Words: Heather Hansman
There are a few core pieces of gear that I have in multiple iterations. Stuff that I always revert back to, even when newer, shinier alternatives come across my desk. I've been wearing the same models of socks and goggles, sometimes literally, for a long time, only replacing them when they get worn down. One of those pieces is a Patagonia R1, in my mind the perfect midlayer. I wear mine skiing, hiking, and, until recently when I moved out of Boulder, out to the bar to pick up dudes.
A few years back they started making a guy's version with a hood, which was a great idea because everything (sweatshirts, cars, neighbors) is better with a hood. But they only did it for guys, which was heartbreaking and fascist. Ladies have ears too, Yvon.
Now, they're finally making a hooded women's version and it is my platonic ideal of a perfect piece of gear: warm but not bulky, breathable, the right length. It's made of Polartec Power Dry with strategically placed--read, in your armpits--Capilene 4 panels. I've been wearing mine whenever it gets cold enough, and I'll probably be wearing it consistently all winter. I'll try to be better about changing my socks.