Gear is our job. It streams into and out of our offices in an endless tide of boxes and couriers; it gets photographed and catalogued and crammed underneath desks until we have time to test it. We quantify it as best we can, to share its essence: good and bad, peccadilloes and superlatives. We even pick the 100 best pieces of gear every year. But to close things out this year, we asked each staff member to single out their favorite piece of gear that was new to 2015. We hope you enjoy our little love notes to the gear that made the biggest impact on our lives this year.
Despite being made of fleece, the Melanzana Micro Grid Hoodie succeeds as both a technical layer and as a lifestyle garment. Its secret? It’s incredibly well made — every hoodie is stitched by hand. Its no-frills design is also a winner. It has a technical hood and a big central pocket, all you need for most adventures. While polyester isn’t the most obvious choice for a technical layer, the hand-stitched fleece is incredibly comfortable and breathes like merino. I wear it backcountry skiing, running, and around town. It’s the perfect middle layer.
Weight: 12.2 ounces
Fabric: lightweight Polartec Micro Grid fleece (100 percent polyester)