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Soft shells



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: Softshells

Eight softshell jackets from super breathable to warm and cozy.

Gear Review: The North Face Leonidas Jacket

A stretchy, three-season jacket

Gear Review: GoLite Malpais Jacket

A ridiculously light shell that also blocks wind and rain.

Gear Review: Marmot Ether DriClime Jacket



Gear Review: Stoic Welder Lo Jacket

The perfect three-season jacket.

Gear Review: Rab Boreas/Aurora Pull-on Jacket



Gear Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane Accelerator Shell

A hooded, seam-taped, DWR-treated rain jacket for kids.

Gear Review: Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser

A primo softshell jacket...for your dog.

Gear Review: MontBell Tachyon Anorak Jacket

An extremely light and extremely packable windshell.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Alibi Jacket

A stretchy softshell jacket that is perfect for dayhikes

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Verglas Pants

Softshell pants that are waterproof, breathable, and abrasion resistant.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research TrailBreaker Pants

Breathable softshell pants for skiers that log logs of vertical.

Gear Review: Westcomb Skeena Hoody

A weather-resistant shell that's as warm as a sweater.

Gear Review: Marmot Up Track Jacket

This wind resistant yet breathable softshell is great for layering.

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings II Softshell Jacket

An ultralight softshell that wicks.

Gear Review: Rab Exodus Jacket

A midweight softshell that's multiseason.

Gear Review: The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

This softshell provides maximum breathability and weather protection.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen EkoLab Rapide

This eco-friendly jacket is everything you'd expect from a midweight softshell.

Gear Review: Columbia Turn-'N-Go Softshell Jacket

A bargain softshell that's cozy and great for aerobic activities.

Gear Review: Millet 350

This lightweight shell is mountain ready.

Gear Review: White Sierra Tempest Tek Jacket

Total rain protection at a happy, happy price.

Gear Review: Merrel Norgate

A do-it-all rainshell with a roomy cut.

Gear Review: Patagonia Simple Guide Jacket

A streamlined softshell that packs up small and cuts the wind

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Squamish Pullover Jacket

Soak up the sun in this windproof ARC'TERYX pullover.

Gear Review: The North Face Valkyrie Jacket

This cold-weather The North Face jacket comes complete with handwarmer pockets.

Gear Review: REI Taku Waterproof Jacket

This waterproof, hooded REI jacket is stretchy and breathable.

Gear Review: Cloudveil FirsTurn Hooded Jacket

This Cloudveil jacket is great for wind, snow, and light precipitation. And it's under $200.

Gear Review: ARC'TERYX Gamma LT Pullover Softshell Jacket

This ARC'TERYX pullover is the perfect mix of baselayer and jacket.

Outfit Your Kids: Fall '09 Kids' Gear Reviews

Want to enjoy more time on the trail? It's simple: Bring the whole family, but make sure the kids stay comfortable with gear built for them.

Fall Apparel Guide 2009

Goal: Help you stay comfortable in any weather. Solution: Hike through two-week-long downpours and hurricane-force winds to bring you the best new gear for every trip.

Apparel Guide 2009: Shells

In a 2000 BACKPACKER raingear review, the average jacket weighed 20.6 ounces. Nine year later, that's down as much as 65%–and these six entries are more breathable to boot.

Gear Review: Millet Super touring Jacket

This all-around soft shell keeps the drizzle on the outside and warmth on the inside, right where it belongs.

Gear Review: Mammut Lobuche Shell

New technology makes for a super breathable, go anywhere hard shell

Gear Review: Marmot Nano Shell

Weighing less that 10 ounces this ultralight shell withstood 3 days of torrential rain.

Gear Review: REI OXT Airflyte Running Jacket

This high intensity, breathable jacket is perfect for fast day hikes and cross training.

Field Test: Global Apparel for Men

Get technical layers that work everywhere from hotel bars to high-mountain trails. Our testers vetted more than 50 products from the Alps to the Andes to bring you these top systems.

Review: Core Concepts Monsoon to Market

Core Concepts Monsoon to Market effortlessly transforms from satchel to shell.

Women's Fall Gear 2008

Our female testers pick their favorite gear for fall hikes.

The Denali Test: Gear for America's Highest, Coldest Peak

Our tester spent 18 days climbing, camping, and evaluating gear on America's highest, coldest peak. If his picks made it there, they can make it anywhere.

Extreme Layering: All-Purpose Clothing

For all-purpose performance year-round, this layering system works overtime through any weather.

Extreme Layering: Rainy-Weather Clothing

Don't let a crappy forecast keep you home for the weekend. Just pack this deluge-tested system.

Extreme Layering: Hot-Weather Clothing

From the Grand Canyon to sunshine-pounded Colorado peaks, stay cool and comfortable with this ultralight system.

Extreme Layering: Cold-Weather Clothing

Our testers faced raging blizzards, pounding hail, frigid temps, and 60-mph winds to select these top clothes.

Extreme Layering: Clothing for all Weather Conditions

Wild weather coming? We've devised a perfect system for every condition.

2008 Apparel Guide: The Outtakes

We couldn't fit all of our reviews in one spot. Here, read the outtakes.

Puffy Jackets

Made with down or synthetic fibers and paper-thin shells, these puffy jackets weigh less, loft higher, and pack much smaller than fleece.

Clothing Review: Westcomb Syncro Pants

Proven extra-tough after 30 straight days of hiking

Apparel Review: More For Your Money

Budget shopper or big spender? We have the perfect three-season layering system for you.

Stone Cold Campers

They kill swiftly and silently. They flit like ghosts through enemy forests. And they will brew you a fine cup of cowboy coffee. Meet America's deadliest hikers as we hump ruck with the Special Forces.

Getting Navy SEAL Gear

How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.

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