Ok, here it goes my first gear review. I’ve been inspired by all the wonderful websites by girls out there who share their reviews and have helped me better understand layering. I’ve tried to keep the reviews short so if you have further questions please ask!
As I’ve said in earlier posts, I moved out here from Florida and a sweatshirt was my “warm” layer. While I’m no expert, I’ve come along way and I want to share with you what’s kept me warm and dry on cold Colorado days….
1. Wind Pro 200 Hoodie by Melanzana
I’m starting with this fleece because it was my first warm purchase when I moved to Colorado, and I still love it to a million pieces. Melanzana is a very small local brand out of Leadville, Colorado and they make all of their clothing in the store. This hoodie is my go-to piece when the weather dips into the negatives, or when I’m camping in the summer at high altitude.
My favorite reason to wear this: skiing. The unique way the hood is built covers most of my face on those cold days that I don’t want any part of my face exposed. I layer it under my shell and while it is a little bulky, it keeps me warm and that’s what’s important!
Another bonus: this fleece runs $75-79 which is a pretty great deal for something so awesome!
2. R1 Pullover by Patagonia
I have to give credit to @lizzy_t from Dreaminvertical.com because while looking at her reviews I stumbled across this fleece and decided to try it out. This doesn’t compare to the Melanazana hoodie, it’s much lighter and more versatile. I wear this as my baselayer when I’m hiking or backcountry skiing, or I just throw over whatever I’m wearing when I’m climbing and it’s just a little chilly out, it’s perfect! I would complain and say that I think that the price is a little steep ($115) but then again Patagonia and backcountry.com are always having sales and I found it for around $70. I can’t find a photo of me in this (which is weird because I feel like I wear it everyday). For a complete review with great photos check out Lizzy’s review.
3. Karakorum Trek W. Gtx by La Sportiva
Let’s talk hiking boots! (My gear review is in no specific order at this point) These hiking boots were my first pair so I don’t have anything to compare them too. What I can tell you is that they are extremely comfortable and light weight. However, it took me at least three hikes to break them in. I’ve worn these on muddy and snowy hikes and they kept my feet nice and warm. I’ve also hiked many of the 14ers in these, including Mt. Lindsey, which has some class 4 scrambling. While scrambling with these boots I didn’t feel like they were too bulky (for a hiking boot). The exposure was a little scary but the boot’s did great!
As far as the guys version of this boot, Andrew has these (slightly older version) and he wore them to hike Mt. Rainer. He swears these are more comfortable than his tennis shoes…. I’m not sure about all that.
Price: I’m unsure, I was lucky enough to get these through pro-form.
4. Alpine Light Down Parka W’s by Mont-bell
My first down jacket! How have I survived this whole this time without down!? Too me, this is as essential as a toothbrush, but then again I’m ALWAYS cold. When I started looking for down, I checked reviews online and decided to go with either a Patagonia or a Mont-bell. This jacket won me over. I love the hood and not only does this 800 goose down jacket keep me nice and warm but it’s ridiculously light weight 12.7 oz (size M). Another plus, it comes in Mulberry (purple) which I think is pretty darn cute!
Questions and concerns: My only concern about this jacket is how durable it will be when I bring it climbing, which I haven’t been able to do yet. However the first time I ever laid eyes on this jacket was when I was climbing and another girl was wearing it to belay. If I had to complain about one thing it would be that I’d make it just a little longer (I’m 5’7). This jacket is perfectly light weight without losing its warmth. This will keep you plenty warm on a cold Colorado day!
Price-$185 Would I say it’s worth it? Yes!
5. Women’s Capilene 2 lightweight baselayer by Patagonia
This is a nice light baselayer that I’ve used to hike back country, ski, throw over me on a warm day that’s in the shade and it’s done its job nicely. The Capilene baselayers by Patagonia go from 1-5 (1 being the lightest and 5 the warmest). For only being a two I’m surprised how well this keeps me warm on really cold days. While Patagonia claims otherwise, my main complaint about the layer is that because it’s polyester it doesn’t do a great job of preventing smelly ness, if you’re wearing it all day and sweating in it.
The price $45, but keep an eye out for Patagonia sales, I purchased mine for $25
6. Women’s Minimalist Jacket by Marmot
Last but not least is my Gore-tex Marmot jacket. I use this on rainy days and when I’m hiking 14ers because it blocks the wind nicely and provides just enough warmth when I’m hiking so that I don’t get too hot. This jacket fits me perfectly and I feel like they got the length just right! I also love the Violet Blue color. It’s part of the Pac-lite series so it fits nicely in my backpack until I’m ready for it. I almost enjoy rainy days because it gives me an excuse to throw this jacket on. The price is $200 but REI had it on sale cheaper.
What’s your favorite thing to wear on a chilly day?