Gear Geek: Winter Warrior

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Gear Geek: Winter Warrior

As anyone who endured the recent snap of sub-zero temps last month can tell you, the cold is definitely upon us. We’ve already highlighted a few new products to help you combat and survive the elements. These picks will help you thrive in them.

1. Priority Continuum, $899; 2. Aether Tromso Jacket, $750; 3. Black Diamond Cold Forge Hoody, $299; 4. Saucony Razor Ice+, $180; 5. Trew Lightweight Nuyarn Merino ¼ Zip, $109; 6. Arc’teryx Lithic Glove, $249 7. Looptworks Upcycle Folding Shot Ski, $149.

Image: Gaurav Agrawal CC-BY-NC-ND

Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).

Priority Continuum

This smooth-riding commuting bike ditches traditional gears for something called a Continuously Variable Transmission, which lets riders seamlessly increase and decrease the pedal resistance, a technology that's huge in Europe but—until now—was hard to find in the States. Fluid riding equals safe, satisfying riding. The carbon belt drive will endure the cold temps as well as a traditional chain, but without the grease. It comes stock with all-weather fenders but to take full advantage, opt for the winter cycling package ($135), which includes Klondike Snow Tires, which have a smooth-running center line, knob scoops to push out debris, and alternating tungsten carbide-tipped studs. You also get a high-powered 1,000-lumen light set.
Priority Bicyles

Aether Tromso Jacket

Named after the cold, cold world of Tromso, Norway, this beast of a jacket challenges the most frigid day imaginable to make it even colder. It's constructed of burly 2L canvas, insulated with 800-fill power goose down, and seam-sealed to make it water- and wind-proof. Comes with an adjustable hood, naturally, as well as a rib-knit collar and cuffs. Beyond the armor elements, you also get a stylish two-way center zipper as well as zippered chest, back, and four hand pockets. Need more convincing? Weigh the price against Aether's lifetime guarantee.

Black Diamond Cold Forge Hoody

This woman-specific insulated jacket was built with climbers in mind—more specifically, the one who's belaying in the cold while their partner climbs, so it should fight off any winter chill you might find in your travels. It uses Primaloft Gold Insulation Down Blend to deliver warmth, weather-resistance, and packability, with an adjustable, helmet-friendly hood, twin inside drop pockets, zippered hand-warmer pockets, and a single-adjust hem. Better still, the fit is trim, so you can toss on an outer shell when the vortex goes really polar.
Black Diamond

Saucony Razor Ice+

Serious runners don't dodge the ice—they run over it. And now that task is even easier, thanks to the cold-weather Razor Ice+. The bootie runner uses Vibram's Arctic Grip placed in the high-contact areas to deliver remarkable grip and traction across icy surfaces. The neoprene upper is fleece-lined for added warmth, with an EVERUN heel insert for solid cushioning and energy return, a speed lacing system, and no-sew overlays to enhance fit without adding on the ounces.

Trew Lightweight Nuyarn Merino 1/4 Zip

Cold weather is all about smart layering, and it starts with the next-to-skin selection. This merino wool quarter-zip employs Nuyarn, which eliminates the twists in the traditional wool knit by aligning the fibers in parallel to draw out a superfine, straight yarn that's then wrapped around a nylon core for added strength, then doubled-up to create the two-ply fabric. You don't need to know all that. Just know it's loftier, stretchier, faster-drying, warmer, and stronger than most leading competitors. And Trew's direct-to-consumer strategy means it's often cheaper than most other merino wool base layers. The quarter-zip allows you dump heat when needed. Buy it for winter, but expect it to become your go-to, fall to spring, for travel, trail running, skiing, and camping.

Arc'teryx Lithic Glove

Picking up a quarter while wearing a winter glove typically means taking off the damn glove already. And that's what sets the Lithic apart. The gloves were made with "Tri-Dex" patterning which uses a three-lobe finger pattern that maps the thumb and each finger separately, in accordance with the hand's natural grip, delivering unparalleled dexterity. The profile is further streamlined by laminating hydroponic TPU fabrics to the palm and fingertips for added durability without the typical bulk created with leather reinforcement. Warmth comes from three types of PrimaLoft insulation, mapped to provide comfort and high levels of ergonomic performance, while the rugged N33p-X 3L Gore-Tex fabric delivers breathable waterproof protection.

Looptworks Upcycle Folding Shot Ski

Every winter warrior deserves their version of après Valhalla, and this upcycle shot ski delivers, with four removable stainless steel shot glasses affixed to a ski rescued from the scrap bins. Made in partnership with Deviation Ski and Snowboard Words, the limited-edition skis have dulled edges and fold up for easy transport in the included stuff sack.