2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2012

Gear Guide 2012: Montane Trojan/Athena Shell

If it's breathability you want, it's the Trojan/Athena that you need.

by: Ted Alvarez and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Montane Trojan/Athena (Courtesy Photo)
Montane Trojan/Athena (Courtesy Photo)

[most breathable]

“Simply the best combination of maximum weather protection with maximum breathability I’ve tried,” reports a tester. Others echoed the sentiment after comfortably braving fire-hose rainstorms in Olympic National Park, snow squalls in Colorado’s Mt. Evans Wilderness, and freezing fog in the North Cascades with the Trojan (women’s version is the Athena).

The ultrabreathable shell, made with an eVent membrane, bested all others on multiday excursions in Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks. “I kept expecting to sweat out while huffing and puffing in clammy rain up a brutal ridge, but there was only a little dampness at the small of my back against the pack,” says one especially hot-blooded tester. The superior breathability is not due to the fabric alone; it’s enhanced by the jacket’s athletic, streamlined design, which has no excessive flaps or extra pockets to interfere with moisture transfer.

Testers also praised the articulated arms, which enabled unencumbered movement for scrambling and self-belaying on snow slopes in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness. Two large chest pockets carry snacks or folded maps and provide additional venting; testers never complained about the lack of pit zips. A slim, bendable wire in the brim let testers adjust the rollaway hood without forming a rain-catching lip, and simple drawcords make one-hand volume adjustment a snap (there’s room for a climbing helmet, but only just).

Gripes: Extra-crinkly fabric means the jacket “rattles like a trash bag,” and long-limbed testers complained the sleeves were a bit short. And it’s not cheap. $449/$419 (w’s); 12.7 oz.;

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

What sleeping pad are you using?
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: Blazer
Trailhead Register
Elephant Coffee, Anyone?
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: big_load

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions