Back in the day, middle layers meant wool sweaters—first our cousin’s hole-ridden hand-me-downs, and then a few nice merino wool pieces once our ski obsession evolved with our gear knowledge. But the new trend in midlayers is pushing that once-simple piece of apparel into interesting new directions. It started with the ever-popular insulated “sweaters”, but Mammut may trigger a new trend next fall with their Trift Midlayer ($199). Made of super-soft fleece, with a moisture-wicking baffle backing and stretch panels, the design evokes the fleece hoodies of old. But the jackets also include a few outer-layer specific details like a two-way front zip, backpack- and harness-compatible pockets, and underarm vents—elements that make it feel more like a jacket than a traditional midlayer. Which we suppose is precisely the point. Still, it’ll be curious to see how well the Trift, and the women-specific model, the Niva ($189), hold up against the elements without wearing a shell on top.