|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2005
Budget shopper or big spender? We have the perfect three-season layering system for you.
GoLite Cumulus Down Sweater
Normally I loathe carrying a warm jacket, since it's guaranteed to be dead weight until camp. But I had no complaints schlepping this top, thanks to a wispy shell and 800-fill-power down that together make the Cumulus light, packable, and warm in temps as low as 20°F. A DWR coating repels light precip. The high, fat collar, zipper draft guard and elasticized hem and cuffs keep icy drafts out. A close fit eliminates marshmallow-man syndrome. Nitpick: For two bills, it should come with a stuff sack. $200; unisex XS-XXL; 13 oz. (888) 546-5483; www.golite.com.
Arc'Teryx Gamma LT
Even if you're a high-end shopper, you might raise an eyebrow at $200 pants. Don't. You'll wear these more than any other piece in the system. These trousers have the same excellent water and wind resistance and tough durability that's made them a past favorite of ours, but the new Tweave Durastretch Lightweight fabric makes them lighter and more breathable. From windblown ridgetops in near-freezing temps to sun-warmed valleys, I was always at the right temperature. And the pants never retained moisture. The stretchy fabric allows a trim fit without restricting mobility. Two zippered, mesh-lined hand pockets, a zippered right thigh pocket, and integral belt complete the perfect package. $199; men's S-XL, women's XS-L; 2 lengths; 10 oz. (800) 985-6681; www.arcteryx.com.
Cloudveil Prospector Hooded Jacket
In all but the worst weather, the piece of outerwear you'll wear most often will be the one that's most breathable. So I used my leftover money (OK, I overspent by $22, but this budget isn't for bean counters) to get this very light, versatile soft shell. Water and wind resistance are what they should be-good, but not so good that you sacrifice breathability. You also get four pockets and a brimless hood (that only adjusts for depth, so wind and snow can sneak in). $170 (men's, XS-XL, 13 oz.); $155 (women's, XS-L, no hood). (877) 255-8345; www.cloudveil.com.