The arrival of sweater weather means it’s time to layer up, especially when adventuring outdoors. As the leaves turn, the days shorten and nights get colder, here’s what you’ll find me wearing and toting on our sweaty fall adventures.
KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody
Crisp weather doesn’t mean dusting off your winter coat – especially if you’re zipping into a KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody ($340.00). With the comfort of a hooded pullover and the warmth of down, it’s a cozy compromise of style and function. And stay with me, things are about to take a turn for the technical. The shell is made of Mikrotex™, a yoke overlay of TuffleX™ and 800-fill, RDS-certified goose down.
Our take: I had no idea something so lightweight could offer such low-bulk warmth. While heavy down jackets are notorious for their bulk, the contoured stitching means an identifiable waist. After testing the down-fill garment while hiking and biking, I was worried about laundering the jacket, but pleased to discover it's machine washable. Those living in wetter Canadian climates should note that the KÜHL Spyfire® Down Hoody is not waterproof, but water-repellent. Fits true to size.
Fjällräven Abisko Tights
Confession: I typically hike in Lululemon Wunder Unders. And honestly? They’re not bad. But they’re not technical tights, either.
My colleague and I jumped at the chance to sweat-test two styles of Fjällräven technical tights on a 26-km hike in Yosemite National Park: Abisko Trekking Tights ($190) and Abisko Trail Tights ($180). Both tights boast four-way stretch, low-profile flatlock seams, thigh pockets and a broad, high waistband. Both models were snug, fitting comfortably like a second skin. They’re thick enough to wear as pants yet suitable for layering beneath a waterproof shell.
Our take: If ordering online, I recommend ordering a size up as both models run a bit small. Trying to pick between the two styles? The Abisko Trekking Tights have a reinforced seat and knees which are practical for trails that involve a degree of scrambling or kneeling in rough or damp terrain. Well-rounded adventurers will do just fine in the lighter weight Abisko Trail Tights.
Fjällräven Ulvö Rolltop 23
On that same grueling 26-km hike in Yosemite National Park, I toted Fjällräven’s Ulvö Rolltop 23 ($165). The "23" denotes its size: 23 litres, which is exactly what you want for a day-hike or afternoon adventure. Not too big, not too small, just right. It's constructed of an award-winning material that Fjällräven developed called "Bergshell fabric." What does that mean? That this bag is abrasion-resistant and very waterproof.
Our take: I love the look of this roll-top pack with snap enclosure and the waterproof material combats the temperamental autumn rain that bridges the transition from summer sun to winter wet. Ulvö Rolltop 23's only downside? Apart from the two water bottle pockets, there's no other exterior pocket for say, a phone.
Taking everything they’ve learned since 1992, Buff developed Original Neckwear that uses 100% recycled microfiber. Where do they get it? Recycled PET plastic bottles. Not only is the material more eco-friendly, the fit is improved, too, with four-way stretch. But our favourite new feature is the UPF 50 sun protection.
Our take: Just like the original Original Neckware, the redesigned version is still seamless, dries quickly, offers great moisture management and functions as a headband, balaclava, hat or sweatband. Plus, how can I resist red plaid during a Canadian fall?