Cold Weather Layering With Beyond Clothing – Expedition Layering Systems Pt 2

While recently listening to one of my go-to podcasts, I heard a certain individual make the claim that the growing popularity of solid, earth-toned colors in hunting apparel is some kind of new fad. I couldn’t disagree more. I think it’s just basic economics at play.

In my experience, most mountain or backcountry hunters engage in numerous mountain sports or activities throughout the year. Skiing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, sledding, camping, off-roading, overlanding, fishing…the list could go on. 

When faced with a choice between spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on gear that only applies to one activity versus spending the same (or sometimes less) for gear that applies across most of one’s mountain pursuits, the decision is pretty straightforward.

Everyone’s budget differs but if you’re saving money on your apparel system, that leaves you with more money for optics, ammo, tag applications, boots, packs, shooting courses, archery events, hunt planning, and mapping software, etc. 

The point being, if you can find the gear that performs to your standards but doesn’t break the bank, you can repurpose more of your budget to the tools, skills, and actual necessities that will make a real difference in the field. 

The bottom line? There are products worth spending top dollar for, and then there are products that will do everything you need without taking an unnecessary chunk out of your hunting budget.

This is why I feel Beyond Clothing should be on everyone’s radar. I’ve been using Beyond’s technical gear for years now, from Tajikistan to all over BC, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the quality, durability, and performance of their system.

If you’re partial to solids like I am, are looking for technical apparel that will absolutely perform in challenging mountain conditions—across multiple applications no less—and love finding great gear at a great price, then I encourage you to read on.

As Nolan covered in his precursor to this article, where he outlines some of his favorite Beyond pieces for early season pursuits, we teamed up with Beyond to bring the JOMH/BTK audience a stellar 35% off discount on a variety of their gear. 

Even without this limited-time offer, Beyond gear is priced unbelievably well, but at this price, you’d be crazy not to have a look at the pieces available and see if you can find something that fills a gap or need in your kit. If you’re reading this after the promo is over, you can still get a solid 20% discount on their products using the code “JOMH” on their site.

In this article, I’ll cover the gear that’s most applicable for late-season pursuits but, it goes without saying that, in the mountains, you can get late-season conditions in August and early-season conditions in September and October. 

So, don’t read this as a late-season-only overview. Think about where and when you hunt and the environmental variables you typically encounter like wind, moisture/humidity, altitude, and of course temperatures, and apply this to what Nolan and I cover in this article series.

Static Insulation – CETRA K7 Jacket and Pant

If you’ve listened to, watched, or read much of our content over the past few years, you’ll know I have strong opinions on the importance of heavy-duty or, more technically speaking, static insulation layers.

As the name suggests, static (versus active or dynamic) insulation layers are designed to be used when you’re not moving much. That could be sitting around camp, long glassing sessions or as an extra layer worn while sleeping to elevate a sleeping bag’s performance beyond its temperature rating. Which can save you carrying extra weight in the form of a heavier sleeping bag.

In my experience, if you find yourself in the mountains in the later months, these static insulation pieces are critical. Now, here’s where the strong opinion comes into play. I will never use anything other than synthetic down for this aspect of my system. Period. 

Yes, synthetic insulation weighs more and doesn’t pack down as well as natural down but, for me, the benefits far outweigh those costs. I have worn these layers over soaking wet pants and tops, both from sweat and precipitation, and “cooked” myself dry more times than I can count. Not once have I experienced a loss in loft or insulating performance from doing so.

The unfortunate reality is it’s actually quite tough to find earth-toned static insulation pieces, rated to handle temps well below zero, that will stand up to the demands of backcountry hunting. 

Having used a variety of synthetic static insulation products over the years, I can promise you you won’t find a better jacket/pant combo than the Cetra K7 combo, especially at the price. These are tough, well-designed pieces that will serve you well when the temps plummet. 

If you find yourself in Northern climes like Northern BC, Alberta, the Territories, or Alaska on a regular basis, this combo will serve you well. For late season (October/November) elk or mule deer hunts in areas where the climate is more moist than dry this jacket/pant combo would be a smart choice.

 

Static Insulation – ANCHOR LIGHT BELAY K7 Jacket 

I have not had the chance to test the Anchor Light K7 jacket in the field yet, as I just got my hands on one of these jackets very recently. But, if you typically hunt in climates that aren’t quite as cold as what I typically run into in Northern BC, this jacket is definitely worth a look.

Although still a synthetic insulation piece, this is a lighter, more packable static insulation option from Beyond and it’s designed to blur the lines between a pure static and active insulation piece. It’s still more tailored to colder temps and a static application than the Prima Lochi K3 or Dasche K3 but will definitely serve you well in everything but very cold conditions.

As a side note, I really like the fit and styling of this jacket and, although I’m no fashionista, I’d happily wear this as a primary winter jacket for casual purposes. For me, this is one of those great cross-over pieces from Beyond where you can use it in the field but still get plenty of usage in normal life. This jacket is a great bang for the buck. If you’re concerned by the weight and packability of the Cetra pieces or don’t see the need for that level of insulation, this jacket would be a great option.

Softshell – APTUS K5 Jacket

One of the first pieces of Beyond gear I had the chance to use was the A5 Stretch Alpha sweater from their Axios line, back in 2018 when I went to Tajikistan. All three of us on that trip used the A5 extensively and were blown away by its performance. Well, the Aptus K5 is an even better version of that jacket in my opinion, which is saying a lot.

It’s warmer, stretchier, more breathable, fits incredibly well, and transports moisture phenomenally. In my opinion, this is one of, if not the best softshells on the market today.

Without any exaggeration, I LIVED in this jacket on my Northern BC multi-species hunt last season. I hiked, glassed, packed meat (and lots of it), and slept in the Aptus. It’s an excellent standalone softshell. 

But as we all know, our apparel is meant to function as a system and when you combine this jacket with other elements of a well-thought-out system, it really shines.

On that trip last fall, I paired the Aptus with my go-to midweight layer, the Celeris K2, and when conditions warranted, the Prima Lochi K3, which is an active insulation piece Nolan covers in his article. This combo was bombproof and served me well in everything but the coldest temps we encountered.

Janke seen wearing the K5 – Aptus

At the 35% discount, you’re getting a top-notch jacket at nearly half the price of numerous other hunting-oriented softshells.

All-Season Pants – VELOX K5 Pant

As Nolan and I covered in our recent podcast covering many of these pieces, we both love these pants. This is a true all-season pant when layered properly.

Like everything Beyond makes, these are an incredibly versatile and durable pair of pants that will tackle anything a tough mountain hunt will throw at you. From hiking through wildfire-ravaged terrain littered with blowdown, busting brush on the back of a horse, and crawling over sharp shale and rocks stalking stone sheep and goats, we’ve both seen these pants stand up to the rigors of the backcountry.

On their own, these pants will serve you well on a September elk hunt, and when you add a base layer like the Primus K1 or midweight layer like the Celeris K2, you’ll be just fine well into the late season.

The pockets are well-placed, the material is just stretchy enough to be very comfortable when hiking without losing any durability, and they breathe and dry incredibly well given how tough these pants are. Whether you pick these up at the 35% discount or miss the promo and grab them at the 20% discount we run year-round with Beyond, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pant this high-performing at this price.

Jankinov seen wearing the K5 – Velox Pant

Gloves – Guide Lite & Guide Glove

I’ll touch on a couple of the new gloves in the Beyond lineup briefly here as I don’t have extensive field use to speak to but, based on the specs, my past experiences with gloves and glove systems, and some recent field testing, these are worth covering, especially at the discount available.

Guide Lite Glove

There are two gloves worth looking at for late-season pursuits, the Guide Lite, which I have used, and the heavy-duty, full-featured Guide model.

The Guide Lite is a workhorse glove. Designed to function as a hybrid between a mountain activity-specific glove and a work-ready glove, I’ve been using these this Spring and am loving them. I wish I’d had these with me on that multi-species hunt last fall but they weren’t available at the time.

The Guide Lites fit incredibly well, which is a big deal for me with gloves. I hate any loss of tactile feel with my hands. Built with premium materials, and designed with the right protection and features in the right places, in my opinion, these gloves should be on your list regardless of the mountain pursuits you’re into.

As someone that doesn’t battle cold extremities, I would use these well into the late season. Other than winter goat hunting, these gloves would be my choice.

Which is a great segue into the heavier duty Guide gloves. If there’s a glove system that screams winter goat hunting, it’s these. If you’re a skier, backcountry sledder, or ice climber I’d put these gloves on your list.

Guide Glove

I do not have any personal use with these but, knowing what I know about how well Beyond builds their gear and based on the specs, if you find yourself in the mountains when it’s below freezing, you need to take a look at these bad boys.

Honorable Mentions – Celeris K2 Midweight Layers and Dasche K3

To wrap this up, I’d be remiss in not mentioning two final products from Beyond, the Celeris K2 midweight layers (top and bottom) and the new Dasche K3.

Although the Celeris is unfortunately excluded from the 35% discount, you can still pick them up with our 20% standard discount. I honestly can’t sing the praises of the Celeris pieces enough, I quite simply love these products.

Janke seen wearing the Celeris Midweight K2

In my opinion, the Celeris top is the best midweight top I’ve ever owned and is a staple in my kit. It would have to be guaranteed to be well into summer temps for me not to take this afield. And as someone that prefers synthetics over merino or merino blends, the bottoms are my go-to mid-layer when conditions demand it.

Moving on to the Dasche K3, this could be one of the more unique and impressive jackets I’ve come across in a long time. This is an active insulation piece that is insanely light and packable AND is still made with synthetic insulation. I don’t need to beat the synthetic insulation drum more than I already have but, a jacket this light and packable that can get wet and still be guaranteed to perform (unlike treated down) is a rare commodity.

Dasche K3

I’ve used this jacket as a mid-layer under my hardshell when skiing (resort) in temps well below zero and was very impressed. If you’re into ski-touring or any active cold-weather pursuits, this is a jacket worth checking out. I look forward to testing this piece more under hunting conditions this season.

 

Whether you are looking for high-quality technical clothing for your next fly-in sheep hunt, float trip for moose, or just to replace your camping and fishing pieces, Beyond will have something to fit your needs. At the JOMH, we’ve always maintained that we would only recommend and promote companies and products that we would rely on ourselves, in the mountains, and Beyond Clothing is no exception to this. It truly is quality, sustainable clothing, at a price that can’t be beaten — which leaves us more room in the fund to go do what we love — hunting and exploring the rugged wilderness of beautiful British Columbia.

Posted by Nolan Osborne