Mountain Equipment Annapurna: A classic down jacket and a worthy companion on all journeys. Its inner fleece lining keeps you warm. The wrap around hood protects the head, face and the ears against strong wind chill. It’s especially useful for final day summit pushes through the biting cold. The Annapurna is also windproof and water resistant. There’s a lot one can keep in it (gloves, torch et al), in its two large lower pockets, two top chest side pockets and an internal wire mesh pocket.

Field tested: Kanchenjunga, Everest and Annapurna Base Camp trips and Annapurna Circuit.
Merrell Adventure Rest Ridgeland Hoodie: This is another great option to use as an outer shell during night surges. Merrell lists the Adventure Rest as a mid-layer, however. The jacket isn’t bulky as compared to a normal down and what’s more, it’s incredibly light. Added to these is the insulation it provides to keep you dry and comfortable. The jacket uses Primaloft ® Eco ® SYNERGY combining 50% recycled material with 50% Primaloft ® virgin fibres to deliver high loft and thermally efficient insulation. It also has an interior stuff pocket which helps you convert the jacket into a neck pillow when you want to grab a shut eye. Together with its water resistant character, the Adventure Rest makes for the lightest portable warmth you can carry to the outdoors.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition
North Face Alpine Jacket: Extremely compressible and lightweight, this minimally featured alpine jacket serves as a superior outer shell during the day. The GORE-TEX® Paclite® fabrication provides extreme breathability together with being waterproof and wind-resistance. Designed with a specific GORE-TEX® membrane with a protective internal layer made of an oil-hating/carbon hybrid, this shell is lighter and easier to pack away. It’s another must have on all Himalayan missions.

Field tested: Annapurna Circuit and Base Camp trips and Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
North Face Apex Trekking Pant: These lightweight and breathable soft shell pants are engineered for comfort, stretch and mobility. They help you stay cool, dry and comfortable during adventures in tough conditions. The four-way stretch Apex Universal fabric is wind permeability rated at 10 CFM, keeping you warm in the most challenging of climates, besides being water resistant. A performance fit is engineered by an elastic waist with front webbing belt, while a brushed lining reduces friction around the waistband. Snap closure ankle zippers slip comfortably over your boots, and two hand pockets and a thigh pocket add storage space. Whether hiking, trekking, climbing or skiing, these pants won't let you down – and with an average weight of 590g, it's easily packed.

Field tested: Annapurna Circuit and Base Camp trip and Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
North Face Gore-Tex Gaiter: This is a great choice if you seek breathable lower leg protection. Gaiters are designed to keep out snow, water and other slush from your entering your shoes and getting your feet damp. It also protects the trekking pant from crampon damage. In addition to delivering the above, this waterproof gaiter has a secure fit, a tapered ankle cut, a Velcro® strip right till the toe and a tough Hypalon® underfoot strap with roller buckle to keep it in place. It's a high utility addition to the gear list.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
Merrell Phaser Peak Waterproof: The Phaser Peak is an outstanding trekking boot made for every outdoor terrain and condition. The boot looks heavy, but actually isn't. There's ample space upfront courtesy the width. It has a firm heel coupled with air cushioning. It's styled aggressively thanks to its aggressive Vibram® Phaser sole and the body's waterproof membrane ensures it stays impermeable and breathable throughout. The boot's constructed to deliver on comfort, on warmth, on being snug, and on providing traction and stability. This one's a true heavyweight.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
Merrell Trimaran Half Zip: This full sleeved tee has a superb aerobic fit and is sharp and snug. The fabric is the softest and the tee has a great design too. The two-sided double-knit MSELECT WICK mesh pulls moisture away from the skin and dries quickly. In addition, the soft fabric ensures there's zero friction with the skin. The Trimaran's are best used as a single layer during the day and as multiple layers at night. It's a great product for both the indoors and the outdoors.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
North Face Windstopper ® Neck Gaiter: The product shell has a Gore Windstopper® with double-faced Polartec® Power Stretch® micro-fleece making this neck gaiter windproof, breathable, warm and lightweight. It also has an adjustable draw cord which offers convenient protection. It's an essential for cold and windy outdoor activities.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
Black Diamond Sensei: These are good gloves. They are tough on the exterior and unbelievably warm in the insides. The leather palms protect against any abrasion that may occur while grabbing rock surfaces while the ultra-warm prima loft insulation inside offers protection to the digits in all conditions. The Gore-Tex XCR material also makes them waterproof and breathable. Compared to regular gloves, the extended cuff helps keep away snow from sneaking inside. They will take some time getting used to as the fingers feel rather rigid as you try to seek dexterity. But over time you get a hang of them.

Field tested: Kanchenjunga and Everest Base Camp trips and Annapurna Circuit.
Sea to Summit Thermal Liner: This thermal fleece liner is extremely light, warm and easy to pack. It is mummy shaped and has a zippered side opening just like a regular sleeping bag. Use this in conjunction with a synthetic sleeping bag or use them as is. It's a highly recommended and usable gear to have.

Field tested: Everest Base Camp trip.
North Face Superlight: This down bag's all about warmth and comfort on a multi-day high altitude itinerary. The mummy design makes it very convenient to use and provides an extremely comfortable fit. Its anti-compression technology Climashield Prism ™ helps create a durable insulated layer on all points of ground contact. The legs and feet have ample space to move around as the bag tapers and even when you want to roll over within it, while the hood is large enough for the head and neck to fit in comfortably giving extra comfort. This 600+ fill grey goose down bag is a no brainer to own.

Field tested: Kanchenjunga, Everest and Annapurna Base Camp trips, Annapurna Circuit and Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
Petzl MYO RXP: Like all Petzl head torches, this one's another star performer. Sleek in design, compact and snug in fit with an adjustable head strap and light in weight, the MYO RXP also comes with a soft shell battery pack at its rear which makes it easy to change batteries. Together with this, it gives you options of beams to choose from (wide and narrow), besides allowing you to select the intensity of light it can throw out from a programmable menu. It's an extremely durable product with a long battery life. The buttons need some time getting used to due to their size. With gloves on, it gets difficult.

Field tested: Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.
Kelty Storm 3600: A convenient backpack for multiday journeys, it's pretty sturdy for heavy loads (between 30-35 pounds) and yet comfortable on the shoulders as it transfers the weight to the waist. This, thanks to its LightBeam ™ Aluminium stays and the 3-layer padded waist belt. It also has 2-layer padded shoulder straps and a breathable padded back. One of the highlights is its 3 Ltr hydration system. It has multiple compartments for stacking gear, with two side mesh pockets, an outer front mesh pocket and a zipped compartment on the hood. You can stuff your tent, sleeping bag, down jackets and other essentials in it. It's a reasonably priced bag which offers good utility.

Field tested: Kanchenjunga, Everest and Annapurna Base Camp trips, Annapurna Circuit and Stok Kangri Summit Expedition.

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