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GREAT GEAR by s tephen regenold Feel the Warmth


Don’t settle for less than the max in mid-layer comfort.


THINK OF A WHALE’S blubber. Or bear fur. For humans, mid-layer apparel—including vests, fleece tops, and zip-up turtlenecks—are the prime insulating ingredients in a wintertime suit. Temps plunge. The wind whips. But mid- layers trap body heat and keep you warm. As the name says, mid-


layers go in the middle. “Layering” in outdoorsman- speak is the principle of wearing multiple articles of clothing instead of one thick coat. Common layering tech- nique positions tight-fitting base layers (long underwear) against the skin. See reviews of base layers from our November-December 2009 issue, available on scouting magazine.org. Mid-layers are next up.


They’re made to extract mois- ture (sweat), insulate, and breathe. Then on top, for addi- tional warmth and weather protection, you pull on a parka or a shell jacket that repels wind, sleet, and snow. The choices here are


diverse, from a classic vest to a technical fleece. Most do double duty as a mid-layer and a stand-alone piece for temper- ate winter days. Pull one on, put a shell


jacket over the top, and the mid-layers will do their best to take the bite out of the cold. ¿


STEPHEN REGENOLD is founder and editor of GearJunkie.com.


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WOOLRICH SPENCER VEST $99, WOOLRICH.COM Old school and proud of it, the Spencer was inspired by one of the earliest garments ever produced by Woolrich decades back. The vest is made of 100 percent wool— warm as well as tough. A low collar and front-side pockets complete the traditional look but add performance touches still relevant today.


S COUTING ¿ NOVEMBER•DECEMBER 2010


ZONAL JACKET $185, MOUNTAINHARDWEAR.COM Employing the same kind of insulation used in its sleeping bags, Mountain Hardwear’s Zonal is a toasty mid-layer that also functions alone as a jacket. The Zonal, which has body-mapped “zones,” dishes insulation out in varying amounts—more where you need it (for the core) and less where you don’t (under the arms and sides).


MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR


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