A Jacket for Every Weather
Between REI and backcountry.com, we are obsessed. We will check their sites daily to see what’s new, especially from our favorite brands. But one piece of gear we search the most? Jackets. We will come up with excuses for why we absolutely need jacket X, and why we don’t have anything like it yet. But don’t believe the lies, we are fully stocked.
But with our obsession comes learnings. Learnings about what works and what we really need for the hikes and adventures we go on. The below does not feature the entire contents of our jacket closet, but what you’ll find is our favorites for our key weather moments.
Let it snow jackets
Coming from the Northeast, we are no strangers to cold weather gear - and we’ve tried it all. But after I stumbled upon the Microlight Alpine jacket in Vermont, it became a must have. So much so, Tom bought the same one. We weren’t big into Rab, and never owned a piece of their gear, but after this jacket we were on the train.
What do we love about it the most? It’s warm, usually warm for its lightweight and compactability. Whether I think I need it or not, I can stuff this into my pack knowing it won’t take up a ton of space. It’s great for the super cold days touring in the backcountry, but just as good for weather altitude changes in the fall. But when it is really cold, the Alpine allow you to stuff yourself in - both around your head, and on the bottom. It’s a great find, and a must-have for the fall/winter season.
Rain, rain go away jackets
But seriously. No one likes rain on the trail - especially the mud that comes with it. And if you have a pup with you, there goes your nicely cleaned car interior. For this type of weather, we both prefer different jackets. Tom’s is the Rab Ventus (purchased after the Alpine - I told you we became fans) and mine, well it’s the Marmot Minimalist.
Both are great for different reasons.
The Marmot Minimalist: it’s a solid “keep me dry” type of coat. Plenty of flexibility to tighten closer to you, and my favorite part, the oversized hood to adapt for hats, pony tails, you name it. I have walked the trail with this and cleaned up a campsite in the pouring rain - and stayed seriously dry. It is a bit crunchy and stiff, but I’ll take it.
Rab Ventus- is it a rain jacket? No, but it’s got a hood, it’s lightweight, and it's water resistant - so it’s the jacket for Tom. As a sucker for everything as lightweight as possible, it’s no surprise, but also a reminder that preferences are personal.
Chilly nights jackets
Sometimes when you are sitting around an Adirondack campfire, the warmth just isn’t enough - and that is when a good ole fleece comes in. As with the rain jackets, we choose different sides here. I’ll take the Patagonia Synchilla and Tom, well it’s nothing but Fjallraven.
The Patagonia Synchilla: You’ve seen it on everyone, but I don’t care, this is my trusty fleece. I don’t love orange, but it was on sale so I snagged it. This is my must have for any camping trip, and I think you’ll agree.
The Fjallraven Ovik: So versatile you can wear it from the campsite to the office. This was an extra gift to Tom during the holiday season that became his must-have.
Gosh it’s windy jackets
And finally our wind breakers. These aren’t your 80’s windbreakers, but a re-invention for the trail. These take us from walks in the neighborhood all the way to the tree barren trails. Both picks are born Norwegian - My Bergans, and Tom’s Norrona.
The Bergans Cecilie Microlight Anorak- I don’t think I could love a jacket anymore. The pull over is just the best, and the soft nature of the fabric is so comfortable you’ll want to sleep in it (and I have). Great for wind, and even better for those days when you're not exactly sure if it is too cold to chance it bare.
The Norrona bitihorn - Also a fan favorite. As a huge advocate for Norrona products, this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. Soft, lightweight and goes with a pair of jeans or hiking shorts. This will take you on the trail and out on the town in one day.