I’m not a prepper by any means. I have a close relative who has generators, canned food, guns and ammo stashed at a cabin in the mountains of West Virginia just in case the shit hits the fan (according to him, the apocalypse could be started by anything from zombies to democratic socialism). But I take a slightly different approach to planning for the future. Basically, I don’t plan. Ask anyone who’s ever been on an adventure with me and they’ll tell you, I’m generally not prepared. I’ve been caught deep in the backcountry on long rides without tubes; been stuck in the wilderness in the middle of the night without food or a headlamp. In short, I’m an idiot who basically relies on good fortune and the kindness of strangers. I’m more likely to have a beer stashed in my backpack than a knife or waterproof matches.

The first step to recovery is recognizing you have a problem.

My lack of preparedness is a problem that I’m trying to address. Enter Mountain Hardwear’s new Micro Thermostatic Hybrid Jacket. This is a super-light, super-packable jacket with just a hint of Thermal Q. Elite insulation to maximize warmth to weight ratio. Technically, this is a midlayer designed to be worn beneath a shell, but it’s so light, I’ve started throwing it in the bottom of my pack every time I walk into the woods. What’s more, the jacket is so damn comfortable, I actually want to wear it. The thing feels like the silky edging on a baby’s blanket. You know what I’m talking about? I throw it on if the slightest breeze kicks up, just because. It’s so comfy and, dare I say, fashionable, I end up wearing the Micro Thermostatic Hybrid around town. Show me any other emergency jacket you’d feel comfortable wearing to the coffee shop?

I wish it were waterproof, but then it wouldn’t be so light and comfortable. Sigh. I guess we have to make compromises in life.

Luckily, I haven’t had to pull the jacket out in a legit emergency situation, but it’s comforting to know that it’s there, in the bottom of my pack if the shit ever hits the fan. Probably wouldn’t do much against a zombie attack, or democratic socialism for that matter. But I guess I’m more worried about hypothermia anyway.

Mountain Hardwear; $155