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Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket : Light as a Feather, Toasty Warm

In Seattle, late winter/early spring is characterized by gray, windy, damp days. Even when it's not raining the wind is so chilling that 50° feels more like 35°. Unless, of course, you're wearing Mountain Hardwear's Compressor Jacket.

Last month, on such a blustery day, I was waiting for a table outside a crowed restaurant with friends. While the wind ripped through their flimsy jackets and the damp day soaked into their bones, everyone was complaining about the cold. I, of course, was toasty warm in my Compressor Jacket (with just a thin short-sleeved shirt underneath.) While the jacket isn't advertised as waterproof, I have worn in it in constant drizzle and in light rain and it has always kept me dry and warm, even when wet.

I love this jacket because it's so warm, yet, at 12 ounces, is extremely lightweight. I can wear it alone in cold temps (down to freezing) and under a rain shell for extra weather protection on rainy Northwest days or on frigid Midwest days (Yes, I vacation in the Midwest in winter.) The Compressor jacket is designed for climbing and other back country activities, so it's ideal for slow-moving and start and stop activities. It's also entirely packable--it fits into my carry-bag and into the outside pocket of my daypack with ease.

The jacket comes with two zippered fleece-lined front pockets that have a built-in mitten in each. Sweet. There's also a zippered interior pocket for flat items and pull cords to adjust the tightness of the bottom hem. This jacket is available in four vibrant colors (light blue, avocado, red onion, and black, ) with black panels running along the sides of the jacket and under the sleeves. Also available in men's sizes.

Note on sizes: I'm usually a women's size L or men's size S in jackets. I tested a women's size M, and it fit perfectly. Women, you'll want to go down one size when ordering this jacket.

Bottom Line: I've always envied people who could wear down jackets--they look so puffy and warm--because I'm allergic to down. Thanks to the Compressor jacket's Prima-Loft insulation, I can get warmth, light weight, and compression I want in an insulating jacket. --E.D. (May 07)

Price: $165

BUY ONLINE : Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping,

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The first flashlight was invented in 1898. Joshua Lionel Cohen, original owner of the Eveready company developed the concept of using a battery to run a light bulb, which he shared with an Eveready salesman, Conrad Hubert. Hubert then turned the idea into a flashlight.

Source: "Invention of the Flashlight," by Mary Bellis, posted on

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