Triple Aught Design Ares Half-Zip

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I picked up one of the last Triple Aught Design Ares Half-Zips left in existence at the Dogpatch Warehouse Sale last weekend. For 2014, they are taking the Ares and combining it with the Merino Half-Zip and making it 10 times better.

The Ares is a 270-weight half-zip made out of 100% merino wool making it a great midlayer for winter or an outer layer on a cool spring or summer day. It comes with two shoulder zip pockets, and thumb holes.

I haven’t had it for very long, but I’m pretty in love with it already. Took it for a lovely jaunt in the San Jose hills (Almaden Quicksilver County Park, to be exact) on a brisk fall day and it kept me toasty. This doesn’t fare too well with wind, but toss on a shell and you are golden. It’s also a  great layer for climbing. It fits well under a harness and keeps you warm while you’re on the wall and making moves.

Pictured above is the Ares in a men’s XS. On me, it’s fairly roomier fit but it still gets the job done. I suspect the boyfriend might be stealing this from my closet in the future (for once).

This is no longer on the Triple Aught Design website, but you might be able to find it on eBay.

A Quick Look: Huckberry Holiday Home

Bay Area folks are in for a little treat this holiday season! Retailer Huckberry is renting a house to display all of its highly curated manly wares for guests to play with and purchase. Everything in the house is available, from the furniture, to the clothing, to the 1965 Porsche 365 C. The Porsche will set you back approximately $70,000 though.

Guests walk around dim-sum style writing down which items they want and how many they’d like, and voila! The items are procured from the back and into your hands. Featured brands are Poler, Taylor Stitch, Aether, Triple Aught Design, Tellason and more.

My favorite items are the Columbiaknit confetti beanie ($22), Triple Aught Design merino wool scarf ($60) and GORUCK GR1 ($295).

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check any of these brands out, it’s worth venturing out to the Mission to check out. The Huckberry Holiday Home is located at 3180 17th St, between Van Ness and Shotwell, next door to Mission Bowling Club and Shell. Their doors are open from 11am to 5pm until Monday, December 16.

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Outdoor Research Valhalla Jacket

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The Outdoor Research Valhalla is the first softshell I have ever owned. Within one month of testing, it has easily become one of my favorite jackets.

The Valhalla softshell is created from GORE WINDSTOPPER with a roomy and stretchy fit that allows you to layer underneath. My favorite combo is with a Sierra Designs Tov Hoodie and the Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie for ultimate warmth and protection from the wind. It’s a formidable opponent against most weather. The softshell fabric allows for a quiet, dynamic range of motion.

This jacket comes with two full-length pit-zips, in case the WINDSTOPPER fabric isn’t breathable enough. The jacket also has a plethora of pockets: two outer hand zips accessible above hip belt or harness, two chest zips, inner mesh pocket and an inner phone pocket with a headphone slot.

The GORE WINDSTOPPER sheds light snow and rain. This does not do well in torrential downpours. After about 30 minutes of constant rain, you will be soaked.

As awesome as this jacket is, there are a couple cons:

  • The zipper pulls on the pit zips have both fallen off. Once, I managed to find one on the ground and re-attach it, but it detached itself again. Granted, this is only the little OR logo on it, but it still decreases the surface area to pull. When you have bulky gloves on, it makes it difficult to ventilate properly.
  • The zipper abrasion on the fabric area in the pit zip area is not pretty. When the zips are open, the teeth rub against the fabric causing it to rapidly pill and wear. Luckily, it’s under the arm, so it’s not as noticeable, but regardless, I’m pretty anal and I like to keep my gear looking as pristine as possible.

At 19.3 oz, it’s not a big chunk of weight to be lugging around while hopping around windy peaks. And it’s great protection for windy and cold commutes as well.

 

The Outdoor Research Valhalla Jacket is pictured above summiting Pyramid Peak in Desolation Wilderness. Full hike review to come shortly.

Sneak Peek: Triple Aught Design Dogpatch Warehouse

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my obsessive Instagramming of my Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie!

Last night, I had the chance to check out TAD’s renovated Dogpatch location and meet the team, and boy, it was fantastic. Here’s a sneak peek of what it all looks like before their grand re-opening on Saturday!

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The new space is spacious! There’s a dedicated corner for all the women’s apparel which is super awesome. It’s small, but it’s there! The full line of accessories and men’s apparel is also carried at the store. And the coolest part, there’s an enormous space for collaborative and community-based activities like movie nights, classes, trip planning, etc.

I got a sneak peek at some goodies for Saturday’s big Warehouse Sale which includes some very old items, and some never-seen-before items.

Triple Aught Design Dogpatch Warehouse

Their grand re-opening is on Saturday at 9AM in conjunction with Dogpatch Warehouse Sale. 22nd Street between 3rd and Indiana Street. It’s gonna be packed, so come early if you want to snag some discounted or one-of-a-kind TAD goodies! For more information on the Dogpatch Warehouse Sale and the vendors, check out the website here: http://dogpatchwarehousesale.com

And oh! As a super awesome visitor, check out these new fabric swatches for Spring 2014!

Triple Aught Design Dogpatch Warehouse

First Look: Outdoor Research Valhalla Jacket

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Fun fact: the Outdoor Research Valhalla jacket is my first softshell. Well, the first softshell I can remember owning as an adult. Here’s a first look at the jacket by Winnemucca Lake in Mokelumne Wilderness. Full reviews of the hike and the jacket to come shortly.

Some specs from Outdoor Research:

  • Critically Taped Seams
  • Windproof
  • Drawcord Hem
  • Hand Pockets Set Above Hip Belt Or Harness
  • Two Zippered Hand Pockets
  • Dual Zippered Napoleon Pockets
  • Internal Front-Zip Stormflap
  • Double-Sliding TorsoFlo™ Hem-to-Bicep Zippers
  • Water Resistant
  • Breathable
  • DWR Coated Zippers
  • Small Internal Mesh Pocket
  • Hook/Loop Cuff Closures
  • Internal Media Pocket
  • Double-Separating Center-Front Zipper
  • Adjustable Wire-Brimmed Hood
  • Average weight is 19.3oz
  • Roomier fit

The Outdoor Research Valhalla retails at Moosejaw for $280 or through Outdoor Research for $350.

The Outdoor Research Valhalla was provided to me for an honest review.