Isn’t it time to shed the boardshorts and sandals, at least for a few weeks? Likely so, and Active Junky testers turned their aversion to long sleeves and pant legs into some great finds. Look closer as their style and warmth might convince you.
Walls Men’s Duck Insulated Jacket: Buck up
Don’t stop because there’s mud on the truck, snow on the charcoal grill or the Subaru slid into a snowy ditch. Walls is the real deal, and Active Junky testers selected the Men’s Duck Insulated Jacket’s 6oz. polyfill insulation to say aloha to cold-start days. Ideal for charging the mountain to make first ups at your favorite ski area, the rigid 12oz duck is all cotton and all comfort. Of course, this one closes with a metal zipper and puts rib-knit cuffs on both sleeves. The lining is plush, the pockets deep and the hood easy to manage with cold or gloved hands (no mittens here). Stash your valuables in the interior pocket and get ready for the frost to hit the fan.
Best For: Turning trouble into opportunity, bad weather into beautiful solitude
Western Rise Elkton Flannel: Tamed, but only enough
Fierce winds and fireside storytelling are more friend than foe of this Western Rise shirt. Tailored for trimmer wearers rather than stouter outdoorsmen, testers valued the shirt’s clean lines as a refreshing update to baggier competitive styles. Ditto for the technical fabric anchored in two types of poly plus fine-gauge wool yarn. As a result, Elkton moves easily from inside to out. And might even fool the boss into thinking you cleaned up your act for work. But don’t worry – your secret’s safe behind well-sewn unbreakable buttons, a more compact collar and unpleated pockets that don’t promote overstuffing. A women’s version now is available, bringing the same soft hand that still wears like iron. But not the rusted kind.
Best For: Three-season use across work day and weekend wear plus ideal for minimalist travel
Duluth Trading Men’s Alaskan Hardgear Puffin Hooded Jacket: Insulated insurance
This water-resistant jacket is nearly implausible. With fabric that defied tester abuse (and only weighed in at 1.68oz/yard), the Puffin jacket is no fair-weather bird on your back. Although not caked with logos from well-known fabric, insulation and zipper companies, this nearly-stealth Duluth Trading jacket is a bulwark of purpose-built warmth that deserves to be on every man’s back during cold-weather drives, snow shoveling and trips to the woodpile. At not much over a hundred bucks, Active Junky rates it as a beast of a value replete with double-toggled hem, smooth-zippered pockets and a more contoured hood. Plenty of throat protection stands ready for icy winds and comes with a zero-degree rating during active wear. For crazy-warm protection, tuck the Kamishak Sweatshirt underneath and pull on Kamishak Midlayer Pants below.
Best For: Cold-weather utility, working and traveling outside in miserable conditions