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.

Powder - - 2019 AP­PAREL GUIDE -

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

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