We recently climbed Slide Mountain in perfect winter conditions: deep, fresh powder, temps in the low 20’s, and light winds for most of the hike! After an invigorating climb of about 1000’ we entered the always magical (but especially so in winter!) spruce fir forest that characterizes the Catskills above 3500’
At the summit, we enjoyed beautiful views from atop the Catskills’ highest peak and a quick snack before snowshoeing halfway down the mountain where a few of our guides had set up lunch in advance: cheese ravioli soup with meatballs and four cheeses! (Plus an awesome vegan thai soup with rice noodles for our vegan and gluten-free friends!) And of course, plenty of snacks, all topped of with our signature Mountain Mocha.
We were glad to have our partners from Brooklyn Camp Supply with us on our adventure! They had arranged for me (Dave) to field test the Black Diamond Hot Forge Hoodie and I came away impressed.
The Hot Forge Hoodie is an insulating layer that provides a remarkable amount of heat at very little weight. The DWR Pertex face shed the moderate falling snow with ease and when the wind blew, I didn’t feel it at all. The face is durable enough that it held up to carrying firewood over my shoulder and soft enough that the insulation remains lofty (and warm!).
To test the hoodie’s performance, I wore only a thin base layer on the vigorous part of the climb. I stayed plenty warm, thanks to the Primaloft Gold fill, a 70/30 blend of high-loft, water resistant down and ultra fine synthetic fibers, the goal of which is to pair the superior warmth to weight ratio, packability, and lightness of down with the ability of synthetics to retain heat while wet.
To test this feature, I allowed myself to overheat and sweat more than a little bit on the final leg of the hike. When we stopped at the viewpoint near the summit and were exposed to winds, I fully expected to be chilled to the bone, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I stayed perfectly warm. Bonus: it was totally dry halfway down the mountain--much faster drying time than traditional down!
In winter, features make a huge difference and the Hot Forge impressed here as well. A fleece neck and hood liner along with gusseted cuffs and hem drawstrings provide both comfort and the ability to make minute adjustments to suit the conditions. The external pockets came in handy for keeping my hands warm while cooking lunch, and the large internal drop pockets are perfect for warming gear, electronics, or drying damp items with body heat.
Best of all, weighing in at only a pound and amazingly compressible, the Hot Forge Hoody will never be left at home!