Outdoor Apparel

Technical Outerwear | Yoga | Running | Casual Wear

Our apparel department is stocked with the best brands from around the world. We have technical outerwear, active-wear, and casual clothing for men, women, and children. We can outfit you for just about every adventurous activity that you have planned. We also carry many styles of casual clothing from top brands like Patagonia, Arc'Teryx, and The North Face. Come in today and see what we have to offer.

Ski Weekend Checklist

01/01/2020

From skiing, all day to warming up by the fire at night, packing for a ski trip means lots of layers. Here is a complete list to help you start the daunting task. 

Pack it all in, The North Face Duffle (Large) can fit everything from your helmet to your ski boots, all in one bag. If you're looking for more organization, the Transpack Compact Pro, has specific side pockets to store your ski boots and a large inside pocket for your helmet, and clothes. 

Tip 1:" When packing up your boots make sure they are always buckled to keep the plastic from expanding when the temperature changes." 

This is a full list of everything you will need for a weekend ski trip, staying two days and two nights. Starting at the base layer and outward:  

  • Comfortable Underwear
  • Baselayer bottoms 
  • Baselayer tops 
  • Mid Layer 
  • Ski Socks
  • Ski Pants
  • Glove Liners
  • Gloves
  • Hand Warmers

Tip 2: "Baselayers and Mid layers should always be synthetic (nylon) or wool fibers, NEVER use cotton. Cotton does not wick moisture away from your body and will not insulate when wet. Wool and synthetics help move moisture away, and they will continue to keep you warm when wet. Choosing wool over cotton will keep you warm and comfortable all day long."

  • Insulated Jacket or Shell
  • Turtle/Neck Warmer 
  • Scarf/ Face Mask 
  • Hat

Tip 3: "Wear an Insulated jacket below 20ºF, so you don't have to wear heavy underlayers. Wear a Shell jacket when you are expecting warm temps, heavy precip, or large temp swings."

  • Helmet
  • Goggles

Tip 4: "Storing your goggles inside your helmet, in your bag can protect them from damage or being scratched." 

  • Headphones
  • Hair ties
  • Lip Balm
  • Slippers
  • Winter Boots
  • Ski Boots

Tip 5: "Drive up with your boots in your car to keep them warm before skiing and bring them inside over night. If possible put your boots on inside the lodge to avoid walking on sidewalks and damaging your soles." 

  • Skis
  • Poles
  • PJs
  • Jeans - for going out to dinner, PLEASE don't ski in jeans...
  • Sweatshirt for relaxing in.
  • Bathing Suit for the hot tub/pool/pond skim 
  • Shower Essentials
  • Snacks
  • Water Bottles
  • Beer

Tip 6: "Throw your beer in the truck bed so by the time you get to the mountain it is chilled and you're all-set to relax. But don't leave it outside overnight!"

Winter Warmth

01/01/2020


Everyone has a different approach to winter. Some of us live for snow and like to spend all day at the mountain, while others are more interested in staying warm inside and waiting for summer to return. No matter how you do winter, everyone can agree that there's nothing better than curling up by the fire at the end of a long day and getting comfortable and warm with family and friends. While we may be Fairfield County's top pick for adventure gear, we are also experts in comfort. In addition to all the equipment you need to fuel your adrenaline out on the mountain, we also have your apres-ski gear to hunker down and relax at the end of a chilly winter day... or for the entire day! 


Men's Slippers

mens slippers


Women's Slippers

women slippers


Men's Apparel

mens apparel



Women's Apparel
women apparel


Blankets

blankets

Woolrich Blankets, $119 - $198

 

Layer Up

07/02/2019


Whether you are skiing, mountaineering, or just venturing outside on a winter day, it's important to layer properly and wear the right fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable. You never know when you may need to shed a layer (or add one!), and it's very important to have that option. Furthermore, the fabrics that you choose to wear have a huge impact on your comfort and safety, especially if you will be facing the elements. Read on to learn about some of the products we recommend for staying comfortable throughout all the conditions of the coming season.


Base Layer
While we love a good cotton shirt, it is never a good idea to wear this material when trying to stay warm. Cotton holds moisture to your skin and will end up making you colder. Wool and synthetics make the best base layers. Merino wool is breathable and dry and will hold up to a third its weight in moisture before it even starts to feel wet. Wool is also odor resistant, and unlike the itchy wool of the past, merino wool is soft and comfortable against your skin. Synthetics, such as polypropylene and nylon, are specially designed to be moisture wicking, fast drying, and to retain heat.

m2

Base Layer: Patagonia Capilene MW Zip Neck
Vest: The North Face Thermoball Vest
Insulated jacket: Salomon Brilliant Jacket


Mid-Layers
Mid-layers are made from a wide variety of different materials. Many fleece pieces are great as mid-layers--check out our favorite fleeces and see which ones we recommend for skiing. Fleece, down or synthetic insulation will trap your body heat from escaping into the cold air around you. Fleece and synthetic insulated jackets have the added benefit of keeping you warm even if they get wet, while down has the advantage of being super packable and light. The best part about mid-layers is how versatile they are, as they can also be used as light outerwear in the fall or on warmer winter days.

w2

Base Layer: Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Crew LA
Mid-Layer: Patagonia R3 Hoody
Insulated Jacket: Obermeyer Leighton Jacket


Shells
A hard shell will be windproof and waterproof, acting as an important layering piece and allowing you to dress for the temperature underneath and utilize the shell mainly as protection against the weather. Shells are an important layering piece because you can dress for the temperature underneath and then utilize the shell mainly as protection against the weather. Goretex is the top name-brand material used by our brands in waterproofing; it's a durable membrane that can adhere to a fabric to make it wind- and waterproof.

m1

Base Layer: Icebreaker Oasis LS Crew
Mid-Layer: Patagonia Nano-Air Hoodie
Shell: Arc'teryx Tantalus Jacket



Insulated Jackets
Many ski jackets and general winter coats are insulated, offering a ton of warmth all on their own. They can be worn with just a base layer underneath, or a base and mid-layer for additional warmth and layering options. Lots of insulsted jackets are waterproof. Insulated coats are a combination of a mid-layer and shell together. While they aren't as versatile in temperature ranges as layering with a mid-layer and shell, it is very easy to grab only one coat and stay warm and dry on your winter outing.   

w1

Base layer: Hot Chilly's MEC Crew Neck
Vest: Ibex Shak Vest
Insulated jacket: Bogner Fire+Ice Lela-D Jacket



Vests
Sometimes a base layer can be enough to wear underneath your insulated jacket, but other times you'll feel that you need a little something extra without adding an entire mid-layer to the mix. This is where vests come in, allowing you to keep your core nice and warm without adding too much extra bulk.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About Gore-Tex

06/01/2019


Gore-Tex is one of the most effective waterproof membranes on the market and was actually the first truely waterproof and breathable fabric when the first Gore-Tex jacket came out in 1977. To this day, it is a household name in the outdoor industry and for good reason. Gore-Tex continues to be a leading supplier of innovative, waterproof/breathable membranes that work extremely well. 

 


What is Gore-Tex


Gore-Tex is a fabric made up of multiple layers designed to work together to keep you dry while offering good breathability so you don't overheat. Gore-Tex fabrics are made by laminating a ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane to a high-performance face fabric. Only the membrane is actually made by W.L. Gore, not the face fabrics. W.L. Gore has very high standards; any textile is subject to an array of tests before they decide if it is good enough. W.L. Gore does all bonding of the membranes and linings to the face fabrics.

Membrane_Comparison


There are three different types of Gore-Tex fabrics: Gore-Tex Pro, Gore-Tex Active, and Gore-Tex. Garments engineered with Gore-Tex Pro fabrics are built for maximized ruggedness and are ideal for extreme and extended use. Garments engineered with Gore-Tex Active fabrics are built for extreme breathability and are ideal for highly aerobic, done-in-a-day activities. Garments engineered with Gore-Tex fabric are durably waterproof and windproof, combined with optimized breathability-enduring products that maximize protection and comfort for the wearer.


Multiple fabrics and construction methods include insulated, non-insulated, 2-Layer, 3-Layer, and Z-Liner. 2-Layer Construction is deal for a wide range of outdoor activities, with this construction a Gore-Tex membrane is bonded to the outer fabric only. This construction can be combined with insulation, keeping the wearer dry and warm. Gore-Tex Pro and Gore-Tex Active use a 3-layer construction, unlike the 2-layer construction, this construction bonds the Gore-Tex membrane to both the outer fabric and the inner lining. The benefit: no movement between the layers, which means less wear and tear, and enhanced durability.


Even if two jackets use the same type of Gore membrane and liner, manufacturers get to choose from different face fabrics. The face fabric, as the outermost layer of a hardshell garment, plays a fundamental role in its overall performance, specifically in its durability, breathability and water shedding. Different deniers, intricate weaves, resilient yarns, and advanced DWR treatments drastically increase the face fabric's price. This is one of many reasons why hardshells from Arc'teryx, like the Alpha SV, are more expensive than hardshells like the L.L. Bean Ascent even though both use the Gore-Tex Pro membrane. 

Membrane_Comparison2


The Membrane


The extremely thin ePTFE membrane is the heart of Gore-Tex fabrics and what makes it durably waterproof, windproof, and breathable. One square inch of the membrane has over 9 billion pores. The amazing part is that these pores are actually 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, but 700 times larger that a water vapor molecule. That is what makes the Gore-Tex membrane functionally waterproof, while at the same time allowing perspiration to escape from the inside. All Gore-Tex membranes except for Gore-Tex Pro have an oleophobic (oil-hating) later of very thin Polyurethane on the inside to protect the pores from sweat and body oils that can clog them. Unlike all other Gore-Tex membranes, Gore-Tex Pro uses a 100% ePTFE membrane with two thin layers of ePTFE laminate sandwiching a very thin band of ePTFE with a different microstructure instead of the PU layer and offers up to 28% more breathability because of it.

Membrane_Microscope


Seam Sealing


Seams are necessary when building Gore-Tex garments, which is unfortunate because they compromise the waterproofness of the fabric. For a garment to be waterproof it must be entirely sealed. That's why for durable waterproofness Gore-Tex products rely on Gore-Seam tape applied by specially trained manufacturers in certified factories. This is done on W.L. Gore's proprietary seam sealing machinery, and random samples have to be given to W.L. Gore for testing throughout a product's production run. 


Gore-Tex Product Testing


Another thing that differentiates Gore-Tex from its competition is the company's role in the design and construction of every garment that bares its name. Any company that uses Gore-Tex is required to use W.L. Gore-certified factories and machinery. The fabric maker is also closely involved in the design and production processes. Every product must adhere to specific, often controlling, standards set by W.L. Gore. If a company wants to make jacket with Gore-Tex they have to adhere to every step of the process. W.L. Gore first sends the company material samples and the company designs and assembles the jacket. Then W.L. Gore has to approve the jackets style. They analyzes things like zippers, seam tape, hood design, wrist closures, etc. (For example, all Active Shell products must have a trim fit, few pockets or mesh lined pockets, as little seam tape as possible, and must weigh under 14 oz.) After style approval Gore subjects the jacket to rigorous water resistance, wind resistance, and durability testing.

Martindale_Test


Before any new Gore-Tex garment style is put into production it must pass the Gore lab style approval testing. This sophisticated outerwear testing facility is designed to simulate a variety of rain conditions. Using specially engineered rain nozzles strategically positioned in the chamber, we are able to test a garment's waterproof design in conditions that range from light drizzle to wind-driven rain. Then in the Martindale Test, wool or sandpaper is used to rub the fabric over and over again with considerable pressure. Depending on how tough the fabric needs to be, this vigorous rubbing can continue non-stop for hours … or even days. Then in the Cold Flex Test, Gore-Tex fabrics are squashed and stretched repeatedly in extreme temperatures for hours on end. The fabrics must survive this punishing test and emerge still durably waterproof. If at any point the product doesn't hold up to the high Gore-Tex standards, it is sent back to the drawing board. If the jacket meets all qualifications, Gore gives the go-ahead for production.  This incredibly costly and time consuming system has a dramatic end result for the consumer: there are no bad Gore-Tex products.

Rain_Room


Guaranteed to Keep You Dry


On top of all that, all Gore-Tex products come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with the waterproofness, windproofness, or breathability of your Gore-Tex product, then Gore-Tex will repair it, replace it, or refund your purchase price. No matter which manufacturer makes the product, if it has the Gore-Tex label on it, it is certified to be durably waterproof, windproof and breathable for its intended use. No other waterproof breathable manufacturer offers the same warranty.

DWR 

What Makes Down Nature's Best Insulator

03/01/2019


Down is an amazing insulator. You simply cannot get a warmer insulator that packs well, keeps the weight low, and has tremendous longevity. Whether used in outerwear, sleeping bags, or bedding, down is the best at keeping you warm.


When talking about down one of the most important factors to consider is fill power, and fill power is the most commonly misunderstood purchase decision factor. Usually the manufacturer will advertise a "fill power" of 650, 700, 850, etc.   Fill power is the measurement of loft that down provides. So, the numbers that manufacturers use are a reference to the quality of the down insulation used.

Down_Fill


Fill power is measured by volume; the amount of cubic inches one ounce of down occupies when compressed will determine the rating of the garment. One ounce of down is placed in a graduated cylinder, then a weighted disk is placed on top of the down. Once the disk settles, the compressed volume, measured in cubic inches, is the fill power. For example, one ounce of 850 fill power down will occupy 850 cubic inches when compressed.

Down_Fill Power


Higher fill down is higher quality because it is loftier. A fill of 850 down will be warmer for its weight than 650 fill down. If two jackets have the same amount of down, but one has a higher fill power, such as 850 versus 650, the jacket with 850 fill down will be loftier, and thus warmer. That is why high-end light down jackets usually have higher fill power down, it allows the jacket to be very warm but very light. A common misconception is that a jacket with a high fill power number is, therefore, warmer than a jacket with a lower fill power, which comes down to the fill weight as well as the fill power. When comparing down jackets, the jacket with the most loft is going to be the warmest regardless of fill power.

 

Down_Bails