Features You don’t want to cut corners on a winter shell just to save a few bucks, but REI’s cut-out-the-middleman business model makes this a killer deal. The Stormrealm comes with winter-ready details like an extended and cinchable hem, glove-covering cuffs, and an adjustable hood (but it’s not helmet-sized). Two large hand pockets swallow gloves or skins. Downside: All those features add weight.
Breathability The three-layer eVent DValpine features an air-permeable membrane that delivers top-shelf breathability. “While breaking trail on cross-country skis or hiking up steep slopes, I never felt clammy,” says a Colorado tester. Pit zips add extra venting.
Protection One tester weathered 30mph gusts without catching a chill, and another loved the way the hood snugged up around his face for full rain and wind protection without sacrificing peripheral vision.
Fit The cut is a little baggy, but it slides easily over layers, and gussets under the arms allow for unhindered reaching. m’s XS-XXXL, w’s XXS-XXL