Apparel and Layering
  • Apparel and Layering

  • Gear Guide

Mountain climbing demands a lot from your body. One of the biggest challenges in cold environments is regulating your body temperature, which is critical for optimum performance. The best way to stabilize your temperature is through layering. Layering allows you to:

a. Manage body temperature efficiently
b. Minimize sweat
c. Insulate from the cold
d. Protect from wind, rain, snow


There's a ton of info in this post, so we've grouped it under a few sections below. Just click the tab to get the information you're interested in!

Click below to jump to your desired section

Apparel and Layering

Baselayers

Baselayers

Advice in Motion

The Logic Behind Baselayers

Lightweight Insulation

Lightweight Insulation

Midweight Insulation

Midweight Insulation
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Base, Light, and Midweight Layers

25% Off
Regular price from $56.74
Sale price from $56.74
Regular price $75.65
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A Great Fitting Top for Wicking Sweat This midweight zip-neck finds the right balance between weight, breathability and wicking performance. Versatile enough to wear alone or under layers, it keeps...
25% Off
Regular price from $56.25
Sale price from $56.25
Regular price $75.00
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An Ultralight Hoodie with the Perfect Combo of UV Protection and Breathability Meet the new Echo Hoodie; sporting all of the essentials that make this piece so beloved, with upgrades that contin...
Regular price $79.00
Sale price $79.00
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The Solstice Graphene is guide grit plus lab smarts.  This is the best baselayer we've ever made. Period. Years of development and iteration led us to a new synthetic fabric that feels like cotton,...
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Regular price from $56.74
Sale price from $56.74
Regular price $75.65
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Gives new meaning to the word multitasker Summer, winter and both shoulder seasons, Patagonia's Capilene® Midweight fabric hits the sweet spot of weight, breathability, and wicking that, worn alone...
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Regular price from $56.25
Sale price from $56.25
Regular price $75.00
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An Ultralight Hoodie with the UV Protection The Echo Hoodie is built from bluesign®-approved and recycled materials and is perfect for everything from fall running and spring ski touring to su...
Regular price $65.00
Sale price $65.00
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Regular price from $52.50
Sale price from $52.50
Regular price $70.00
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Serious solar protection that doesn't compromise on style The Crater Lake™ Long Sleeve Hoody has you covered whenever and wherever the sun catches you out in the open. Designed with our lightest-we...
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Regular price $71.25
Sale price $71.25
Regular price $95.00
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The Alpenglow Hoody Offers a Break from the Rays A technical fit paired with a highly protective fabric, the Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody is a proven BD style which offers coverage on desert m...
40% Off
Regular price from $57.00
Sale price from $57.00
Regular price $95.00
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Breathes Well, Great Sun Protection, and Comfortable For long, exposed approaches, summit naps and sunny sessions at the crag, the Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody keeps you covered when sunscreen ...
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Regular price from $41.44
Sale price from $41.44
Regular price $55.25
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Patagonia's most versatile technical top is built for use on the trail or on the water: It’s quick drying, has stretch for mobility and comfort, plus HeiQ® Pure odor control. Made with 50-100% recy...
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Regular price $74.70
Sale price $74.70
Regular price $249.00
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From the Summit to the Board Room We liked our Alpha Ascender hoody so much, we decided to hack the sleeves off and turn it into one of those technical vests everybody’s wearing these days. But th...
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Regular price from $114.11
Sale price from $114.11
Regular price $152.15
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Stay Warm, Move Fast The R1® Air Full-Zip Hoody is a lightweight, breathable and quick-drying technical fleece for high-exertion activities in cold conditions. Fabric is made with 100% recycled p...
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Regular price from $114.11
Sale price from $114.11
Regular price $152.15
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Perfect Layering Piece for Climbing Any Peak With a waffle weave that extends all the way into the hood, the R1 Air is the perfect second layer for high-exertion activities in the mountains. It'll...
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Regular price $26.21
Sale price $26.21
Regular price $34.95
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You Might Not Know You Are Wearing Them Light and stretchy liners that provide efficient insulation under a shell glove, the Black Diamond LightWeight GridTech gloves feature a warm yet lightweigh...
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Regular price $44.70
Sale price $44.70
Regular price $149.00
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Fleece Is Not Dead It still has a place in our kit. The Fissure is built for active, technical, and aerobic use with a generous hood stretchy enough to fit over a helmet, extra length in the sleeve...
40% Off
Regular price from $57.00
Sale price from $57.00
Regular price $95.00
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Incredibly Soft, Yet Durable Better than a sweatshirt and KÜHLer than a sweater! The versatile REVEL™ outperforms on every level. Super soft, lightweight warmth and comfort that easily transitions ...
30% Off
Regular price from $111.30
Sale price from $111.30
Regular price $159.00
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You'll Want to Wear this All-The-Time Lightweight yet super cozy, the KÜHL PRISM™ Women's Hoody is that go-to fleece you've been searching for. Experience breathable warmth and superior comfort wit...
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Regular price from $43.99
Sale price from $43.99
Regular price $58.65
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A Great Layer for a Great Price Providing everyday warmth and comfort, this lightweight quarter-zip fleece is made of 100% recycled polyester and can be worn as a lightweight jacket or layer. Made ...
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Regular price $67.49
Sale price $67.49
Regular price $89.99
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This Fleece Never Goes Out of Style Providing everyday warmth and comfort, this lightweight, classic pullover is made of Synchilla® 95-100% recycled polyester fleece. Made in a Fair Trade Certif...
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Regular price $67.49
Sale price $67.49
Regular price $89.99
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Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory A lightweight version of our classic Snap-T® Pullover that's made with warm and durable midweight 95-100% recycled polyester fleece. 
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Regular price from $225.00
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Regular price $300.00
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Light, versatile synthetically insulated hoody works as a mid-layer and standalone, the Atom Hoody from Arc'teryx is a key addition to your kit. Alpine proven as a mid layer and standalone, this v...
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Regular price $216.75
Sale price $216.75
Regular price $289.00
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A Guide Pick for a Reason Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff® Hoody uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco 100% postconsumer recycled po...
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Regular price from $225.00
Sale price from $225.00
Regular price $300.00
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This is one of Arc'teryx's most trusted, best-loved hoodies. Delivering proven, versatile performance as a mid layer or standalone, the Atom Hoody provides effective warmth for low-output and star...
36% Off
Regular price from $184.24
Sale price from $184.24
Regular price $289.00
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A Winner of our Guide Pick™ Choice for Midweight Insulating Layer Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff® Hoody uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insu...
70% Off
Regular price $74.70
Sale price $74.70
Regular price $249.00
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per 
From the Summit to the Board Room We liked our Alpha Ascender hoody so much, we decided to hack the sleeves off and turn it into one of those technical vests everybody’s wearing these days. But th...
70% Off
Regular price $98.70
Sale price $98.70
Regular price $329.00
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Toasty Warm Midweight insulating piece that keeps you toasty, packs down tight, and honestly looks fabulous! DWR treated to repel moisture, providing lightweight warmth even in foul conditions. St...
70% Off Sold Out
Regular price $98.70
Sale price $98.70
Regular price $329.00
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Our Favorite Ski Jacket This Past Winter The Swelter rides cold chair lifts like a champ, keeps you warm while watching an alpine sunrise, and covers all the right places when the cold hits. Extra ...
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Regular price from $152.36
Sale price from $152.36
Regular price $203.15
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Warm, Windproof, Water-resistant Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff® Jacket uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco 100% postconsumer ...
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Regular price from $152.36
Sale price from $152.36
Regular price $203.15
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Iconic Outoor Style, Picked by our Guides Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff® Jacket uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco 100% post...
25% Off Sold Out
Regular price from $172.73
Sale price from $172.73
Regular price $230.30
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Your Go-to Insulation Piece for Mixed (and Possibly Miserable) Cold Conditions The Micro Puff® Hoody combines ultralight Pertex® Quantum shell fabric with PlumaFill insulation. The result is the...
Hardshell Jackets

Hardshell Jackets

Advice in Motion

Choosing a Hardshell

Expedition Parkas

Expedition Parkas

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Hardshells & Parkas

43% Off
Regular price $199.99
Sale price $199.99
Regular price $350.00
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Reliable GORE-TEX Protection The Namche GTX is built with fully recycled, fluorocarbon-free fabric, a ground-breaking fluorocarbon-free membrane, and a solution-dyed backer created using less ener...
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Regular price from $135.00
Sale price from $135.00
Regular price $180.00
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Handles It All, From Alpine Squalls To Urban Downpours Alpine squalls or urban downpours, the StormLine Stretch Rain Shell can handle it all. Featuring our BD.dry™ waterproof/breathable/windproof s...
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Regular price from $82.50
Sale price from $82.50
Regular price $110.00
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Everyday Good Looks, Serious Features Made with waterproof, breathable DryVent™ 2.5L fabric, the Women's Venture 2 Jacket has everyday good looks and fit, but it also has the durability and featur...
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Regular price $135.00
Sale price $135.00
Regular price $180.00
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The Worst Downpours Won't Stand a Chance Alpine squalls or urban downpours, the StormLine Stretch Rain Shell can handle it all. Featuring our BD.dry™ waterproof/breathable/windproof solution, which...
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Regular price from $105.00
Sale price from $105.00
Regular price $140.00
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Designed to Keep You Dry in the Worst Downpours The Treeline Stretch Rain Shell is water resistant, 100% windproof and combines a full feature set with our BD.dry™ technology for a dependable stret...
70% Off Sold Out
Regular price $98.70
Sale price $98.70
Regular price $329.00
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"I found it to be the insulating layer I grabbed most often for moderate-output activity with temperatures near freezing." - Gear Junkie's Best Synthetic-Insulated Jackets of 2020 Our favorite ski ...
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Regular price $412.50
Sale price $412.50
Regular price $550.00
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Mountain Hardwear's Ultra-Warm Down Parka in 800-fill RDS®-certified Down for Bone-Chilling Temps Our ultra-warm down parka for shiver-free belays on ice and alpine routes, après-trek warmth at Eve...
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Regular price from $243.75
Sale price from $243.75
Regular price $325.00
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Our recycled PrimaLoft® Gold P.U.R.E. insulated jacket with a durable outer for base-to-summit action. When the going gets wet and cold while pitching climbs, the Compressor™ Alpine Hooded Jacket i...
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Regular price from $412.50
Sale price from $412.50
Regular price $550.00
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Mountain Hardwear's Ultra-Warm Down Parka in 800-fill RDS®-certified Down for Bone-Chilling Temps Our ultra-warm down parka for shiver-free belays on ice and alpine routes, après-trek warmth at Eve...

Lower Body Layering

We recommend a system of 3 layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.

Guide to

Lower Body Baselayer

Depending on the weather, you'll want to go with baselayer bottoms or non-cotton underwear. A lightweight pair of baselayer bottoms provides added insulation for cold climbs when worn in conjunction with the climbing pants. Lighter is often better, as it easy to overheat, and difficult to remove baselayer bottoms mid-climb.

Guide to

Climbing Pants

Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

The soft shell material breathes well and allows the sweat and heat generated during the climb to dissipate, while still offering some resistance to light wind and precipitation. These climbing pants are our main workhorse layer, often worn alone to ascend the snowfield, and with a baselayer on the upper mountain for added warmth. A fleece pant serves the same function but is not as durable, breathable, or weather resistant and as a result are rarely used by guides. Depending on the model, soft shells come in varying thicknesses If you are climbing in the middle of the summer climbing season when temperatures are higher, or you tend to run warm, aim for a lighter weight version. If you are climbing in the early or late season or find yourself always being the person wearing an extra layer, use a pair made from a thicker material. 

Guide to

Hardshell Pants

 A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.

Here are a few of our favorite Hardshell Pants. 

Shop the best

Base, Climbing, and Hardshell Bottoms

25% Off
Regular price from $50.36
Sale price from $50.36
Regular price $67.15
Unit price
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So Nice You'll Forget You're Not Going Commando Designed to manage the extremes of high-output exertion, Patagonia's Capilene® Midweight fabric hits the sweet spot of weight, breathability and wick...
25% Off
Regular price from $50.36
Sale price from $50.36
Regular price $67.15
Unit price
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So nice you'll forget you're not going commando. A classic, all-around 100% recycled polyester baselayer. The smooth, soft face makes for easy layering. Hollow-core yarns and a diamond-grid back...
25% Off
Regular price from $67.50
Sale price from $67.50
Regular price $90.00
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A Great Feeling First Layer A year-round favorite, our Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Bottoms work hard to keep you comfortable everywhere, from the ski lifts to the campsite. With an updated...
25% Off
Regular price from $67.50
Sale price from $67.50
Regular price $90.00
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Durable and Breathable First Layer Our Women's Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Bottoms are the perfect layer to put on for your warm-weather adventures. Made of lightweight, breathable Merino,...
50% Off
Regular price $49.99
Sale price $49.99
Regular price $100.00
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100% Merino. 100% capable. Our Women's Merino Base Layer Bottom is always ready for what's ahead and what's next. With a fit updated to improve functionality while enhancing aesthetics for a range ...
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Regular price from $86.25
Sale price from $86.25
Regular price $115.00
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A Thicker Baselayer for Cold Weather We've updated our Men's Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Bottom to bring you a better fitting, more functional tight. The technical benefits of 100% Merino woo...
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Regular price $82.50
Sale price $82.50
Regular price $110.00
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100% Merino. 100% Capable. Our Women's Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer B is always ready for what's ahead and what's next. With a fit updated to improve functionality while enhancing ae...
25% Off
Regular price $119.25
Sale price $119.25
Regular price $159.00
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Boxes = Checked  When it comes to climbing pants, there are quite a few boxes that need to be checked. They've got to be comfortable with and without long underwear, be harness compatible, and reg...
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Regular price from $119.25
Sale price from $119.25
Regular price $159.00
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Our Guides Recommend these Pants When it comes to climbing pants, there are quite a few boxes that need to be checked. They've got to be comfortable with and without long underwear, be harness com...
25% Off
Regular price $94.99
Sale price $94.99
Regular price $126.65
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Hike, Alpine, or Rock, this Pant does it All Fully featured, lightweight soft-shell pants with added durability for long alpine rock routes and all-day movement above the tree line. Inseam is 32 in...
25% Off
Regular price $94.99
Sale price $94.99
Regular price $126.65
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Great for Climbing Rainier or a Hike in the Woods Fully featured, lightweight soft-shell pants with added durability for long alpine rock routes and all-day movement above the tree line. Inseam is ...
25% Off
Regular price $112.50
Sale price $112.50
Regular price $150.00
Unit price
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Year-round Workhorse Black Diamond updated their Alpine pant in 2024 with numeric sizing; the version from 2023 was alpha sizing.  Here is the link to the new version: Men's Alpine Pants – Whitta...
25% Off
Regular price from $71.25
Sale price from $71.25
Regular price $95.00
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The lightweight, sustainable sibling to the Halle Pant, this style has all the performance you need for long days outdoors. Made from our recycled nylon ReZion™ fabric, this lightweight pant pa...
25% Off
Regular price $112.50
Sale price $112.50
Regular price $150.00
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Our Climbing Guides Love this Pant During any spring or fall mission, the Black Diamond Alpine Pant blends extreme durability with a highly breathable construction. Designed with a four-way stretch...
25% Off
Regular price $97.50
Sale price $97.50
Regular price $130.00
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Lightweight Pant for Climbing, Hiking, Beer-ing An ultralight wind barrier, the Black Diamond Alpine Light Pants are the three-season solution for lightweight weather protection. Designed with a si...
70% Off
Regular price $89.70
Sale price $89.70
Regular price $299.00
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Everything You Love About The Nuker Jacket Now In Pants. The waterproof breathable performance of NeoShell® protects from the elements, is quiet, and packs down well. The 7/8 side zips make transi...
25% Off
Regular price $112.50
Sale price $112.50
Regular price $150.00
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Our Mountain Guides Love Them Black Diamond's Stormline Stretch hardshell pants are a necessary addition to your mountaineering layering system. Featuring the  BD.dry™ waterproof/breathable/windpro...
25% Off
Regular price from $258.75
Sale price from $258.75
Regular price $345.00
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Tough and Protective 3-Layer GORE-TEX Waterproof Pants Built for total protection in wet weather, the Kangri GTX pants are ideal for long mountain days in changeable conditions. They are made from ...
25% Off
Regular price from $258.75
Sale price from $258.75
Regular price $345.00
Unit price
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Tough and Protective 3-Layer GORE-TEX Waterproof Pants  Built for total protection in wet weather, the Kangri GTX pants are ideal for long mountain days in changeable conditions. They are made from...
40% Off
Regular price $299.99
Sale price $299.99
Regular price $500.00
Unit price
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Highly versatile GORE-TEX PRO pant delivering durable, breathable weather protection. Beta Series: All round mountain apparel. | AR: All Round. Wind, then sleet, snow, then sleet again – mountain w...
Check out our other guides

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