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Gear Guide 2014

Salomon - Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket

This minimalist shell kept testers dry during heart-pumping activities in the wettest weather. Review by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
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Price: $$350 Raves: Superbreathable, minimalist protection Rants: Lacks many features to save weight Best Uses: Highly aerobic activities like running and mountain biking
Salomon GTX Active (Courtesy Photo)

Salomon GTX Active Shell Review

[most breathable]

Why we like it This minimalist shell kept testers dry during heart-pumping activities in the wettest weather.

Breathability Gore’s lightest and thinnest membrane, Active Shell, works by attracting sweat on the jacket’s interior with a hydrophilic PU coating and using your body heat to propel it out through the membrane’s pores. “On a wet, high-intensity, 30-mile cyclocross ride on Idaho’s Harriman Trail, the shell seemed to dry itself almost instantly,” says a tester who wore just a baselayer under it in the 40s. “Even when I spent the whole day working in on-and-off rain in moderate temps to build a new ski hut, I stayed dry and comfortable,” says another tester.

Protection
The Active Shell Jacket acted like a force field against Idaho thunderstorms, whipping winds on Lake Tahoe, and even an accidental creek slip. Rain-fighting features include long sleeves that kept wrists shielded and a drop hem that protected testers’ butts.

Features Minimal: one chest pocket, plus gaskets that seal the non-adjustable hood and wrist cuffs.

Fit
Active Shell works best with just a baselayer, and this slim jacket won’t fit much else.
tradeoff This is Gore’s least durable membrane. $350; 10.2 oz. (m’s L); m’s S-XXL; salomon.com

 

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