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Jill Sanford | 10.17.2018

Winter is right around the corner, and it is time to put away warm-weather gear in favor of puffies and fleece, cozy hats and warm layers. The changing of the seasons is quite possibly one of my favorite feelings as a gearhead, but with so many great products and interesting brands on the market, it's easy for winter gear consumers to quickly become overwhelmed. Here's a list of our favorite soft goods (as opposed to hard gear like skis and crampons) that Outdoor Project is excited about this fall. 

Base layers: Wild Rye Merino Base Layers

From the true-to-size, not-too-tight fit of the raglan to the 7/8th length legging, these 100% 17.5-micron merino wool, odor-resistant, moisture-wicking base layers are my favorite this season. I also love the Mauna Kea, monstera plant print... who wouldn't want to day dream of beaches and tropical paradise as you stay warm and cozy in these incredibly cute and highly functional base layers? 

Mid layer: Patagonia R1 Fleece

This is a garment I have had for years and never regretted spending money on. The quilted fleece design keeps me warm without adding bulk, something that I truly appreciate on a long winter tour or a late autumn trail run when I am constantly layering up and down depending on my exertion level. 

Down layer: Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket

If you need a down jacket that you'll be living in from fall to spring, this is it. It's filled with responsibly sourced, water-resistant 800-fill goose down that will keep you cozy in the harshest conditions. 

Vest: REI 650 Down Fill Vest

Vests are an extremely important part of my ensemble, keeping my core warm while allowing total freedom of movement. I love this lighter layer from REI for its affordability and because it comes in extended sizes. 

Boots: Blundstone Thermal Boots

When it comes to investing in winter boots, I often feel as though I need five or six pairs depending on the occasion...the boots I choose for shoveling snow might not be the ones I want to wear for aprés or coffee with friends. And I'd also like something that I can wear while throwing a ball for the dog and tromping through mud and puddles. Blundstones have insulation and traction but still have enough street smarts to look good in town, and that's why they're my pick for the best boot of 2018. 

Hat: Skida Alpine Hats

Originally designed for cross-country skiing, these colorful hats are only growing in popularity, and I have seen them popping up left and right over the last few years. Not only are they bright and fun, but they are the perfect thickness for keeping your ears warm while actually being active. As I mentioned above, I am constantly adding and removing layers whenever I am outside during the winter time. These lightweight caps are a perfect solution. 

Gloves: Dakine Leather Sequoia GORE-TEX Glove

This glove pulls out all the stops. The leather offers a great grippy quality and only gets softer the more you oil and wear it, while the GORE-TEX addition means you can spend all day with your hands shoved in a snow bank and still pull them out warm, toasty, and most importantly, dry.  

Snow pants: TREW Chariot Bibs

Bibs are in for everyone from park rats to alpine tourers, and my favorite are these by TREW. There are lots of great bibs on the market, but many seem to favor fashion over function, coming in a too-tight, undersized fit that sounds cute in theory but severely restricts movement. TREW's bibs are actually true-to-size, allowing the wearer to actually move. They also feature a ton of pockets and some much needed zippers for when nature calls. 

Soft shell: Fjallraven Keb Padded Hoody

This lightweight jacket is comfortable and easy to move in—exactly what I want from a soft shell. It keeps you dry during rain showers, but the 65% recycled polyester, 35% organic cotton jacket also wicks moisture to make sure you stay dry inside as well. 

Shell jacket: Flylow Daphne Jacket

Perfect for chilly days on the slopes when you need a little insulation but still need to be able to move, this ski jacket is one for the record books. 

Aprés sweater: Toad & Co Tupelo Sweater

I like my lifestyle clothing to be as low maintenance as possible, and this is the kind of sweater that looks as great when I pull it out of the bottom of my boot bag as it does when I take it off a hanger in the closet.

Bra Top: Handful Adjustable Bra

Let's be honest: none of this other gear or clothing will mean much if your bra doesn't fit well. Say hello to the Handful Bra, and get ready to never say good-bye. Flattering, barely-there feeling, and versatile for every adventure you tackle, from mountain tops to grocery shopping and everything in between.


For more great gift ideas, make sure to check out the Outdoor Project Store.

Free shipping on all orders of $30 or more - and through the end of December 2018, 20% of sales proceeds will be donated to Big City Mountaineers, a nonprofit that provides under-resourced youth with the opportunity to have transformative experiences in the outdoors. 


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