Eddie Bauer First Ascent Backdraft


“The chimneys and offwidths of the Utah desert are some of the toughest proving grounds for apparel, and if anything functions well and emerges unscathed, it’s a winner in my book,” said one tester after rocking the Backdraft for several pitches of wide (and wider) cracks. Stretchy nylon softshell material on the back withstood extended scraping and dragging across calcified sandstone while the lightweight 20-denier ripstop nylon in the sleeves was immune to repeated jamming and abrading. “I could not believe the durability of this piece,” said another impressed tester. Sixty grams of PrimaLoft One kept testers warm on overcast and 42°F days, but when the sun finally came out, the combination of synthetic insulation and airy face fabrics meant the whole unit breathed and testers never overheated. One drawback: The hand-warmer pockets were directly under the harness and thus hard to reach, but a Napoleon pocket on the chest held sundries in an accessible spot. $170; eddiebauer.com