Apparel — Upper

Patagonia High Alpine Kit

Patagonia High Alpine Kit

Patagonia is an intriguing company, at once a leader in environmentally-friendly industrial practices while pushing innovation and technical performance in technical apparel. As much as I admire Patagonia, however, I’ve not really gotten along with its products and have often struggled with the fit, design or performance. Until now, that […]

Arc’teryx Phase SL Base Layer System

Arc’teryx Phase SL Base Layer System

Winter has to be my favourite season, despite how difficult it is to dress for. The love-hate relationship with managing your body heat is one that can really discourage play outside during the winter if you haven’t fine-tuned it. Too cold is miserable, but too warm will mean sweating which […]

Long-term Review: Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoodie

Long-term Review: Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoodie

With the name “Alpine Start” you know this lightweight hoodie from Black Diamond should be good!  And it doesn’t disappoint.  This simple and lightweight layer cuts the wind, sheds light precipitation and keeps the sun and bugs off all while breathing very well.  It’s not waterproof though so any continuous […]

Review: RAB Nebula belay parka

Review: RAB Nebula belay parka

New types of insulation always interest me. Down keeps getting pricier, and it seems as if at some point synthetic reached its limits, so now we’re seeing a lot of down getting mixed with synthetics into various blends. The holy grail? Synthetic that performs like down: warmth without weight that’s also […]

Review: Jottnar Fenrir Jacket

Review: Jottnar Fenrir Jacket

Jottnar is a very young, new company, founded just three years ago in 2013. In that short time, they have created a solid and focused range with core pieces from fleece mid-layers to full-featured hardshell jackets and pants. I received the Fenrir Jacket a few months ago and have been beating it up and using […]

Review: RAB Paradox Pull-On

Review: RAB Paradox Pull-On

RAB’s Paradox Pull-On, much like RAB’s Strata Flex before it, literally changed how I layer. The fit is, in a word, perfect. Performance across varied conditions is exemplary, and its versatility keeps astounding me. I think I’ve used it nearly every day this past winter, and don’t foresee hanging it […]

Review: Arc’teryx Nuclei AR jacket

Review: Arc’teryx Nuclei AR jacket

I’m always skeptical when companies set out to ‘improve’ a product, especially if that item is already a favourite of mine. So when Arc’teryx replaced the Solo Hoody — my favourite and most-used belay jacket — with the Nuclei AR, needless to say I was curious to try it out […]

Review: OR Iceline Jacket & Pants

Review: OR Iceline Jacket & Pants

The Iceline Jacket & Pants from Outdoor Research have been designed specifically with ice climbers in mind, and are aimed at the more moderate-weather, wet-ice climbing days rather than the frigid depths of winter (i.e. most of the time?). The Iceline(s) offer most of the protection of a hardshell in […]

Field Tested: Black Diamond Deployment Hybrid Hoody

Field Tested: Black Diamond Deployment Hybrid Hoody

Designed as a technical mid-layer, Black Diamond’s new Deployment Hybrid Hoody utilizes a mixture of different materials and fabrics in different locations in an effort to provide warmth where it’s needed and breath-ability where it’s not.  The result is a nice fitting mid-layer with some great features though it still has […]

Field Tested Review: Patagonia Reconnaissance Pants

Field Tested Review: Patagonia Reconnaissance Pants

Like many outdoor companies Patagonia has come out with a new hybrid pant and jacket that combines 3-layer waterproof-breathable fabric with stretchy soft-shell material into one piece of clothing.  The idea of course is to create a garment that benefits from the advantages of both fabric types through their strategic […]