Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up on the Western Rise Airloft Quilted Jacket and Elkton Wool Stretch Flannel, below, then visit us again tomorrow for more awesome gear coverage.
Western Rise — AirLoft Quilted Jacket
Telluride, Colorado-based Western Rise is on a mission to develop clothing that can “solve multi-faceted mountain town days.” You know, those times when you pack skiing, hiking, biking and a nice dinner into a 24 hour period. These garments are meant to be worn “everyday and everywhere, no matter the weather or occasion.” In an effort to be as sustainable as possible, Western Rise also donates one percent of each purchase to the Western Rivers Conservancy and is always striving to design clothing that can be worn more (i.e. be durable) and washed less (i.e. combat odor) in order to declutter wardrobes and reduce energy and carbon emissions associated with mass textile manufacturing.
The versatile AirLoft Quilted Jacket can be worn as a skiing midlayer, a standalone piece for nights out on the town or for traveling. It’s built with AirLoft, which sandwiches Toray 3DeFX+ synthetic insulation between a four-way stretch outer fabric and a moisture-wicking, breathable inner polyester that also boasts the all-important stretch factor. The Toray 3DeFX+, specifically, utilizes four types of continuous coil-shaped spiral fibers that boast incredible loft (the ability to retain heat), breathability and stretch.
While I’ve mostly worn the jacket for travel purposes and as an everyday lifestyle piece, the stretch and breathability really shine with the AirLoft Quilted Jacket. Whether I’m rushing around the house, taking the dog for a walk or catching a flight, the jacket provides warmth and breathability, ensuring I’m never cold but never overheating, and the stretch is simply delightful. The biggest highlight, however, is the style. Just look at that quilted construction, button-up closure and tailored cut—it’s sure to stand out no matter what crowd you find yourself in. Twin chest pockets and an interior media pocket add a bit of functionality to this piece, which should be high on your list if you’re seeking a do-it-all jacket with modern flair.
Western Rise — Elkton Stretch Wool Flannel
The flannel is a staple in any mountain-enthusiast’s wardrobe. This is common knowledge. Western Rise set out to “update a classic,” with the Elkton Stretch Wool Flannel, and focused on the fabric. Western Rise fused elastic polyester with COOLMAX fibers and fine-gauge wool. The combination results in a temperature regulating, moisture-wicking, odor resistant, soft, wrinkle-resistant and stretchy fabric.
As for thoughtful details, the flannel features two front flap pockets—one of which boasts a pen/sunglass holster, great for writers like me—as well as reflective stitching under the collar in case you’re biking or walking home at night. Those with a taste for simple style and purposeful design features would do well by the Elkton.