Review: Merrell Carbon Shell

This durable shell is hefty enough for four-season wear.

Grinding uphill with a heavy pack during afternoon thunderstorms in Utah's Wasatch, our tester stayed surprisingly dry and cool. The Carbon (women's version is the Siren) is a fully taped Gore Paclite shell with basic features like pitzips and a roll-up hood. It's heavier and more durable than other jackets, so it can easily crossover into winter use, but the soft outer fabric isn't boardy like some four season shells. The ample cut fits over puffy winter layers. Complaints: It felt plasticy against the skin when worn over a short sleeve tee, and the pocket zippers–which fall under a pack's hipbelt–are too short to accommodate. S-XXL (men's), XS-XL (women's); $229; 14 oz.; merrell.com.