Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Apparel

Backpacker February '08 Gear Test

It's cold out there -- but don't fret. We've tested and reviewed all the best gear to keep you warm, dry, and comfy when the mercury drops.


Backpacker_Magazine_Big_Agnes_Mountain_Booties

Big Agnes Mountain Booties

Backpacker_Magazine_Hot_Chilly_Micro_EliteChamois Zip T

Hot Chilly’s Micro Elite Chamois Zip T

Backpacker_Magazine_Fenix_LOD

Fenix LOD

Backpacker_Magazine_White _Sierra_Sierra_Tek_Jacket

White Sierra Sierra Tek Jacket

Big Agnes Mountain Booties

Pack these synthetic-fill foot warmers when traditional down booties are too much, but socks are not enough. Insulated with PrimaLoft Eco (made from 50 percent post-consumer recycled fibers), the Mountain Booties kept our gear editor’s toes warm during a chilly Vermont bivy when her sleeping bag checked in a few degrees short. They pack down to coffee-cup size, so you’ll always be able to squeeze them into your pack. The Cordura sole provides a bit of traction for camp duty. $40; 4.8 oz./pair (S); XS-XL (877) 554-8975; bigagnes.com.

Hot Chilly’s Micro Elite Chamois Zip T

A smart blend of fibers–29 percent antimicrobial silver-laced polyester, 60 percent regular polyester, and 11 percent Lycra–kept stink and moisture at bay when our testers worked up a sweat during winter sports. The deep half-zip provided welcome ventilation and a snug fit delivers optimal next-to-skin insulation. Give and take: The Lycra adds stretch for mobility, but makes the top slow to dry. Put on an additional layer during your cool-down. $65; men’s S-XXL, women’s S-XL (800) 468-2445; hotchillys.com.

Fenix L0D

Many of the smallest flashlights and headlamps on the market are more cute than useful. Not the L0D, a pinky-size, 1-ounce flashlight that’s twice as bright as some competitors. It comes with a hat-brim clip, and the single LED light has five modes (three brightness levels, two flashing speeds). To switch modes, just give the head a quarter turn–no buttons or switches that can accidentally turn on inside a pack. “The brightest mode casts a beam of light sufficient for on-trail night hikes,” says our gear editor. It’s drop-from-five-feet tough, waterproof, and runs strong for just over four hours on high beam using a single AAA battery. Bummer: The metal hat-brim clip started to rust after just a few trips. Comes with a lanyard, keychain ring, and webbing holster. $46.50 (678) 608-0308; fenix-store.com.

White Sierra Sierra Tek Jacket

Spend less, stay dry. If that’s your goal, get this bargain shell. White Sierra’s house-brand waterproof/breathable fabric proved impenetrable in pounding rain and snow; one tester even stood under a 70-foot waterfall in the Grand Canyon for 15 minutes and no moisture seeped through. And the face fabric is made from brawny, 70-denier ripstop nylon interwoven with a crosshatch of reinforcement threads; it’s warmer and more durable than anything we’ve tested at this price. The shaped, three-way adjustable hood cinches precisely, and drawcords at the waist and hemline seal out drafts. A roomy fit accommodates extra layers. Tradeoff: The jacket is a bit clammy in warmer temperatures or on high-exertion outings, despite a free-hanging mesh liner designed to boost breathability. $100; 1 lb. 3 oz. (women’s L); M-XXL (m’s); S-XL (w’s) (800) 980-8688; whitesierra.com.

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.