The weather is crisping and the seasons are turning. With it comes the need for a drastic wardrobe upgrade.
But frigid conditions outside shouldn't mean a season of inactivity. For those who want to see their breath in the great outdoors, The North Face continues to carry popular lines of multi-purpose outerwear.
Among the most popular is its softshell jacket, the Apex Bionic 2. "It's really trendy and it's great for city dwellers, but you can definitely wear it skiing," said Jon Millen, vice president at Premco Associates, the national distributor for The North Face.
Aside from aesthetics, the Apex Bionic 2 is also highly functional, with exceptional thermal quality -- it's made of water-resistant stretch fabric as opposed to fleece. While the jacket line has been popular for about six years, The North Face upgraded it this fall by tweaking the styling.
For fans of the uber-trendy puffy coat, there's the Thermoball, stuffed with a synthetic down alternative called PrimaLoft. "It's not the heavy version designed for climbing Everest," Millen pointed out. "It's a trimmed-down version -- it's definitely for the city, but you can wear it skiing. Everything The North Face makes is athlete-inspired."
On the other hand, perhaps you want that puffy coat emblazoned with company branding. The Promo Agency can customize the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight Jacket. As the name suggests, these are full down coats designed for warmth and heat retention. It's also available as a vest.
Ouray Sportswear has an extensive catalog of outdoor apparel and even does the corporate logo-ing. Its popular Transit Hood fleeces, for instance, are meant to retain warmth while eliminating extra bulk, and its highly-compressible Chiller Jacket [pictured above] can be used as both an insulating layer or as outerwear.
But what good is scrambling around a mountainous terrain without the right footwear? Outdoor retailer REI has an extensive corporate sales program and among its top-selling items are the Lowa Renegade hiking boots, which have water-proof GORE-TEX liners as well as linings designed to wick away sweat and a water-repellant exterior made of nubuck leather. It also features a Vibram sole for traction.
Other boots that provide breathable and waterproof traction include the Ahnu Montara waterproof hiking boots and the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX [pictured] -- specifically designed to be durable, but also light as a running shoe -- just in case you encounter a hungry bear.