Apparel of the Year
Who decides? The Powder Order of Sartorial Splendor and Excellence, or POSSE, is made up of 16 real skiers from across the country. These are their top picks.
The Hemispheres kit features a new material, called Gore-tex Fabric with Stretch Technology, in strategic locations. The black material is a rippling, supple fabric you’d expect to see in a yoga studio that stretches smooth with little effort. Unlike the first pair of sensuous stretch pants introduced to the world by Willy Bogner in 1952, the stretch Gore-tex in the Hemispheres Bib is found around the lower back, at the waist, and in the crotch. On the jacket, a narrow stretch panel spans from under the arms, across the back and shoulders, and extends around the middle of the hood. Combined, this kit offered the POSSE an increased range of motion through hikes up Honeycomb Ridge, 3 o’clock bump-offs, and midnight ski tours, without sacrificing the durable waterproofing and breathability Gore-tex is known for. “It passed the spread eagle test,” said Caitlin Kelly, one of the four women ranging from 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall who fit comfortably in a medium bib. “It’s flattering and very flexible and easy to move in. This is great material—i feel like they’re barely there when I’m skiing.” The jacket’s pocket placement—designed to accommodate a harness or pack belt—had universal appeal, as did the helmet-compatible hood with a wire brim halo to keep the field of vision open when storm skiing. On warmer days, skiers can dump heat through the jacket’s unique venting zips that run vertical from the drawcord hem to the pits (something that took a few skiers a bit to get used to). Outer thigh vents on the bibs, which Utah photographer John Howland called his favorite piece of the week, also help to regulate body temps when touring. The women on the POSSE were ecstatic over the bib’s extra long side zip combined with stretch paneling that made going to the bathroom the easiest we’ve ever had it. The four-way stretch in both the jacket and bib allow for even more temperature control, thanks to comfortable layering under a tailored fit. Details like reinforced cuff guards, a beacon pocket, and a minimal weight—just over a pound each for the jacket and bib—make the Hemispheres kit fully equipped for skiing all terrain in any weather.
OUTDOOR RESEARCH Hemispheres Kit Women’s Jacket: $599Bib: $599
OUTDOOR RESEARCH Hemispheres Kit Men’s Jacket: $599Bib: $599