This softshell has become my go-to piece for high-elevation hiking in spring and fall, plus running and skate-skiing in winter. It’s breathable enough for high-intensity activity (plus mesh-lined pockets double as vents), but the water-resistant Gore Windstopper fabric blocks wind very effectively: I stayed comfortable in blustery breezes and snow in temps down to 15°F on the summits of several Colorado Fourteeners. The slim fit is athletic and allows for unrestricted motion, and thumbholes help it layer easily under a puffy or shell. The chest pocket fits a smartphone. $200; 12.5 oz. (w’s M); m’s S-XXL; w’s XS-XL; salomon.com/us
Hard-charging activities in dry, chilly, windy conditions
» Megan Melamed (other testers: Isabelle Caldwell, Reed Wommack)
» Duration Aug. to Feb.
» Locales/conditions CO, WY, UT, Germany, Sweden; 15°F to 60°F; rain, sleet, snow, hail, 40-mph winds
»“The tight-fitting hood seals out cold drafts.”