Posts Tagged women’s clothing
As winter gives way to spring, it’s not as if the temperature magically changes and you can ditch all your cool-weather gear. When it comes to traveling, it’s always good to have something for those in-between temperatures, whether you’re being active outdoors, or just looking for a warm layer when you walk around. An ideal piece for this very use is the SmartWool women’s PhD SmartLoft Divide Vest.
The vest has a wool-insulated nylon with DWR shell on the outside (for water repellency and warmth), and Merino lining on the inside (for warmth, breathability, and optimal efficiency in transferring sweat to the outer layer)—all perfect to keep your core warm.
All that put together results in a light and compressible piece that keeps you toasty in cool conditions. And with Merino wool, the vest can be worn multiple times without needing to be washed, which is always ideal when you’re traveling.
Even if you get warm when being active outdoors, you can easily adjust your outcome based on the weight of long-sleeved shirt you wear underneath. When you’re in winter conditions, add a layer on top to allow for more warmth and protection without overheating with all those layers.
The hand-warmer pockets stash items for quick access, and the zippered chest pocket with media routing allows you to listen to your tunes when out on the slopes, in the street, or on the trails.
I wear flip-flops all spring and summer long, from spring break beach trips to end-of-August road trips. I know it’s well and truly summer by the ‘V’ shaped tan marks on the tops of my feet. But since my warm weather travel itinerary includes river rafting, hiking, rock scrambling, and extensive walking, typical flip-flops don’t always get the job done.
Made by the founder of Teva, Sazzi ‘toe-motion’ performance sandals bridge the gap between flip-flop comfort and active lifestyle support. Sazzi is not the first shoe brand to implement a toe-specific footbed, but as far as I’ve seen, they’re the first to do so in a flip-flop. This is great news for people like me, who adore flip-flops but need the support of a performance sandal.
Sazzi Decimal‘s four toe posts connect your feet directly to the footbed, adding stability as you’re running, jumping, or dipping your feet into a current. With four straps between four toes, instead of one between my big toe and second toe, I’ve found I can enjoy warm weather activities without fear of my sandals falling off my feet, sliding to one side, or tripping me up. Even without having to clench my foot, there is very little movement. The stability is aided by the one wide V-strap with a stitched organic cotton seam that fits over the top of the foot. Trust me, flip-flop lovers will really, really like this design.
I also like that all Sazzis are made of 100% recycled material with a closed-cell construction that resists moisture and bacteria build up. They go from water to dirt to pavement without a problem, and don’t smell when you toss them into the hot car at the end of a long day. They feature a zero drop heel design to help you walk comfortably when touring cities or walking long distances.
The women’s Decimal comes in black, blue/tan, or pink/tan in sizes 5-11, and the men’s version comes in gray/olive, gray/black, or blue/green in size 7-13. Either version is $79 on the Sazzi site, or the same price (with an additional women’s color option of brown) on Amazon. Don’t wait; the traditional sandal-style Sazzi Digit has already sold out.
If you’re looking to snag a mid-winter ski jacket deal, I’d look no further than Free Country. Always a solid pick on a budget, Free Country’s softshell jackets, including the women’s Plaid Softshell, are nearly half off this month. But let’s take a step back: why a softshell in the first place? If your ski or winter travel ensemble already includes an outer waterproof shell option, a fleece or two for layering, and perhaps a down jacket, a softshell jacket is a great addition for those late winter/early spring ski days.
Free Country’s Plaid Softshell is water and wind resistant as well as lined, making it a one-piece option for days that fall in the mid-range on the chill scale. You get all the features you’d expect in a high-end jacket, including oversized hood, chin protector, and adjustable cuffs to fit over gloves, without the high-end price. Will your Free Country softshell be the absolute cutting edge of ski jackets? No, but it doesn’t need to be. Instead, I bet it’ll be your ‘reach for it most often’ jacket that simply gets the job done, as it does for me.
It’ll look good doing it, too. The women’s softshell comes in a variety of colors in the solid Saunter softshell version, and in two women’s plaid patterns in the Plaid softshell version. There’s also a floral option. All versions include a flattering women’s tailored cut (though I do wish more movement was allowed in the shoulders and arms), and all include two side zippered pockets. The plaid comes in either black or white, and the pattern is subtle.
Pick up a softshell for $55 (marked down from $100) from Free Country, or pick up a solid color at Amazon for only $40. Grabbing a softshell this winter will definitely carry over through the spring season and into next year.
In the market for a big ticket winter jacket? I count my two Canada Goose jackets as the warmest I own, and they’re among my most comfortable, too. Canada Goose’s Camp Hoody is also one of the most versatile, lightweight enough to grab for a travel day or a quick cover up, yet substantial enough for nearly any weather situation. It should be noted right out of the gate that the Camp Hoody retails for $450, which I realize is not unheard of in winter apparel, but still warrants explanation.
The million dollar (or in this case, $450) question, of course, is: is it worth it? What makes the Camp Hoody worth the price? Answer: it’s extreme warmth and coverage combined with its ability to stuff down to almost nothing. This is a highly functional jacket, built for technical situations experienced by true outdoors-women. On a backcountry winter excursion during which down warmth is required and yet space and weight is at a premium, the Camp Hoody would be priceless. For a day on the ski slopes with easy access to the car or locker? Probably overkill (though you’ll certainly be comfortable). Therefore, I refer back to my opening question: are you in the market for a premium winter jacket? If your outdoor travel warrants a ‘yes’, the value is definitely here.
The Camp Hoody is a dream to wear. It sits on your body like a cloud, and you feel light as a feather in it (which makes since, as it’s stuffed with white duck down. The fill power is 750, and the double-layer windproof shell provides incredible protection from the elements. I won’t lie: I haven’t trekked to the Arctic in this jacket (yet), but I have experienced wicked cold days on the slopes have haven’t felt a thing. On the other end of the scale, I’ve slid into this jacket with nothing but a t-shirt underneath to walk the dog in the Oregon fog and wind, and felt completely warm. You get a front storm flap to protect against drifts and wind, and a chin guard behind a two-way locking reversed-coil zipper. In other words, wind is not getting in here. The hood is full-sized and adjustable to fit over a helmet or hat, and the hem falls to the hip with a dropped tail. Once you’re in this jacket, you might as well be cozied up in a sleeping bag.
You get two front zippered pockets and an interior mesh google pocket, a Canada Goose logo patch on the arm, and elastic wrist cuffs that really keep out the snow (and which thick gloves can slide over easily). I squished up the Camp Hoody to bring it along via plane on a Colorado ski trip, and once folded and refolded, it fit in my palm about the size of a melon. Packing tip: lay it flat at the bottom of your bag instead of folding it, and let clothes on top compress it down to nothing.
Pick up the Camp Hoody at Moosejaw and Amazon. On the Canada Goose site, you get your pick of colors, ranging from sunset orange (highly recommended), summit pink, red, white, black, or ocean, though colors are more limited at the retail sites.
For my inaugural test of the GoLite XT Comp shoe, I laced up at a lodge near the base of Lake Louise, Alberta, and set out to hike the wet and steep trails of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park after an early October storm. At the lower elevations, I navigated through muddy sections and slippery rocks with ease, and by the time I hiked half-way to my goal of Little Beehive above Lake Agnes, snow was falling. Near Lake Agnes, the snow had accumulated enough that other hikers were slipping traction grip overlays over their hiking boots. Not me: the XT Comp shoe was performing nicely in the wet slush and light powder, thanks to its ‘rock absorber’ traction sole comprising of rubber nobs. My verdict: the XT really is the ‘state-of-the-art off-road performance shoe’ that’s advertised.
During the five mile round-trip hike in the above conditions, my feet never got wet, despite the fact that the XT Comp doesn’t look waterproof. Why: a low cut and plenty of ventilation in the mesh upper makes this shoe look like a warm-weather pick. However, the traction on the sole is seriously substantial. It’s touted as lightweight, but I’d amend that to say ‘as lightweight as possible for a shoe with this much stabilization and traction.’ I loved the substance I got from this shoe without sacrificing the low ankle rise. If you’re looking for a reasonably lightweight, ankle-length shoe that provides the traction and stabilization of a full above-ankle hiking boot, this may be the one.
The heel is zero-lift for a natural stride; I found I needed to play around with insoles to get the just-right fit. The XT fits me wider than most shoes, which is both a plus and a minus: I like how easy it is to slip on over wool socks, and the ability to loosen them while traveling (I wore mine on a commuter train and in the car on the same Rockies trip), but I also needed to adjust the insoles to get the support I wanted.
All GoLite shoes come with adjustable insoles, which I definitely utilize. Use the velcro base to add or remove layering to the sole as needed. I found that removing all but the base of the insole gave me the best fit. Pick up a pair at GoLite for $125 in bright tangerine, or at Amazon for five bucks less. Also comes in men’s sizing, in artisan gold or navy.