Snowboarders may take issue with this statement, but we think the best place to embrace personal style is off the slopes. Do après right with these eight picks…
Icebreaker Spire Cardigan
The Icebreaker Spire cardigan is woven from a cushy merino and acrylic blend, great for lounging fireside or on the lodge deck.
Most ski gear is arguably more important than your socks, but do not overlook those tubes you slide over your feet. A good pair of socks is pretty vital to staying comfortable outside in the winter, and, in my opinion, merino wool is the best choice. This season I’ve been skiing in the Icebreaker Ski+ Medium socks, which are a merino blend. But are these socks the be-all, end-all of baselayers for your feet?
These socks are very, very nice. They are thick, plush, and warm. But what really stands out to me is how stretchy they are. Most ski socks don’t have this, but the generous amount of nylon woven into the Ski+ socks give them a massive amount of stretch. I dig this. They also have an anatomical fit, right down to right foot and left foot versions.
With hundreds, or was it thousands, of new products to peruse – from the Made in America showcase to Venture Out to ingredient brands and tried-and-true favorites – scouring the goods of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market seems to get more daunting every year. While teal and burgundy overtook orange and gray, zippers got vertical, outerwear got even more techy, and responsible sourcing and recycling became ethe status quo. Here’s a quick spin around the show floor.
Trail running gets a nod from New Zealand’s Icebreaker with a line of baselayer-inspired crew and half-zips – the Women’s Comet and Men’s Factor. This will be your Fall 2016 run top that can also be worn as a layer in winter, a stand-alone top in early spring, and long sleeve for cooler summer nights. Icebreaker also expands its studio-inspired women’s shirts and tights for the yogis, with teals and new graphics.
Rather than just bring you the usual “best products of OR” story that we’ve done in the past, this year we decided to focus instead on the general trends in the industry and point to some important examples from our favorite brands. If you want the five-word overview of Winter Market 2016, it’s “ski touring and fabric innovation.” If you’re in the market for something deeper, read on…
Other Notable Stuff
Not Everything That’s “Bomber” Qualifies as a Trend
Shackets are everywhere, with the best from Smartwool, Woolrich, Cotopaxi, Icebreaker, Toad & Co., The North Face and Sierra Designs — at least from what we saw. Urban styling, technical features, awesome.
There’s no denying that 2015 has been an odd year weather wise, but the cold has finally kicked in (for real, this time). If you’re one of the brave ones who are accustomed to clearing ice from your rod guides, then you’re fully aware of the huge difference that quality, insulated clothing can make during a cold day on the water…
Icebreaker has put out their best jacket ever, the Stratus, and the list of featured goods is a long one. If you’re looking for an ultra-warm, lightweight, close-fitting jacket with all of the bells and whistles, this is it. Inside is as notable as the exterior, fitted with merino (next to skin): it’s a soft and breathable barrier which regulates temperature efficiently. Shoulder panels and hood are perfectly tailored, offering the right balance of snugness/movement. Elasticized interior cuffs keep your wrists warm and dry, and the jacket includes a configurable waist and hood. Stays warm – even when wet. Non-itch, odour-resistant. 88% of the insulation is made with Merino offcuts for sustainability…
The price of 900-fill goose down has increased by 46 percent over the past seven years, from $55 per pound to $80. But synthetic and wool insulations are cheaper to produce, and their heat retention is catching up to that of down, resulting in more-affordable jackets for the budget conscious. Here are eight of the best…
Icebreaker MerinoLoft Stratus Long Sleeve Zip Hood
Best For: Keeping warm, sustainably
Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean settling for second-rate insulation. Icebreaker’s warmest jacket to date packs a 180-gram, water-resistant, recycled-merino blend into a 100 percent recycled-polyester shell. You could make this sharp-looking, weather-shedding hoodie your outer layer, but on winter hikes we like it as a midlayer offering extra protection.