Chaco Hiking Shoes : Over the Hills, and Through the Woods
Read about these shoes and other trail products in our upcoming issues.

OR Ether Jacket : A Jacket for All Seasons

OR's Ether jacket is perfect for iffy spring days when you head off for a hike in the sun and return in a drizzle.

Although the Ether jacket is not waterproof, it is water resistant and has done an excellent job of keeping me dry on many drizzly walks and short hikes. This jacket is also surprisingly windproof and breathable. I like this jacket as an alternative to some of my bulkier waterproof jackets because it breathes better. I tend to get very hot and sweaty by the end of a hike, and it always seems like the return hike is walking into the wind. The Ether jacket protects my clammy skin from the wind so my body temperature doesn't get too high or too low.

I also appreciate the lightweight construction, the slim fit, and the stretch panels located on the torso and sleeves. I feel like I have more mobility for active pursuits like running or biking than I would with a heavier, stiffer jacket. It's also easy to cram into a backpack or tie around my waist when not in use.

On cold days, the Ether is ideal as a top layer over a merino wool shirt for snowshoeing or winter biking. Lately, I've been wearing mine a lot just over a t-shirt for short hikes when it's just a bit too cold for short sleeves.

Bottom Line: This great-looking jacket has become a favorite--for hikes and for walking around town. It's available in three colors, in men's and women's sizes.

Price: $89

Manufacturer's Site:

BUY ONLINE : 88x31 REI Logo,

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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