Gearbox: The Cozy Collection

Big Agnes Women’s Trudy Jacket

“I used to think that the trench-coat-style down jacket was only for dog walks and bonfires, but, oh, how wrong I was,” a tester said after touring with the Trudy Jacket as her emergency puffy. “The extra length makes a chilly, ridgetop transition bearable.” While the Trudy isn’t the warmest parka out there, our tester said the balance of water-repellent 600-fill DownTek around the chest and hips and 100% synthetic insulation under the arms kept her toasty enough. “The outer material is water-resistant enough to wear in a snowstorm, and at 567 grams, it’s packable enough to stow in my touring pack,” she said. “This is a jacket I can live in, be it on a yurt trip, doing errands in negative temps or digging a snow pit in a blizzard.”

Cotopaxi Fuego Down Overall

Deemed “the ultimate après bib” by our cold-blooded tester, Cotopaxi’s Fuego Down Overall is just that: fire. Featuring adjustable, elastic suspenders that hold up 800-fill responsibly sourced, water-resistant down secured by a 20-denier, ripstop nylon shell with a durable waterproof repellent finish, these overalls insulate everything from chest to ankles. “No cold hands, plus there’s a beer pouch,” said our tester of the three zippered pockets. A full-length zip down the left side makes these overalls easy to get in, out and to the bathroom, while a short zipper up the right ankle allows for slipping straight through the leg and into a boot. She wished the suspenders had a buckle for easier entry and exit, and noted the “oversize design,” which she said, “allows for easy layering, but can feel bulky.” Regardless, she’s a fan, because “everything is just more fun in overalls.”

Flylow Puffer Pant

“I didn’t know I wanted insulated baselayers,” our tester said. Then he wore the Puffer Pant—made with Pertex Shield panels filled with 40-gram Greenloft synthetic insulation above the knee and Furano fleece below it. “My butt isn’t cold on the lift, and they were cozy for game night on a hut trip,” he said. The 6% spandex in the fleece portions, including a triangle on each hip, adds movement dexterity. For winter 24/25, the Puffer Pant will be three-quarter length, which, he said, “makes it better for lift-served days, but less comfy for hanging out in, because they ride up a bit unless you’re wearing ski socks.” Still, the Puffer Pant is packable and light enough that it is now part of his yurt and road trip kits. 

Mountain Hardwear Phantom Belay Down Parka

The newly updated Phantom Belay Parka features 800-fill down throughout and synthetic insulation in the shoulders, yoke and lower sleeves for added durability and warmth. “I have yet to be cold in this,” our tester said, thanking the baggy cut and long tail for keeping his hips and butt comfy. Using Pertex Diamond Fuse 20-denier Ripstop for the body and Pertex Quantum Pro Diamond Fuse 20D Ripstop in high-wear areas, “it holds up swimmingly and has repelled everything from heavy, wet snow to frigid dendrites,” he said. “The downside is it crinkles like an empty Sun Chips bag.” For all its center-of-the-sun warmth, this 27-ounce behemoth packs into a stuff sack about the size of a Nalgene. “My favorite emergency and overnight puffy I’ve ever used,” he concluded.

Rab Women’s Cirrus Reversible Insulated Skirt

High fashion meets high alpine in the Cirrus Reversible Insulated Skirt, a stylish, functional piece of winterwear that features 100% recycled PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Luxe inside a fluorocarbon-free, durable waterproof repellent-treated nylon outer. “Comfy and warm, stretchy in the right places,” a tester said after trying out the Cirrus skirt. Though she noted the fit was unflattering over her ski pants, she was pleased by the stretchy waist and side zip, both of which made entry easy during even the blusteriest transitions. “Could be used for any given day with a chill in the air. It slips on as easily over leggings as it does over Gore-Tex ski pants or jeans,” she explained. Plus, at only 224 grams, this skirt is light enough to live in the bottom of a pack.

These reviews were originally published in The Historic Issue | No. 157. To read more, pick up a copy, or subscribe to read our gear reviews when they’re first published in print.

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