HOW TO MASTER OUTDOOR LAYERS
But as new technologies emerge and old items wear out, our packing lists are worth a review every now and then. Make sure you have these four basics before you head out next weekend, and you’ll be prepared for anything, rain or shine.
Insulating Vest and/or Insulating Jacket
The magnum opus of the outdoor wardrobe, the puffy jacket is a staple you’ll often see while wandering the streets of places like Seattle and Denver. Its price is based on features such as the type of down (goose or duck), the down fill power, and whether the shell or down is water-resistant—all important to consider when it comes to technical ability in the backcountry. Equally warm and often able to insulate even if wet, synthetic-fill jackets are a great option for those who get outside no matter what the weather’s doing.
If, like me, you’re mainly concerned with staying cozy while sitting around a campfire, you’ll want to find a jacket puffy enough that it feels like a sleeping bag is giving you a big hug. Consider techy points, such as flexible underarm gussets, and decide whether or not you need a hood. Just watch out for those campfire embers—they’ll get you no matter what price jacket you choose.