Whether you are a seasoned backcountry skier, hiking to ski an untouched face or you are simply just starting to explore the backcountry in order to find a new adventure in mountains, one thing is for sure, your outerwear needs to stand up to the challenging conditions found in the backcountry. Here are a few brands who know what they’re doing when it comes to backcountry clothing, that we think you should look at when choosing your next jacket or pants.
One of the first things you will learn when starting out in the backcountry, is that your usual outerwear and layering system just will not cut it. Whether you are hiking in mid-thigh powder to ski some pillows or skinning up a mountain face to lay tracks to where no one else has, you will get a lot hotter than usual. This increase in heat and perspiration will in turn make you feel colder when skiing down.
Making sure your outerwear is both extremely waterproof and breathable is essential. Most backcountry jacket and pants will be full of additional features, when compared to your normal outerwear, such as zip ventilation, to help prevent overheating and the use of highly technological materials to protect you against stormy weather that you may encounter.
Arc’tery is a well-known brand for their high quality craftsmanship. Founded in 1989 by a Vancouver climber, the company has always had one goal; to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions. This ideology, along with a deep passion and understand of what a backcountry skier needs and why their products have to perform as they do, has seen Arc’teryx create some of the best backcountry dedicated outerwear.
The Arc’teryx Whiteline range is a new snowsports specific apparel, designed to maximise energy efficient layering systems and freedom of movement through carefully selected materials and considered design. With the whole collection constructed of Gore-Tex and filled with features such as Arc’teryx’s WaterTight external and pit zips to maximise waterproofness and breathability and laminated cuffs for reduced bulk to minimise catching and tearing when navigating challenging terrain, imperative to backcountry outerwear. The Arc’teryx Whiteline outerwear will keep you protected from all the elements the mountain will throw at you in your backcountry adventure.
The Swedish company Haglöfs offers hundreds of products, for a range of outdoor activities, designed with users in mind. Their designers are at heart of the company, all of whom, are outdoor enthusiasts and former professionals themselves, creating concepts based upon the needs of real users, for today and tomorrow.
Their outerwear collection has been tailored for the needs of backcountry tourers and mountaineers. Designed with some of the best materials found on the market, their products are soft to touch, yet rugged enough to withstand any terrain. Their Touring range offers a full outerwear solution, accompanied with a layering system. With two jacket options in the range, one for maximum movement using Haglöfs’ Proof 3.5L stretch fabric and another using Gore-Tex Active, for more breathability, the range meet the needs of any freerider. Outside of Haglöfs Touring range the Voitas and Khione jackets are great, hardwearing backcountry pieces constructed from Gore-Tex.
Since its birth in Åre, Sweden in 1986, Peak Performance has been redefining how we see skiwear. By combining functionality with style, Peak Performance have created some of the finest, technical outerwear within the ski and snowboard market. Peak Performance have rooted themselves within the freeride community, through sponsoring many significant athletes and events.
Peak Performance Heli range is designed for those serious freeriders, who push their boundaries. The collection has multiple jackets and pants that come in a range of different Gore-Tex materials, keeping you extremely dry and breathable when hiking or charging down a face. The outerwear has a horde of valuable features that allows you to reach you peak in the backcountry.
The fourth generation, Norwegian family owned company, Norrøna, is steeped in creating quality products that are designed for function and suited for outdoor adventure. Norrøna has been at the forefront of innovative outerwear, they were the first company to realise a Gore-Tex jack within Europe.
With jackets named after some of Norways most untouched mountain areas, such as Loften, known for its backcountry touring, it is no surprise that Norrøna outwear is geared towards backcountry tourers and mountaineers.
The Norrøna outerwear is some of the most technical around, constructed from Gore-Tex Pro, accompanied by underarm vents the jackets are incredibly breathable for those long mid-day hikes. Yet reliable enough to stand up to the worst of storms, with water resistant zippers and a wire brimmed storm hood.