The first item is my down suit. I have yet to wear something so extensively insulated as this suit but if it insulates as well as my sleeping bag, I expect to be toasty warm. Here is a picture of the suit laid out on my office floor (see photo to the right). Next to my down suit is my stretch thermal suit (mid-weight intermediate layer). Together, they make a mighty combination to fend off the cold. I chose the suit based upon many reviews and friends' suggestions. The stretch suit was recommended by Alan Arnette - via his great equipment review blog post. I have yet to wear either of these but I look forward to their cold-fighting power.
Next, I have my base layers and mid-weight layers. The base layer top (bottom of the picture to the left) is the complement to my X-bionic bottoms. I love this top. Yep, just as pricey as the bottoms but well worth it. The middle, black top is my middle-weight REI layer that I love to wear between the X-bionic base layer and my hard shell top (pictured below). Together, these three layers can easily take me down to about zero degrees when I climb. I love how light they are and how they wick the sweat from me. Not sure I have ever been sweaty or cold with those three layers. Finally, the top purple top is my Patagonia Nano Puff pullover. The color ain't my choice but this top keeps me toasty warm after climbing. I throw this over my hard shell jacket when I come into camp. If it is not terribly cold, this pullover keeps the warmth in and even allows the sweat to escape.
The next two layers - pictured above - are critical to almost all high-alpine climbs. When the going gets cold, there is nothing better than a big ol' puffy down jacket. This MH parka served me well for many years. I love it. It comes in handy when I roll into camp after a long hard day of climbing. The best part is it stuffs down into a grapefruit size ball - via a compression sack. Next to my down parka is my new GoLite hard-shell. I wore it for a few days in Utah recently and it performed as well if not better than anything I wore in recent memory. Best of all, the jacket is extremely light. I will let you know how it performs later.
That about wraps up my upper body. The next post provides details about what covers my head and hands.
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