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March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains

Black Diamond Powerstretch Glove

These snug-fitting gloves, made from fuzzy Powerstretch (think of your warmest long johns) are plenty cozy for chilly alpine mornings, and the slick design prevents dexterity problems. $20; 1.6 oz. (unisex M);

Sleeping bag
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15-

In the high-and-dry Rockies, down bags are the way to go, and this 800-fill toaster is one of our favorites for its efficient cut, high warmth-to-weight ratio, and compressibility. The 15°F rating is perfect for mountains where nights approach freezing even in August. Available in men’s and women’s models. $355; 1 lb. 15 oz. (men’s M);

Patagonia Down Sweater

This close-fitting down sweater is a year-round layering essential for trips above treeline. Thanks to 800-fill feathers, it packs down to coconut-size. Bonus: The polyester shell and lining are made with 50-percent recycled content. $199; 12 oz. (men’s M); men’s and women’s sizes;

REI Summit Lake

Thunderstorms tend to be fleeting in the Rockies, so no need to carry more–or spend more–than necessary. For its weight, this shell boasts impressive features: pit zips and vented pockets; four-way stretch fabric; and an adjustable hood. Check fit: Its loose cut can flap a bit in wind. $169; 10.5 oz. (M); men’s sizes;

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