Given that I spent the day cycling through a heat advisory, it’s odd that I’m fixating on a Fall layering piece – the Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid. I first spotted the NPH in a Patagonia catalog – one of the last print catalogs worth browsing. As photographed, I love the NPH’s blend of fabric types: wind blocking primaloft above with with better venting fleece below. For real outdoor use, I prefer wool to fleece, but this garment – especially in what the catalog calls “paintbrush orange” – is a visual stunner. I’ve emailed Patagonia to request a version for women. I was told that a model is in the works for Fall 2013. Let’s hope they offer it in the same colorway as the gents. And if Patagonia is taking requests, they might consider offering the jacket with a two way zip for better fit and venting.
Check out the FYi Design blog to read about the development of the NPF and to see detailed views of the garment.
If you’re a devotee of wool, but you like the look of the Nano Puff Hybrid, track down one of the original Filson Outdoorsman sweaters knit from worsted wool with reinforced, waxed cotton shoulders.
by Tom Bonamici
I started rock climbing when I was a pup of 8, but I’m afraid that it was already the age of neon tights and other unfortunate synthetics. However, as I browsed the climbing section of the Eugene Public Library, I came across quite a range of alternative climbing garb. Himalayan Climber, by Doug Scott, was one of my favorite volumes. I’ve checked it out time and time again, and I’m always rendered speechless by this perfect image:
Not only does the climbing look great (easy, exposed, solid), but Mr. Scott’s outfit is really beyond compare. A few more shots from Himalayan Climber follow, as well as a few possibilities for archival mail-order from the 1972 Chouinard catalog.
Under certain circumstances, I’ll endorse the purchase of an outerwear garment made out of synthetic materials. My rule of thumb is that one must restrict oneself to plastic vests rather than jackets (less surface area to snag or ignite in flames). If I’m going to make the purchase, I’ll use the following synthetics selection criteria: item must be filled with real goose down (Western Mountaineering), item must make use of mile high, 100% polyester shag pile (Patagonia Retro X vest), or item must be made in the UK, be labeled a “waistcoat” and come with cartridge pockets (bonus: contrasting suede patches on the shoulders).
Here’s a photo showing a plastic vest (an old Barbour Keeperwear vest) in its proper context.