Gear Geek: Top Mid/Outer Layer Hybrids

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Gear Geek: Top Mid/Outer Layer Hybrids

About five years ago, the puffy jacket of old suddenly became a “sweater,” triggering an evolution of the stand-by insulation into a more streamlined design that became ubiquitous in every mountain town—and then anywhere that was cold. Beyond the trendiness, this happened for a good reason. The newer models rejected the Michelin Man puffiness, makin’ them downright stylish. And they’ve continued to evolve, as you’ll see with these seven picks. These new jackets boast stretch, hybrid construction (lots of hybrid construction!), and the ability to wear ‘em solo or under another layer. And, as with all things travel, versatility is key.

1.Patagonia Nano Air, $249; 2. Trew Kooshin, $199; 3.Mammut Trovat Pro, $179; 4. Black Diamond Black Forge Hybrid Hoodie, $249; 5. The North Face Thermoball Hybrid Hoodie, $180; 6. Arc’Teryx AR Hoody, $279; 7. Outdoor Research Deviator Hoodie, $185.

Photo: Andrew Vargas, CC-BY

Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).