“I wore the Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero on snow and slickrock during a November trek in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, with lows in the 20s,” says our tester. Patterned silicone tread and EVA support make them suitable for short jaunts to fetch water or catch the sunset, and 550-fill down and a high ankle make them toasty.
They also squash down for easy packing. The DWR-treated nylon uppers shed light moisture, but you still have to stay clear of puddles (the bottoms will leak). That said, our tester got “envious glares from my campmates every time I pulled them on.” $55; 10 oz.; mountainhardwear.com
See all "essential" reviews from the 2011 Gear