Jackets & Insulation

Fill power indicates the volume of a given amount of down. Specifically, it measures how many cubic inches an ounce of down occupies under standard laboratory conditions. I often describe the world of outdoor company hype and catalog spin as 90 percent marketing and 10 percent science. When it comes to measuring and certifying the…

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Don’t sweat. You may have heard this basic adage of winter adventure, which in my experience is all but impossible to achieve. But there are some simple things you can do to minimize the amount you sweat, which is still a very worthwhile goal. Why not sweat? It’s simple. If you sweat, your base layer…

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The cost of high-quality goose down for puffy jackets and sleeping bags has more than doubled since 2009. This recent Wall Street Journal article tells the story, but it basically boils down to increasing demand meets decreasing supply. Most goose down comes from China and is essentially a byproduct of producing geese for food. But…

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The number one mistake made by novice cross-country skiers: overlayering. You generate a lot of body heat as you ski. Here’s what to wear for cross-country skiing. A warm base layer is sufficient to keep you comfortable in all but the most arctic conditions.  Heat-stealing wind is a major concern. Wear a lightweight, wind-resistant top and…

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A round-up of everything you wear, from head to toe, with some commentary on my personal preferences. Head, Face, and Neck You likely won’t need every square inch of your head and face covered while winter camping, but if you plan on heading above treeline in cold, very windy conditions, definitely have the four essentials—liner…

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I wrote about four critical head- and neck-specific items in the January-February issue of AMC Outdoors—liner balaclava, hat, face mask, and goggles—but there’s one more layer of protection worth highlighting: a good, properly-fitting jacket hood. Here’s what to look for. First, it should be completely wind-proof to offer total protection even in extreme conditions. Any…

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Frigid temperatures and serious winds blast the Northeast’s highest peaks in winter. Frostbite can happen quickly on any exposed skin. For a winter summit attempt, you must be able to protect every square inch of your face, neck, and head. To accomplish this, you need four essential components: a liner balaclava, hat, face mask, and…

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Few things can spoil a winter outing like being inadequately dressed for the conditions. Protect yourself from the harsh winter elements with these winter gear layering tips from AMC blogger and columnist Matt Heid. Check out Matt’s gear blog at equipped.outdoors.org.

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