SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Women’s Gear Roundup: Nobis, KAVU and High Sierra

It’s eight degrees in the Colorado Rockies backcountry. The sun is nowhere to be found, nor is there luna-2an indication whether it’s noon or midnight. A sky full of haunting gray clouds stare down as the wind bellows through the aspen trees. We’re four miles in with one mile to go, where a small campfire, cabin and friends wait.

In conditions like these there’s nothing better than the perfect gear combination to keep you powering along. The first call-out goes to the Luna by Nobis. This coat is the ultimate defense against winter’s harshest conditions.

Engulfed in one inch of premium Canadian duck down and protected by 100 percent water- and wind-proof crosshatch shell, the elements don’t stand a chance against my winter armor. The removable hood is lined by stunning coyote fur, keeps my face protected from the thrashing wind.

The coat also boasts an extra tall, fleece-lined collar that’s zips up for partial facial coverage. Lining the waist and wrists are heavy elastic cuffs that function to keep moisture out and body heat in. All zippers and closures on this winter warrior are of the utmost quality. Pockets are aplenty and strategically placed for maximum storage with minimum bulk.

And this laundry list of features only scratches the surface. This is a true arctic treasure guaranteed to keep your core toasty warm in subzero conditions.

kavuKeeping my lower extremities warm, KAVU’s leggings provide what any outdoorswoman would want from a base layer. They’re fitted with enough elasticity to stay snug without feeling suffocated.

The material is thicker than most I’ve seen on the market, which is refreshingly functional. The patterns are cute and contemporary so they can be worn under waterproof layers or on their own. Regarding the thickness, these leggings can truly be worn alone. They are 100 percent opaque even at their maximum stretch. I found KAVU’s products to be incredibly cozy, heavyweight (not at all flimsy), and well designed to fit and flatter any shape.

Finally, no backpacking excursion is possible without a reliable bag.Accompanying us on this trip was the High Sierra Longshot Hydration Pack and the Classic 2 Series Summit 40W Frame Pack.

I was delightfully surprised with the amount of storage the Longshot offers. This is certainly not a

High Sierra Longshot

High Sierra Longshot

lightweight, hydration-only pack. Not only does it hold two liters of water, it has an additional three zipper compartments along with a handful of outer net pouches and buckle enclosures. We’re able to easily store our water as well as meals for four with plenty of room to spare.

The Summit is light enough to function for an overnight trip, but it certainly would accommodate several days worth of supplies. The zippers on this bag (as well as on the Longshot) are top-notch, as I’m quite particular about this detail.

Exterior compartments make for great accessibility with quick-grab items and the exterior straps and buckles work to accommodate just about anything from a sleeping bag to

High Sierra Classic 2 Summit

High Sierra Classic 2 Summit

snowshoes to ski poles. The aluminum framing is totally customizable to the individual’s build, meaning comfort is guaranteed.

The shoulder straps on both packs were comfortably padded so short- and long-distance adventures pose no threat. Both are also sealed with the same waterproofing to protect dry contents from the elements. High Sierra clearly takes their designs seriously and produces incredibly durable merchandise that is meant to last.

This winning arrangement of premium gear survived and thrived this particular trek, despite some winter curveballs. I highly recommend any of the above products to anyone from beginners and seasoned backcountry veterans.

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