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An Intro to Outdoor Jackets

Anyone who spends time outside has a favorite jacket—it’s a staple in the kit of every hiker, climber, skier, snowboarder, cyclist, or mountaineer. But the one-jacket-for-everything days are long gone. To get you started on the path to understanding your jacket options, we outlined the five most basic styles.

How to Choose Ski & Snowboard Pants

Frozen chairlifts, day-long submersion in thigh deep pow (we hope), slushy boot packs, and brutal arctic winds are just a few scenarios your pants experience on a regular day at the outdoor office. So when choosing a new pair of pants, it’s worth taking some time researching the various fabrics, features, and styles that will be most applicable to your type of winter recreation.

Winter Layering

Different body types, output levels, and weather conditions require different amounts of insulation. Building a bomber layering system is one part trial and error and one part know-how.

How To Care for Your Down Jacket

Your puffy spares you the shivers on long chairlift rides, it offers a cozy embrace when you’re belaying a long pitch, and it lets you enjoy evening stargazing on alpine backpacking trips. And what do you do for it in return? Cram it into a stuff sack.

Technical Shells Explained

For the worst weather conditions imaginable, you need the reliable protection of Technical Shell. The best Technical Shells often feature waterproof/breathable laminates, watertight zippers, and high denier face fabrics.

Softshells Explained

Can a softshell replace your trusty hardshell in sustained rain or snowfall? Probably not. What softshells do best is keep you warm and dry while your heart rate is up in windy and/or damp weather.
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Men's Clothing

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The products from Men's Clothing have an average rating of 5.0 / 5.0 from 791 reviews.

Unanswered Questions

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Dan Gates

There are countless fly fishing rod options available and choosing one can be an overwhelming task. Dan Gates, an Expert Gearhead at Backcountry.com, shares a few tips to help you select the ideal rod for any given situation. It’s an overcast day in June, the mayfly hatch is thick, and there is a ‘pig’ (really big fish) consistently rising 40 feet away. After a long, slow stalk you are finally in position to cast. All you have to do is place your fly in the perfect position to drift into the fish’s feeding lane. Too many false casts and the [...]

Lexi D.

When you escape the office and break your furry friend out of the doghouse, adventure will nearly always ensue. But long days outside navigating rugged terrain can take a toll not only on you, but on your pup as well. You’ve probably kitted yourself out with fancy trail runners or hiking shoes, a hydration vest, and a rain shell to fend off the elements—but what about your dog? Outfitting your dog properly can make the difference between a pleasant backcountry weekend and having to carry your dog back to civilization over miles of rugged terrain. We love the brand Ruffwear, [...]

rory bosio

Like many outdoor enthusiasts, my most memorable times are spent in the mountains. I love the sense of freedom and peace that comes from running over peaks and through the woods. It’s no coincidence that a lot of races on my calendar take place in the mountains, be it in Colorado, Utah, or even the Alps. However, I don’t love gasping for air at higher elevation. Difficulty breathing, fatigue, light-headedness and other symptoms associated with altitude sickness can turn a fun day into a sufferfest. But whether you’re just planning on getting out while on vacation or are traveling to [...]

dena eaton

Endurance mountain biking sees a variety of formats, from 24 hours to multi-day stage races. And while each sub-section within the discipline requires a different training focus, they all share one thing in common:  to compete in—or even complete—a marathon bike race, you’ll need to spend hours and hours in the saddle. Sure, you can just ride every day. And for many first-timers, that is the best way to train. But, if your goal is to win a stage or even end up on the final podium, you’ll need more than just miles in your legs. For example, the Breck [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

Snow bridges are one of the biggest hazards of ski and snowboard mountaineering over glacial terrain. An innocent-looking swath of snow may hide the hazard lies beneath: a yawning crevasse of ice. Snow bridges collapse without warning, but if you’re wearing a harness and are roped in (why aren’t you wearing a harness and roped in if you’re on a glacier?!), the essential gear in your pack will double as your emergency tools for a crevasse rescue. You hope an emergency never happens, but you need to be prepared if it does. If you’re considering a ski or splitboard mountaineering [...]

Jared Downs

There comes a time in many people’s lives when things need a little shaking up; that feeling overcame Henry Wasserman in 2013. He was a 34-year veteran of the financial services industry, but it was losing its appeal, despite several career moves within the sector; where he found himself did not line up with who he wanted to be. The desk was taking a toll on Henry’s physical health, too. It was time to break away from his desk and hit the trail, time for a mental cleanse and a renewed focus on his health. He began thinking of taking [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

The difference between backcountry skiing/splitboarding and ski/splitboard mountaineering is somewhat ambiguous. Navigating glacial terrain, however, is one activity that sets them apart, and which requires a new level of technical knowledge beyond your usual backcountry skill set. Last year, I took an introductory ski and splitboard mountaineering course through the SheJumps non-profit organization. My instructors, Diny Harrison (the first North American female guide to be certified by the IFMGA) and Kate Devine (a recently certified ACMG ski guide), imparted valuable glacier travel tips for aspiring ski mountaineers, the essence of which is captured below. Risk Management As in ‘regular’ backcountry [...]

Andrew McLean

Coming from an alpine skiing background, I have to admit that I didn’t take to backcountry skiing immediately. The pace seemed too slow, the vertical was one tenth of what I was used to getting at a resort and the gear seemed doily compared to heavy metal alpine gear. On top of that, I had the good misfortune of learning from Alex Lowe, aka the “Lung with Legs,” and spent most of my uphill time with my eyes half-closed, lips pulled back, gasping for air and bordering on puking while I tried to keep up to him while he broke [...]

Lexi D.

Gear fails. It’s inevitable, but many of us avoid facing the facts until it’s too late, and we’re up a creek with a busted paddle. Luckily, Voile—a Utah-based company that manufactures ski touring and splitboarding gear—offers up one the most useful gear inventions out there: the Voile Ski Strap. A marvel of simplicity, durability, and versatility, the Voile Strap is the backcountry equivalent of duct tape. In fact, it’s better than duct tape since it will even work in cold or wet conditions.Though it’s called a “Ski Strap,” don’t be fooled; the situations where a Voile Strap can save your [...]

Kim Havell

Last November, Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Pete Linn and I traveled to Peru to explore the Salkantay Trail (ST), an alternate route to the popular and crowded Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As guides ourselves, we opted to do the trip without an outfitter to have the freedom to move on our terms. It was a last-minute decision, so we only had a couple of weeks of planning and preparation before we found ourselves in Peru, ready to embark on adventure. Part 1: Packing for Purpose Part 2: The Trek We had flown from Lima to Cusco, spent two nights [...]

Jared Downs

Originally, snowshoeing provided means for me to start my quest of summiting the 48 4,000-footers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the winter. Now that I reside in Utah, exploring the Wasatch-Uinta-Cache National Forest is far easier and more fun thanks to my trusty snowshoes. If you’ve always wanted to get out into the outdoors in the middle of winter, a pair of snowshoes may be your ticket to getting away from it all. Here’s a guide for choosing the snowshoes that are right for you. Working on the same general principle as skis, snowshoes spread your weight [...]

Lexi D.

I recently attended the Western Winter Sports Rep Association ski demo at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, Utah. A two-day ski gear extravaganza, the WWSRA demo was a chance to investigate the hottest gear for women that will hit shelves in the early autumn of 2015. Here are some of my initial impressions about the women’s skis that stood out on the racks; look for these skis to launch on Backcountry in August and September of 2015! To put my reviews in context, I am 5’3” and weigh 120 lbs (on a good day). I am an expert skier who likes [...]

Pace

At first glance, doing yoga on a stand-up paddleboard might seem a bit gimmicky. But once you get over the novelty, you realize that the paddleboard adds a new and demanding fitness dimension to even the simplest of yoga positions. SUP yoga requires proper alignment and balance, or you end up in the water. This allows beginner yogis to learn proper alignment from the start, and it’s a refinement tool for more experienced yoga practitioners. You get quick feedback on whether or not your form is as good as you think it is. Apart from the fitness benefits, it’s a [...]

Kim Havell

Three weeks before I was due to go to Antarctica for my third trip to ski-guide for Ice Axe Expeditions last fall, my plans fell through thanks to last-minute guest changes. I was still itching to go somewhere, so I turned my focus to a new project. The goals were to find an adventure, check out new mountains, do some ski reconnaissance, and embrace and enjoy a new culture. My partner, Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Pete Linn, and I honed in on Peru, and then quickly found the perfect challenge. National Geographic lists the Salkantay Trail (ST) as one of [...]

Backcountry

SRAM Recalls Zipp 88 Bicycle Wheel Hubs Due to Crash and Injury Hazards Everything you need to know can be found here.    1 of 2 photos First version of 88 hub Download Share Recall Summary Name of product:Zipp 88 aluminum hubs for bicycle wheels Hazard: The hub flange ring on the front hub can fail posing a crash and injury hazard. Remedy: View Details Replace Consumer Contact: SRAM at (800) 346-2928 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Friday, or visit www.sram.com or www.zipp.comand click on Recall Notice for more information. [...]

Joshua Barnes

You don’t know how it happened, but it did, and now you have to deal with it. You met someone, you fell for them, and now you want to spend all(ish) of your life with them. But, here’s the thing: they don’t ski, and even worse, they want to learn. At this point, you have two options (three if you count changing your name and moving out of state): you either hook them up with lessons, or you teach them yourself. If you don’t have enough cash for an instructor, or you don’t trust one of your friends to teach [...]

Griffin Post

When it comes to air travel with ski or snowboard gear, getting there is not half the fun. Usually, flying entails lugging two extremely heavy bags around, paying extra baggage fees, eating overpriced airport food and drinking overpriced beers, all the while wondering if the bags are going to your same destination, or a vacation of their own. As frustrating as air travel can be, however, there are plenty of ways to make your trip less painful. While none of these tips will guarantee that your bags will make it nor that a hottie will be seated next to you, [...]

Aliza Lapierre

By pushing themselves progressively farther and faster, runners of all levels can reach performances they never dreamed possible. – The Competitive Runner’s Handbook If you are like me, I ran my first marathon with the general goal of finishing. I had done my training guided by a 12-week, easy-to-follow guide that had me running unfocused miles. At the time this simple regimen was OK because I wanted so badly to complete the 26.2 mile distance, no matter how long it took. On race day I ran the entire marathon stride for stride with my husband and had a huge smile [...]

Lexi D.

The Outdoor Retailer trade show is one of the most important events in our business, where our buyers meet with manufacturers and decide what we will be offering on Backcountry.com in the coming year. For the dedicated gear freak who can’t wait to see the latest and greatest outdoor gear, it’s four days of heaven. Our Community Manger, Lexi Dowdall, took a few laps of the massive show floor of Winter OR 2015, and reported back on some of the highlights of what she saw. Photos by Re Wikstrom Arc’teryx Lithic Glove A close-up look at the 333D moto-grade fabric [...]

Griffin Post

Jackson Hole was one of the first resorts in the United States to have an “open gates” policy, and the terrain around it serves up some of the best lift-serviced backcountry in the country. From puckering steeps to playful pillows, there’s just about every sort of adventure a rider could ask for, just a short traverse and bootpack from the tram. When the conditions are right, all that’s standing between riders and heli-quality terrain is an access gate. Easy access notwithstanding, though, Jackson Hole’s backcountry is the real deal, and skiers and riders venturing out should be equipped as if [...]

Pace

“Factory” might be a bit of an overstatement. Located a few blocks from Park City’s historic Main Street, the Soul Poles shop is more like a glorified garage that shares a wall with the local Mexican bakery. But toiling in a garage is where most great American innovators got their start, so they’re in good company. Photos by Re Wikstrom At Backcountry we have a soft spot for the little guys who are working to bring sustainability and homegrown craftsmanship back to the industry. So when Lexi Dowdall, our community manager, needed to score a new pair of poles to [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

We’ve all perfected the art of bailing in daily life. It’s as easy as pulling out your smart phone and punching out a vague text message to the friend you’ve had longstanding plans with. “Hey, sorry, but I gotta take a rain check on tomorrow. Got some last-minute stuff.” Maybe work is a legitimate scapegoat. Maybe it’s a result of the contagious FOMO syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out), where Plan A is put on hold because a better Plan B came along. But maybe “better” is really just a code word for sitting at home and avoiding your friends because [...]

Forrest Shearer

Backcountry.com athlete and pro snowboarder Forrest Shearer spends a lot of time in the backcountry on his splitboard. We asked him to give us the rundown on what you need to get into splitboarding: Each year, it seems like more and more people are skipping the lift lines and tracked-out runs to ride in the backcountry. There’s endless terrain out there–you just have to use you own two feet to get there. The scenery is amazing, the snow is usually great, and the freedom to roam the mountains on splitboard can make for a truly wild adventure. Here’s is a [...]

Andrew McLean

Standing at the top of a perfect Wasatch powder run, Bruce Tremper of the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center and I only lacked one thing: visibility. We had the perfect slope, perfect snow, good stability and the place all to ourselves … if only we could see it. After I grumbled about it for a few minutes while Bruce was fine-tuning the buckles on his boots, he said “Why don’t you take this first and I’ll tell you the secret for flat light at the bottom.”  Pushing off, I channeled my inner mantra to “Use the Force” and fumbled my way [...]