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Mountain Hardwear Bedlam Vest : A Fall Essential

I was going to say that I love the simplicity and versatility of Mountain Hardwear's Bedlam vest, but I just started thinking of it's many thoughtful features. I guess appearances can be deceiving - in a good way!

I picked the Bedlam vest because I liked the thinness and the grid pattern of the fleece material. I wanted a vest that wouldn't be bulky under a rain shell. I also wanted a vest I could wear over a wool top and wind jacket for dry but cold fall and winter days. Finally, I chose this vest because it was long enough for me. The Bedlam is a men's vest, but as an almost six-foot tall woman, I sometimes have better luck with men's gear.

The Bedlam has large zippered front pockets; the backside of the pockets (i.e., the part inside the vest) is made out of mesh to keep the vest lightweight. I can stash my wallet and cell phone and a snack for an afternoon out or a short outdoor outing in them, and still have room for flat items in the lengthy pouches formed by the mesh. The chest pocket is ideal for my driver's license and a credit card. I suppose some might use it for a cell phone, but I already have enough on my chest!

I really appreciate that the inside hem of the vest has toggles to cinch up the hem when I feel like I need some extra protection from the cold. Another detail I like - the super soft micro chamois material used to line the collar. When I zip it up, the collar stands up straight and does an excellent job of protecting my neck from the cold.

I didn't realize until I read about the vest on the Mountain Hardwear site that the black contrast shoulder strips aren't just decorate. They're made out of a tough nylon material that's used to withstand the wear and tear of my backpack's shoulder straps.

Available in SM-XXL; colors - Dark Adobe, Khaki, Grasshopper, Titanium, and Sapphire.

Bottom LIne: I love this lightweight vest.--E.D. (Nov 09)

BUY ONLINE : $100, click to shop at altrec.com

Manufacturer's Site: www.mountainhardwear.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.



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