This versatile fleece midlayer acts like outerwear in most conditions. The front panels (made of Polartec Wind Pro with Hardface technology, which resists abrasion and repels moderate precipitation) blocked gusts in Scotland, and the DWR treatment kept me dry through misty rain. But the back and sides use breathable Polartec Power Dry, which wicks sweat fast and kept me from steaming up during ascents. The smooth exterior and trim fit layers well, and plenty of stretch let me reach overhead for handholds. The hood and high collar are as protective as a balaclava. $179; 11 oz. (m’s M); m’s XS-XXL; w’s XS-XL; patagonia.com
Windy, moderately wet days on exposed, above-treeline routes
» Joel Nyquist (other tester: Kelly Bastone)
» Duration Jan. to Nov.
» Locales/conditions CO, Scotland; 20°F to 60°F; misty rain, blustery wind, and light snow
» “The snug hood fits unobtrusively beneath a helmet.”