Model: Beta LT
Our take Ounce counting is tough with winter shells, because the protection you need for foul weather and rough terrain often adds weight. But this blizzard-worthy piece keeps its weight down to summer-jacket levels while still delivering the performance of Gore-Tex Pro shell, the company’s most rugged option. We skied through graupel and 40-mph winds in Montana and hauled packs through a downpour with no compromise in protection. Arc’teryx pulls it off with a trim cut and streamlined features—there are no pit zips, but you get hand pockets (tight for skins, but big enough for gloves), an internal chest pocket, and a helmet-compatible hood.
The details The sleeve and shoulder cut never inhibited reaches or rode up, and the cuff is tailored to keep the thumb and forefinger more exposed than usual for detail work, such as tying rope. Extra-narrow seam tape shaves weight while boosting breathability (wider tape covers more surface area inside a shell, blocking moisture transfer).
Trail cred “Even without pit zips, this jacket is so light that I never got swampy while touring in spring conditions,” said a tester after skiing near the Continental Divide in Wyoming. arcteryx.com