Patagonia Wool 1 Tee : For Men and Women

"I loved how light and airy it is. The Merino wool wicks away moisture like a champ, and it's super light and soft"... more.

 

Helly Hansen Barrier Softshell Hoodie : Decades of Norwegian Technology Stand Behind It

I've always been fond of alliteration. When I was a kid one of my favorites was: Hi Harry! How's Hank? Have a Happy Hanukah!  

I'm also a fan of hoodie's - they're comfortable, versatile, and perfect for paddlers like me who log lots of time by the windy water's edge. So it only makes sense that I'd be partial to a hoodie by Helly Hansen.

Though I enjoy repeating the mellifluous name of the company's founding father every time I don the jacket, it's more informative to note that ever since Helly Juell Hansen fashioned his first (oilskin) waterproof jacket for fishing in the frigid conditions in Norway 132 years ago, the company has been producing innovative, high tech, performance apparel for work or play in the most rugged marine and alpine environments. They've got the gear for deep-sea survival suits to the latest in ski and snowboard outerwear. In short, I expect their products to be a cut above.

The Barrier Softshell Hoodie is.

This all-in-one jacket features cutting-edge materials like Lifa® Stay Dry Technology. It works well as a base layer or as a stand alone jacket. Packing for a recent two-week trip to the unmistakably non-Scandinavian locale of Hawaii, I chose the H.H. Barrier Softshell Hoodie as my one 'stay warm' garment. Soft, pliable, easy to shove in a back pack or tie around my waist, it fit the bill while I tried to doze (sans blanket) in the frigid cabin on the 10 hour and 44 minute flight from Newark, NJ.  

I also welcomed this garment's warmth on a 32-mile channel crossing from Oahu to Molokai and, again, when the wind picked up at sunset on a fishing excursion, and on countless paddles in between. It's also a great jacket on a chilly, rainy day when the temps hover in the 50's and 60s.

Available in men's S-XXL, three different colors.

Bottom Line :  Soft, lightweight, and versatile with a zippered chest pocket, this polyester hoodie it's ideal for hiking, back packing, mountain biking or spring skiing. The Barrier Softshell offers moisture management, and is surprisingly warm for it's weight and a trim athletic fit.--J.G. (June '09)

Price : $120.00; on sale at www.backcountry.com for $89.96

Manufacturer's Site: www.hellyhansen.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.