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Gear Review: GoLite Malpais Jacket

A ridiculously light shell that also blocks wind and rain.

Ultralight

Most three-layer shells weigh twice as much as the GoLite Malpais. But this minimalist delivers equal protection. A Colorado tester says, “It blocked 40-mph winds and kept me dry through driving rain.” And the proprietary Trinity membrane breathes so well, he didn’t get steamy even though the Malpais lacks pit zips (to save weight).

“I like how the cuff extends over the back of the hand for more coverage, but leaves the palm free for working ropes,” he reports. Downsides: The athletic cut doesn’t allow for layering over a puffy; the hood’s adjustment mechanism (a foam stopper on the elastic cord) left our tester’s face exposed to strong winds; and hood adjustments are tricky while wearing gloves. $250; 6.7 oz.; golite.com

See all “essential” reviews from the 2011 Gear

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