Mountain Hardwear Torch Jacket (men's) : Fits Like a Glove
Read about the Torch jacket and other trail jackets in our archives...more.


Sierra Designs Chockstone Jacket : Beware the Winds of March

Sierra Designs' Chockstone jacket is so light, soft, and warm that the first time I tried it on I was filled with regret. I couldn't stop thinking about how perfect this ultra lightweight jacket would have been for expeditions past.

The thumb loops on the jacket would have kept snow and ice from creeping up my sleeves while ice climbing in the Adirondacks. Because it consumes so little room in my pack (it stuffs into its own zippered pocket), I could have taken it on my climb up Alaska's Mt. McKinley a few years ago. The synthetic Primaloft One insulation stays warm even when wet, so the jacket would have been fine company on those brutally cold mornings on the Missouri River as I paddled from Montana to Chicago. The attached hood makes thermo regulation an easy task--if only I'd had it that chilly autumn morning in the Shawungunks when I stood hopping in place as I belayed my partner. I could have also used it as a camp pillow!  So smooth, so fluffy; it's a huge improvement over my usual stuff sack crammed with clothes.

Luckily, March in New York City has been cold, raw, and windy, so my paprika-colored Chockstone has been getting ample playing time. The sidewalks of Brooklyn aren't as challenging as the snowfields of Mt. McKinley, but still, I want the right protection. Temperatures hovered around freezing yesterday morning when I walked my frisky mutt to the coffee shop. Rounding the building on the corner, I stepped into a stiff northwest wind that brought tears to my eyes. I leaned slightly forward, slipped my thumbs into the Lycra bound loops and secured the fluffy hood tightly around my baseball cap. "Oh yes," I thought.   I made it to the shop, stepped inside and my ears were immediately assaulted by the stark sounds of Five Finger Death. I tightened the hood a bit more and felt as fortified as a I did half way up the classic Adirondack ice climb, "Trap Dyke". Sweet.

Available in men's and women's styles.

Bottom Line : Warm and impressively light, this versatile jacket has an insulating hood, a large chest pocket and two zippered hand pockets, as well as an internal mesh pocket to store gear, snacks, an iPod, trail map, etc.--J.G. (April '08)

Price : $160.00


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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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