Price: $185, vest; $155 snap shirt
Weight: 9 oz., vest; 12 oz., snap shirt
Materials: Vest: HyperDry™ water repellent downGenerously filled with 800 fill responsibly sourced, HyperDry™ water repellent down, Illume Circe™ outer
Snap shirt: Pertex® Microlight Minirip Nylon outer and 60g of sustainably sourced Thermore® Ecodown® fill
Winter clothes are bulky and most of the time, the gear you wear on the mountain isn't the same gear you'll want to wear to the bar at the end of the day because 1). The smell, and 2). Baselayers are not sexy. That being said, I've come upon a few functional items over the years that work on and off the hill and I have clung to them desperately for their versatility. This year I added two new members to that elite corner of my closet: Stio's Women’s Hometown Down Vest and their Women’s Skycrest Insulated Snap Shirt.
Buffed out with 800 fill responsibly sourced, HyperDry water repellent down, the Hometown vest is my go-to for layering either over my favorite flannel while I'm running to the bank on the way to my favorite cash-only margarita spot before happy hour ends, or underneath my shell on the mountain for some serious warmth. A small collar keeps the cold out, while the lack of hood means easy layering without the bunching. The outer material sheds light rain and snow, so no problems if you end up shedding everything but the vest after a few hot laps. Interior stash pockets are roomy enough for a granola bar.
For having such a high down fill, this vest isn't bulky. It snugs up with an adjustable waist hem with low-pro cord locks, and it's slim (and long) enough for a flattering silhouette. More importantly, the Hometown vest packs up tight and small in your pack or suitcase. It travels well, it's comfortable, not terrible to look at, and it's adaptable. Shoot, this vest is everything I aspire to be.
Skiing hot: Wear it over, wear it under. It's a layering machine.
Skiing not: For something without sleeves, it's a bit pricy.
The Women’s Skycrest Insulated Snap Shirt is another great transition piece that gets use year-round. It moves easily from summer nights around a campfire to opening day at your home hill. The nylon outer and 60g of sustainably sourced Thermore Ecodow make it wind and water resistant so you can wear this under layers for first chair or out until last call. It also means on your next trip you only have to pack one item, yet you'll get multiple uses. Bingo. The snaps down the front keep it casual, while the overall look of this quilted shirt has a retro style that may convince onlookers you actually got it a gear swap in Montana because you're a "cool girl." What actually makes you cool, girl, is looking this good in polyester.
Skiing hot: The extremely compact insulator doesn't lose shape or pack out, so you can wear it until it's actually as vintage as it looks.
Skiing not: I kept reaching for a hood that wasn't there.
Marquee image: DAVID REDDICK