New Items For The Closet — Outerwear at Outdoor Retailer

Post by blogger | February 6, 2018      
Canines aren't missing out.

Fido isn’t missing out: Ruffwear ear gaiters in case your pooch wants to ski Denali.

I don’t always get excited about clothes. There is so much of it out there; sometimes it all blends into one big blur. Additionally, we spend most of our time at Outdoor Retailer investigating technical hardgoods and often skip conversations about garb that nearly every company offers. But, this year we got psyched about a few new pieces we saw. What I am saying is: you want these in your closet.

Maybe one of the most impressive outerwear innovations is the development of stretchy, waterproof fabrics. The few shells we checked out had varying degrees of stretchiness and the material allowed for trimmer fitting pieces, which seems to be the trend, especially for ski touring and mountaineering.

Outdoor Research

Dance moves...rock'in it.

Dance moves…rock’in the Hemisphere jacket.

Outdoor Research is using GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology in their new Hemisphere collection of technical hard shells. This fabric has been added in high-movement zones of the jacket, such as under arms, back panels, hoods and wrist cuffs. This addition makes a noticeable difference when you put the jacket on and dance around in it. Dancing may be the closest simulation of backcountry skiing while at the trade show (one of WildSnow’s gear-testing secrets). We are excited to give this piece a try in those wet PNW conditions.

The trimmer fit of the Hemisphere jacket is ample enough to accommodate insulation layers worn beneath. Outdoor Research claims a closer fit improves the breathability of the fabric. Men’s and women’s fits. MSRP: jacket: $599, bib: $599.


Patagonia's new base layer made with Capilene Air.

Patagonia’s new base layer made with Capilene Air.

Patagonia is introducing a new base layer technology called Capilene Air. It is a soft blend of 49% recycled polyester and 51% merino wool, developed for temperature regulation and moisture management in all kinds of conditions. Maybe the neatest fact is the piece is knit into a seamless 3D structure: minimal material waste. The pattern of the knit differs between men’s and women’s models, providing men with more breathability and women with a bit more warmth.

Another notable mention: Patagonia Powslayer jacket shell is now made with 100% recycled material.

Increasingly we see companies — Patagonia and others — developing environmentally responsible processes and materials. We applaud their efforts to reduce waste and be mindful of how their businesses affect the planet. High five!


Mammut Meron IN hooded men's jacket.

Mammut Meron IN hooded men’s jacket.

Every mountaineer should have one giant puffy in their stash. Mammut’s Meron IN hooded men’s jacket fits the bill. You’ll be toasty surrounded by 900 cuin fill power of European goose down. Outer material is a lightweight, water-repellent ripstop which means you’ll have to be careful slaying pow in tight trees but it also gives this jacket an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio: it packs down small enough to stow in the side pocket. Other features: helmet compatible adjustable hood, 2 backpack and climbing harness compatible zipper pockets, internal zipper pocket, and hem drawstring.

Mammut Spindrift 14 pack (left) and integrated wind shield jacket (right).

Mammut Spindrift 14 pack (left) with integrated wind shield jacket (right).

We like pockets on our pack belts and Mammut takes it to the extreme with the Spindrift 14 backpack. Huge pockets on the hip belt give you quick access to gear. The right hip pocket is even large enough to stash skins. The left pocket is slightly smaller but still roomy enough for hat, gloves and Snickers. And now you barely need to stop when icy winds hit. Just whip the integrated wind shield jacket out of the left pocket, pop it over your head, and you’re ready to charge on.

Spindrift 14 features:

  • Volume: 14 L
  • Weight: 760 gm
  • Dimensions in cm: 50 x 26 x 16.5
  • Bottle holder on shoulder strap
  • Stowable speed ski attachment
  • Back zipper access to main compartment
  • Integrated helmet holder with volume extension (+2 L)
  • External mesh pocket on hip belt as well as large zippered hip pocket
  • Front pocket for avalanche safety equipment
  • Hydration system compatible
  • Ski pole holder on shoulder strap (handy for hands-free scrambling)
  • Attachments for ice tool and ski poles
  • The Spindrift 26 (26 liters) has a similar large hip belt pocket but does not have the integrated wind shield jacket.

    Black Crows

    Black Crows: we like the little sayings and the big inner pockets.

    Black Crows Ventus 3L GORE-TEX® Light jacket: we like the little sayings and the big inner pockets.

    Black Crows never fail to surprise us! Growing more and more in their reputation for making excellent skis, the Chamonix-based company is expanding their line of high performance clothing. The Ventus collection, designed specifically for ski touring, aligns well with the style of their skis — slick looking on the outside with the best colors ever.

    Ventus GORE-TEX® shell and pant are available in two versions: the burlier Ventus 3L; and the more minimalist Ventus 3L Light. Nice touches we love: big pockets on both pants and jackets, 3 zipper pulls for pit/leg vents and giant skin pockets on the inside of the jacket. Oh and don’t forget the funny sayings, similar to those on the skis, that will leave you with a giggle.

    If I were to ask for one thing: please make women’s bibs!

    Ventus light pant

    Ventus 3L Light pant. Minimum do-dadds on the exterior, big thigh pockets and snazzy inner details like cheerfully colored powder cuffs.

    Mountain Equipment

    Mountain Equipment women's Transition jacket.

    Mountain Equipment women’s Transition jacket.

    It’s easy to find something nice at Mountain Equipment. One mid-layer piece we checked out is the women’s Transition jacket. The outer fabric is stretch nylon with breathable POLARLOFT® for insulation. Slim fit, comfy hood, 2 zipped hand warmer pockets, elastic bound cuffs and hem drawcords — this number packs into a hand pocket with twin karabiner carry loops. (Yes, “k” for karabiner, this is a British company after all.)


    Duckworth big girl panties.

    Big girl panties. Made with Duckworth’s patent-pending Vapor Wool which combines micron merino wool with a blend of recycled polyester and plant cellulose to create a lightweight, fast-wicking, highly breathable fabric that can be used for endurance activities where sweat management and quick-drying are critical. Feels as soft as your favorite old tee.

    A mandatory stop at every OR show is Duckworth, a Montana wool company we applaud for their efforts in resurrecting the lost art and craft of American wool. They carefully manage the genetics of their herd and are cultivating a network of wool suppliers by selling quality breeders to neighboring ranches. Open range sheep graze at 9,500+ feet in the Rocky Mountains. Freezing cold winters and hot dry summers shape a soft, durable fiber with superior loft and breathability. Indeed, their goods feel exceptionally soft and pieces we own still look and feel new after years of wear. 100% made in USA — the wool travels to the Carolinas for spinning, knitting and sewing.

    Too, we like Duckworth because some of their cowboys are also ski mountaineers. Every March they spend a couple days sheering, and then celebrate with a backcountry tour or two. Joining them for a full trip report is on the WildSnow bucket list.

    Although not new this year

    Although not new this year but worth a notable mention is the Duckworth Powder High Neck. The style varies between men and women: women get the extra-high neck, while men get a hood. The Powder Hoodie is the comfiest and warmest piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. It is my favorite après ski top, and I also wear it skiing on those colder PNW days. It is intentionally a bit oversized. Here Lisa is wearing an XSmall women’s Powder High Neck. Pro-tip: Valentine’s day is coming up quick — this might be the most amazing gift you can get for your special someone. I know. I got mine from my sweetheart last year.

    Duckworth shopping link here.

    That’s a wrap! Stay cozy and pray for snow!


    Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


    19 Responses to “New Items For The Closet — Outerwear at Outdoor Retailer”

    1. Dan February 6th, 2018 11:46 am

      Rocking the Hemishpheres Jacket with Mt Shuksan in the background. For a sec I thought you were up at Baker! 😉

    2. Lisa Dawson February 6th, 2018 11:49 am

      Hahah, Dan, I think that rascal Louie might be doing a snow dance on Baker today.

    3. Shane February 6th, 2018 12:28 pm

      Just a couple weeks ago I replaced my old mid-weight base layer fleece bottoms. A little late in the year for winter clothes, my options were limited to a pair of Patagonia bottoms. I forget what model they are but I was really skeptical that they would be warm enough because of how thin they are – one can literally see through them if you stretch them a bit. They pack down to about the size of a rolled up sock.

      And they are WARM as heck!! I’m amazed at how far fabric technology has come in a relatively short time.

    4. Lisa Dawson February 6th, 2018 12:44 pm

      Shane, thanks for sharing your tale.

      It seems my clothing kit gets lighter each year while keeping me just as warm. Sure is nice to eliminate the bulk.

    5. Ryan February 6th, 2018 12:52 pm

      Is the Capilene Air actually different than the Merino Air or is it simply a renaming? Looks the same and as memory serves the wool/poly blend percentages seems like what it was but I don’t have the actual percentages of my merino air hoody.

      Either way, while I think these pieces are a bit ugly I love my hoody. Super comfy, warm, very breathable, much more durable than I was expecting; just keep it away from velcro.

    6. Lisa Dawson February 6th, 2018 1:15 pm

      Ryan, here’s the beta we got from our Patagonia contact:

      They are VERY similar: same innovative seamless construction and same use of 3D exploded yarn that lofts well and remains super soft next to skin.

      Here are the differences:

      The merino wool comes from a new and different supply chain.

      The men’s styles have a new “pattern” – a square pattern as opposed to the zig-zag of the women’s styles

      It’s named Capilene Air now due to our changing of the name of our Performance Base Layer category – now every baselayer Patagonia makes (regardless of wool or synthetic content) will be under the banner of Capilene.”

    7. See February 6th, 2018 7:15 pm

      A minor point perhaps, but I can’t help being disappointed that Patagonia has chosen to use the name “Capilene” for “every baselayer Patagonia makes (regardless of wool or synthetic content).” I am not a polymer historian, but I believe that the “ylene” suffix has historically referred to plastics— polyethylene, polypropylene. In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that a meaningful bit of technical language has been appropriated and degraded for marketing purposes.

    8. See February 6th, 2018 7:16 pm

      Of course, it happens all the time, e.g. “Titanal.”

    9. See February 6th, 2018 7:38 pm

      Well, apparently wool is a polymer, so I guess I learned something thanks to their usage.

    10. Jim Milstein February 6th, 2018 7:59 pm

      Potatylene! Potatoes are polymeric too.

    11. Ryan February 7th, 2018 9:02 am

      Thanks for the update Lisa. Looking closely again at the above photo of the Capilene Air I can see the different weave (I assume this is how they get the different “pattern”) on the men’s. Hard to say but this might make it look a little better than the “zig zag” of the older style and the women’s. Either way a killer piece.

    12. Jason February 7th, 2018 10:26 am

      I’ve been hoping to see an integrated wind shell in a skimo pack for a couple years now. The mammut looks way overbuilt for racing, but hopefully can trickle down.

    13. Mammut Dave February 7th, 2018 11:41 am

      Jason, that Spindrift pack is not intended for racing, so you are 100% correct that it’s overbuilt for race pack. Mammut has no intention of making race gear, but we do watch and learn from skimo racing and believe there is much that we can borrow and apply to our brand of ski touring. That pack and its 26l big brother are intended to be day-in/day-out touring packs that are durable and sized for wider/longer than race gear touring skis/skins and equipment, but as much as possible still allow efficient skimo-style transitions without removing the pack. I personally think a lot of the people that I see in race-weight packs would be happier in something like this as opposed to a paper-thin rig that’s designed for 65mm skis and skins, etc, but we’ll see!

    14. wtofd February 7th, 2018 12:26 pm

      Mammut Dave, any plans to make the shell for the 26 L? It’s a great idea.

    15. Mammut Dave February 7th, 2018 12:42 pm

      Not sure, it’s a new idea for us and we need to see how people like it. I think if people like this you can bet on it though.

    16. Lisa Dawson February 7th, 2018 3:35 pm

      Mammut sent me a fun little video showing the features of the Spindrift. I put it in the post.

    17. mike February 7th, 2018 7:46 pm

      Anything new and exciting from the dynafit clothing line?

    18. See February 7th, 2018 10:22 pm

      I still wonder if the “lene” suffix is meant to indicate a synthetic material, but what does that mean given genetic engineering?

    19. Jim Milstein February 8th, 2018 9:11 am

      The ways of Patagonia Inc. are mysterious. Ours is but to buy.

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