Walking around the large maze that is Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, I quickly came to realize that there’s a lot of backcountry specific apparel coming for 2015/2016. I was happy to find that many brands are releasing men’s and women’s kits together.
Arc’teryx — Arc’teryx has a fully revamped glove and mitten line for next winter, with improvements to fit, dexterity, warmth and longevity. Hands lose heat to water 24 times faster than to surrounding air. Over time most leather will eventually absorb water with use. Wet leather robs your hands of heat at a much faster rate than when dry. Arc’teryx’s solution is highly hydrophobic nylon fabric laminated to Gore-tex to leave your hands dryer and warmer. To improve durability thermoplastic polyurethane laminates are added on fingers and palm to enhance grip.
Black Diamond is adding versatility to AvaLung with the new AvaLung Ready pack. You can switch the Avalung element between compatible packs or take it off for four-season pack use. Also, the new BD touring specific pants will feature a padded Pieps Pocket on the right thigh to house your avalanche beacon.
Mountain Equipment –- Mountain Equipment continues to offer three clothing fits: Alpine Fit, Mountain Fit, and Active Fit (more info available here. Likewise, their hoods come in three designs: Mountain (smaller over-crown measurement for those who do not expect to be wearing a climbing helmet), Mountain HC (all-around hood, designed to be worn with or without a helmet), Super Alpine HC (helmet compatible hood, has largest cranium volume with an increased over-crown measurement, higher front collar with internal silicone grip strips).
Check out what Mountain Equipment is doing for men’s insulated boot-crop pants on our Instagram page, @WildSnow.
Duckworth is a Montana wool company. Their open range sheep graze at 9,500 feet in the Rocky Mountains. Dry hot summers and freezing cold winters shape a soft, durable fiber with exceptional loft and breathability. Indeed, the goods we checked out felt exceptionally soft. 100% made in USA — the wool travels to the Carolinas for spinning, knitting and sewing.
Big Agnes makes comfy sleeping bags and comfy jackets too. The baffles in their jackets are designed to contour to your body to provide a more comfortable and warmer fit. FlowGate is their proprietary technology — gates within the baffles that are staggered along the vertical channels to keep the insulation in place, eliminating cold spots.
Smartwool –- Snazzy new designs on men’s and women’s ski socks will be in stores next year. Insulated skirts are the rage and Smartwool is adding patterns and making them shorter.
Recap of WildSnow posts, January 26 – January 30, 2015: