touch “It just feels right,” said one tester. That pretty much sums up the Welder, and after we added up all the comments, it was clear that it was the most breathable, stretchy, supple, and comfortable insulated soft shell we saw this year. The Welder delivers enough water and…

Technical This waterproof hard shell is stuffed with the same amount of synthetic fill as the Igniter (above), making it a bit warmer (and more windproof) but also, not surprisingly, not quite as breathable. Because it’s completely impervious to wet snow and sports a hood with a visorlike rain brim,…

ALPINE DO-IT-ALL Take a hard-shell jacket, stuff it with sleeping-bag insulation, and you’ve got the Gravitor. It’s made with the same synthetic insulation as Mountain Hardwear’s sleeping bags. It sounds bulky, but it isn’t. The warmest jacket here, the trim-fitting Gravitor was designed with cold-weather climbing and hiking in mind.

Technical Top-shelf (800-fill) down + ultralight 15-denier ripstop nylon + an extremely athletic fit = as light and compressible a puffy as you can get. Our favorite feature: side zips that allow you to quickly dump heat or futz with inner layers. Least favorite: no zipper on the front kangaroo…

SMART INSULATOR Like the Gravitor (left), the Prima Fusion is also an insulated hard shell—with a few key differences. First, it’s insulated only in strategic areas along the chest, back, shoulders, and tops of the arms. The uninsulated sides, helmet-compatible hood, elbows, and pit-zip-equipped underarms make it cooler but…

Town Crossover Combine a down vest with a fleece-lined soft shell and this is what you get. We liked the long cut and urban utility look but not the floppy collar or double-what-we-expected price. 1.6 lbs; TAGS: soft shell, down, hybrid…

From game-changing new materials (like moisture-wicking cotton) to evolutionary leaps in engineering (like a rotating helmet for extreme crashes), the avant-garde of 21st-century gear has just one thing in common: a total disregard for the status quo.

There's the gear you want, and there's the gear you need. After much internal debate, we present the 25 products every guy should own.

I am going trekking in Nepal this September? What are essential items of clothing for this trip? Can you recommend the different type of layers that I will need? Saoirse Rooney Dublin, Ireland