March 27, 2018

We hit the road last week in search of spring powder to test out our new line of Utility WhatVests and while the forecast didn't look particularly great we took a chance and we SCORED!!!!  I left Laramie Sunday evening and woke up Monday to a surprise 15" powder day at my home mountain of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The aspen skiing was of course off the hook and the hooting and hollering from the locals on this sleeper powder day was infectious. From there, I rallied my troops, my fiancé Josh Burton and my dear friend Lacey Lescobar, and we headed north to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

We woke up on Tuesday morning to an underestimated 10" powder day at my old stomping grounds of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. We suited up in our WhatVests and took to the hill for our first official day of product testing. We packed our vests with all the essential backcountry tools-- probe, shovel, water, snacks, extra gloves, and extra googles. We've added a little extra volume to the backpack zone of the vests and its seeming ideal to carry all your on-hill needs while still maintaining a slim feel when on a chairlift. The skiing was stellar to say the least, not too cold not too warm, and both in-bounds and out-of-bounds terrain was skiing blower.  The snow continued throughout the day and the vests did well at staying dry. We hit up a couple backcountry hikes and put our vests to the test in carrying our skis and snowboards.  So far so good, but I'm planning to add some reinforcements to the webbing on the vests to make sure they withstand the weight and rustle of carrying your skis or snowboard.

In addition to the awesome skiing, we were super stoked to run into our good buddies from one of our favorite bands-- Sneaky Petes and the Secret Weapons-- Bobby Griffith (also a long time JHMR ski patroller) and Jack Tolan. Bobby was able to get time away from patrolling to take us on a couple killer runs (thanks Bobby!!). We finished the day with a beer at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson (unfortunately one of the last good local bars left in Jackson).   

From Jackson, we headed north again through the beautiful and remote West Yellowstone zone to Big Sky, Montana. We settled in to our friend's cabin on the Gallatin River and were joined by one of Lacey's friends from Whitefish, MT. As luck might have it this badass friend of Lacey's, professional mule packer Jill Michalak, lived in Alaska for 12 years and we shared a handful of mutual friends from the Last Frontier. Over wine and the warmth of the wood fired stove, we all shared great stories and laughter of times in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska.

After a good nights sleep in our quite little cabin, we headed up to Big Sky Resort. This was all of our first time skiing Big Sky and boy were we impressed. The variety and expansiveness of the terrain blew our minds. Lone Mountain, the volcano-looking rugged peak that dominates the vista of Big Sky, is surrounded by steep rocky couloirs in every direction.  The big, wide open, treeless zones of Lone Peak give way to large patches of cryptic dead tree zones then mellow out into the lower elevations of moss laden, mixed pine terrain.


Snow had started to fall earlier this morning, heavy and wet.  Our group of four geared up with our array of Utility WhatVests, packed them with all our needs for the day, and hit the hill. We worked our way from south to north attempting to ride every chair lift and take in all of what Big Sky has to offer. Down low was super warm and gloppy so right out of the shoot we had to de-layer. Lucky us, we all had on a sweet vest to stash our extra layer ;). As the day moved on we decided to take the tram up to the top of Lone Mountain despite the warnings of less than 3 feet of visibility. We friended someone on the tram and were lucky enough to have this fella guide us down one of the steep shoots (I DO NOT recommend skiing this zone in zero visibility without knowing where you're going or without a guide or without a solid set of steep skiing skills).  It was terrifying, what some would consider their worst nightmare, but totally awesome!! I look forward to catching a day at Big Sky with blue skies so I can ski this zone for real. As the day winded down, the snow started to turn to carpet and it was an easy decision to make our way to the local apres' bar-- Scissorbills Saloon. Adorned with classic ski bum accoutrement, a friendly staff and a good beer selection, this bar was worth the time to cap off the day.  

After two solid days at Big Sky we headed back to Jackson in the pouring rain.  We didn't see snow until the top of Teton Pass and knew we were in for another deep day on Friday.  We rose the next morning to 17" with 2.5" of water content! It was a classic spring powder day, cream cheesy and delicious! We finished out our testing week with a hike south of Jackson, utilizing again the ski and snowboard carrying devices on the WhatVests and finding ourselves overall really stoked on the performance of the vests. Its always a challenge to make a product that can fit every body type, but the week brought to attention to a few tweeks needed to make the fit balance properly on most bodies and distribute the weight evenly. Stay tuned for an end of the season wrap-up from Steamboat.  Peace, love and POW!!! 

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Sizing Charts

WhatVest Sizing Chart:

Please note that our L/XL runs on the larger side.

2023-2024 Adult WhatVest Sizing Chart:



Extra Small

5' - 5'5" / 90lbs - 145lbs


5'5" - 5'10" /  125lbs - 180lbs


5'10" - 6'4"  /  165lbs - 255lbs

Grom (Kids) WhatVest Sizing Chart:

Small (6-8) 40"-49" / 40 - 55lbs / ~ Age 6-8
Medium (8-10) 48"- 58" /  50 - 75lbs / ~ Age 8-10
Large (10-12) 57"- 64" / 70 - 90lbs / ~ Age 10-12


CUSTOM WhatVest Sizing Chart:

Extra Small 5' - 5'5" / 90lbs - 145lbs
Small 5'5" - 5'8" / 130lbs - 150lbs
Medium 5'8" - 5'11" / 140lbs - 180lbs
Large 5'11" - 6'2" / 180lbs - 220lbs
Extra Large 6' - 6'4" / 220lbs - 255lbs
Extra Extra Large Tall 6'4" - 6'8" / 255lbs - 300lbs

WhatVest Care Instructions:

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