Gear Love

Gear Love

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Kevin Fletcher

A couple years ago, my friend Darren and I figured the best way for us to climb and ski Gallatin Peak in May—without getting caught on the mountain too late in the day—would be to drive to the trailhead the night before, wake up at 3am, and start skinning. It hasn’t occurred to me until now that I wore my Cloudveil softshell for 26 hours straight on that trip. First, I wore it to work and did not bother taking it off because, in my opinion and the opinion of others, it is somewhat fashionable and is light enough to be comfortable on a sunny but cool spring day. After work, I kept it on and went with my family to get some groceries and find a movie. I took it off briefly to change my t-shirt to poly as I prepared for Gallatin Peak, but then I drove to the trailhead that night and kept it on as I slept, climbed, and skied Gallatin peak.

When people have to explain their love for a certain piece of gear, they often blather on and on about how versatile it is, how well it performs, how protective it is, how well it packs, etc. That's how it is for me and my Cloudveil softshell. It breathes great and I can wear it for different activities, including running, kayaking, hiking, and, most notably, backcountry skiing. But how well does it pack? I don’t really know. I can’t remember the last time it was in my pack—it just doesn’t feel right in there.

Got a garment or piece of gear you can’t live without? Send your story to [email protected]; best tribute wins a review of gear or apparel for a subsequent issue.

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