While the calendar still shows that it is January, this winter has not thrown a lot of cold weather punches at us, save a few days that have reminded us that spring is not here yet. Winter will inevitably return, and when it does, you will want to be prepared to get out and enjoy all it has to offer.
Moving Comfort Chic Hoodie – Moving Comfort has long been known for its line of women-specific athletic wear. In addition to active clothes, it also offers a line of tops that can be enjoyed post-workout. The Chic Hoodie fits into that category, while also lending itself to more active pursuits. It is a long sleeve, yogi-inspired tunic top made of DriLayer Plush, which is a super-soft quick drying fabric that drapes perfectly for a feminine, relaxed look. I find myself throwing this long top on with a pair of jeans or leggings after a trail run or bike ride to meet friends for lunch or run errands. It also sports an over-sized hood which gives it the look of a cowl-neck sweater, while serving the practical purpose of keeping your head warm on windy days. The top is perfect for hiking and travel as well with its thumb holes on the sleeve and ability to withstand wrinkling. It is one of the more versatile and comfortable active tops that I have come across and sure to find many uses in your winter wardrobe.
Icebreaker Long Sleeve Oasis Sherpinsky: Icebreaker has established itself as a leader in merino wool clothing. Its base layer line, made of 100% merino wool is exceptional. In addition to being warm, quick drying and soft, these tops have gotten progressively more stylish. Now rather than simply being a winter staple to be worn under outer layers, Icebreaker tops are trendy enough to stand alone as winter casual wear. The Oasis Sherpinksy top fits neatly into this category. The top is perfect
for layering underneath a wind proof layer for hiking, trail running, skiing, or biking, while also being stylish enough to
wear to dinner or out for drinks. It also retains the true
character of all Icebreaker tops in that it is odor resistant,
soft and well-sized for a flattering feminine fit.
Osprey Rev 1.5 Pack – Osprey is synonymous with comfortable packs. When it began making hydration packs, I was an early-adopter. Since then, hydration packs have continued to evolve and become more activity-specific. Osprey has led the charge, and continued its innovative ways with the release of the Rev series. The Rev series has two adjustable chest straps in addition to the waist strap, which allow the user to achieve a snug, personalized fit. This feature combined with the breathable back panel are critical components to a well-made hydration pack as they ensure that the pack will stay secure and dry, which prevent uncomfortable occurrences of back chafe. Ouch! In addition to the thoughtful design of the pack, the Rev series also has updated features including a media pocket, which allow you to carry and easily access you iPhone, while simultaneously protecting it from the elements. The Rev series comes in a variety of sizes from the large Rev 24 with 1465 cubic inches of pack space and a 2.5 liter hydration reservoir to the minimalist Rev 1.5 with 92 cubic inches of pack space and a 1.5 liter hydration reservoir. I find the Rev 1.5 to be perfect for longer trail runs or mid-range mountain bike outings. If you prefer a waist pack to a back pack style, the Rev Solo was made for you. With the exception of the Solo, all the Rev packs come in two sizes to allow the wearer to pick the pack that best fits her shoulders and torso.
Hi-Tec Bandera Lowtop Hiking Boots: These boots were my first pair of low-cut hiking shoes. With all of the mud that has been out on the trails this winter, I wanted something that would be better equipped for the conditions than my typical running shoes. The Bandera boots have proven to be excellent in this regard. They offer greater stability thanks to a stiffer sole and exceptional traction for slippery conditions. The shoes also are breathable while keeping feet dry and warm. While they are a little beefier than trail running shoes, they are not as heavy as my hiking boots. They are also comfortable enough to wear around town on soggy days. I have my fingers crossed that we will get a couple of big snow storms before spring arrives so that I can see how they perform in snowy conditions. These shoes are meant to last for years. If you are in need of a lightweight, durable hiking shoe, pick up a pair of the Bandera lowtop or midtop boots.
Dare2B Invigorate Jacket: While the snow has not been abundant in Asheville, area ski resorts have been able to make plenty of snow to keep trails open and skiers and riders happy. I was in need of a new ski jacket this year and was looking for something to set me apart on the slopes. After being introduced to the Dare2B line from the United Kingdom, I determined that the Invigorate jacket met all of my criteria. It sports a detachable hood, which is critical for snowy and windy days, a powder skirt to keep snow out of the jacket and my pants, along with numerous well-placed pockets for warming hands and storing keys, as well as a lift ticket/pass pocket. No more flapping lift tickets or pass. In addition, the jacket offers a goggle cleaning wipe and under arm venting which is essential if you are going to use it for backcountry skiing or snowball fights. If you have not heard of Dare2B, you are not alone. Since it is a British clothing line, you will likely not see hundreds of other skiers
wearing your jacket on or off piste.