The sheer, 2,000-foot southeast face of the Lotus Flower Tower in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables requires multiple skill sets. Our tester packed the Ampato for the same reason: It delivers a repertoire of packablity, breathability, durability, and price. “The fit in the arms is perfect, the pockets are a good size (great for holding a camera lens or energy bars), and I didn’t work up a sweat,” says our tester, who summited the peak. “And the fabric was absolutely waterproof, even in 30°F temperatures with all-day heavy rain and hail.”
The membrane is Mountain Hardwear’s Dry.Q Elite, a version of air-permeable eVent. The jacket comes with an adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, and plentiful pockets. Inside is a wicking mesh lining that, while adding weight and bulk, makes the jacket feel drier during sweatfests, and warmer on cold, windy days.