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Extreme Layering: All-Purpose Clothing

For all-purpose performance year-round, this layering system works overtime through any weather.

PANTS

EMS Compass Hiking Pants
“After wading in a creek up to my knees, I just shook like a wet puppy and these were dry,” said one tester who wore the Compass pants on a spring trip in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. Made from a stretchy soft-shell fabric (86% nylon and 14% Spandex), they were breathable on hot slogs up giant sand dunes but warm down into the 50s. The Compass is a women’s-only model: Roll-up cuffs convert them to capris for wading and/or hot hiking. Testers raved about the fit: comfortably loose but not slouchy, with a just-below-the-belly-button waist. For men, a similarly hard-working fabric is available in the Tracker ($49), which has ankle zips and an integrated belt. $49; women’s 2-16; 13 oz. (w’s 8); ems.com.Reader service #120

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