Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Gifts:WINTER Outerwear/LayersSNOW Bears/Bunnies

Eddie Bauer, Colmar, Bogner, Black Diamond, Big Agnes, Super.Natural, STIO


New fabrics and treatments of cold weather staples like merino, down and insulating synthetics-render what we kept warm in while pursuing outdoor adventures-pretty much outdated.

NOW: Impressive-the variety of jackets and mid/base layers one can choose from-with functional features, lighter weights, slimmer silhouettes that won't look out of place, anywhere, and in snazzy color choices too---

Holiday suggestions…that make practical gifts.

Tough enough for back country jaunts-and as an everyday jacket ...

Eddie Bauer -has guys/gals/kids toasty warm outerwear choices- that are at value prices---with weather worthy Dura Dura Down Jacket
 -ripstop DWR StormRepel® finish, nylon shell Cordura™ durable w/ 700 Fill Stormdown® powered by Downtek®  premium down insulation warmth w/o weight-details like hand warmer pockets, no draft interior storm flap, drawcord hems keep cold out...
waterproof nylon overlay-75D Cordura® reinforced critical elbows/shoulders' area (on sale $174)

COLMAR-a fashionably functional Italian label-women's lightweight down jacket with moisture wicking -breathable  37.5 (new Cocona)-packs down, layers up, an flattering curves-with no cold spots.
Pictures-taken at the annual A SNOW AFFAIR- USA SKI Team benefit…show off sponsor-Bogner's-luxury outerwear pieces that are collectables---a tribute to their style and durability. This high-end label is made for the adventure driven or snow scene groupies who never make it out of the lodge except to shop.

Our fav-this biker style jacket -with beautiful couture worthy embroidery…glamourous jacket----that has performance features.

zip in-extra layer…in outer DWR softshell 
Black Diamond garners a lot of respect with respect to their gear-so it is no surprise that their relatively new(ish) apparel line has made quite a snowy splash ---with technical fabrics-functional details-and attention paid to what active sorts need when it comes to- rather often- life-saving outerwear.
BLACK DIAMOND-the Hot Forge Hoodies( deliver mid-January) for men (blue), women (yellow)-ultralight packable warmth-drawcord hem…core-kept warm with Primaloft® Gold down blend-stitched correctly eliminating cold spots-with Primaloft® Gold synthetic insulation under arms/back-vent heat where needed-with Pertex Quantum water tough-featherweight and durable shell made for movers. Gusseted cuffs, zippered hand pockets $249

Black Diamond-Vapor Point Shell-highly packable burly Gore-Tex® Active fabric waterproof and highly breathable-zipped up with YKK® Vision®Aquaguard, Velcro cuff tabs, adjustable helmet compatible hood, outer pockets including chest w/ cord port. AND Cohaesive™management cord system-hardwear bonded to fabric for ease of use-even with gloves on. Yeah to that!

Terrific color we rarely see in outdoor apparel-Big Agnes women's Shovelhead hooded jacket $250-700 fill Downtek™treated for warmth when wet-in a lightweight ripstop nylon water/wind resistant shell-w/ FlowGates™ eliminates down shifting to keep uniform coverage…and Insotect Flow™  vertical baffling for great fit. Like longer back hem -a detail all outdoor jackets should have but do not.
BIG AGNES-is another outdoors brand known for something else---(sleeping bags)---with a new jacket collection for 2014/15…a natural brand extension.

another great color-synthetic -hooded and non-hooded versions-60gPinneco Core® in 100% recycled poly shell that's windproof+water resistant-nice quilted stitching-constructed to flatter and reduce bulk-women's Big Agnes Yarmony hooded jacket $190-nifty-interior pocket serve as a stuff sack,
The insulation used is a combo of premium DownTek™ and a new to us synthetic,  Pinneco Core® -that is breathable, thermally efficient and sustainably engineered-featuring insulation and a  CoreScreen™ membrane that act like a " virtual air pump"-actively drawing moisture away while retaining warmth. Other features -adjustable drawstring hems, interior no-draft flaps behind the main zipper (neat), and thumbholes-for no gap great fit.

Get toasty warm just looking at this Big Agnes Men's Shovelhead hooded jacket- $249.95-adjustable drawcord hood+hem keep cold out, 700 fill power DownTek water repellent down, w/ FlowGates™ eliminates down shifting to keep uniform coverage…and Insotect Flow™  vertical baffling for great fit, plenty inner+outer pockets including interior doubles as stuff sack
Merino wool is a natural…it's sustainably sourced (or should be), odor busting anti-microbial, warm when wet, moisture wicking-temperature regulating wonder that is a super popular in athletic wear worn in all kinds of conditions, year round.
last year's freezing temps had plenty of people wearing base layers as everyday wear. 4 way stretch-Super.Natural base layers are of different blends depending on purpose-
performance tee works with pair of jeans just fine
Merino wool is also a great blender-when mixed with other performance-engineered fibers ---the MO of Super.Natural…a collection of men's women's base layers and lifestyle separates made for everyone from athletes and casually attired individuals.

pictured SS 2015 selections-
Made for moving or pursuing more casual pursuits, Super.Natural layerable pieces are embedded with all the aforementioned merino wool features plus-bonus-are machine washable+tumble dry, and wear and tear durable-more so than 100% all natural or 100% all synthetic separates, quick drying (that's the engineered performance fiber part as key here) AND Bluesign®Certified.

cozy-with ease of sweatshirt yet could hike in this and be a-ok

Winter selections are  available now---we personally can vouch for women's base layer- long sleeve -that performed as billed…kept us warm from start of our run on cold windy day-to the end when we def. warmed up enough to work up a sweat-yet felt dry enough to NOT get freezing again on the looong 3 blocks' walk home. And ---really remained odor free. Impressive. Should be delivering in the USA soon…and a welcome addition to anyone who spends time outdoors and wants to look presentable, no matter what…or for adventure travelers who pack little but need to look presentable when crossing country borders.

FYI: Lots of color options too-keyed in with Pantone fashion colors that are current. Available and Nordstrom's…and at dealers coast to coast

ICEBREAKER is a New Zealand brand-that  has very stylish and functioning separates made from its homeland sourced merino wool -and new MerinoLOFT®=a water repellent coating, woven merino next to skin, and wool insulation to maximize warmth and minimize weight. Great fitting-the MerinoLOFT  Helix Zip Hood ($284.99) has recycled polyester  exterior that's durable+weather tough,  while insulating wool lining -resists odor,  breathable and warm-with hand warming pockets, internal storm flap and drawcord hem that keeps cold out, . Nice travel piece.

We fell in love with this STIO women's Skycrest Insulated Pullover made warm with 60g of Thermore® EcoDown® insulation that retains heat while DWR worthy Illume Cire™ is weather tough…and has a nice shine to it like those pricey Moncler pieces.

The Kangeroo front pocket  (zippered) and quilting details make this stylish- fashionable item that is different than any pullover we've seen. Bonus points here- from a Jackson Hole, Wyoming based label run by outdoors people who clearly know what they're doing.
hem zips tighter for slim fit…or lets out when layered over …nice detail vs drawcord