The Do-Everything Jacket

Time Tested

LL Bean sharp crimson scrap of ripstop—hood, front-zip, pockets

Photo: Bria Schurke

THE DO-EVERYTHING JACKET

The last thing I did before I left Maine was cash in a half-used gift card at the L.L.Bean outlet store. I was headed to the Yukon later that week and I needed a jacket. For $19, I walked away with a sharp crimson scrap of ripstop—hood, front-zip, pockets. Seven years later, it's faded to a rusty peach and sports a mess of sutures on the shoulder seam and sleeves. A gale used to play on the fabric with a crinkle and snap, now the tissue-thin nylon ripples without a sound. It has four continents and about 1,200 days on it: New Zealand sun, Mongolian wind, Uzbek sand, Arctic cold. Packing for the next evolution, I don't even think twice. I'd lose track of the 'Take' pile if I didn't see that wisp of faded red on top. — Zand Martin

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