Model: VapourLight Hydroloft Reversible Race Smock
It stuffs to the size of an orange thanks to the wispy fabrics and a gram-shaving half zip.
We wore it with the denser (two-tone) nylon outside to block the famously wicked wind in Patagonia, where we saw 50-mph gusts. When the skies were calm, we’d turn it inside out, so the more breathable nylon (solid color, shown) let in a bit of air, which circulated inside and kept us from overheating. The thin-but-lofty layer of synthetic insulation “feels like a cloud” reports our tester. “After a gale-force storm in Torres Del Paine ripped off my pack cover and soaked everything inside, I put on the jacket damp and felt warm in no time.”
It’s slightly relaxed, which makes pulling it on easy. Elasticized cuffs and hem keep drafts out and prevent the jacket from riding up and exposing skin while climbing.
Packed size is negligible—there’s no reason not to bring this on every trip. “It worked equally well as my on-the-move midlayer in cold conditions and my main insulator on summer trips,” our tester says.