2020 GEAR GUIDE – BEST BACKCOUNTRY OUTERWEAR

Go further, faster and higher into the big mountains this winter with this fast and light burly backcountry kit.

Arc’teryx Sabre AR jacket

£480

Weight: 700g

Sharpen up your backcountry game with this new and improved three-layer Gore-Tex fave from Arc’teryx. With a new spacious freeride fit there’s more room inside for layering and the soft backer inside the jacket makes it an altogether cosier prospect on wild mountain days. Pit zips have been moved upwards for improved ease of use and larger pockets added for max stash-ability. Pair it with the Sabre Pants for full backcountry effect.

Black Crows Ventus 3L Gore-Tex jacket

£570

Weight: N/A

The Crows are back at the top of their backcountry game with an updated Ventus for winter 2020. Robust and built in the big mountains for the big mountains, the new Ventus features a refined cut, new Gore-Tex three-layer fabric and two backpack-friendly diagonal front pockets. Other than that it’s the usual primo protection with unique BC style all the way to the summit and back down again.

Black Diamond Boundary Line Mapped Insulated jacket

£350

Weight: 1004g

Earn your turns in sustainable style with this new waterproof, stretchy, breathable jacket with body-mapped Lavalan washable wool insulation. Rather than being worn close to the skin as with most merino wool apparel, Lavalan has been designed as a natural, environmentally friendly alternative to the synthetic wadding normally used inside insulation layers. This innovation aside, the rest is as you’d expect from BD with top backcountry features including fully taped seams, helmet-compatible hood, waterproof zippers, ski pass pocket, internal stash pocket, pit zips and stowable powder skirt.

Black Diamond Boundary Line shell pant

£250

Weight: 592g

Go to the boundary and beyond with these rugged waterproof, breathable pants. Ideal for early season touring on cold stormy days, these pants will see you earning your turns in sustainable style on high-precipitation days thanks to the mega-durable, environmentally friendly, PFC-free DWR solution. They also come with plenty of pockets for quick kit stashes and side zips for speedy venting.

Dynafit Elevation Gore-Tex jacket

£315

Weight: 325g

Get elevated at speed in this waterproof, breathable three-layer Gore-Tex C-Knit jacket. At just 325g, the Elevation is guaranteed to appeal to gram-counting mountain athletes who are determined to keep clocking the vertical. Other fast and light features include laser-cut underarm perforations for max breathability, taped seams, superb packability into its own helmet-compatible hood, zip smartphone pocket and reflective strips for max visibility on dawn patrols and night training sessions.

Dynafit Speed Insulation jacket

£235

Weight: 291g

Ideal for female ski tourers looking for a high-tech body-mapped jacket for fast and light mountain missions, the Speed Insulation provides protection where you need it most. Lightweight and water-resistant with multiple pockets and a hybrid construction, this jacket will do the business on all but the wettest of backcountry days when you can simply pair it with a shell for additional protection. Fave feature? The snug hood that maintains max field of vision so you can keep focused on the summit.

FW Apparel Manifest 3L jacket

£500

Weight: N/A

A big-mountain player with freeride flavour, this waterproof, breathable jacket sits at the summit of top of the backcountry-specific Manifest range. A stripped-down, technical garment, it offers primo waterproof protection and a host of backcountry-specific features including backpack and harness-friendly design, large pit zips, inner pocket with goggle wipe and storm hood with bonded visor.

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain 3L shell jacket

£500

Weight: 539g

Designed in conjunction with Helly’s pro skiers and mountain professionals to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Odin range, this lightweight three-layer shell is a high-tech and innovative women’s backcountry jacket. The new microporous membrane and durable woven backer has been designed to perform as well on cold days as it does in milder temps and it comes with a new low profile adjustable removable powder skirt. A stripped-back, essentials-only, fit-for-purpose mountain jacket. Also available in men’s.

Jöttnar Valdyr pants

£395

Weight: 635g

A serious hard shell ski pant for backcountry skiers who like their tours on the technical side. Windproof, waterproof and breathable, the Valdyrs have been constructed to deliver so you can endure in the high alpine. With a drop seat for those essential mountain moments, full-length zips for easy removal over boots and crampons, articulated and reinforced knees and seat, snow gaiters and Kevlar kick patches, they are durable and designed for the most ambitious of ski mountaineers.

Mammut Alvier Hooded HS jacket

£599

Weight: 565g

The Alvier combines all of Mammut’s alpine expertise and piles it into a no-nonsense three-layer Gore-Tex Pro hardshell backcountry jacket. Durable, waterproof, windproof and breathable, the long rear cut keeps determined derrieres protected on the wildest of winter days and the U-shaped puller on the backpack-friendly front zip is easy to manipulate even when wearing gloves. Other features of note include removable powder skirt, internal media pocket, pit zips and helmet-compatible hood. Also available in men’s.

Mammut Stoney HS pants

£250

Weight: 734g

These fully weatherproof three-layer shell pants are constructed using Mammut’s waterproof, breathable DryTechnology. Ideal for bad-weather touring, the Stoneys are on the warmer side of other fast and light shells and come in a choice of leg lengths to suit all heights. Features of note include the integrated waist adjustment system, fleece-lined zipper pockets, inside leg vents, Cordura kick patches, integrated snow gaiters and our personal fave – the ability to adapt the width of the leg with snap buttons so you can use them safetly with crampons.

Mountain Hardwear High Exposure Gore-Tex C-Knit jacket

£450

Weight: 458g

With low weight for high-exposure days, this feathery, waterproof, breathable stretch jacket is MHW’s lightest and most packable ski shell. Designed for expert ski tourers looking to go deep into the backcountry, it is a fast and light feature-fest. With oversized zip pockets for skins, gloves or radios, internal powder skirt, Recco reflector and helmet-compatible hood, it’s built for life-affirming mountain days.

Ortovox 3L Ortler jacket

£435

Weight: 445g

One for the steep skiers and high-altitude seekers, the minimalist Ortler is a lightweight three-layer hardshell designed for hardcore ski mountaineers. The windproof, waterproof Dermizax membrane offers max breathability and freedom of movement and the two-way harness-friendly front zipper means you can keep make adjustments on the move. Other features of note include bright colours for max mountain visibility, two-way pit zips, soft merino mesh inserts around the chin and a two-way adjustable storm hood. Available in men’s and women’s.

Ortovox 3L Ortler pants

£345

Weight: 430g

Mountain goats and summit seekers will want to pair these pants with the jacket above for premium lightweight performance in the high alpine. Windproof, waterproof and breathable, they are built to adapt and react to the demands of the big mountains. Features of note include Cordura kick patches, adjustable ankle cuffs, full-length two-way side zippers, merino mesh adjustable waistband, mega packability and transceiver-friendly thigh pocket with integrated light carabiner. Available in men’s and women’s.

Patagonia SnowDrifter jacket

£360

Weight: 510g

The brand spanking SnowDrifter is part of Patagonia’s new line of fully recycled, Fair Trade-certified shells. Lightweight and optimised for backcountry exploration, this waterproof, windproof and breathable three-layer H2No jacket offers exceptional protection and freedom of movement on the mountain. With pit zips, low-profile cuffs, adjustable powder skirt, helmet compatible hood with laminated visor and Recco reflector you can concentrate on earning turns at speed. Also in men’s.

Patagonia Untracked jacket

£520

Weight: 743g

Another Fair Trade-certified sewn shell made from recycled materials, the Untracked proves that sustainability and performance can go hand-in-hand in the backcountry. Windproof, waterproof and breathable, this three-layer stretch Gore-Tex jacket comes with a soft flannel backer that glides over layers so you can keep gliding up the skin track. Waterproof zippers, adjustable helmet-compatible hood, pit zips, adjustable powder skirt and Recco reflector all combine to make this an impressive, fit-for-purpose, eco-friendly ski touring jacket. Available in men’s and womens’.

Salewa Pedroc TirolWool Celliant hooded jacket

£215

Weight: 306g

For fast dawn patrols and rapid summit seekers, this lightweight, warm and breathable hybrid is one for the gear geeks and nature lovers. Salewa’s TirolWool Celliant tech combines the wool from Tirolean mountain sheep with innovative thermo-regulating Celliant technology to recycle energy into infrared light and reflect it back into the body. This mega-quick-drying, durable, anti-stink body-mapped jacket also packs down into an integrated compression sack.

Scott Explorair 3L jacket

£275

Weight: 690g

Built for backcountry exploration, the Explorair 3L has been constructed with mega waterproof, windproof and breathable Dermizax fabric. A genuine all-rounder, it comes with a host of touring-specifiic features including powder skirt, helmet-compatible hood, fully taped seams, backpack-friendly seamless shoulders, powder skirt, waterproof zippers and pit zips. Also available in women’s.

Scott Explorair 3L pants

£240

Weight: 670g

Designed for wild winter women, these mid-weight waterproof and breathable touring pants are ideal for all-round backcountry adventures. Soft and comfortable, they’re built to deliver max freedom of movement with durability and full weather protection. With fully taped seams, Cordura kick patches, detachable and adjustable suspenders, waterproof zippers and external side vents, they’ll keep up with you all season long. Also available in men’s.

The North Face Steep Series Purist jacket

£550

Weight: 700g

Light yet robust, this uber technical jacket is made using FutureLight – TNF’s new wonder material that looks set to light up the future of mountain adventures with its revolutionary waterproof/breathable performance. Combine this performance with a super-articulated fit, backpack-friendly pockets, radio strap on the collar and a host of other features you’d look for in a primo big mountain jacket and you’re looking at a serious game-changer. Get after it. Also in women’s.

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS KIT AND ALL THE OTHER NEW GEAR FOR 2020, GET YOUR COPY OF OUR 2020 GEAR GUIDE – OUT NOW!


MORE NEW GEAR FOR WINTER 2020:

MEN’S ALL ROUND TOURING SKI OF THE YEAR – BLIZZARD ZERO G 95

WOMEN’S ALL ROUND TOURING SKI OF THE YEAR – DYNAFIT BEAST 98W

 

 

2020 GEAR GUIDE – BEST SPLITBOARD SWAG

 

THE BEST SKI TOURING BINDINGS OF 2020

 

2020 GEAR GUIDE: THE BEST FREERIDE SKI OUTERWEAR

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.