We all have our playgrounds. For most of my life, mine has been the ocean–bodysurfing with my siblings when we were kids, chasing big waves around California as an adult, and now, pushing my own kids into waves.
But for the last few years, I’ve found a new playground, one that has captivated countless others before me: the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Whether it’s Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, or one of the many secret spots in between, the Sierras are a natural paradise.
The climate of the Sierras can pack quite a punch, so any old down jacket won’t cut it during the winter. In my hunt to find the perfect jacket to keep me both warm and active this winter, I couldn’t be happier with the Classon by Lolë.
First off, there’s the warmth factor. The Classon is packed with high-quality, cruelty-free down, at a 90/10 ratio, the highest you can find, with a fill power of 600. For those not too steeped in the technical world of down, what that means is you’re getting more warmth, in a lighter packaging, than what you’ll find in the masses of jackets with lower ratios. The Classon doesn’t cut any corners in providing the warmest, lightest experience, so you can be active as you stay warm.
Then there’s the durability. The exterior is ripstop nylon, a fabric so reliable it’s used by the military for parachutes. The nylon’s strength lies in its interwoven ripstop reinforcement threads, laid in a crosshatch pattern for maximum strength. In the Classon, you’re free to go off-trail without the fear of ruining your jacket in the process. And in the rare event that you do catch a snag, the yarn is woven at deliberate intervals to shut down tears before they can spread.
There are other whistles and bells too–it’s windproof and water repellent, the hood is adjustable for the ideal fit, and it reaches just above the knee–but what I love most about the Classon is that it maintains a simple, even minimalist feel. While some jackets take pleasure in feeling as complicated as a space suit, the Classon is as easy as putting it on and zipping it up. All the technical features fall into place without any additional thought. Because who wants a user manual to get the most out of their jacket?
With the first snow of the season set to fall in the Sierras any day now, I know that I’ll be using the Classon day after day this winter. Whether I’m out shoveling snow, looking for frozen lakes for ice skating, or setting up the zip line that I hear Santa is going to deliver to our cabin on Christmas morning, the Classon will be the jacket to keep me warm and playful as I explore my new playground.
Mark Lukach is a writer, mental health advocate, public speaker, and teacher. His is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Lovely Wife in The Psych Ward. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He has spoken across the United States at businesses, universities, and hospitals to share his family’s story of mental illness, commitment, and hope. He is currently the Ninth Grade Dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history. He lives with his wife, Giulia, and their two sons in the San Francisco Bay area.