Winter has arrived and temperatures are only set to plummet further. For some people, that's cause to be excited about. We checked in with outdoors enthusiast, influencer, and all-round tastemaker 114.Index to discover his favorite recent cold-weather gear and learn a thing or two about what's been going down over the past month in the great outdoors.
Gear of the Month
Arc’teryx Beta SV jacket
This absolute unit of a shell, which utilizes Gore's new GORE-TEX PRO fabric, is designed for seriously harsh conditions. The new "Distortion" color that Arc’Teryx has introduced for this season may be its best yet. It's suited to arid terrain yet equally at home halfway up a snow-capped mountain.
Klattermusen Skoll jacket
This is a piece also built for extremities, as evidenced by the cozy wool-polyamide fleece jacket that features Kevlar reinforcement on high abrasion areas. Klattermusen is completely fluorocarbon free in their production, with the Skoll being a perfect example. The deep and rich rust color provides an element of autumnal warmth in line with that of the wool itself. Ideal as insulation beneath a shell on a windy day, or as a comforting outer layer on that crisp morning walk to fetch coffee.
Nanga Takibi field pants
These are straight-fitting midweight pants with an integrated belt and reinforced knees. With ‘Takibi’ roughly translating to ‘Fire’ or ‘Bonfire’, Nanga has utilized high-density polythene with a degree of flame resistance. Note the pocket arrangement where the usual slash style on the front is repeated for the back two pockets as well.
On Cloudultra in "Olive/Eclipse"
This long-distance and ultra-cushioned trail running shoe looks as good as it performs. The Cloudultra makes use of a 2-layer mesh upper with an overlayed surrounding mudguard for protection against rough trails. These are quite possibly the nicest silhouette in On’s catalog, and this olive colorway works if you like to explore the outdoors or not.
MontBell Altiplano 30 pack
A minimalist, ergonomic daypack in white with optimal storage solutions in the way of pockets on each of the shoulder and waist straps. The Altiplano 30 takes its name from the Altiplano Plateau of South America – which spans parts of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. A rolltop closure and internal drysack provide a ridiculous degree of waterproofing.
You've surely been head of Adsum NYC by now. The Brooklyn-based independents take inspiration from their locale and the countryside of the Northeast US. Founded in 2015, they pride themselves on producing a unique array of quality manufactured clothing featuring elements of Americana, sportswear, and technical outerwear. This year, the outdoor environments of the great state of Maine on the east coast of the US serve as the basis of the collection theme for both SS and FW21, with many transitional autumnal colors mixed with some vibrancy that clings to the last days of summer slowly fading.
As usual, their silhouettes really scream Adsum. They do what they’re good at so well and it’s instantly recognizable as their garments. An honorable mention should go to their work shirts and sweatpants, both of which are constructed in some seriously heavyweight fabrics which feel fabulous next to the skin and wear incredibly well as they age.
Relative newcomers to the scene for mountaineering and climbing equipment, Montreal-based Ostrya takes immense pride in the fact their production happens locally, and when it can’t they use socially responsible means. Ostrya says their mission is to inspire through their products and content, which can be seen through the sponsorship of athletes in the climbing scene.
Posting recently on their Instagram account, the team poses together in the new FW21 Denali down parka which is made by hand – including the down stuffing – in the Montreal workshop. “Making everything ourselves in our Montreal workshop is like putting together a never-ending puzzle”, should let you know just how much effort this small company put into their products. The new collection is now available, it includes some big-hitting pieces to combat the cold. Have a gander at the lookbook too if you can, there’s some impeccable styling showing off their hard work.
The Style Corner
I've noticed a lot of hydration vests for running and hydration vest-style packs being worn recently. These super lightweight, snug-fitting backpack-vest hybrids can serve as an optimal style for someone who prefers to pack light for a day outdoors but equally for the urban commuter. The close fit accompanied by the mesh pockets on the shoulder straps provide optimal storage and easy access for mobile phones and keys. Brands such as the Antwerp-based Hyein Seo will soon release their own fashionable iteration for Spring/Summer 22, while the likes of Salomon will continue producing their strictly functional S/Lab vests.
Mountain caps, sometimes known as ear flap caps seem to be coming back in. Old school mountain brands like Lowe Alpine and RAB have some classic-looking styles. With Montbell bringing back their seasonal fleece iteration, the Climaplus 200 O.D. More modern, fashionable adaptations can be found from the likes of Stone Island or Nike ACG - both of which have cozy Sherpa-style linings and appear in a funky selection of colors.
Royal Ragzz is a tastefully curated and always handpicked vintage store that specializes in functional, technical clothing and sportswear, with a sprinkling of designer stuff.
Initially a bedroom project, owner and founder Charlie translates his personal style into the attitude of Royal Ragzz and recently opened a showroom and store in Bristol. From the ground up thrifting in charity shops, the seven-year journey of Royal Ragzz has established itself as one of the leading stockists of this kind of clothing. Looking through their IG feed you see a clear consistency in the style of both their product and product photography. Alongside this, Ragzz are always out on location shooting new editorials and putting in the effort to show off their stock.
Anotha Choppa focuses on interior design and architecture coming mostly from mid-century homes. This page rarely says much in terms of captions or information, a style of posting that has become more and more popular these days. Opting more to let the scenes of the immaculate apartments and villas do all the talking. Household name designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles & Ray Eames are integrated with an equal amount of content taken from individuals' own home accounts – people like A Start of Something. Vintage furniture and mid-century design as a whole is another subject seeing something of a boom at the moment out with IG, as much more people begin to invest in their own spaces - a definite effort to nurture the mind when stuck indoors as a result of the past year or so and global lockdowns.
I recently traveled to Wales for the first time with the intention of doing some wild camping around the area of the mountain Cader Idris. The summit of this mountain is known as the “top of the chair” and it lies at the southern end of Snowdonia National Park. This trip was a meet-up with other Instagrammers Advanced Rock, L.Holl, and Garry Flume but unfortunately for us, we were severely hindered by biblical rain. Luckily for us – and this probably saved the trip – we stumbled upon a cozy bothy tucked away in the thick pine forests.
A bothy, for those who don’t know, is a kind of wilderness refuge or shelter often found in remote locations – mostly mountains but sometimes in wooded areas like this one. They’re extremely common in Scotland, so much so there are tour companies who take groups on tours of the hard-to-reach ones.
We loaded up all of our kit into each of our Osprey packs, with all of my own inside an Exos 48 and the others’ inside their Aether 65’s. We then set off from the cars to find our would-be accommodation along the trails and then veering off-piste and into the trees. During these journeys to and from the cars over the next couple of days, we would thank ourselves for the invention of GORE-TEX hiking boots and each of our Arc’teryx Alpha AR shells.
In here, we took refuge for two nights from the driving rain outside the windows. Downstairs was jolly and cozy in front of the roaring wood-burning stove, cooking up some lovely mac and cheese in my Montbell Alpine Cooker pot set, drinking long into the night, and laughing at all the hilarious stories that were being bandied about among us. However, venturing up the dark stairs under the light of nothing but a Petzl head torch to fetch snacks or an extra layer brought us back to reality as the rain pummelled the roof of the bothy.
A great time was had by us all, and it was a much-needed couple of days with next to no phone service, allowing us to fully embrace the outdoor spaces we immersed ourselves in. A break in the weather gave us the perfect opportunity to explore in a pair of Salomon XT-Quest Hi hiking boots in a new area of the national park and find a huge 30 feet tall waterfall nestled amongst a vast expansive trail network at the bottom of a deep valley.