Weather in the central Rockies was so harsh and unpredictable last spring that our tester, a certified guide, didn’t summit a single Fourteener during his 45 days in the field. Bummer for him, but excellent for testing Mammut’s newest shell. For the Lobuche, Mammut developed a new waterproof/breathable technology that uses an electrical charge to bond the membrane to the shell. Translation: no glues or elaborate seam work needed.
The result, the company says, is a jacket more than twice as breathable as traditionally laminated membranes. Breathability is notoriously hard to measure in the field, but most testers noticed the difference. "I could leave this shell on while working hard and not get steamy. I even kicked steps at 13,000 feet in full sun," crowed one tester. "It breathes like a champ and handled everything from wet snow to full rain to graupel to high winds. There were no conditions that this jacket didn’t feel right for." Plus, the shell material is so stretchy that you "almost forget you’re wearing a hardshell." Only caveat: the price for new technology. $479; 1 lb. 2 oz.; men’s S-XXL, women’s S-XXL; mammut.ch.