We covered the best 2014 outerwear for ultimate warmth in part 1 and explained some of the best pant/jacket options for warmth out of the box. In part 2 of our 2014 outerwear series we are highlighting some of the best outerwear for ultimate versatility in all conditions from the frigid cold to those warm spring days.
The key with all of these picks is layering to the weather conditions. For example, a Gore-Tex shell can be just as warm as a 100g+ insulated jacket if using the right base layers and fleece. On the flip side, the lightweight and top-notch water proofing will keep you dry on those slushy warm spring days. So here we go, the best 2014 outerwear for ultimate versatility…
For the Guys
Volcom L Gore-Tex Jacket
One of the toughest jackets that Volcom makes, the L Gore Tex Jacket, is built to withstand the worst that Mother Nature has to offer. This 2-layer Gore Tex outer can handle wet snow, harsh winds and slicing through tree runs – like a boss. With fully taped seams and a breathable lining system, you will stay dry inside and out. Just keep in mind that this jacket is a shell and depending on the conditions, you may want an additional layer underneath. Other features include pit zips for easy cool down, fleece lined pockets to keep your hands warm and helmet-friendly hood adjustments.
Volcom L Gore-Tex Pant
Another great Gore option from Volcom is the L Gore-Tex Pant. This modern yet relaxed fit pant has a super clean look and is ready to go up against the toughest conditions you can find. This shell pant will keep you dry – even down to the waterproof zippers – so for waist deep powder days, there is no other pant you need. Other features include an adjustable waist band so you can find the perfect fit, hand warmer pockets and a jacket to pant zip interface that allows you to zip your Volcom jacket right to your pants, creating a barrier from wind gusts and snow drifts.
Burton AK 2L Cyclic Jacket
The AK part of the Burton AK 2L Cyclic Jacket stands for Alaska – so that should give you an idea of what we are working with. The entire AK line is made up of Burton’s toughest, most technically advanced and clean styled pieces – made for the roughest days on and off the mountain. No big logos, no silly features, just tough-as-nails outerwear. This jacket is no exception. This is another shell option but again, with the right layer underneath, this jacket can handle single digit temps with ease. The outer shell is a 2-layer Gore-Tex fully sealed with Gore-Seal, the inner is mapped with engineered taffeta and closed cell mesh for zonal warmth and over all breathability. Waterproof, down to the zippers, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Burton AK 2L Cyclic Pant
Knee-deep powder, gusting winds and bitter temps? The only thing you want protecting your lower half is the Burton AK 2L Cyclic Pant. This 2-layer Gore pant will not only cut the wind before it hits your legs but also vows to keep you completely dry no matter what. For the bitter cold days, we recommend a heavy weight first layer underneath, like the Burton Expedition Pant, to keep you nice and cozy on the inside while the pant protects you on the outside.
Burton Latitude Jacket
For a tough jacket with a ton style, look no further than the Burton Latitude Jacket. This 2L Dryride shell jacket will keep the wind and water out and let you insulate as needed on the inside. With a 10K waterproof rating and critically taped seams, this shell will give you everything you need to keep Mother Nature out and you are free to customize your warmth on the inside based on the conditions that day. For frigid temps, rally your burliest fleece – for bluebird spring days, let the Latitude Jacket get the job done all by itself.
Burton 2L Gore-Tex Murdoc Pant
Hippy on the inside and back country rider on the outside – the Burton 2L Gore-Tex Murdoc Pant is an eco friendly way to stay warm and extra dry this shred season. With a tough outer 2-layer Gore shell and Gore Seam seal, these pants will cut the wind like a knife and keep the snow and moisture out no matter what. Inside is a cozy zonal mapped lining made of recycled materials and venting galore for warmer days on the mountain. This lining is not considered insulation so layer appropriately for colder days!
Analog Shoreditch Jacket
Another great, versatile shell on our list is the Analog Shoreditch Jacket. Perfect for warmer temps on it’s own or ready for layers for colder days, the Shoreditch Jacket is the only jacket you need for this winter season. With a 2-layer shell and 10K waterproof and breathability rating, it will block out the wind and water when it needs to. This jacket offers great breathability so you don’t overheat on warmer days and can be layered with your favorite fleece for those single-digit days on the mountain. Another added bonus? The powder skirt is removable so if you are wearing this as a city jacket, you can loose the bulk.
Volcom V-Bird Gore-Tex Pant
Volcom went big with their Gore lineup this year and the V-Bird Gore-Tex Pant is definitely making our list. Everything you would expect from a pairing like Volcom and Gore-Tex, style for days while keeping you absolutely dry and ready for the toughest days on the mountain. This shell pant with its 2-layer Gore outer is going to be a tough-as-nails first line of defense against the elements. Cutting the wind and completely blocking out any moisture will help trap all that cozy body heat of yours inside for a super warm pair of pants. And don’t worry, these pants are fully equipped with vents, just in case you get a little too toasty.
For the Girls
Burton TWC Wanderlust Jacket
For the lady looking for a versatile jacket for this winter, on the top of our list is the Burton TWC Wanderlust Jacket. With just a little insulation (40 grams to be exact), this jacket can survive on it’s own on the warmer winter days but can be layered with your favorite tech fleece for the chillier days on the mountain. With a removable fur hood and longer length, this jacket also a favorite for around town wear. 10K waterproofing will keep you dry, pit zips will help you cool down quickly and the removable powder skirt gets rid of the bulk for when you don’t need it.
Volcom Elkford Pant
My personal favorite as far as pants go this season, is the the Volcom Elkford Pant. Killer style mixed with some serious tech equals one bad ass pair of pants. These pants may not be insulated but thanks to the beefy 2-layer outer shell and hefty 15k waterproof rating, these pants are guaranteed to keep you dry and cut that harsh wind before it hits your bones. With the right layer underneath, these pants can handle anything. Some other key features include mesh lined zippered vents, an adjustable inner waistband and adjustable / removable knee pads.
Burton x LAMB Anorak Snow Jacket
Our favorite in the Burton x LAMB collection by far is the Anorak Jacket. Not only is this arguably the most stylish piece in the collection, it also happens to be the most versatile. With a lightweight 40 gram insulation, this anorak is perfect for your average day on or off the mountain. Stylish enough for city wear but tech enough for hitting the mountain, we have found the world’s most perfect jacket! Fully taped seams with 10K waterproofing, a removable powder skirt and super low bulk 3M Thinsulate insulation.
Burton Indulgence Pant
I picked up a pair of the Burton Indulgence Pant last season and can testify to their awesomeness. This perfectly slim fitting, super stylish pant can work for any condition. All you need is the smarts to layer properly and you are good to go! This 2-layer 10K shell pant can handle just about any conditions that Mother Nature has up her sleeve, just add lightweight first layer for the average winter day and fleece weight for everything else. Fully equipped with leg vents for quick cool downs and boot gaiters that will keep the snow where it belongs – outside of your pants.
Roxy Spring Break Snow Pant
Definitely not just for use during spring conditions, the Roxy Spring Break Pant will keep you feeling cool on the warmer days and nice and toasty on the cooler ones too. Thanks to the 10K waterproof rating and fully taped seams – you can make these pants a ton warmer just by adding the right layer underneath. Grab your toughest fleece weight first layer pants and you are ready for January’s worst. The tough 2-layer fabric keeps the wind where it belongs but the leg vents are there in case you’ve got a nice warm sunny day on your hands. No need for more than one pair of pants this season – buy one that can do it all!
Hopefully our little list gives you some good ideas for your new outerwear kit this winter. Remember, just because a jacket or pant is not packed with insulation – doesn’t mean it can’t be warm! For a little more information on how to layer properly, check out this tech article on Understanding Base Layers.