Penfield started out in Hudson, Massachusetts way back in the mountaineering glory days of 1975, and whilst a fair amount has changed in the world, they still focus on the hard-wearing staples that they made their name on all those years ago. As you’d expect from a brand with the slogan ‘for life in the open’, Penfield’s heart is in the great outdoors — for a visual aid, think walking with caribou in the Alaskan wilderness, day-trips amongst the majestic Great Lakes and having your packed lunch nabbed by grizzly bears while you cower for safety behind your campervan.
Penfield have been making the Kasson Jacket for as long as we can remember, and they get better every year. Still great value, they’ve got useful details coming out of their ears, and ‘cause they’re made of that wonder-blend of nylon and cotton known as 60/40, it’ll keep you dry without being a sweatbox. If you’re going to be wearing a parka, you’re going to need a hat to match — luckily Penfield run a tight ship in the bobbled hat department, and whether you’re after Nordic knitting or that aggy ice-hockey fan look, there’s something for fussiest of heads.
We’re always singing the praises of Universal Works, and this week ain’t no different. As well as the time-honoured designs you know and love, they’ve thrown a few spicy numbers into the blend for good measure. The spiciest of all is the Weekend Shirt, which uses the Polynesian dyeing technique known as Ikat to add as bit of south pacific zest to an already snappy shirt. Other items of note include the best gillet a man can get, some trousers that wouldn’t look out of place on the legs of a helicopter pilot gunning down Charlie over Saigon and a super-jumbo cord jacket with some of the biggest wales this side of Free Willy 3.