Gear Review: Westcomb Cruiser Jacket

One pound of all-purpose protection

[most breathable]

“One pound of all-purpose protection that works year-round,” declares a tester who used this shell while ski-touring and hiking. It breathes exceptionally well, thanks to eVent fabric and easy-to-reach pit zips, so he didn’t have to take it on and off while doing laps on a 500-foot slope in Norway.

Bashing through trees or carrying a heavy pack? Reinforced fabric on the shoulders and arms can take the abuse (though it’s not as sturdy as the Mammut). The athletic fit isn’t too baggy over just a baselayer, but there’s room for a light puffy underneath. Pockets (high) and hem drawcord toggles (forward, not over the hips) are designed for wearing a pack.

The hood is helmet-compatible but fits snug without one, thanks to four adjustments, and the stiff brim protects the eyes. But key ounce-saving features—like lighter-weight fabric on the torso, a waterproof zipper in lieu of a storm guard, and skinny seam tape—keep weight and bulk low enough that you could use this in the Rockies in midsummer and not feel overburdened. $350; 1 lb.; m’s S-XL; westcomb.com