We tested several insulated ski shells last winter, but this one rose to the top for its combination of warmth, weather resistance, fit, and packability. “I wore the Winter Sun Hoody over a baselayer and light wool sweater on bone-chilling days when the sky was spitting slush,” says our gear editor, who tested it in Stowe, Vermont.
“I love nasty days like that when I have the slopes to myself—as long as I’m comfortable.” Key ingredients: a supple nylon face fabric that isn’t loud and crinkly in the cold; Gore Windstopper membrane that’s totally windproof and so water resistant it easily sheds wet snow and sleet; and a light layer of quilted PrimaLoft Eco insulation. The recipe offers surprising protection for such little bulk.
The big-tooth front zipper is snag-free and easy to operate with gloves on, and pockets are pack- and harness-friendly. The helmet-compatible hood is excellent: Three adjustment points cinch with a single pull and release by squeezing a cordlock imbedded in the fabric, so there’s “no flapping cords or fumbling in a storm.” Fit is perfectly tailored for winter layering.