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“I did more alpine climbing in a month of wearing these than in the last year,” one tester said after trying them out in the French Alps, Tetons, and Colorado Rockies. “That’s because I could go out in any conditions, from subzero and snowing to sunny and 40°F, and feel completely comfortable. I had way more fun and couldn’t wait to go back out.”
When you first get into the outdoor-apparel world, the first thing you learn is that it’s all about the “layering system.” But piecing together this multi-piece system with varying brands, material types, fabric weights, zipper placements, cuffs, hoods, and everything else can result in frustration. Enter the High Alpine Kit from the alpine-climbing experts at Patagonia. With tops and bottoms for your baselayer (Merino Air Hoody and Bottoms), insulation (Nano-Air Light Hoody and Pants), protective outerwear (M10 Anorak/Jacket and Galvanized Pant), plus the Grade VII Belay Parka and Hybrid Sleeping Bag that integrates with the belay parka, they’ve provided everything a climber needs for the harshest high-altitude environments. “All zippers, cuffs, and hoods line up perfectly,” one tester said, “and there’s a perfect balance of moisture wicking, breathability, weight, and warmth that you will not get with any other cobbled-together system.” The standout piece is the Nano-Air Light Hoody, which takes the breathability of the past Nano-Air and increases it 75 percent in a pullover version, with maximum stretch and “brilliant spandex-poly cuffs.”
Price varies; patagonia.com