Here is a rundown on a bit of gear we got for our recent trip to Canada that we absolutely loved.
Kathmandu Epiq 600 Fill Down Jacket – $349.96
Wrap yourself in a blanket with this classic puffer just perfect for around town. Made of a recycled outer fabric, it allows the insulation to fully loft, which traps air and keeps you toasty without weighing you down. It also features internal stretch cuffs to comfortably seal around your wrists and an adjustable hem for extra weather protection.
- 600-fill power duck down (80% duck down, 20% duck feather)
- Duck down is Responsible Down Standard certified, which means it independently certifies animal welfare practices in down and feather production
- The Recycled Pertex™ Quantum Eco outer fabric has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish on the outer fabric which encourages water to bead off the fabric’s surface
- Two front zip pockets with soft, brushed lining, plus an inner stash pocket and inner zip pocket with a cord port for headphones
Unisex Khusi Beanie – $49.98
Each beanie is hand-knitted in Nepal and helps to improve the lives of the knitters who value their independence and the chance to use their traditional craft. Made from lambswool with fleece lining, its super warm and comfy and available at Kathmandu.
The reasons why we bought these for our Canada trip were several: they come highly recommended by the Kathmandu crew, who were extremely helpful when helping us select the right gear for our trip; they are the boot of choice for the team at Australia Zoo, who are on their feet all day and challenge the boot with all sorts of wear and tear; and it is a boot that is not only warm enough for the substantial negative climes in Canada, but also breathes so well you can still wear it back home on the Sunshine Coast. Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend this kind of money and only get to wear them on holidays.
Being warm and waterproof, you can march through the snow in these babies without a care, and if it is icy, they have good traction to avoid you going ass-over. Best of all, the boots look smart, so you can wear them around town without looking like you’re on a never-ending safari, AND they’re durable and super comfy.
- B-DRY waterproof, breathable membranes – your sweat escapes while moisture’s kept out
- O Fit Insoles™ – provide support and improve natural cushioning to your feet
- High friction outsoles – you’ll enjoy grip on both wet and dry surfaces
- BFit deluxe quality footbeds – supporting the arches of your feet
- Nubuck leather uppers – helping to keep your feet dry on long hikes
- Rubber toe caps – protecting your toes from roots, rocks and trail debris
- Supportive heel counters
- Deep trail gripping lugs – provide reliable traction and shed mud
XTM Merino Balaclava – $31.49
Why wear a balaclava? Simply, to protect your face from going numb when snowboarding in places like Canada where temps can drop down to -30 degrees, particularly when the wind blows. I swore I wouldn’t need one and didn’t want one but wore it more than few times. Our preference was for this one, made from 100%, 230gm Australian Merino Wool and pretty reasonably priced.
When it comes to natural fibres v synthetic, it is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like merino wool because of its warmth to weight ratio, it isn’t itchy and doesn’t get stinky like some synthetics can.
- Unisex, one size fits most
Pow Tallac Mit – $99.99
The jury is out in our opinion. Mittens are superior to gloves. And ones with the separate lobster claw inners are best. Why? They’re warmer, comfier, easier to get on and off, and… ‘the claw’ overcomes the setbacks of standard mittens by enabling you to still grip your snowboard bindings. Inners are best to dry your gloves and to simply put them on, and we recommend a little bit of extra length to stop the snow coming up your sleeve when you drawing those big powder turns. These ones by POW were crackers (pardon the pun… lobster claw. Sorry).
Featuring a premium Grade A water repellant goatskin leather palm, HIPORA® waterproof insert, premium anti-pill micro-fleece lining, PrimaLoft® Gold insulation and a removable fleece and quilted Softshell® trigger liner that allows this mitt to be used in full winter or spring conditions.
Kathmandu Alpine Trek Unisex Socks – $54.98
Our bit of strong advice based on previous mistakes – don’t go cheap on socks. These were the bomb. Some socks simply don’t cut it for warmth when you’re dealing with -15 temps and below. Some make you sweat, some make you itch and some just plain stink. These were superb and worthy of a double thumbs up. They contain Merino wool, have high stretch tops for minimal compression, arch support and are reinforced in high wear areas and cushioned for impact protection.