The latest technical apparel will keep you warm and dry when you are out playing in the wild.
1. Westcomb Apoc
Westcomb pioneered the use of Polartec’s new waterproof/breathable NeoShell fabric in this light-but-very-protective shell that worked well for everything from resort skiing to alpine climbing. While Polartec is best known as a “soft” shell company, NeoShell is a hard shell fabric and it proved worthy when we tested it in rainy conditions in the Italian Dolomites.
2. Patagonia Primo Jacket and Pant
Patagonia used three-layer Gore Performance Shell and an innovative, 100-percent recycled nylon to craft a bomber shell that can survive all the buffeting of riding the lifts yet breathes when out in the backcountry. It became our go-to choice for a do-it-all shell. We put it to the test everywhere from cat skiing in Alaska to huffing laps on Berthoud Pass.
$499 jacket, $399 pant; patagonia.com
3. Powderhorn Corbet X-Press
Powderhorn has mastered the art of the functional puffy. The Corbet X-Press is made for going hard in cold temps. A nylon Airtastic shell breathes while shucking off squalls and antimicrobial X-Static insulation keeps things cozy without picking up that ski-bum stank.
4. Spyder Eiger Jacket and Norwand Pant
Chris Davenport wears this outfit ski mountaineering—good enough for us. Stretch nylon and a waterproof/breathable membrane round out the tech.
$450 jacket, $375 pant; spyder.com
5. Freeride Systems Antero
Made in Colorado, this native shell—a hybrid made from Polartec—handles the grind of backcountry laps thanks to stretchy breathability.
6. Mammut Felsturm
This athletic shell features Gore’s new Active Shell fabric, which provides light three-layer protection and even more breathability than standard Gore-Tex. While it might be a tad light for heavy-duty resort use, it’s the ticket for backcountry skinning or nordic touring.
7. Eddie Bauer Hangfire Hoodie
Bill Belichick would be proud of this performance stretchy fleece hoodie that’s ideal for everything from walking the dogs in the winter to hiking for turns in the backcountry.
8. ArcTeryx Trino
Ideal for nordic skiing and other hard-charging winter activities this shell combines Gore Windstopper and stretchy Altasaris fabric in strategic locations to keep up with high-aerobic activities.
9. Outdoor Research Stormbound
A jacket designed for the crazy temperature flip-flops of the sidecountry, the Stormbound relies on a light, waterproof Pertex shell with baffled down for warmth when it’s windy without overheating on the slogs.
10. Loki Myth (jacket not pictured)
Here’s a “soft” shell with all the functionality of a hard shell—thanks to a waterproof/breathable core that insulates it from the worst of mountain weather. But the deal breaker for changeable weather is Loki’s integrated mitts and neck warmer, built right into the jacket.