Montane Element Stretch Jacket

Cozy shell

Brand: Montane

Model: Element Stretch Jacket

During all-day rain, you need a shell you won’t want to rip off halfway through the hike. The soft, stretchy Element fits the bill: Its proprietary three-layer fabric—90 percent nylon and 10 percent elastane, the latter above-average for a hardshell—is flexy and breathable enough that we found ourselves keeping it on during uphill grunts in the 40s in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The material even feels soft when worn over bare arms. A fully adjustable hood, cuffs, and hem let us batten the Element Stretch down, which allowed us to keep hiking in the face of horizontal rain and 50-mph wind gusts in Alaska. This shell’s 20-denier face fabric also shrugged off devil’s club and grabby spruce branches on off-trail hikes. Caveat: Durability and features add weight. $250; 14.3 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL

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