Warmth From hiking in -37°F windchill in Nome, Alaska, to biking at the Grand Canyon on a breezy day with highs in the upper 60s, we couldn’t find any conditions where the Vayu didn’t shine. The secret: a new, ultrathin fabric that blends 50 percent merino for coziness with 50 percent PrimaLoft Silver, a polyester fiber that boosts wicking and speeds drying. In cold weather, the combo kept high-output testers dry and toasty; in warm temps, the fabric provided sun protection without the sauna effect.
Wicking “I didn’t feel clammy even on a sweaty skin to a backcountry hut—and that was while wearing a 30-pound pack,” says a tester. In a supremely effective one-two punch, hydrophilic merino wool pulls moisture off the skin while the hydrophobic synthetic fiber pushes it to the surface for quick evaporation.
Feel The Vayu earned fans for its supersoft, cottony fabric (thanks to the fine PrimaLoft fibers).
Features A tight-fitting hood slips nicely under helmets, a deep chest zip helps regulate temperature, and comfy thumbholes allow wrist coverage. Also available in zip-T ($99) and crew ($89) styles.
Stink resistance The Vayu served one tester every day for two weeks before it got offensive.
Gut Check It’s pricey for a wool-synthetic blend. $119; 7.3 oz. (m’s L); sherpaadventuregear.com