The Goods: Men’s Spring Mountain Threads

Words by John Caldwell 

Ah yes, springtime in the mountains. The days are longer, the birds are chirping again, the rivers are big, and, yes, the weather is unpredictable. Here in our little slice of heaven in the Mountain West, we’ve seen spring days that literally throw every condition at you: rain, sleet, corn snow, wet snow, hail, lightning, steady wind, gusting wind, sun, clouds, and rapid temperature changes. And we love it. It’s exciting. But you don’t want to get caught out there with an insufficient piece of clothing that isn’t versatile. Springtime in the mountains means having layers that will keep you warm but not too warm, work well with other clothing pieces, and are just plain comfortable and stylish. This means having that perfect sweater, shirt, or light jacket. We came up with a list of some of our favorite go-to pieces for la primavera.

Dale of Norway Viking Basic Sweater

No one produces mountain clothing quite like the Scandinavians. Dale of Norway is the premier Norwegian brand for all-things related to alpine style and has a rich heritage that dates back to 1879. It was during that year that textile industrialist Peter Jebsen completed the building of a textile facility in the small village of Dale on the west coast of Norway. The primary material of this company has always been merino wool. In fact, Dale of Norway invented premium worsted wool back in 1912 which makes their items long-lasting and of the highest quality to this day.

For springtime in the mountains, enter the Viking Basic sweater. It is part of the Viking Collection, which is inspired by the Norwegian Alpine Ski Team who are often called the “attacking vikings.” This is a thin, Henley-style pullover made from high quality 16.5 micron merino wool. The feel of the material is exceptionally soft next to the skin which makes this piece easily wearable as a baselayer. Using 100% merino is also a plus for the benefits of excellent insulation, superb moisture wicking, and the ability to dry quickly. The fit and cut of the Viking Basic is absolutely superb: slim but not too slim with the perfect amount of stretch allowing for seamless movement. And when it comes to style this sweater is the perfect blend between casual and formal, modern and traditional. We especially like the 4-button crew neck collar. The subtle designs on each bicep are Viking runes that symbolize “protection” and “victory” and serve to truly set this piece apart as being modernly Norwegian. It comes in black/off white or smoke grey/black. You can be comfortable wearing the Viking Basic to the office or on the hill. Upgrade your sweater game this spring with Dale of Norway. $239 MSRP

Stio Stettner Microfleece Zip Shirt

Stio hails from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so they know their way around dressing for inclement spring weather in the Tetons. If the question is how to be prepared for anything that springtime in the mountains might send your way, the answer is the ultra-versatile and ultra-sharp Stettner shirt. The Stettner is made from Polartec Micro 100% Recycled Repreve Polyester which allows this garment to wick moisture with ease and dry at hyper-speed. This thick shirt comes with a full zipper and two snap pockets on the chest. And did we mention style? The Stettner has it in spades. This piece is the perfect blend of modern Mountain West and classic Western wrangler with its traditional collar and chest pocket flaps. The fit is trim but not overly so and allows for the perfect balance between style, comfort, and functionality. Honestly, the Stettner has to be the most diverse and unique piece of clothing on this list. Is it a shirt?  Is it a light jacket? Is it for performance or going out on the town? We think it’s for all of the above. $109 MSRP

Mountain Khakis Sportsman’s Shirt Jac

Ever felt the need for the timeless look and high quality performance of the flannel shirt in a warmer version? If so, you are in luck because Mountain Khakis have perfected this tweener category with ease. Equally at home in a backcountry storm and the local brewpub, the number one concept that this piece embodies is versatility—in function and style. The Sportsman’s Shirt Jac features a traditional collar, full snap button openings on the front, two snap button chest pockets, and two lower side pockets for convenient wearing and storage options. Materials: an exterior of wool blended with polyester, 100% nylon lining, and 60 gram quilted polyfill insulation. The fit is relaxed which allows the wearer to easily layer up underneath if the thermometer drops. Inspired by the sportsmen and craftsmen of the Jackson Hole area, the Sportsman’s Shirt Jac is the real deal. Look the part this spring while chopping firewood, sitting in on an impromptu jam session, shredding spring corn during the local mountain’s closing weekend, or sipping on the latest double IPA at the local craft brewery. $199.95 MSRP


First Lite Chama 230g Merino Hoody

First Lite was created in 2007 and is headquartered in the pristine mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho. This company makes some of the finest and most advanced hunting clothing and gear in the world. Their Chama hoody is the perfect testament of this statement. This thin sweatshirt is made of 100% Superfine merino wool providing incredible insulation for being so thin, is naturally odor resistant, has excellent next-to-skin comfort, and allows for perfect freedom of movement while being completely silent. Another bonus is the fact that this piece is easy to pack or use with other layers while most hooded sweatshirts remain bulky. For technical versatility the Chama comes with thumb loops, a zippered outer pocket on the sleeve, and the hood is articulated for a snug fit when the temperature drops. It comes in a variety of camo and single color options. $135 MSRP

Marmot Variant Jacket

Marmot was born in Grand Junction, Colorado back in 1973 by a group of mountain climbers and adventurers. This company knows about performance mountain wear by personally testing their products in the most extreme scenarios. A hybrid of styles and materials, the Variant is the perfect go-to mid-layer jacket for the unpredictable and ever-changing spring weather conditions in the mountains. Marmot’s trademark Thermal R insulation is sewn into the front area for added warmth while Polartec Power Stretch (smooth and stretchy fleece material) makes up the back and arms. This setup allows for amazingly good freedom of movement. The Variant also prides itself on not being bulky and having an athletic fit. It could easily be the perfect piece to throw on for snowshoeing, hiking, running, mountain biking, or cross country skiing on a moderately cold day. Smart attention to smaller details such as zippered hand warmer pockets, elastic bound cuffs and hem, thumbholes, a zippered inner pocket, and two large zippered outer pockets help to make it truly utilitarian. And although the Variant is geared toward athletic pursuits, it is so good looking that you could easily wear it in any situation. $150 MSRP

Flylow Sinclair Insulated Flannel

Check this out. The traditional flannel has truly met modern insulation technology here to produce one of the most distinct in-between pieces of mountain wear in the industry. The Sinclair is stuffed with 40 grams of Spaceloft insulation that allows you to wear it as a jacket on chilly spring days. One of the coolest features of this shirt/jacket has to be the material on the back of the forearms and on chest pocket flaps. It’s a diamond cut pattern of down material that is identical to the interior. The presence of this material mixed in with the regular flannel pattern on the exterior gives the Sinclair an original look that effortlessly sets it apart from all of the other countless flannels in the mountain clothing market. 100% rugged polyester makes up the exterior which is further enforced by Taffeta lining. Snap buttons line the front as well as being on two chest pockets and on the cuffs. The color combinations are on point as well with the Sinclair being offered in grey/navy, red/grey, and blue/burgundy. $125 MSRP