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Jacket Reviews

First Lite Vapor Stormlight / Cascade Stormlight

the most versatile shell of 2021.

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From backpacking to trail running, from chilly alpine starts to blustery ridgewalks, we kept reaching for this do-it-all shell. (The Vapor is the men’s version, and the Cascade is the women’s.) Light enough for summer use, the 2.5-layer fabric with a PU membrane kept us happy all day as conditions varied. “I wore this as a windbreaker above treeline on the 23-mile Presidential Traverse,” reports a New Hampshire tester. “The temperatures swayed from the high 30s to mid-60s, and I felt comfortable throughout.” The shell also pairs its above-average breathability with a 37.5 active particle treatment—microscopic carbon molecules that disperse moisture—that helps whisk away sweat vapor (though we did wish for pit zips on the toughest uphill slogs). A just-right cut accommodates insulating layers underneath, but it doesn’t billow in the wind over just a baselayer, either.

m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL

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