Outfitted: Down for the Dead of Winter
These crisp January mornings are some of my favorite moments of the winter season. When the sun starts to peak upon the tip of Shadow Mountain in that alpine winter pink, I grab a cup of coffee, throw a jacket on my dog, Finch, and bundle up for a peaceful stroll around the neighborhood. In my opinion, this is Aspen at its best – quiet, no people, no drama and open to possibility. However, to fully enjoy this seemingly sacred time, I need to keep my core cozy. Here are some insulators I’ve been sporting on these chilly January mornings.
1. Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka
Mountain Hardwear’s Stretchdown line is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts for a reason. Pants, parkas and pullovers fill out an amazing selection of high quality 700-fill goose down insulation enclosed in durable, stretchy fabric. I like this parka in particular because it’s long enough to keep my bum and upper thighs covered, but still has plenty of freedom to move due to the stretch. A fully adjustable hood and two-way zipper add in some temp control options, and the fit is loose enough to add an extra vest or additional layers underneath. Available in women’s and men’s styles and colors. $325
2. Cotopaxi Fuego Series
Readers of this column may have noticed that I’m a bit obsessed with all things Cotopaxi. The Utah brand’s colors and styles inspired by the vibrancy of Latin America always seem to bring some extra joy and excitement to an occasionally boring and predictable selection in outdoor apparel. The Fuego line is no exception. I have the jacket and parka and never fail to get compliments when I wear them. With classic retro styling, this 800-fill responsibly sourced down line is surprisingly warm for its low profile. The jacket and the vest pack into an internal pocket so you can easily throw an extra layer into a pack for extra insulation on a summit or skin. Vest, jacket and parka styles and colors are available for both women and men. $150-290
3. Lolë Rose Packable Vegan Down Vest
For the eco-conscious, Montreal’s Lolë brand has a number of vegan down options. The Rose vest is insulated with their lightweight Loftech synthetic down that has the warmth and properties of natural down without the environmental impact concerns that many down shoppers may have. It’s light enough to mindlessly throw in a pack, but provides a warm jolt when you need it. This particular design is tailored to a feminine fit and transitions well to that post-adventure meet-up. Although there is no men’s version of this vest, Lolë does have a men’s vest available with the same vegan down technology. $145
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.