Skip to main content

Serious Backcountry Travel: Brooks Range

Among serious climbers, ski touring aficionados, and backcountry travelers, few brands evoke the ideals of fast and light like Brooks Range Mountaineering. Born from a small cadre or mountaineers and backpackers, their roots trace a lineage of ski mountaineering lines in Alaska, thru hikes down the Pacific Crest Trail, and backcountry campgrounds for decades. They still maintain a small advisory board of athletes and guides that truly beat on each jacket, tent and sleeping bag they make, ensuring the pieces of gear that make it market are the best. We got a sneak peak of the spring line at Outdoor Retailer this year, and are excited to put some of it to the test.

Related: Ski Season Preview: Salomon MTN Collection | Jimmy Chin’s Meru

Hybrid Wool Jacket

Polartec Alpha insulation was originally designed for US Special Operations forces carrying heavy loads at high altitude. It has excellent thermal insulation, and also breathes better than any synthetic puffy jacket we’ve tried. Brooks took Alpha as a core insulator, and added Polartec’s new Power Wool Merino in the sleeves. The result is a jacket that stands up to the rigors of winter travel in the mountains, handles stop and go aerobic activities, and has the silhouette of a classic mountain jacket. If you’ve got spring break ski plans, this needs to be on your list.

Drift 20 Sleeping Bag

Utilizing 850-fill power DownTek water repellant goose down, the Drift line of sleeping bags combine ultimate warmth with serious comfort touches. The all new 20-degree rated bag is cut with Brooks’ Semi-Rec pattern, making it roomier than a typical mummy bag. The high fill down and ultralight face fabric keep weight down so you can pack it in to camp all year long. At a twenty degree rating, it is a great 3-season bag for high mountain adventures, and can last into the winter with a liner or if you live a little further south than our Rocky Mountain testing grounds in Utah.

Tension 30 Tent

The Tension 30 packs an impressive thirty square feet of livable space into a package that weighs just under two and a half pounds.  Using a single carbon fiber pole, it maximizes space with nearly vertical walls and a no-drip vestibule for gear. Every surface (aside from the mesh upper body) is silicone impregnated nylon, ensuring that both your tent base and rainfly keep rain, dew, and snow firmly out. This tent will have your friends drooling over it at every backpacking campsite all summer long.

Editors' Recommendations

Austin Parker
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Austin Parker is a former contributor at The Manual Parker is a powder skier and sport climber and is no stranger hauling…
All 2023-2024 Burton snowboards are now available – here’s everything you need to know
We're all for Burton's deep-space designs
2024 Burton Blossom

2024 Burton Blossom Nate Swanner / The Manual

Burton has released its 2024 snowboard lineup. On the Burton website, you can now find all its latest snowboards for sale. Men’s, women’s, and the Family Tree lineup are now available.

Read more
How to adjust ski bindings in 10 easy steps
Your ski bindings are the link between you and the snow, so set them once and set them right
Ski boot clipping into binding from behind.

When you’re riding the chairlift or gondola up your favorite ski mountain and picturing the next great run down the ski trail, there’s a good chance you’re not specifically thinking about your ski bindings. However, once you get to the top of the mountain and plant your skis in the snow so you can clip your boots in and start cutting the trail down the ski slope, you’ll certainly be reminded of how crucial ski bindings are to the whole skiing experience.
After all, ski bindings are what attach your ski boots to your skis and allow you to stay connected and control your skis. Therefore, having properly adjusted ski bindings ensures you can ski safely and comfortably without risking injury to yourself or others by accidentally losing control due to an equipment failure.
Adjusting your ski bindings isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s clearly important that it’s done correctly -- especially if you're participating in the Winter Olympics skiing event! With that in mind, we will have you set for the best ski season yet with our guide to how to properly adjust ski bindings.

Can you adjust your own ski bindings?
Your local ski shop or the ski rental shop at the mountain can certainly adjust your ski bindings for you, but it will cost money, and if it’s their busy season, you may have to wait a while for them to get the job done. The good news is that you can adjust your own ski bindings with little more than a screwdriver, a few pieces of information about the skier (yourself or whomever you’re healing), and the basic know-how.

Read more
In Yellowstone National Park, one woman was sent running after yet another too-close encounter with a bison
Here's why you should NEVER get in front of a wild bison, kids
Closeup of large black bison starting at camera from a grassy field.

In the past few years, tourists have started visiting the best U.S. National Parks in record numbers. More people means more animal encounters — specifically wild animal encounters. It should go without saying that wild animals are, well, wild. That means they can be unpredictable, aggressive, and even dangerous when they feel threatened. Can you blame them? But that hasn't stopped some people from putting their safety, even their lives, at risk just to snag "the perfect selfie." Case in point: Yet another tourist who couldn't resist getting an all-too-close "ussie" with a wild bison, and nearly found herself the victim of another Yellowstone National Park bison attack.

Instagram user yesitisjen captured this brief video snippet of the encounter:

Read more