With the last days of summer trickling away, we’re already finding ourselves pouring over fall and winter product catalogs, praying for early season pow at the local ski hill. One such brand to catch our eye this season is Japan’s Goldwin, a longtime Field Mag staple with over 70 years experience outfitting stylish outdoorists, outdating stateside industry giants like The North Face and Patagonia. Hailing from the island nation’s mountainous west, Goldwin is very much a winter specialist. And it shows.
Goldwin employs the same high-performance approach to every one of its garments, regardless if it's intended for a week at Whistler or a walk to the subway. In the past we've seen jackets for foragers and collab apparel by Geoff McFetridge. For Fall/Winter 2021, Goldwin is releasing an updated line of apparel and outerwear containing thoughtful and high-tech pieces well worth a closer look. So, we selected three key insulated pieces and did just that. Read on below for the full scoop.
For moderate conditions and use as a mid-layer, Goldwin has the Fly Air Down Jacket. Its insulation is a lower dose of the same ceramic-embedded Kodenshi Down found in the below Infinium Down Parka, so it's plenty warm despite a slimmer puff. The lightweight, windproof, and DWR coated Pertex Quantum shell has a smooth, soft feel for a technical fabric, which helps slough off moisture and when sliding on a heavier shell on top.
The curving pattern of its quilted baffle is inspired by the brand’s Spur line and takes design inspiration from ski tracks. If conditions change throughout the day, the Fly Air is easily packable in an included stuff sack for stowing away in a pack.
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When activity levels drop as low as the outside temperatures—think belaying, or huddling around a modest campfire after sundown—an alpine layering system calls for a high-loft outer layer like Goldwin's new Gore-Tex Infinium Down Parka. Its down insulation comes from Kodenshi Down and has embedded ceramic particles that reflect back infrared rays from the wearer’s body heat back to them, adding an extra boost of warmth.
Meanwhile, Gore-Tex's Infinium fabric, which keeps chilling winds at bay while still letting moisture vent through, makes up the exterior shell. Extra niceties like high-volume pockets and storm cuffs are handy additions to an already impressive high-tech insulated piece.
The simply named Gore-Tex Down Jacket is a piece that finds itself at home both in towns and cities and on aprés missions for raclette melts in alpine villages. The cut is slimmed down considerably compared to the other on-mountain pieces in the collection, but it’s still sized generously for all your winter layering needs. The use of Kodenshi Down once again makes an appearance for maximum heat retention, and Goldwin paid extra attention to the jacket’s back center to decrease overall bulk.
Gore-Tex, of course, provides waterproofing and simultaneous moisture-release in the outer shell. Though equipped with an arsenal of six hefty pockets, the jacket does well to play down their prominence and provide the clean look we’ve come to expect (and love) from Goldwin apparel. A well-placed magnet keeps the insulted hood out of the way, too, making this is one smart down jacket.