2023 Editors’ Choice: Apparel and Accessories

Let’s get something straight: Choosing a new shell or puffy can be complicated. Two-layer vs. three-layer? Down vs. synthetic? Understanding apparel jargon requires speaking a second language, so we wanted to provide a foundational vocabulary for the reviews that follow. Denier, which you’ll find in jacket reviews, is a unit of measurement for a fabric’s fibers. Higher denier equals thicker material. Membranes like Gore-Tex or BD.dry make hard- and softshell layers waterproof and breathable; durable waterproof repellant (DWR) is sprayed on outer and insulating layers to provide some weatherproofing. Fill weight is the amount of loft down has; higher-fill down can use less material than lower fill to achieve the same warmth. Hydrophobic down is treated so it retains loft (and warmth) when wet. We’ve worked to make these reviews clear, and we hope this primer helps when you hit new terms. It’s the Rosetta Stone to understanding how and where apparel companies shave ounces off their gear while maintaining or improving stormproofness. It might make finding your next warm layer a bit less complicated. —The Editors

Norrona Lyngen Gore-Tex

norrona.com  ·  $589  ·  S-XL

“On the ounce count, it rivals the rain jacket I used to carry, but it’s warmer and better in all backcountry conditions, from cold-ass storm days to spring skimo missions.” —Tom Hallberg

Flylow Baker Perm Bib

flylowgear.com  ·  $520  ·  S-XXL

“I have always been told Flylow made the best bibs, and now I know why. I love it!” —Conor McNamara

Rab Mythic Ultra

rab.equipment.com ·  $475  ·  S-XXL

“It felt like everything I want in a puffy and nothing more. No faff or unnecessary features.” —Mike Parri

Montane Fireball Lite Hoodie

montane.com  ·  $259  ·  XS-XL

“This type of layer is what I humbly believe we should all have in our quiver of jackets.” —Katie Cooney

Artilect Flatiron 185

artilect.studio  ·  $115 (top), $115 (bottom)  ·  XS-XXL

Kohla Vertical Mixmohair Skins

kohlaskins.com · $210

Salomon MTN Carbon S3

salomon.com · $200

Get your copy of the 2023 Backcountry Gear Guide featuring 122 reviews of skis, boots, splitboards and bindings with 35 Editors’ Choice awards—in-depth, unbiased analysis of the best gear for any type of skier or rider. Plus, top-tier apparel and accessories to round out your kit.

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