Staying cool in the national parks this summer isnât difficult, and it can even be stylish with whatâs out on the market.
Icebreaker continues to refine and expand its use of merino wool in its clothing lines, producing products that are both comfortable and cool.
The Departure Short-Sleeve Shirt (MSRP $135) for men is 100 percent merino wool, though it feels as smooth as polyester. The wool is naturally odor repelling, making this a great choice for short or long hikes. The plaid layout isnât your grandfatherâs plaid; itâs much more stylish.
One thing to keep in mind: Icebreakerâs sizes run small. If youâre in the 6-foot, 180-pound neighborhood, opt for the extra large.
For women, Icebreakerâs Aero Short-Sleeve Crewe (MSRP $60) is 90 percent merino/10 percent nylon, which adds some flex to this attractive form-fitting top. As with the Departure shirt, this top can be machine washed, but donât put it in the dryer. Instead, use a drying rack.
Mountain Hardwearâs DaraLake Gauze Long Sleeve Shirt (MSRP $65) is too pretty to hide beneath backpack. But itâs perfect light layer to toss on after you get off the river or for day hiking with a fanny pack. The gauzy, 100 percent cotton material is cooling...and a bit transparent, so you might want a light layer beneath if you go with the white version.
Staying dry is easily accomplished, too, no matter how stormy it might get. Last year we had the chance to test Helly Hansenâs Odin Guiding Light Jacket, and it quickly became a favored piece of gear for whatever the skies might toss at us.
While a great piece to have in your closet, the $400 price tag is a big bite in the pocketbook. Fortunately, Helly Hansenâs Odin Moon Light Jacket is just half that price yet you lose little when it comes to weather protection.
The Moon Light also is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, made of a durable 2.5-ply treated fabric, has a fully adjustable hood, pit vents, drawcord at the waist, and water-resistant zippered pockets for your hands and a third on your chest. And it comes in an eye-squinting bright yellow so your friends wonât lose track of you.
Want to cut the price even more? Consider Helly Hansenâs Loke Jacket. At just $100, this jacket also is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. However, it only has two pockets and lacks the heavy duty water-resistant zippers.