There are lots of cozy, warm performance hoodies on the market—this much we know—which makes it hard to stand out. The Bastion Hoodie does so on the merits of style alone. It’s a high-end, fashionable hoodie—with a two-tone pattern, slim, bomber-jacket-like fit, and gobs of zipper pockets—that also happens to be way functional for cold weather and the alpine. In other words, it’s a core, light (26.5 ounces) piece of outdoor gear you can also wear around town and not look like just another wayward climber.
The jacket is a nylon shell insulated with Polartec Power Fill, a hollow-fiber polyester that gives the Bastion a soft, down-like feel while also trapping mad heat. You get reinforced hood, shoulder, biceps, and forearms panels, and a DWR coating to keep out precip. I wore the Bastion around Steamboat Springs, Colorado (elevation 6,700 feet) in snowy January, when highs barely busted out of the teens, and found myself sweating during a vigorous walk on a cold, sunny day. I also took it around the Front Range for winter cragging, when the Chinook winds blast off the Divide, mountain-wave clouds block the sun, and you battle to stay warm between pitches. In all cases, the jacket was aces at trapping body heat and blocking wind—zip the chest high, cinch the hood with the easy-pull drawstrings, cinch the two hem toggles, and you’re enveloped in warmth. Snow and spindrift, meanwhile, slid right off.
There are some cool bells and whistles—two deep, zippered hand pockets, matching zippered bicep pockets, a wallet-sized interior chest pocket, and in back a hunter’s pocket for carrying sundries and/or to stuff the jacket into when carrying it (it compresses to the size of an airline pillow). But let’s get back to style: The Bastion, with its slim cut and simple hues, looks good, and whether you’re wearing the Canopy or Gunship version, you’re going to look more Blue Steel than Vagabond. Bonus: Made in the USA.