Voormi Drift

Rugged, water-resistant, and breathable, this wool jacket pairs backcountry performance with frontcountry looks.

Fabric Most brands use merino primarily for baselayers because the soft, warm fibers can’t stand up to backpack abrasion. But Voormi developed an unusually durable, hard-face wool fabric that alternates tiny rows of nylon with U.S.-sourced merino. Its microfleece lining combines wool and polyester to wick sweat and foil stink better than all-synthetic materials.

Performance “Snow and even light rain just bead off the surface,” said one tester after wearing it on spring tours in Colorado’s Tenmile Range. Credit the DWR coating, which repels light precipitation without compromising breathability. On moderate straightaways and mellow climbs, it dissipates moisture and kept our tester from clamming up. But though it looks and feels like a midweight, the Drifter insulates like a puffy: In temps above freezing, hikers put it on only during rest breaks or in camp.

Versatility Wool’s odor-fighting properties help this smart-looking jacket transition from trail to town without a laundry cycle. But testers wished the hand pockets sat higher, out of the way of a hipbelt.
$249; 1 lb. 5 oz. (w’s S); voormi.com