|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009
Mount Hardwear combines a puffy with a shell in their Synchronicity jacket.
"Essentially, it's like getting two jackets–a lightweight puffy and a waterproof shell–in one," said our tester after a cold, damp January trip in the Grand Canyon. "As waves of freezing rain blew through, I stayed perfectly warm and dry, which allowed me to focus on scrambling over slick terrain rather than on adding and subtracting layers." Credit a seam-taped, waterproof/breathable shell over 800-fill down.
That combination, plus 14-inch pit zips, kept testers comfortable in a surprisingly wide range of conditions. The adjustable, insulated hood has a stiff, two-inch wide brim that shields your face from rain. Fit is loose enough to layer a fleece underneath on cold nights, making the Synchronicity a cozy camp coat as well. Downside: the price. $375; 1 lb. 6 oz.; men's S-XXL, women's XS-XL; mountainhardwear.com