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The Vest

As a temperature regulating device a vest is hard to beat. Fleece or down are likely your best choices though I lean toward fleece because it is cheaper and insulates when wet/sweaty.

A vest adds warmth to the torso where it will help maintain your body’s core temperature. Our arms are not major heat-loss areas. Less bulk on the arms enhances movement which is important when using poles, for example, while skiing or snowshoeing.

A vest, in combination with a jacket, adds greatly to the versatility of your layers. Ideally, I don’t like to remove clothing, I like to regulate, and what a vest allows is more fine-tuned control. I like a collar I can zip up around my neck. If I’m cold this will provide the maximum amount of insulation. As I become warmer through exertion I can open my jacket to allow some cool air in then adjust the vest zipper according to the amount of exposure I desire. If I completely unzip the vest air can penetrate and cool me off before I begin to sweat. If I really overheat I can remove my jacket but keep the vest on to shield my body, or if unzipping doesn’t work, the vest can be removed with the advantage of being small and easily carried.

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