Goldwin, the Japanese gear brand best-known for crafting some of the most style-forward performance pieces available, is inseparable from the outdoors. The brand got its start in 1950 in Japan's Toyama Prefecture, and ever since has been the first name in uncompromising ski and outdoor gear. It has crafted ski suits for the Swedish National Ski Team, the British Alpine Ski National Team and has also worked behind the scenes pushing fabric technology for some of the most famous outdoor brands on the market.

Without question, Goldwin has captivated the minds and hearts of countless outdoor professionals the world over — including media professionals Tanner Bowden and Alex Rakestraw. Both Bowden and Rakestraw have had the opportunity to test Goldwin's apparel in challenging conditions throughout their many adventures, and back its unique blend of style and performance. We caught up with each of them for hikes on the Northeast's tallest peaks to test Goldwin's new Fly Air Jacket and Pullover, pick their brains about their respective goals for winter, and see how their summer training prepares them for what's ahead.

Goldwin GORE-TEX Fly Air Jacket and Pullover

jacket
Chase Pellerin

Goldwin's GORE-TEX Fly Air tops are designed specifically for use above 3,000 meters (that's over 9,800 feet for those on the imperial system). As such, both the jacket and pullover version offer plenty of features designed to keep you protected in adverse weather conditions.

To start, the Fly Air is constructed from a 3L Gore-Tex shell that is water- and wind-proof. It's faced with a 30-denier nylon fabric that is thin yet durable — ensuring that you don't have to carry excess weight in order to be protected on high-alpine excursions. Both shells also feature a unique "Flying Squirrel" pattern fit, which offers increased mobility for all of your winter activities. Top that off with a helmet-compatible hood, zippered vents on the chest and underarms, a high neck guard for increased heat retention and an innovative leg-loop system that can be used to prevent the jacket from riding up during aerobic activities.

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Tanner Bowden, Managing Editor, Field Mag

goldwin
Chase Pellerin

Tanner Bowden is a writer, editor and photographer based in Burlington, VT. You may recognize his name by his many bylines in Gear Patrol — Bowden recently took up the position of managing editor at Field Mag, an online publication that deals primarily with the intersection of the outdoors and design.

mountain
Chase Pellerin
ice
Chase Pellerin

In Bowden's own words, "Those are the things that pay the bills, but I'm also a skier, runner, hiker, reader and Vermonter. I might even be an artist, and I'm probably a whole list of other things I'm not giving myself enough credit for. I used to be a wilderness educator and a Jackson Hole ski bum too, and somewhat surprisingly, those experiences still inform a lot of the things I do now."

We caught up with him for a hike in Vermont's lush Green Mountain range to test out Goldwin's GORE-TEX Fly Air Jacket, pick his brain on prepping for winter outdoor goals and shoot some film on his Canon AE-1 Program.

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mountain
Chase Pellerin

Q: What are your outdoor goals for this winter?

Tanner Bowden: "I recently moved back to my home state of Vermont after more than four years in New York City and three or so years elsewhere. I think we all take the places we grew up in for granted, and I certainly did with Vermont, which is a paradise of mountains and lakes and rivers. One of the things I discovered coming back is that Vermont and the Northeast has a ton of backcountry skiing, and I have a book that lists many but not all of the noteworthy runs and zones, so I'm going to work my way through that. Some more specific goals are skiing Tuckerman Ravine in mid-winter since I've only been in the spring and also doing a winter ascent of one of the Adirondack 46ers. I'm also going on a ship-to-ski trip in the fjords of Norway that was supposed to happen in 2020. And if I get into a spring marathon, I'll have to throw training into the mix too."

mountain
Chase Pellerin
backpack
Chase Pellerin

Q: Speaking of marathons, you recently ran a sub-three-hour time at the Berlin marathon. How does that position you for your winter goals and activities?

TB: "Maybe it's the writer in me, but I think running a marathon is good training for any endeavor that involves daily practice dedicated to a long-term goal, even if it's not physical. Specifically though, running under three hours required me to notch up my training to a really high level for an amateur runner. I did a lot of strength training and continue to maintain that regimen, which should put me in a really good place for ski touring."

Q: What’s your impression of Goldwin? How did you first come across the brand?

TB: "I first came across Goldwin while working at Gear Patrol actually, which is where I got my start in digital media. My colleagues and my work introduced me to so many brands I wasn't previously familiar with, and Goldwin was among them. The impression I had was that it was one of the first I'd seen that was really taking an almost fashion-world-like approach while using technical materials. So to me, Goldwin was a style brand first, and then I learned its deep history in ski outerwear. The fact that it's Japanese and was harder to get in the US at the time lent a high degree of allure too."

jacket
Chase Pellerin

Q: How important is style and performance to you when choosing a three-layer shell?

TB: "Style and performance are in conversation in any piece of outerwear, and they're both important. A three-layer shell should fit well, however the wearer defines that, and yeah, look good too. If a jacket makes you feel like you look good, that can lend confidence and a sort of personal comfort. Some people weigh style more heavily than performance — every ski hill has its OG local who's still rocking their gear from the '80s whether the waterproofing remains or not — but I think there's a baseline of performance that has to be met. I don't want my jacket to wet out on a day where the wind chill factor brings the temp down to -20, and it can get that way in Vermont."

Alex Rakestraw, Associate Strategy Director, Highsnobiety

jacket
Chase Pellerin

Alex Rakestraw is a writer and strategist based in Boston, MA. In his words, his job is "all about discovering then coordinating. Most of my day is spent reading, writing and asking lots of questions. It's not quite Pattern Recognition, but I think it's a blast."

hiking
Chase Pellerin
hiking
Chase Pellerin

When he's not researching, planning and experimenting on a new project, he's riding his bike, getting outside hiking or seeking out a new adventure. Rakestraw is dedicated to endurance sports, pushing himself to the limit in the summer and continuing to do so in the winter.

We caught up with Rakestraw for a hike in New Hampshire's White Mountains to learn more about what makes him tick.

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creek
Chase Pellerin

Q: What are your outdoor goals for this winter?

Alex Rakestraw: "Get a few proper snow hikes in. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are full of trails that become ethereal once the seasons change. A layer of frosting, an elevated heart rate, and a frozen waterfall or two are good for the spirit when the sun sets before 6pm."

Q: How does cycling prepare you for your winter activities?

AR: "Cycling is an awesome cardio activity, and any activity that gets you breathing harder is going to make the next activity that much easier. It also prevents Thanksgiving turkey from getting too comfortable. Can't ski if your bibs don't fit!"

hike
Chase Pellerin
hike
Chase Pellerin

Q: You mentioned that you train pretty regularly on a stationary bike trainer — what drives you to keep up with your training?

AR: "A genuine love of endurance sports. Training hard is meditative to me. Because I spend most of my day reading and writing, it's easy for my mind to get ahead of itself. Getting on the bike, focusing on the impulse, and finding presence in the moment is essential to me. If I don't train on the bike, I'd spin my wheels elsewhere."

Q: What’s your impression of Goldwin? How did you first come across the brand?

AR: "A media friend introduced the brand to me in 2017. They knew I was into Veilance and thought I'd dig a Japanese take on an outdoors brand elevating their design and technology. They were absolutely right. Goldwin impressed me with the depth of their design thinking and quality of construction. I've probably owned a dozen Goldwin jackets over the years."

hike
Gear Patrol Studios

Q: How important is style and performance to you when choosing a three-layer shell?

AR: "They're equally important. Performance is key, but at the same time, every brand making a 3L GORE shell above a certain price point is making a very similar product. Then, it's about choosing a shell you like to wear so you'll have it on hand when you actually need it. I've found that those who preach "performance over style" are trying to justify why they bought a shell they didn't love on sale."