Darn Tough is a sock manufacturer in Northfield, Vermont that prides itself in creating a reliable and USA-made product. Since I’ve blown out the heels on most other socks that haven’t been lost to the laundry gnomes, it’s an important note that Darn Tough has a lifetime guarantee on all of their socks. Though I can’t speak for lifetime durability yet, I have a few pairs of 2 year old midweight hiking socks from Darn Tough that haven’t stretched out or blown holes in the toes/heel. Alpine Existence is excited to recently join the Darn Tough team and provide clients with premium quality socks from a company it’s proud to support.
In an alpine environment, it is essential to be able to stay warm and dry. Depending on the season, location, length of route, and altitude your layering options will vary slightly; though in most cases, the layering system will have a similar process. In the book, Extreme Alpinism, Mark Twight coined the term ‘action suit’ to refer to a simple layering system that can be functionally worn on the approach and on the climb. This action suit is a versatile system allowing a climber to exert energy on the approach/climb without developing moisture buildup and quickly retain the heat the body has developed to stay warm at a belay or rest. Use the following guideline to build the appropriate system for you, based on how much heat/energy you expel on a climb and where you plan on climbing.
The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody weighs 14 oz and has a down baffle look to the exterior. This boxed-sewing method adds style but is also a source for condensation to attach to, in addition to adding weight. The thin outer material is unfortunately not very abrasion resistant so I choose to use it as a layering option under my shell rather than on the outside. Due to this, the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover may be a better option, due to the lighter weight at 10.2 oz and reduced bulk under a shell. Both models have 60g of PrimaLoft One insulation. The Nano Puff has an elasticized waist and cuff closure that tends to pill and the boxy cut makes this jacket easy to throw on/off but does not look as clean cut as other jackets on the market.