Gear Review: Millet Alpine Xcelerator Hardshell

This well-rounded hardshell from Millet suits the most varied of lifestyles.

[multisport bargain]

If you do it all, you need a do-it-all shell. After months of hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and trail running in this versatile performer, testers declared the Alpine Xcelerator a smart choice for hard-charging activities in the foulest weather. And we do mean foulest: “I went for a run on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico, during an epic storm,” says one ultradedicated tester. “It rained so hard that nearby houses flooded, but not a drop of water made it through this shell.” Stormproof features like sealable cuffs and a stay-put, helmet-compatible hood with a bendable brim let testers batten down the hatches, but the two-way-stretch Cocona fabric ensures breathability doesn’t suffer. Billions of activated-carbon micropores on the inside of the shell both expand surface area and attract sweat vapor, spreading moisture and speeding evaporation. The result: “It breathed really well at all effort levels, from casual fall jogs near my house to a hard run on the approach to Colorado’s Longs Peak,” says one tester.

The stretchy feel and long hem worked well for cycling, and cool-weather runners appreciated its trim cut. Intuitive details make the Xcelerator well-suited for climbing. “The two-way zipper let me access my harness in a hurry, and the off-to-the-side, vertical handwarmer pocket zippers are out of the way when I’m working ropes,” reports a tester. “Plus, the fabric moved with me as I reached for distant handholds.” The 50-denier face fabric held up to being raked across rough rock while bouldering. Ding: The main zip can be tough to engage (a common issue with waterproof zippers). $199; 13.2 oz.; milletusa.com