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Outdoor Retailer F/W 2010, Salt Lake City, UTAH

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Mountain Hardwear started out as a hardcore alpine/mountaineering label that has transcended its mountain only status…embracing a casual/performance wear-anywhere lifestyle mode without sacrificing it’s DNA.

And this year, for sure---the new for Fall 2010 styles would be welcomed---- because the temps in the northeast have been mean!

On demo day at Snow Basin Resort (January 20th), as part of the massive Outdoor Retailer tradeshow--- we spent meaningful time gapping at the removable (sold separately) Ardica battery pack (lithium ion) heated SNOWEAR jackets (M-Refugium/ W-Radiance).

Talk about climate control…these slip in the back heated- jackets toasty up things for around 8.6 hours depending on the three settings used-from full-on crank it up---to low.

For 2010, the battery packs are slipped into a lower back POSITION with don’t feel it heating coils snaking up the upper, as well as lower back areas.

PLUS: USB cord in pocket let’s wearers charge up Blackberrys and GPS gadgets…etc. So, we can see crackberry types who never venture afar from urban concrete--- as well as backcountry addicts---- wanting these tricked out separates. (MSRP $250)

NEW: Versatile softshell vests

(M-Enyo, W-Sveda) will feature the additional $ Ardica Heat and Power technology too…and has the comfort touches we look for---like fleece lined handwarmer pockets, interior zip pocket for stuff and a lined chin guard so our face doesn’t get all scratch. We like how a vest can be worn under a shell....or on its own (Pictured up top).

(MSRP $225).

What else was getting the buzz…the new Pistolero men’s workglove that really GRIP… and the full leather Jalepeno™ gloves. Both are totally waterproof (OutDry Extreme Waterproof Technology)---that has the work gloves' membrane bonded to the goatskin leather shell (perfect fit too). Cool---and it’s breathable. PLUS: the Jalapeno’s are gauntlet length (MSRP $100) ---and available NOW.

Image from Mountain Hardwear website

Our appointment was way too short…but we got a quick look-see at some functional/fitted pieces that would work wherever we are.

A hauler for it all, the Garnet Packtote has a padded laptop sleeve/computer pack inside…plus tuckaway, mesh, padded shoulder straps..

We loved the pockets…in the front with an organizer panel, and interior mesh ones for all our pdas and Mp3s, eliminating our usual archeological dig for our buzzin' communicators. We hope the pack catches on as we hate most ringtones we hear...and crave a shortened hear-it time period.

AND: It’s super roomy (, capacity) and comes in a bunch of colors. A big help is that it’s made of easy clean 420D double herringbone nylon with tough side (600D) accent panels in different colors. (MSRP $75)…that give it some sass.

Mountain Lifestyle separates that we saw…hit just the right fashion-y notes…but have the warmth we need.

The über functional Conduit Laminated Fleece ($MSRP 130) with a lovely brocade pattern…

is totally windproof, with zipped hand warming pockets, a micro chamois lined chin guard, and a zipped interior pocket.

A Norland skirt sports the mad for plaid trend… is a flattering a line eco-friendly (organic cotton/recycled polyester) piece. Plus---is micro fleece lined =warmth without the bulk. ($75).

Another long sleeve top (merino wool) --- is a feminine easy wear blouse with Dri-Release® (dries wicked fast)---has girly horizontal pleats--- and is a smart choice for denim days as a base layer under our snow gear.